Monday, February 18, 2008

Poster-a recycling project


Since returning to Oregon, I heard that the McKenzie Arts Fall Festival was taking submissions for the poster advertising the events. Of course I do have transparent watercolor paintings of places on the McKenzie with a fall theme, but I thought it would be fun to create something new. I wanted to come up with something bold and graphic that also portrays the McKenzie River. I don't think a poster is the place for subtleties, since you are trying to attract immediate attention.

I had a totally different concept when I went out to the studio. I was planning a scattering of images on bold squares--a covered bridge, a row of salmon, an osprey, a drift boat, etc. But as I looked at my pile of "failed paintings" ready for rebirth, the poster sort of created itself out of bits and pieces of paintings that appealed to me. I cut the fisherman out of a flower garden, the Three Sisters foothills out of an abstract landscape, the salmon, the osprey and fish, and the fall trees, all out of paintings. Then I put watercolor washes on a half sheet of watercolor paper and let it dry. The components of the painting began to take shape on top.

As I put the fisherman in place, I saw how almost transparent he was. Although not my intent originally, I liked the idea that he (humans) are the transistional piece to this scene. The natural elements have been here for ages and with luck will continue to be here. The salmon, the mountains, the osprey are all more solid and tangible elements. To finish the piece, I painted with both watercolor and gaouche to enhance the painting, making it more realistic. The final thing was the border at the bottom. The left white is for verbiage.

Again I've diverted from painting a more conventional piece, and would love to get some feedback.
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