Saturday, May 21, 2011

French Room No. 2 or “The Mob Painting”

Kate Kern Mundie, French Room No. 2
oil on masonite, 24 x 16 inches, 2011

This painting was developed from drawings I did of one of the historic rooms at the MET. Back in the studio, I did a drawing in charcoal on the painting surface and blocked in the color in oil. Then it was just a matter of putting in a few details.

I am a fast painter.  If the painting is not coming together in the first hour, I might stop and start a new painting. I usually do a quick sketch to figure out my composition. If I am painting an interior, I will use a T-square to lock down the perspective since I have a tendency to tilt to the right as I am a left-handed.

I completed the painting over the course of an afternoon while listing to NPR. After it was finished, I would refer to the painting as “the mob painting” because I was listing to a Fresh Air interview with mob informant Frank Calabrese, Jr. Now the painting is completely associated in my mind with that interview. It seems a strange juxtaposition. 

When I am painting on site, I do not want any music or distractions. I want to hear what is going on around me; it enhances the experience. When I am in the studio, I listen to music or the radio to help me keep track of time, but I may have to stop so I don’t end up with weird associations.

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