The last few weeks have been a restful time around the Nelson household. The holidays meant that our graphic design clients were taking time with their own families and things were kind of quiet for Nelson Creative. What does that mean? That Doug, who likes to be busy, had more time to conjure up ideas for projects. Doug and I worked together at Richard Sibley Advertising downtown Orlando, FL when travel and tourism marketing was at its highest. At one time we used to drive down I-4 together, looking out the window saying, “I did that one,” “You did that one.” “Remember the Photoshop work on THAT one?” It was a good time to be designing billboards.
We had some big clients; Splendid China Theme Park, American Gladiators Dinner Theatre, Kennedy Space Center, Kissimmee St. Cloud Visitors Bureau… some of them even had pretty good budgets. Why do I tell you this? Because when you designed billboards in the early 90’s you thought a lot about what we called “top outs” that meant that a part of the design extended beyond the board and was actually topping out, or built-out of the parameters of the board.
Doug has been thinking about a way to make my art “top out” for a long time. We have sat and talked on many occasions about how he could create a base that would allow my work to extend beyond the edges and eventually he even wanted to make parts of it come forward off the substrate. This holiday break Doug got out the clamps, the wood, the table saw, and the jig saw.
For the record, I did give him the table saw for Christmas last year. AND he gets wood clamps every year in his stocking. Is that subtle or what?
Doug planned out exactly how I could sketch my art onto the wood and he would use that for a template to cut the top outs. He measured the area in our home where this piece would hang and gave me the dimensions I had to work with. How’s that for efficient?
When we worked together, Doug always figured the math for me when I was designing billboards on the computer. After all, you can’t make a full sized computer file for a 20-foot board or a 30-sheet poster, you have to figure out a proportional reduction.
What? I threw out the proportion wheel they gave us in college (yes, I am a pre-computer dinosaur) the day of graduation! Yuk, that thing gave me the willies. I hate math.
Now, this is just the beginning, Doug has been spending time in the studio with me (see his computer and coffee on the varnish table?) and he’s come up with even MORE ideas to make this piece spectacular.
This is how I start my Paper Paintings artwork, I sketch on a wood panel, and then I create a full acrylic under-painting. I then glue hand-painted papers over the top of the painting, tearing each and every piece in just the perfect shape, until the entire wooden substrate is covered in collage.
Stay tuned to watch “Teal Tranquility” come together. You can follow it on my Paper Paintings Facebook page as well.