So you might be wondering what I’ve been up to for the past 10 days. Well, first, I spent the weekend at the beach. The Monday after the beach, I decided to apply to a public arts project. I came across a call for artists to submit a series of horizontal, Seattle-centered 2D art. Seattle is going to choose 2-6 pieces from up to 8 artists to print on 5’x10′ panels that will hang on a construction fence in downtown Seattle for one year.
I decided this would be the perfect incentive for me to finally do the urban landscapes of Seattle’s port! Great idea right? Here’s the catch. The deadline for this application is June 21st. That meant just two weeks to do an entire series of paintings.
The first week, I took photos of the port area of Seattle and cleaned my house. No painting. Now we are in the second week. I have started 4 of the paintings, but have yet to use any paint….and I’m already exhausted. 😦
When I moved to Seattle over six years ago, I lived in West Seattle and worked for a small company that was located at Terminal 25 in the port area of the city. This is my favorite part of Seattle. I love everything about it – the giant cranes towering above the waterways, the smoke stacks, the railroad tracks and the blocks and blocks of colored containers. It gives me a certain nostalgia for a time when I was young, excited, in a new city and blissfully alone.
I’ve wanted to paint this area ever since I moved here. Every time I drive along the viaduct or across the West Seattle bridge I think about these paintings with such a desperate yearning, and I think I’m ready to put my mind at ease and paint them once and for all.
I spent some time on Harbor Island yesterday looking around and taking photos for inspiration. I’m still not sure how I’m going to do these paintings, if I’ll try to draw them on location like I prefer or try to work off photos. I feel like the photos lose some of the grandeur that I love about the port when I’m there in person and I don’t want to lose that in the paintings. But I also don’t want to be a spectacle with my easel and giant canvases on the side of the street. Even yesterday, I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb walking around this industrial area in my ballet flats with my little silver camera. And all the semis pulling on their horns as they drove by didn’t make me feel any more comfortable. So we will see…I’ll keep you posted as I start the series!