What happens when two artists realize that they have a similar interest and compatible styles of painting? Artists and friends Kim VanDerHoek and Jill Basham decided to see what would happen if they attempted to combine their two styles into one special painting. Having met one another originally through Plein Air Easton years back, the two became friends in spite of the distance between them. Jill is from Trappe, MD while Kim lives in Southern California.
Imagine the challenges involved in creating a dual painting when both artists reside on opposite sides of the country!
First, both decided that the painting needed to be on the larger side. They settled on a 24” x 36.” Next, they selected a reference photo that both wanted to paint. The two also had to agree on a surface to paint on. Jill prefers linen while Kim prefers wood panels. The pair settled on a wood panel which would allow Kim to apply thick paint with a palette knife which is an integral part of her style. Jill agreed to take the first half of the challenge. “I started the painting by blocking in the shapes-a strong initial design is very important to me,” said Jill, “Brushes are not the only thing I will use when painting. For this,I employed brushes, palette knives, and papertowels for blending as well as a squeegee. I’ll use whatever works in order to get the marks that I’m looking for.” After Jill completed the first half of the painting, she allowed it to dry completely before shipping it across the U.S. to Kim. The artists agreed not to show one another their progress as they worked so that when Kim opened the box from in her California studio it was the first time she’d see the painting. “I wanted our joint painting to be a challenge. If I’d seen Jill’s progress beforehand, I would have had time to plan and figure out what direction I wanted to take it,” said Kim, “What I received from Jill, was more than I could have hoped for. Her start was so beautiful that it was extremely intimidating to paint on top of it.”
Taking the second half of the project Kim had to strike a balance between adding her style on to the existing painting while not obliterating Jill’s efforts completely. After working on the painting for a day Kim quickly realized that Jill would need another opportunity to add any final edits to the painting. The painting needed to be completely dry before Kim could ship it back to Jill in Maryland and with her thick application of paint, the piece would need at least a week or two to dry. Remembering something she’d learned from fellow artists at PleinAir Easton, Kim decided to “car bake” the painting for a few days. What is “car baking?” There are two things that will significantly speed the drying time of oil paint – heat and UV light. Some Plein Air Easton oil painters will place finished work in a car parked in direct sunlight to speed dry time. “I didn’t want to place the painting in my car, for fear of it being broken into, but, I did place it on my back patio during the day to catch some UV rays,” said Kim. “When first opening the box and seeing what Kim had added to the painting, I was overwhelmed by the beauty and flowing integration of Kim’s work with mine. Her thick juicy paint application and sparkling lights created energy and drama,” said Jill.
The finished shared 24” x 36” painting– “From Above” is on exhibit at The Trippe Gallery, located at 23 N Harrison Street in historic downtown Easton. 410-310-8727 thetrippegallery.com
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