Okavango Delta Aerial

Okavango Delta Aerial

Monday, 24 August 2015

T minus 10 days

The preparations have stepped considerably more and I've so far managed to hold the absolute panic at bay. My life is running off of numerous lists (too much to collate into one) There are lists for framing and mounts, paintings, prints progress, day countdown, computer based jobs to do, officey stuff, supply shopping and that's just the exhibition related ones! 
To cut costs I'm fitting all the framed work myself.... so my framer (who has been doing a sterling job) cuts mounts, glass, backboards and makes the frames and then I put it all together. I have just three paintings left at the framers, some more mounts to come and that should be it, bar one or two perhaps.
I have two paintings at the printers, which hopefully I should get back tomorrow.
I have one frame left to paint, the hangings for the batiks still to finish painting and put together, prints to put in mounts and wrap, paintings to fit to frame, paintings to varnish...... I know (maybe 'hope' is a more appropriate word) I will get there, but it is very daunting at the moment.

The production line of varnishing work

I had two paintings started and in need of finishing for the exhibition. I managed to get this one completed last night. It's something a bit different , as I thought that would be an interesting thing to throw into the mix of the exhibition. Livens things up and keeps the show from looking all too much the same.

This piece was an experiment, both in technique and audience reaction. Again using my developing looser approach I wanted to incorporate the image of the Okavango Delta into the exhibition, but not just as a map. So for this piece I drew the approximate shape of the Delta onto a 36" sq canvas and masked the outline and inner islands in copydex glue. I did this as I wanted to be able to paint freely across the white areas so there was no fiddly painting  around when I did the elephant and landscape. And that part worked really well.. I was able to paint easily across the glue to get that continuity through the image. However peeling the glue off afterwards was not as straightforward and 'clean' as I had hoped and it got really quite fiddly and messy so I had to do what I was trying to avoid, which was paint all the white areas in to tidy it all up.
The white areas represent the landmass of Botswana surrounding the Delta and the islands within it and of course the painted area of the elephant and landscape represent the waters of the Delta.

I had wanted to do a painting in a shape.. I could have done the shape of Botswana itself, but as this exhibition is specific to the Okavango Delta... that's the shape that I went with. I don't know how folks are going to react to this one, but it'll be interesting to see.

Last week I took a few of the exhibition paintings to the zoo where I work. I actually finished working there for two months (part of my annual 3 month unpaid leave) the week before. I felt I should show something of the exhibition there for any staff that might have been interested, as the zoo helped me fund the first phase of the project (to get to Botswana) back in 2010 through their Staff Development Fund scheme. 

The staff popped over during their breaks so for much of the day I was able to spend some much needed 'quiet time' to concentrate on my talk draft.

Anyhooooo... time for me to stop typing and get back to the studio and those demanding 'lists'!

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