CMU School of Drama

Monday, April 17, 2017

Making a Mile of Monet

Guild of Scenic Artists: Valerie, a founding member of the Guild of Scenic Artists, and Co-Owner of Infinite Scenic shares her tale of transforming a museum space into an intimate romantic dinner venue; and how one manages such a large and complex painting project.

I want to share with you my process on an all-time favorite project. One of my most creative event planning clients requested Infinite to design and paint 370 linear feet of painted water lily wallpaper inspired by Monet’s iconic paintings.


Galen shila said...

This was absolutely fascinating! I love seeing people in our businessmen talk about the non theater jobs that can be picked up. It really goes to show the extent of what the entertainment industry covers. This piece was absolutely stunning. I love how everything was scaled up including the texture. im sure that standing in the room it felt like you where inside the painting. It was really lovely to see the entire process and how it was managed because it was so huge. The time lapse really showed the processes involved. laying down the base paint and blending really didn't look like much until the dry brushing and shadows started being put in. It was great seeing the little tricks used to manage such a large team. The different color cones are so simple but worked so well. Also assigning just one or two colors per person kept everyone on the same page i feel.

Katherine Sharpless said...

Wow, and we thought our Monet project was hard. Reading about Infinite Scenic studios was so cool, and it's incredible they did this project when most venues would just consider printing nowadays. I especially loved reading how the charge was innovative, thoughtful, and caring while working with her team- how they went to the museum together for inspiration, how she created new makeshift tools to apply the Jaxsan, etc. It's a great reminder that if you treat your teammates you all can produce your best work. I also appreciated the mention of the "ugly duckling", cause I'm in a similar case with Arcade right now. Paint charging requires so much patience and trust, and I always get anxious mid way through even a small project when a painting has that unfinished awkward teenage phase. I can't imagine that feeling on such a large scale- and I have so much respect for this awesome project.

Simone Schneeberg said...

This is absolutely incredible. I love Monet's work; his lilies are already on such a large scale in his own work and his style is so unique that I could never even come close given my own painting style. I would have been at such a loss about how to replicate that on an even larger scale and come so close to something that I see as extremely unique in the art world. Beyond this crew's ability to match Monet and also to match themselves on such an incredibly large and repetitive piece of work, the management on the project is very clever. I love the use of cones as a color code. Visual things are always easier to follow and with painting,eventually you have to cover over whatever you marked or drew out. Working on such a large scale, constantly referring to a scaled down version seems difficult because of the massive size differences from paper to life. Looking up and seeing a color raised off the canvas that shows you clearly where you have to go or what you have to do next or what goes where just seems like it would make the process a lot smoother and strike out many potential complications.

Cosette Craig said...

Now this is the content I want to see on this page. I did about 20 square inches of monet recreation and it was the most pain-inducing, satisfying part of my entire year. It was my favorite project I have done her thus far but it was so incredibly frustrating, I can’t imagine doing it at this scale and caliber. Obviously, the huge team of people probably helps but still. The organization and artistry that goes into a project like this is exactly what I came here to work on. Also, I wish I was a better painter because I would kill for a job that I was actually required NOT to wear shoes. That’s the life right there. Looking back at the paint elevations, I wonder if its just the lighting of the video or if the colors on the elevation and finished project are actually different. If so, I wonder how they managed to translate the color adaptations to the scenics. Maybe this was a rough or early renderings, but still, I’m curious.

Mark Ivachtchenko said...

I think if this article was posted around Monet, I would actually die. I feel as if my first show assignment is going to be to recreate a Money painting and I'm going to have a heart attack. Nonetheless, the work mentioned in this article is phenomenal. Another interesting thing I noticed was that this is scene painting working for a restaurant. In terms of design, I love the fact that the Monet painting they chose is a light, warm, neutral tone and isn't as incredibly bright and colorful as his other paintings. It's cool to see skills we learn being used in gigs outside of the theater and entertainment world. The time lapse and explanation of their process is impressive--I couldn't even imagine 11 layers of paint and DEFINITELY did not account for that many when painting mine. I'm sure it took them the same amount of time it took us to create our Monet's with the size of their team and the expanse of their skills. Now, all they have to do is create a mile of Monet in paint chips and we'll be even. Did I hear new class project idea? I think so.

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