Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Community Concert, 2012

This weekend was Plentywood's annual Community Christian Concert. Last year I made a Galilean fishing boat for the front of the concert hall, and this year I was asked to help out again. The theme was "Walking with Jesus", so I decided to do a couple of scenes from the Holy Land---a cross and an empty tomb. I was also asked to play my flute in an instrumental group, but the less said about that the better!

My first step was to get some foam board. Thankfully, my parents' neighbor has a little building supply warehouse and he gave me a couple sheets for free. That saved me a whole afternoon's trip to the big city to buy them for myself. Then I drew the shapes on (not very challenging this time around) and cut them out using my traditional technique.

First, you heat a knife over your stove burner, then slice it through the foam while it is still hot enough to melt it. Magic!

Occasionally the knife catches fire, but these are minor inconveniences, not to be worried about. There was one tragic incident....my trusty little knife got too hot and the handle melted. Thankfully,  I had another one, so it didn't slow me down much.

My canvases

After the shapes were cut out, I painted the base coat using leftover house paint I had on hand. The cats were outrageously intrigued by all the novel activity going on and I had to watch them like a hawk so I didn't end up with a kitty Slip-n-Slide across my boards. As it was, I had to put up with them frolicking under the drop cloth and batting at me when I least expected it.

I put some of the basic coloring on with cans of spray paint, then added in more detail with brush work. Of course, it is much faster to write about it than to do it, so the week was mostly gone by this point. Everything went smoothly though, and I finished on time in spite of the best efforts of my cats.

One night they decided that the foam made a lovely scratching post and my empty tomb cutout was a perfect feline rock-climbing wall. When I woke up there were little blue claw marks going from the bottom of the piece to the top. When I tried to spray paint over their scratches I found that the paint melted any uncoated foam into a cancerous-looking mass. Lovely. I was left trying to cover over their "artistic endeavors" by hand, but it didn't look too bad if you didn't know they were there.

Sunday, Caleb and I arrived early to set up. The Dixie Land Band was already there, so I got to put up the scenery to the accompaniment of "When the Saints Go Marching In" Both scenes ended up looking very nice when everything was put together. The concert was a lovely success as always, and people seemed to really enjoy the artwork. I ate WAY too much angel food cake with strawberries on top, but there was so much left over, I was just trying to help out!

The garden scene with the empty tomb

I think the cross scene is one of my favorites of all I've done so far, mostly because of the vibrant colors. I don't often end up working in oranges, yellows, and reds. I guess I'll have to paint more sunsets!

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