Ultraviolet Paint, Googly Eyes, and all things marvelous
The Celebration Triptych was the MOST FUN I have had making art ever. I worked through some pretty gnarly stuff with the Binge Series and was ready for new territory, especially with summer in full swing. That meant googly eyes, big paper, and ultraviolet paint!
I bought a GIANT roll of paper -- 60” wide and 10 yards long. Go big or go home, right?I wanted to experiment with working really large, and strapping canvases on top of Linda (my mom-car-SUV) is an art in itself.
I decided to make three 8-foot tall paintings that would all be themed on the explosion of joy, creativity and inner truth.
Because I’m the art department’s faculty assistant (I clean and move things), I was lucky enough to use CSULB’s painting rooms for the WHOLE summer! I set up all of my things in one room on the first of July and was able to work in the same spot for the whole month.
In the first week of me starting these pieces, two women in my life were put on my heart to be the muses for two of the three panels. I decided that I wanted to create two of the three panels with them in mind.
Here’s a picture from the end of my first week. This is about 15 hours of work so far!
I pray when I paint. I pray for others, I pray for myself, and I pray for God to use me how he wishes and to join me in the creative process. I mean, he’s waaay better at making stuff than I am, and it’s a lot more fun when I know I’m not in control. When I really think about it, it only feels natural to surrender what he gave me in the first place.
I named the panels after the muses - Caitlin, Jasmine and Sienna (me! haha). At the beginning of each session, I would pray for all three of us. I didn’t make myself focus on prayer the whole time, but whenever one of us entered my brain, I would return to prayer.
(Sienna for size)
I painted all three panels a deep blue at the start because I really liked the color and wanted something to make the ultraviolet paint really pop.
I switched back and forth between regular acrylic paint, ultraviolet paint, and chalk pastels. I also switched back and forth in between panels, some days only working on one of them and sometimes bouncing around all three.
Detail shot with UV paint
I didn’t use reference photos, which at first was intimidating. Most of the time I start with some sort of image.
To my surprise, I ended up loving it! I wasn’t tied down by what I thought it should look like, it just became what it was supposed to become.
Googly eye detail shot
Googly eyes have always fascinated me, so I decided to put those in as well. I like that they stare back at you, and I think this is particularly relevant because these pieces have to do with people and spirituality. I also like to question the idea of value -- a 5-year-old would pick a toy truck over a diamond ring any day. They don’t think about value in terms of society, only based on their inner desire. I believe intuition speaks volumes.
I’m really stoked on the end product, but I’m even more grateful for the realization of what can happen when I let go of what I think I should do and allow myself to bask in the creative process.
These pieces weren’t specifically dedicated to my faith, but my faith plays a huge role in my life at large. It’s present in everything I do, and I wanted to see what would happen when I consciously practiced being with God in my work. I grew more in my faith through the process of these pieces, which was really cool to experience.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW AND HOW CAN I SEE THEM you ask??
They aren’t on a gallery wall, and they aren’t in my garage. The Celebration Tryptic are going to be brought to life — THROUGH DANCE!
The weekend of October 10-12, the Celebration Triptych will be hung (in daylight) in the reception hall of the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theatre at Long Beach Statefor their BFA dance concert - Variance.
Jasmyn Hamblin, a dance major at CSULB, has choreographed a performance based on the creative process. I have hand painted all of the dancer’s costumes paralleling those in the Celebration Triptych.
It’s amazing what happens when you step out in faith. I’m so incredibly excited to have the opportunity to share this with others!
I’ve attached the flyer below, please reach out if you would like more information!
Photography by Miles Walton - @mwalton_photography