"Dinner Theatre" by Jim Carpenter, Acrylic on Paper, 11' x 30"
My Challenge: Dare I Follow This Image?
I paint along side hundreds of artists from all over the world partaking in Day 9 of Leslie Saeta's 30 day painting and blogging challenge. That there are so many artists participating lends the challenge a certain camaraderie (not unlike what we experience in the collaborative art of theatre) as well as adding a certain amount of pressure (if you allow it), because so many artists are posting their paintings every day. Gotta keep up!
I welcome the pressure to produce. It creates an interesting tension between my desire "to be idle," to paint for the joy of it, and the desire to please that turns painting into work. So today when I decided to pick up this odd-sized start with a lot of bright paint on it, I immediately thought "what the heck am I going to do with this!"
So often my first thought was to wipe out the color and to look for a scene. But before I got to obliterating the start, I took time to see the half circle in the middle of the page - and looking inside it I began to see a scene unfolding, not just in the center but on either side.
The Start for Dinner Theatre
Theatre is a great metaphor for life and I immediately recognized the setting for the characters in this painting as a theatrical one. The title became apparent to me early in the process when I was looking for an explanation for the character just left of center that is drawing attention from the two central figures. I immediately thought, "this is dinner theater!" And thus, early on I had my title.
I did not let the title or reason stand in the way. I was going to risk having some fun. I immediately allowed for other characters to appear on the right and left, leading to the possibility of multiple plays taking place at the same time - or perhaps 3 different views of drama/life being played out simultaneously.
I could have wiped the entire painting out at any time - there was some neat stuff under that paint - I did rub out on section on the left to reveal the mystery melodrama taking place on the left side of the paper! But I decided not to second guess myself. I decided to enjoy the return to the theatre. The truth is I've been looking for some of the more playful paintings to re-appear. And now one has!
In case you are wondering about me and dinner theatre... stay tuned.