Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Two Paintings for the 50 Years of Our Flag Project

The following was just included as a featured letter in Robert Genn's very popular newsletter - "The Painter's Keys" Here is a link to that site http://clicks.robertgenn.com/identical-twins.php

As a measure of insurance I completed two paintings in celebration of the 50 Years of Our Flag. My featured letter explains my rationale...

Insurance policy: siblings or twins
by Phil Chadwick, Brockville, ON, Canada

In 2012 I was commissioned to paint a 4x6 foot canvas celebrating the "50 Years of Our Flag." The Maple Leaf Flag was first raised on February 15th, 1965 and it was a huge achievement of fellow Brockvillian, John Ross Matheson among others. In fact I am working on this canvas with John who lives nearby my studio.

For me, a 4x6 foot canvas is a big deal! At least 3,456 square inches plus the wrap around. I wanted this art to be the very best of my career and I needed insurance. So why not paint two and promote the "best" as the official painting of the 50 Years of Our Flag Project? All winter and spring was spent painting obsessively on these two canvases. My wife thinks I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive/Creative Disorder). For once she is wrong.

My "darlings" were painted together inspired from the same plein air parents but they are not identical! I toyed with the weather and cloud formations but from a distance only a meteorologist would see the differences or care. I also adjusted the transitions from one subject to the next as I wrapped the Canadian Maple Leaf Flag with Canadian styled art. Just yesterday I noticed that the brush was starting to "dab" repeatedly. Being the person behind that brush, I decided that it was time to "step away from the easels." If I worked any more trying to make my offspring "perfect," I would likely hurt them. Sometimes you can save a painting with a single sweep or kill it with a thousand strokes. It is time to release them into the bigger world away from my studio.

My insurance policy that produced twins when only one was desired leads me to the dilemma as to what to do with them? I won't hide the fact that the official "best" painting has a sibling. They are destined to be separated at birth but the new adoptive parents have the right to know. Plato said that "there is no harm in repeating a good thing," but I feel it is wrong to hide the existence of any siblings.

There is a lot more to this story – much of it has been revealed on my blog . 

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