Sunday, March 27, 2011

Local Artists Talk About Painting Live

DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG ENTRY HAS A FUNKY LAYOUT BECAUSE FOR SOME REASON BLOGGER WOULD NOT RETAIN ANY OF MY SPACING. Last fall I was invited to do "live painting" at a Halloween event in Superior. Beforehand, I consulted with Jeredt Runions as regards any tips he might have for me. I was aware the Jeredt has performed live before, and he quickly coughed up a handful of suggestions for me to chew on. Last weekend, Jeredt was one of three local artists who did live painting as part of a fundraising event for the Pineapple Arts here in Duluth. The two easels to Jeredt's left were occupied by Jessica Turtle and Adam Swanson. After visiting (it was the night of the "Super Moon") I asked if they'd be willing to talk about the live painting experience. Ennyman: Do you notice a difference between being in a live setting and being in your studio? Describe that? Jessica Turtle: In the studio I have zero distractions, as well as, everything I could ever need within arms reach. As to where live painting is anything but. I typically rely on constant interaction with people - be it far more hip moving and head bobbing. Not to mention, my inability to remember to bring ALL the materials I might need to the show. It seems improvisational skills are necessary. As for the artistic results, both differ greatly. In studio I have time to consider, change, draw out, or paint over. Whereas, live painting is timed around the bands. There's a certain expectation with live action painting. The works must be complete by the end of the show. Also, there's a difference in the paintings' existence in my life. In studio, I am fortunate enough to spend time living with the works as they're completed. Live painting is more of an in-the-moment production and if I am lucky, they find a home before I can really see what I made. Regardless of their similarities or differences, however, both are valuable to me as an artist and music lover/supporter. All I need to do now is figure out how to persuade a band to play in my studio while I paint. Jeredt Runions: Live painting is more of a street art or graffiti method... Fast. Simple. And good color combos to grab the attention of anyone… Studio art is more of a self-timed pace and has more interesting aspects for me. Adam Swanson: Yes. Having people watching is fun and makes me think about the moves I make differently. It was nice to consider what I might look like to other people as I paint, and what the painting might look like as I move along. Of course, I could envision a number of steps and plans as the painting developed, but it was fun to wonder what other people thought of the process. Mostly, the difference came with the music and not having my normal studio setup. My usual iTunes playlist was replaced with awe inspiring live performances. I had a lot more space to walk around and view the painting in. The people stopping by the easel to say hello or comment on the piece were welcome interruptions. Ennyman: Was this your first time doing live painting with an audience? Do you have other events lined up? Jessica Turtle: No, I've painted live a handful of times both in Minneapolis and Duluth. Yes, I have two more live painting gig's coming up. One in Duluth and one in Minneapolis. Jeredt Runions: I do a lot of festivals and events in the midwest that really keep me busy and that is the most important thing for me and the fact that I get to have fun! Adam Swanson: I painted in front of an audience once before in Ithaca, NY for a fundraiser event. There was live music, but there were 60 different artists, over 1000 people in attendance and film crews trolling the crowds. I don't have any other live painting events lined up. Ennyman: What do you like most and least about the live painting experience? Jessica Turtle: I love being motivated by great music blasting in my ear. I love the energy you absorb from the band members and crowd, and how quickly I can produce images. Furthermore, I am constantly inspired by the interactions that happen with people who attend said shows. There really isn't much to "not" like about it. It's a great way to spend my Friday or Saturday nights. Jeredt Runions: Live painting is very stressful sometimes and troublesome to see nobody take your painting home sometimes but the award to finish a painting in under an hour or so and be stressed puts you in a new level of painting! Adam Swanson: I like the festive atmosphere. I enjoyed the live music and felt good working at Pineapple Arts (I love that place). I had a great time being a productive member of the audience (dare I say part of the performances?), along with Jeredt and Turtle and the musicians. There is nothing I didn't like about the live painting experience I had at Pineapple. Next weekend, I will be joining Jeredt and other artists in a live event called the Clyde-O-Scope at Clyde Iron Works. Check it out. CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

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