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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tibetan Pole Painting

I can't imagine a better way to be greeted on a cool fall morning than with a cup of freshly brewed coffee made with a special blend carefully chosen from distant lands.

And though my reason for this visit was not the latte, it was certainly a nice way to start my work day.

My job, this time, was far removed from my usual portrait or landscape commissions that I create in my studio. This was, by far, a calling to do something I had never dreamed of: to paint, on a beam, a Tibetan prayer pole. I love projects that create unusual challenges and this one fit the description

When Mark and Carrie called and said they would like me to come to their home and see this pole, I had to laugh inside. Who calls someone and asks them to paint a Tibetan style pole in their living room? I guess outrageous, creatively original people do. And since I love to push the boundaries of what I can paint and where, this commission was a perfect fit.

To make my job easier, Mark had prepared the wall with a base coat of a lightly tinted primer.

Mixing the acrylic paint is fun. It also is a time to mentally prepare myself for what I am about to do.

Since I had to climb a six foot ladder and balance precariously at times, I decided it would be best to start with the highest, most dangerous part while I still felt fresh and rested.

Next came the sky blue paint that I painted right up to the edges of my clouds.

Starting at the top, I painted the blue with a slight gradation from dark to light to imitate a Colorado sky.

This photo was taken at the bottom of the stairs which is the way it will appear to anyone who looks up from the living room.

I had an art instructor once tell me that a good painting entertains the eye from a distance and then draws you in and entertains the eye close up.
In this instance, I was happy to complete the Tedder's vision of this Tibetan pole (and apply my instructor's theory) by painting a verse that they had chosen from Psalm 19:1 - something that can only be seen upon closer inspection.

Mark and Carrie visited Tibet and then fell in love with the Tibetan people; a love so deep that they wanted a visual reminder each day to pray for the country, the people, and its leaders.

Oftentimes, after a commissioned work is completed, I walk away in awe at the experience and the privilege it was to be a part of something much bigger than myself.  

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