Thursday, June 7, 2012
I think it would surprise a lot of people if they knew how much work sometimes goes into a commission before an artist even sets a pencil to paper. The idea is everything. A good example of that is the Palmer's Candy project, which I received through the Sioux City Art Center as part of a public works project. I racked my brain for over a week and made a lot of sketches that weren't going to work. Then one night I couldn't sleep and started thinking about that great, dreamlike scene from the Charlie Chaplin film "Modern Times" where he is weaving in and out of all the factory gears. I wanted to find a way to make the painting personal to Sioux City, and since the candy is made in a factory right here in town, there was my idea.
I was so excited about my inspiration that I was up half the night doing sketches and laying it all out. The rest of the process was completely enjoyable, especially the part where I actually went to the shop to get ideas for different kinds of candy and the colors that could be used. Of all the candy I wanted to make sure that the Twin Bing, the candy bar Sioux City is famous for, was what people would recoginize right away.
The first small illustration was done with markers and colored pencils. I replicated the piece two more times with acrylic paint over the next several months- one 30"x30" canvas for inside, and a 4'x4' board for the outside of the building. I drive past it now several times a week, and it is still exciting to see how my idea developed into a work of art for everyone to enjoy!