Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mount Rainier and Seattle in all it's (neon blacklight-y) glory

Hi everyone!

I recently had the pleasure of trying something I've never tried before, artistically. And I have to say, not only did it turn out pretty ok, I'm sorta obsessed with the process. I got to paint with light. 

I was commissioned by a family friend to paint a not-super-realistic portrayal of Mt. Rainier and the Seattle skyline, surrounded by a whole lot of nature, including a lake. Now, I'm not exactly sure if this is a real view that exists in life somewhere, but it was made clear to me that it wasn't the important part of the project. We cut and pasted different scenes and photos together to create this city/mountain mash-up. 

The painting was commissioned to be the focal point of my client's new home-bar area. So cool! (like the over-achiever version of the bar cart trend) I made a canvas to fit the exact dimensions of his wall space. The client's idea was to have a painting with fairly ambiguous time-of-day lighting, so that he could also commission another buddy to build him an elaborate lighting set up to go along with the painting. From my understanding, the lighting set-up will have different colors/settings/timers so that it can shine light on the painting to make it look like it's going from daylight to sunset, to night time. By the time it's dark, the only light shining on it will be blacklight. So I was asked to make the painting look normal in the daylight, and totally light up under blacklight! 

Coolest commission ever, no? Also a challenge, since I haven't worked with glow-in-the-dark/blacklight paint since I was probably 13. The process was this: I painted the painting as I normally would paint, but also added a ton of neon pigment into my colors as I mixed them. Neon acrylic is most definitely something I already had laying around, (because duh), so that part was nothing new to me. I knew that the neon would light up under the blacklight, so I was strategic about it's placement. After the whole thing was painted and dry, I turned out all the lights in my studio, except a blacklight. Then I painted over everything a bit, with the blacklight paint (I used Golden brand's glow-paint, recommended highly to me by the Art Store Guy). It was such a weird experience to paint in complete darkness. The paint totally lit up on my paper plate palette, and as I brushed it onto the dark canvas. I felt I was painting with pure light. When I turned on the lights, the glow-paint was nearly invisible. SO. COOL. 

This was beyond fun, and my client was beyond cool. I must do more of this magic. Anyone need a painting or mural with a HIDDEN MESSAGE on it?!?!? A love note that only shows up under blacklight? A political statement? A hidden design? Let's play, guys!!!

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On the easel

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Done! In day light...

Hanging in it's place at the bar!

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Under BLACKLIGHT!!!

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