In the summer of 2010 I started to work on a large painting, which is now on display at Rao’s Café in Amherst, Massachusetts. Several of my earlier paintings had already adorned the walls there, so I knew that this new one needed to fit stylistically and thematically. I settled on the subject of a carnival at twilight, inspired by the traveling carnival that visits the Amherst Town Common every spring. The format is the largest stand-alone painting I’ve ever made: 5 feet by 8 feet (I’ve painted murals directly onto larger walls).
Never before had I documented my process of making a painting, so I thought it would be an interesting side project to set up a video camera in my studio, film the process from start to finish, and put together a time-lapse movie showing how the painting developed. What you see here is about fourteen months’ worth of intermittent work (nights, weekends, and holidays) condensed into a two minute video. This is whittled down from tons of original footage. Highlights of the movie include a fair amount of non-painting “prep work” (a.k.a, “getting into character”), a significant composition change (around 00:53) in order to situate the painting on the Amherst Common, and the fact that I apparently wear a lot of nutty outfits while I work. Most notably, I showed my sartorial support of the Boston Bruins, who went on to win the Stanley Cup in 2011 for the first time since 1972. I’d like to think I helped with that!
While I edited the movie, I experimented with various background music tracks, but ultimately didn’t find one with the vibe I was looking for. So in the spirit of that Zen saying, “Don’t speak unless it improves on silence” (and because it is a predominantly visual experience anyway) I decided to leave off the audio track altogether. Listen to whatever music you like as you watch this movie (or enjoy it without a sound).