Monday, January 7, 2013

The Big Sleep…or…The Big Burn

Some paintings just paint themselves. In this case, what started out as one of those times developed into a much more adventurous endeavor.
The Loyola was a wonderful old theater in my hometown of Westchester, a suburb of LA. As with the Globe in a previous post, I took some pictures back in the late 70’s. A few years ago, I finally decided to start a little study. It turned out to be a rich experience of color, paint strokes and nostalgia. 

It sold quickly at my gallery to a couple from Northern AZ. Soon after, they moved to the damp West Coast. (They settled in Marina del Rey, about five miles from the location of the Loyola!) About a year later, the buyer came back to the gallery explaining that the painting was pealing off the backing! They were very respectful but said they either wanted their money back or for the artist to repaint the painting on a more permanent ground. So I began repainting. Everything was going along swimmingly until I tried to hurry up the drying process before I painted in the final elements. As I often do, I put it in the oven, raised the heat to 170, turned off the heat and let the painting sit in the “dryer”. All was well til my wife came home, decided to roast some vegetables, turned on the oven to 400 to pre-heat (without knowing there was something in there) and then got busy with something else and forgot about it. I came in from my studio a few hours later, as I walked into the house I could smell something wrong and found my painting to have a not so wonderful toasted effect.

So I started for the third time. This one should have gone easily but I kept fighting to keep the spontaneity the first painting had. In the end, I was pleased with it, sent it to the patrons and they were thrilled.

About this same time, I did a demonstration at my gallery in Scottsdale where I began another painting of the Loyola, a little different view. The demonstration went well and I thought “with a little more work back at the studio, this could be a swell little painting”. However, when I got home, I couldn’t find it. I drove back and sure enough, it was laying in the middle of the busy intersection of Goldwater and Scottsdale Blvd. I had left it on the top of my car.

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