Day 149: Avalon

Today was the big reveal of the commission painting for Bruce & Dave. I was nervous because I hadn’t shared any in-progress photos, so I didn’t know if they would like the end result. I don’t want to come off sounding like an eccentric recluse, but having people look at art before its finished is one of those things I don’t like to do.

It started with the mural painting. Most of our work was residential, so it’s pretty hard to avoid in-progress scrutiny when you’re smack in the middle of a living space. But it isn’t just letting people look at it, it’s the dreaded question we must have heard a hundred times…

“Um…are you going to leave it like that?”

Yes. Yes, mural client. I thought it would be really avant-garde to just paint in the elephant half way and then abandon it. Jen would clench her jaw and I’d answer.

“No, we just need to let that part dry before we can go back in and finish it up.”


So it was fabulous to be able to work on this and present it sight-unseen, but it was also nerve-wracking. What if they didn’t like it? Yikes! Happily, it was smiles all around. Rob & I had a great time visiting with Bruce, Dave and their friends Rochelle and Kelly, who came along to see the piece and help transport it. Now that they’ve seen it, I guess you guys can see it too. 😉

At 4 feet square, here’s ‘Nostalgia’, a mixed media painting on wood panel incorporating Bruce’s own collection of stamps and other vintage ephemera.

"Nostalgia", a mixed media commissioned painting I worked on for about a month.

But wait, there’s more! Don’t want to disappoint anyone with the lack of a daily piece, so here’s tonight’s work, Avalon. This piece, like the others I’ve been doing lately, evolved organically as I went through bits of paper and picked parts out that seemed to want to work together.

A snippet of a map with an island called “Avalon” started it. From there, I added a dictionary page with the word “mimetic”, a hymnal with the words “promise forever”, and a page from a German reader with the handwriting “the Lord is come” on it in blue ink.

Lastly, I grabbed my copy of the Iliad, closed my eyes, flipped through the pages and decided to write whatever word was closest to my finger when I stopped. That word was immortal, which I wrote in the upper left. The awesome thing is that I didn’t remember what significance Avalon had in folklore, so of course I went to the temple of the Wiki for that answer, and discovered that it is mentioned as the island where King Arthur’s Excalibur was made and is also a literary source of immortal beings. I kid you not, sir. How rad is that?

Avalon, a colorful mixed media painting on 8x10" canvas

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