As I’ve been working on more paintings I’ve felt a general dissatisfaction over the size I’ve been working on. I wanted to use up the stock of canvas I have rather then go out and buy more but what that means is that I work around the 12″x12″ or 18″x18″ size.

It’s been making me nuts.

Last weekend I was sitting in my studio stewing over not wanting to go out and buy more canvas and then I realized that there was absolutely no reason to.

I have a small wall between the closet and the entrance to my studio that is in terrible shape. I had planned on patching it and fixing it to make it a design wall but never followed through on it. One day in a fit of being sick of looking at ugly, I grabbed a painter’s dropcloth from the basement, doused it randomly with RIT dye and nailed the sucker up on the wall.

As an abstract artist this has thrilled me to no end since I hung it. It measures about 5.5′ wide x 8′ high so it’s not a shy piece. I figured it would just stay that way until I finally accomplish the studio reno. But then I realized that it’s just begging to be a painting. A big giant huge bold statement of abstract goodness. It took me about three seconds to grab my paintbrushes.

I am going to work on a small section at a time since working on the higher parts will require a step stool. (I’m measure at only 5’1″ high myself.) I set about it and the first section is currently resting at this state:

I’m not saying it’s done. I’ll continue to pick at the whole thing but I expect I’ll want to block out more sections like this before I really begin to tie it all together. It’s going to take me a very long time to complete and I like that about it. It’s also something that I can visit after a long day of work and fling some paint to keep Art Brain happy.

Below is the progression of the painting. As a teacher, I always feel like it’s important to show how things begin and morph over their life. I’ll be honest – there are very few things I’ve made that I didn’t think was completely homely at one stage of the process. I’ve trained myself to ignore the urge to bury it in the backyard and keep going. I just hate this idea that I hear from beginning artists that artwork should just fly together out of sheer will. Nope, it’s got to be ugly at some point. Here’s how section 1 of The Giant Painting got made:

Right now since it’s still very much in the foundation stage, it doesn’t have the details strongly defined on each shape. I’m ok with that. I’d rather leave it loose and add strength to that once I have more sections painted out. This section is about 2.5′ wide x 3′ high.

I’m in love with the scale of this. It’s so freeing!! ?