Monday, June 8, 2015

The chair project

In mid-May, I saw an article in the PennySaver with the title, "Calling All Artists." I found out that there is a committee that was formed to raised money so that Kaegebein Elementary School could have a playground on the grounds of the school. One of the fundraisers that was chosen was a chair auction. I decided that sounded like an interesting activity for me so I called the school to find out more about it. Plus, I think that all kids should have access to a playground so I wanted to help with this process, and this seemed like the best way for me to help.

I found out that the chairs in the library had been replaced and that it was the old chairs that were to be decorated and sold at the auction. I went to the school to fill out a form and to pick up a chair. Above is the chair before I started painting. It was just a regular, well-used chair. I sat on it and thought that it was a nice-sized chair but, then again, I am five feet tall (aka "fun sized") so I can appreciate a smaller chair.

The first thing that I did was to paint the chair white. Immediately, I discovered that I did not have a big enough paintbrush for the job at hand. I went to the hardware store, where I decided against the big paintbrush that's used for walls. Instead, I chose to purchase a paintbrush that is meant to paint trim in a room. 

I covered the chair white that so that any color that I added to the chair would be more visible. Also, once I started drawing my design, my pencil lines would be more visible, too.

That turned out to be a very messy job. My shirt sleeves were covered in white paint. I washed the shirt in a special soap and put it in the laundry at once, which seemed to do the trick of paint removal.

It was at this stage that I realized that a child's chair was actually a rather large object. I managed to polish off a large (read "enormous") tube of acrylic paint. I went shopping for more enormous tubes of acrylic paint, in a variety of colors. The shopping trip was fun and, after buying my art supplies, I got to do a little shopping at the downtown Buffalo farmers' market, where I bought honey and flowers for my garden (still a work in progress).
I started drawing my floral design and then I began with my underpainting.
I painted one portion at a time. When I got to the main part of the chair, I decided to go with an oversized flower. Since I like insects, I chose to add a bee to the picture. This is one time when it is OK to sit on a bee!

I add the background and a few more details to make the painting more complete.

Here is a view of the back of the chair.

Another view of the chair.

Here is yet another view of the chair.

Here I am, with the finished chair. It has been sprayed so that the colors don't run. This is, by far, the largest painting that I've ever made. It was an interesting project for me, and it definitely took me outside of my comfort zone. It was different and challenging to paint a three-dimensional object. All in all, it was a good experience, and I feel that I have grown as an artist for having done this project.