THIS WEEKEND / by Hannah McCormick

This weekend I saw my friend Drew Galloway's show at Southside Gallery here in Oxford. I also got to see Drew--the reception was Friday. This was awesome because I haven't been able to hang out with him in person since we started our friendship. We met through the internet, where I blogged about a show of his a couple years ago. I had never seen his work before and really loved it. Drew found me through this, and hollered at me. Since then we've been buds, talking when we can, for hours, about painting. It's really great having someone who's really doing it and willing to talk candidly about it. Drew's new show at Southside was great, new stuff. I snapped some quick pics on my phone sheepishly. I'm still not sure it's cool to do that, and the quality of my photos suffered for it.

One of the most painted pieces of the show  

This made my heart scream. No big deal. I was working with this aesthetic with my waterscapes and it makes me really want to again.

Unintentionally super sexual mini-series he doesn't want to sell yet. 

A little more minimal, but not the most minimal of the pieces he showed. Tied for one of my favorites.

 Cathedral . SEENT IT.

Sunshine Daydream

When Drew told me earlier this week about Sunshine Daydream, I thought he meant the river rocks were a metaphorical figure, just representative of the corporeal or weight of a body or female form. He was being literal though, and I was mistaken when I thought he had just taken leaps and bounds into another conversational plane, very casually. Super pleasant work. I knew that he's always liked doing figural work, but hadn't had a chance to do much since he was doing so many of the creek beds and such.

I tried to snap photos of most of the pieces, but there are about 3 or 4 not featured here. There were some pieces that I had seen before or that Drew had recycled, which is a nice notion. If something isn't working, just take it back and change it. I wish I could do that to some of my pieces that have sat around for so long without moving, but I almost don't want to spend time on old things either. I don't know, I'm torn. Would it be cathartic? Is it smart? No clue. I'm so behind on everything.

Drew also told me about how he just sets some of his metal on fire (raddd), which I feel like I already knew, but forgot either way. I would like to figure out how I can burn metal in my current environment. Without being the worst neighbor of all time. It's probably not possible. 

Moving on, the square and Oxford was turnt all weekend. Arkansas was in town and it's still packed.  

 

 #1 slitch and scissor scistor Sarah Princess Diamond

 #1 slitch and scissor scistor Sarah Princess Diamond

A much needed moment before things kicked off for me Saturday. I've been so stressed out about this event painting, and it was nice seeing friends like Sarah and Drew to break the tension. 

The reception Saturday night was incredible--beautiful space at Clark Tower. I had never been there before so I kind of had to meander my way around it before I finally ended up at the top floor where the reception space was. The couple rented out the entire top floor so that other events wouldn't be happening at the same time--fancy. Just some juicy goss I caught while I set up with the rest of the help. It was a great networking opportunity and I got a card from the host to maybe collaborate on hashing some more event painting deals. We shall see. Everyone was super happy last night and had such an amazing time at the wedding. Maybe it's because my first-hand experiences as a guest at weddings is always colored by the nuances of being around my social circle and also the mindfuck of watching your friends get married, but I think this was in the top 3 happiest weddings I've ever witnessed. I unfortunately didn't have many drunk guests trying to paint on the canvas this go round, but I let the little bitty girls from the bridal party paint on the canvas. One of the younger ones really took to it and she would have painted the whole thing, getting her own ideas about where orange goes (hint: everywhere).

 

Setting up before things kicked off. I got there a couple hours early and agreed on a spot with the event coordinator. Right as I was ready to paint it was true dark outside and Ashley, the bride had already told me how important the city lights were to her idea of the painting. I get it! There aren't a lot of tall buildings in Memphis, so you see for miles, like taking off in a plane.

Setting up before things kicked off. I got there a couple hours early and agreed on a spot with the event coordinator. Right as I was ready to paint it was true dark outside and Ashley, the bride had already told me how important the city lights were to her idea of the painting. I get it! There aren't a lot of tall buildings in Memphis, so you see for miles, like taking off in a plane.

The space was really great.  I never took a moment to really think about it but I'm so glad for the architectural details like the arches and also the blue ceiling, which is not blue in this photo. The wedding's colors were navy and gold. 

The space was really great.  I never took a moment to really think about it but I'm so glad for the architectural details like the arches and also the blue ceiling, which is not blue in this photo. The wedding's colors were navy and gold. 

Look at those fatass roses. They were bigger than my fist. NOICE.

Look at those fatass roses. They were bigger than my fist. NOICE.

Before everyone arrived. Doesn't do the space any justice whatsoever.

Before everyone arrived. Doesn't do the space any justice whatsoever.

During the bride and groom's (Ashley and Michael) first dance. Coupla kids. Things kicked up after this and went in waves. 

During the bride and groom's (Ashley and Michael) first dance. Coupla kids. Things kicked up after this and went in waves. 

I tried to hold off on painting them until the end though, because with event painting you have to be contortionist-level flexible, and it SUX painting a white dress and then polluting it later, trying to gesture in the guests around. So all night everyone waited to see the couple featured in my painting but it happened eventually. As it dries, I'll continue to pile on, but alla prima the way I want it is just not scientifically possible. I'll keep it textured. This is my current thought process for live event painting: color wash > room/lines/perspective > furniture, event decor > far background guests > by now I'm on a roll and start getting random all over > eventually the bride and groom > back to random.

Next time I do something like this I'll definitely load my palette beforehand. I tried to just bring as many tube colors as possible and all the blues I possessed. I also need to find a way to easily lay out all my brushes wet for quicker access during the event. I just turn off after the active critical thinking goes out the window: find a spot and pick a view. Like the arches. Now that I'm writing it's dawning on me how awesome they are. Unfortunately, the wall I had my back to was windowed and the the facing wall was solid, so using the magic of choice I transformed it into windows to get that sky line. Anything to bring as much linear order as possible is a good thing for me when things are so loose and gestural otherwise. I feel so much better about this commission now that it's done-ish.

Next up it hits a new stride (hopefully) in the studio. I'll pencil in some figures and definition (graphite or charcoal, prob the latter--as per Drew's idea), fill in some of the darker depths that I held off on--I can only load on so much black with blind faith a person doesn't belong in the void otherwise, add more detail to the newlyweds and some choice guests, enhance glow around candles, light fixtures, glass reflection, city lights--Gatsby-esque, and last but not least I'll put actual gold leaf on the painting.  This is something I came up with during my consultation with Ashley and her eyes almost caught on fire. So I have to follow through on that. 

I'll add progress photos l8r. 

This wedding couldn't have happened to nicer people, and I'm so glad to have been part of it. 

P.S. I forgot the memory card for my Canon. So phone photos for reference. Stoked! not