A Manicure is Wasted on Me... I'm painting a set...

I have been spending the last few weeks painting the set for The Weir at Walterdale Playhouse. This has been a terrific challenge for me.  I have designed a set before and painted it (Village of Idiots), I have been Master Painter before for another designer (Wyrd Sisters) and I have painted on many other sets, usually under the umbrella of a Master Painter, but sometimes I have been pretty much in charge (Nine), but this set really took it up a notch for me.  When Director, Anne Marie Szucs, was putting together her team back in the late spring she asked me if I wanted to be on it.  When Jim Herchak stepped forward as Set Designer I knew that the best place for me would be Master Painter since I know that Jim doesn't paint. It's also a tough position to fill since there are few people who want to take on the responsibility or feel they have the expertise to do it (many paint, but few will master paint...). Also, I figured it would be a good challenge.

The set has certainly proven to be so.  I like it, don't get me wrong, but there are a lot of surfaces and it is, for the most part, a realistic set.  Village was not realistic, and neither were Wyrd Sisters or Nine.  When the set is abstract, you can play with the textures to a large degree.  When it's 'real' you have to make it work.  I have learned a lot.  It's been tough.  My painting mentor, Joan Hawkins, is out of town so I had to mine my memory and experiment a bit to get what I wanted.  I did use a lot of the things she taught me.  The first attempts were not as successful as the later work, but the beauty of paint is that layers will save you.  It was also interesting because I had no reference for colours or textures on the model.  Jim trusted me to figure that out and that has been interesting. I have a few more things to finish up, but I am about 93% there.  I have spent about 40 hours on the deck working so far (more at home on the computer searching for reference images) and I probably have about 6 - 10 more next week to finish up the little details.  It's tough for me because I generally have to work one day and rest one day because of the strain on my back (it doesn't seem to like it when I paint the floor...).  I have had some wonderful help (Thanks Julie, Jenelle, Kent, Elinor and Ruby!) and I have learned a lot.  When I look at it I am really quite proud of what I have done so far.  I hope that I can make the rest of it match what is in my head.

I encourage you to stop by the Walterdale Open House or AGM this Saturday and check it out in person, or better yet, come at see the show in a couple of weeks! 


Annemarie said…
The photo you posted looked absolutely beautiful!

I think it's fantastic that you get so involved in so many different aspects of the theater!
Justen said…
Congrats! I hope you post a photo on your blog so I can see how it turned out. =)
Finster said…
There you go Justen - it's technically still in progress, and I will post another later when it is done and dressed!

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