actual photo of artist Chuck Close in his studio painting a self portrait using his custom made wall size rotating easel.
Years ago I got to see a Chuck Close art exhibit that included a film about his creative process and how he paints using a wall size rotating easel to aid him with his work.
Upon seeing this my eyes were dazzled and my mind went all crazy dreamy pondering what it would be like to paint on such huge canvases with such ease and fun.
I normally create my large abstract expressionist paintings by first placing the canvases on the floor of my studio. I walk around them and hover over them as I paint and splatter. Sometimes I will then prop them up standing against a wall to do any dripping or splatter needed from that angle. This technique was inspired by watching film documentaries about abstract expressionist artist Jackson Pollock as he created his massively huge splatter paintings.
When painting live in front of audiences I am more limited in how I can implement my normal techniques. Secure standing easels are required so people can view what I'm painting vertically...but this keeps the painting stationary and upright (giving me only one vantage point as I paint).
To have a huge rotating easel would give me not only the ability to paint with ease from various vantage points vertically as I rotate it, but would also allow me to tilt the canvas at angles and lay it flat horizontally and be able to rotate it and it would still be securely set in the easel.
And it would save on neck, back, hip, and leg pain as I wouldn't be hunched over hopping around like a frog hovering over the huge canvases in my studio.
Dear VineArts Director...
A funny thing happened back in 2008.
The VineArts Ministry of Vineyard Boise Church was 4 years old and at the time was housed in one of the back buildings on the church campus (we had 2 bedroom sized rooms: 1 was our studio and 1 was our office). We were still fairly new but dedicated to connecting with and encouraging artists of all ages and skill levels and serving our church and our city through our creativity.
One of our VineArts Leaders was just about to teach a blogging workshop in the office room (and a few more of us leaders were also attending) when he discovered a note that had been left for our VineArts Director (Jessie) who was also present for the workshop.
This is the original note:
We all found the note confusing and quite funny actually. No one knew who the person was who left it and leaving no contact info (we've changed the name to protect the innocent), to what science experiment it was referring to, or why the person thought it was okay to just confidently ask the Director for a random thing and expect it to be given.
So after the workshop Jessie needed to leave right away and some of us leaders decided to play a joke on her. We all wrote our own notes confidently requesting random things.
Here are the notes we left:
Yes...this note is from me!!!
And upon finding the notes the next time she was in the office, she laughed hysterically about the whole thing and saved the notes.
Fast Forward to Present Day...
It's 2016. VineArts is 12 years old.
2 moves later we are now housed in a beautiful building off of the main road as the entrance to the church. We have a wonderful studio adjacent to a multipurpose meeting room/gallery and we are still connecting with and encouraging artists of all ages and skill levels and serving our church and our city through our creativity.
Yesterday I was over at the house of our VineArts Director for dinner. She is in the process of remodeling her personal art studio and was showing me some of the new art equipment she has purchased for it. She nonchalantly took me over to an easel and I immediately noticed something different and incredible about it...
It was a wall size Windmill Rotating Easel!
And then she told me...it was mine!
Jessie let me know that someone donated this huge rotating easel to her and she knew right away who it needed to go to. She was going to fulfill that request from 8 years ago!
I was in shock! I still am in shock!
I had forgotten about those notes all those years ago!
But I had never forgotten my huge dream of painting huge with ease. And neither had God forgotten about my request.
Here it is:
This is the horizontal position. It can angel upwards to be vertical. And it spins!
It can fit canvas up to 5ft by 5ft!
How cool is this?!!!
I can't wait to paint HUGE!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
for anonymous doners and good memories and senses of humor and hearts that encourage creativity!
So it's time for a new note to be left for the Director...
Thank you Jessie Nilo for loving artists like you do!