Scenic Design: Think BIG

BackdropThe size and scope of the art I create is unfortunately often dictated by the realities of my work space. I have a room-sized painting studio and am a member of the Alexandria Clay Cooperative where I produce my ceramics – but even there, space is a precious commodity. That’s why I had a blast last week helping artist Anton Merbaum paint a 36′ x 12′ scenic backdrop of a forest destined for the NVJCC’s annual dance recital The Red Slipper.

Painting to this scale is messy and physically demanding, but using rollers instead of fussing with paintbrushes and making grand gestural strokes was so liberating!

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photo 4Painting the dappled foreground brought all my years of training as an impressionist painter back to life. I was privileged to have studied with the late painter Jean Henry while living in San Francisco decades ago.

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Once the backdrop was hung it took on a life of its own. The results are extremely gratifying.

Sneak peak at rehearsal
Sneak peak during rehearsal

I was smitten with the experience and found out about a wonderful resource for artists thinking about getting into this line of work. Cobalt Studios in White Lake, NY offers two 3-week summer sessions covering the foundations of scenic design and painting. Definitely worth checking out.