I had never experienced the making of a painting from start to finish, so when eric wixon got to work on a floor to ceiling-sized face in the middle of my studio apartment, I put my feet up and watched as much as I could without being too much of a creeper.
The whole radical home decorating project was loosely based on eric's installation at Yeller and Sezio's Parachute Factory show back in February:
(photos courtesy Jenny Reiswig)
Knowing how much I dug the work, eric set out to create something similar to one of the goofy-auraed faces.
He started off by painting big, loose circles with a wide brush and watered down purple paint. The initial framework looked like a bobble-eyed alien.
He was quick about the purple outline, then came in with teal spray paint and made place holders for eyeballs and the basic shape of a nose.
The initial drippings of runny purple paint became the outline for a mouthful of silly chompers. eric filled in more of the drippy lines with solid colors, giving the face its long, uncontained expression. Stencils were used for patches of polka dots and honeycomb patterns.
eric went from bursts of spontaneity to extended pauses, standing back again and again before re-approaching the face to make adjustments. Being a writer, I could relate to eric's process in that he'd take fancy to one line, obsess over a small section, and grumble from the indecision of what to add, take away, or emphasize to finish the work.
The wild line to the left spawned one of our favorite sections of the piece once it was complete:
After eric finished painting, he went in with pastels and framed certain strokes, adding whimsical details here and there.
Black screws made the perfect eyeliner.
It's difficult to get a good shot of the completed piece because the room's so small and it's so big.
Scored the perfect pillows at Target.
The final step: painting the screws white to match the ceiling.
A huge thanks to eric for this colorful addition to my live/work space. The smile on this character is infectious... my cheeks hurt!