Fantastic scene down at Funk N Waffles on Friday evening when artist Nate West and myself began our mural project for their front side hall. It just happened to be parent's weekend with a huge mob for the Syracuse University football game, which I found myself in the midst of while taking a poorly timed break ... I may not have been the only person walking the wrong way up South Crouse wearing something other than an orange SU shirt, but I certainly was the only one with purple hair.
Traffic was a nightmare just getting to Marshall St. from the Manley Field House area & worse for poor Nate, Angela and Sophie coming in from Mattydale. As it turned out we weren't painting until at least 5pm, but seven hours took it's toll ... I still smell scorched plum sauce from the Thai joint which shares the hallway, compensated for somewhat by a stream of diners who used the shared door without realizing they weren't supposed to. So it was "live murals" after all, including a hip-hop poet with a DJ. Far out.
We had a major change in plans too as the "green wall" I had chosen to work turned out to be totally in the dark with no light which the waffle shop had control for. So the two walls facing each other became the objective, which further skewed the situation due to the surfacing of the wall -- A glossy water resistant interior latex, which induced me to try and do the first wet pass over the charcoal with gesso instead of the gel medium I usually use: One viewer asked me "Why did you use silver?" and it took me a few minutes to understand he meant the way the gesso had mixed with the charcoal. Not quite gray and with a sort of fiber to it as the brush swept the line. I'm glad he pointed it out! because against that cream colored surface it is quite dazzling. I promised to leave as much of it as possible.
The wall is also an overly long proportion for the toned-down version of the motif I'd had in mind so I let it go free-form and there's no end in sight. Literally, since we're talking about stretching around the corners with the two painting styles merging. Why the hell not.
Here I am just as we were packing up to leave, photo by Nate West, and you bet I tried to strike the same pose. My guess is that the mural was about 1/3 complete as the evening wound down, and we both felt as though we could polish it off with one more session the next day. Then it suddenly struck me -- We didn't have to drive back to Syracuse after we finished. As a matter of fact, we were already there, and could come back and work on it as time permitted. After all, I pretty much just live up the block. Some days I am sharp.
And as it turns out Funk N Waffles only remains open until 12am on Friday & Saturday if they have a music act booked, which is a no this week for Saturday (today) when they close at their standard time of 4pm. So the plan is to resume tomorrow at noon until close -- Parent's Weekend at SU, which Marty the Consultant informed me is their busiest weekend of the year -- then go back again Monday with a temporary light solution to do something to remainder of the hallway.
Nathaniel West being advised on his mural by everyone's favorite, Sophie! Who was quite the hit with the bar crowd. Nate began with a sketch idea for a landscape and allowed the fluorescent lights and an experimental use of acrylic paints guide the flow of imagery. I liked how Sophie's outfit matched the colors! and had a parade of visitors for a while with our good friend Brother Maars and even Uncle Smitty stopping by to see wazzap. I'll post a more complete album of the pictures I took tonight of the works in development + the scene as it unfolded around us after tomorrow's session.