convenenyc

Urban Birds

In May, I did a commission for interior designer Felipe Bastos, who spearheaded the design of Convene’s newest office and event space in Manhattan. After learning about my work through my blog, he contacted me about making large-scale painting/collages to be installed in the garden and bird-themed office space in the new building. By large-scale, I mean 4 x 6 feet. That’s big for me; the largest I have painted is 30 x 30 inches, and that felt enormous. Given the time constraint (official opening at the beginning of June), we scaled back on the scope and landed on 13 x 20 inch painting/collages which I could then scan or photograph at a resolution high enough to be printed at three times the size. The final result would be 4 x 6 feet images printed on canvas or another substrate.

Work in progress: first stage/layer is the collage base.

Work in progress: first stage/layer is the collage base.

This work happened in an around a day job, and also production for a solo show I’ll have this fall at Northern Daughters. I spent many an early morning and late night in my downtown Barre studio, up on the third floor. I felt like a bird myself, perched up, looking out into the dark through my brick-wall facing windows. It’s not the easiest thing to do--a commission--but this one was easier than others I have done, mainly because Felipe was so organized. And clear. Not only did he send along a detailed sketch for what he envisioned but also reference shots and color swatches. His energy was infectious. I also just like making bird people. Morphing a bird and human into a new, animated, and slightly awkward figure is entirely satisfying. The biggest challenge was working with yellow - making the infamous NYC yellow cabs fly through the air in mundane yet surreal fashion.

All four panels, in progress.

All four panels, in progress.

Felipe and his team ended up printing the digital artwork on metal. I thank Paul Rogers for his photography skills in shooting the smaller, final artwork and producing excellent digital files.

Sample on metal.

Sample on metal.

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The merging of several worlds and fields--interior design, art, illustration, and architecture--was exciting for me who is multidisciplinary by nature. I’m looking forward to seeing the space and work when I’m next in the city.

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