Painted Windows for the Holidays

Right before Thanksgiving Anne Giancola invited me and two other artists Jennifer Huber and Thomasin Dewhurst  to paint windows of Bankhead theater in Livermore for the holidays. Like other theaters and art organizations, Bankhead is struggling with closures and LCAC – Livermore Cultural Arts Council wants to attract attention and hopefully donations.

We settled down on acrylic instead of tempera, since Anne was worried about tempera being washed by the rains. Acrylic is harder to remove, but glass is nonporous, so with some effort and a razor blade it should peal right off in the end of the season.

We started with a cream background. Acrylic dries so fast, by the time I finished with background I could immediately get to the planning stage.

The theme was of course the winter season and the arts. Jan painted Japenese woodcut, Anne chose illustration from The Snowy Day by Keats. Thomasin depicted Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel. I chose painting winter forest scene from my own photograph.

Art is a messy work: we covered the ground and walls, and spread, water jugs, brushes and paints. It’s also physical work in this case: my fitbit informed me of some countless floors I apparently climbed over three days period going up and down the ladder.

Jan and me painted two windows on the left side of the main entrance and Anne with Thomasin were on the right side. Thomasin is an art teacher and she brought her students to help and get field experience. I also had help with painting the Shakespeare’s quote on my windows.

Jan’s planned her woodcut painting very well. She did not go over the same area twice and as a result, it looked good from the theater lobby. I caught her shadow painting through the transparent image. It was interesting to see how other paintings look from the inside too.

Almost done, I realized that something that was bugging me was the tree on the right: it was cut off. So I borrowed an 8ft ladder and extended the tree as tall as I could reach. I also could not resist and added fairy tale hobbit door with ski tracks leading to it.

The resulting paintings are below with Jumpstart the Arts call to action. The final photographs with all the masking tape removed, taken by Anne.

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