The muddy middle

For the last many weeks, the bones of our new home have been coming together. Here are four different pictures and the dates they were taken.

August 9
August 22
August 31
September 20

Most times we have visited SEED Homes in southeast Calgary, we have been allowed to tour the construction zone to get a sense of space and a firsthand view of the progress. The muddy middle included schematic drawings on work tables, tools scattered about and framed out rooms where bathrooms and bedrooms will eventually be. That all started to change in recent days as finishing details like light switches and duplex plugs started to appear.

As with home construction, painting often has a muddy middle. The early stages of most paintings can look like a big hot mess. However, much like a home builder, an artist knows that the first few layers are essential to getting to the beautiful end result. 

I was working on a new portrait of Notorious B.I.G., or Biggie Smalls, the famous and former rapper. He was shot and killed in 1997. While you can see who it is, complete with some semblance of skin tone and character, the overall composition is still muddy. It was not pleasing to the eye. I still needed to take it from appalling to appealing. 

I took the painted out to Simon's skateboard ramp, turned up the Notorious B.I.G. tunes coming through my earPods and started splattering. The frenetic, uncontrollable lines and splatters, combined with some final colour additions and work on the crown, brought the painting to its (hopefully) appealing conclusion.
Biggie Smalls 2023 | 30" x 36" | acrylic on canvas


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