As most of you know, I am going to school right now in graphic design to refine my craft in digital designs. I recently took a color theory class wherein one of the assignments was to pick a professional artist and try and recreate one of his or hers works.
I of course was not thinking very rational at the time and picked one of my favorite artist for this "Master Recreation" project. I am just in love with his light house painting. I just wanted to do something that I loved, and did not think about the amount of blood, sweat and tears that would inevitably have to go into trying to paint something like this myself.
You really get to know an artist when you have to try and recreate something they did. And let me just tell you, Daniel Merriam is ridiculously talented! He see's and uses color beyond the scope of anyone I know. I tend to be like "water is blue so it should be painted blue" His water is actually mostly gray with a bit of light brown. His stars are actually light brown where as I just want to paint mine yellow like we learned in kindergarten. He has a way of using and combining unconventional colors but to us they look like they are the colors society tells us they should be. And my mind is just boggled with how in the world he came up with this painting in the first place. I could go on and on about all the things I learned about him through my thorough exploration of this painting.
Daniel did his painting via water colors (no room for error). I chose to use acrylic because I suck at water colors and I need to be able to cover up my mistakes. This painting took me probably over 72 hours over all. I listened to the entire audio book of The Night Circus and still was not finished with this painting. On the night before it was due I stayed up until three in the morning to finish it. By the end I did not want to paint ever again in my life. Then a couple of days later I realized I had never pushed myself to such excellence before and this project had opened my eye to possibilities I had never even flirted with. Even though this painting is far from perfect, I had no idea I had this in me. "What other amazing things am I capable of?" It's a strange thing to actually start believing in yourself.