Sunday, February 12, 2017

Another WAVE Rolls In

The unexpected call came in January.  Would I be willing to participate in another Art by the Inch fundraiser for WAVE (Working Against Violence for Everyone) — in the front half of February.  Oh my!  As much as we believe in the mission of the organization, “No” was my only option.  Sure if the call had come in November, but with that kind of timeline during which I had two out-of-town trips scheduled — yikes.  That would leave me three weeks to complete a 22 x 30 inch painting I needed three months to complete without significant stress.  No way!

So I said yes. 

Several days later six sheets of wimpy 140 pound watercolor paper showed up at our door.  Wait!  I said I would paint one painting, said nothing about Karen and they were expecting six paintings.  No way!

So we compromised — I would do one and Karen would do one.

Petersburg residents responded with enthusiasm during the first two Art by the Inch fundraisers and I have to admit, Karen and I enjoyed watching their responses — at first.  The concept: artists complete a 22 by 30 inch painting to be hung on a wall at Petersburg’s Sons of Norway hall.  On the big day, each attendee gets a number when they enter the venue.  Clutching onto their number, they mill around the hanging artwork, oohing and aahing while they consider what part of a painting they would like to cut out to take home — for the cost of $1.00 per square inch.  Yes — cut out.  It’s brutal for artists like me.

Finally, after feasting on tasty treats and getting lubricated with wine, to soften participants resistance, comes the big moment.  The emcee draws ten participants numbers in random order, say 21 through 30, and those ten individuals, varying sized pieces of mat board in hand, get first crack at what part of whatever painting they want to take home.  WAVE volunteers mark off their selections.  When group one sits down, the second group gets their shot at the remnants and so forth for the remaining groups.

Last time I carefully planned a piece (I only had time to complete a 22 x 15 inch painting) so that it was “totally obvious” where it should be cut up.  Anyone could see that.  Bad idea.  Someone in the first group destroyed the painting by cutting something out of the middle.  Lacking the heart to wait to see what happened next, we left.

On the other hand, Karen, my wise wife, completed five separate paintings on her sheet of paper.  All were some of the first chosen and all survived intact.

Which brings us back to this year.  Once again, Karen completed four separate paintings — at least after announcing she was giving up after completing a half sheet with two paintings on it.

I, in my infinite wisdom, showed my lazy side deciding that painting multiple paintings exceeded my level of ambition.  Thus. I began with one complete scenic subject covering the entire sheet.  Done!  I smiled with satisfaction that I hadn't spent all three weeks working on it.  But wait — it needed some critters.  Oh, and maybe a couple more.  Alas, the number kept growing (it ended up with 24 plus 7 gnomes) until I ran out of time.  Ultimately, I foresee another disaster as participants take a shot at it.  At least this time we’ll be out of town during the event due to the show being delayed to accommodate other artists.  We’re still curious, but at least we won’t have to cringe at the process.

             Karen's WAVE Project  Total 22 x 30 inches  Watercolor, acrylic and colored pencil

                                                         Detail:Lop-eared Bunnies

                 Detail:  Sheltered (Gentoo penguin chicks based on a photo by Robin Roberts)

                                                         Detail:  Pecking Order

                                                       Detail:  Birds of a Feather

Don's WAVE painting  Muskeg Mischief  22 x 30 inches  Alkyd  Sorry about the somewhat folded over upper left-hand corner

                                          Detail:  Left side of Muskeg Mischief

                                         Detail:  Right side of Muskeg Mischief