Monday, July 28, 2014

North Carolina Barn Bling

On a recent trip to North Carolina I was commissioned to construct some barn art for friends that live in the Asheville area. I had mailed them some of my exterior paints ahead of time and was told that they had scrap wood or plywood laying around that I could use, but other than that, there were no plans. I was thrilled that they trusted me enough to let me do what ever I wanted, with no direction or limitations, just the way I prefer to work. 
Moving the finished piece out of the barn for installation.
Unfortunately, I forgot to measure it so this picture is included for some perspective.
Honestly, constructing it was a little nerve-wracking. Because of travel plans and other activities, I was left with only 30 hours from start to finish. Additionally, I wasn't sure what I was doing, or if I'd be able to finish it, until the 27th hour.
Finding a way to get it into place was a little complicated but, thankfully,
not too difficult because it was relatively light.
I was a little concerned when I saw the plywood that I was going to work with was only 3/8" thick because I wasn't sure how well I'd be able to attach the pieces together but it turned out not to be a problem and the thickness was especially fortunate when it came to raising it in place; because it was so light, it wasn't too difficult to work up the ladder. By the way, I find it only appropriate that we used a tractor for the installation, as all barn art should be installed.
Though I try to be as safe as possible when installing art work, I'm always relieved
when no one dies or is seriously injured in the process.
My fear in taking on this commission was that I would get all the pieces painted but wouldn't be able to come up with anything I liked in the allotted time and would have to tell my friends that I'd finish it at some indeterminate time in the future. I was truly working on "a wing and a prayer", just trusting that somehow something would come together if I just followed the process. Much to my surprise, and based on the feedback I've gotten, it seems to have worked. More than anything though, I'm just relieved I'm not embarrassed with it.
3/8" UL plywood and exterior latex paints and stains
approximately 8' x 8.5' x 1" (I forgot to measure)
I've been calling this series "Barn Art" but I like my friend's terminology of "Barn Bling" better. It is located off a rural road and faces away from it so the only way to see this piece is by personal invitation. It is nice to see my work on an actually barn, I particularly like the contrast of contemporary art on an old, traditional, building.