This piece is the continuation of Deb’s design challenge for the Manchester Chapter SOS Eagle Parade and Veteran’s Count. In the coming weeks, Deb will be chronicling her artistic process from concept to finished art piece. Her goal is to highlight the effort that is put into coming up with a design and how much one artist will go through by the time the piece is completed.
Two sides of the base to go and the eagle itself had yet to happen. I needed to still think it through for a while. Do I paint it like the traditional bald eagle? As I continued concentrating on the base I came to the conclusion the eagle would be simply painted and not with a complex texture of feathers.
Side 4. A city image of Boston needed to be here. There was no question about that. The Garden was a different story. How do I put on the home court where the Boston Celtics play? My version of the parquet floor was already painted on the top of the base so how much of the interior do I actually need to show? It wasn’t the same building many of us remember since that is long gone. But this building will always be the Garden. So for side 4 I found a picture of a Boston skyline view showing the Pru and other significant buildings one would recognize. I also felt that the Zakim Bridge should be on my design to add a current image of the city and it’s also right next to the Garden. Lenny Zakim championed “building bridges between peoples” as a civic leader and civil rights activist. So in memoriam, The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge was designed to reflect the nearby historical Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown in the center pillars. The cable lines used are also in historical significance to the rigging lines of the USS Constitution docked nearby.
Blue/black was the painted background for The Big Three of side 1, Celtic green was the choice background for the leprechaun symbol of side 2, golden yellow and Celtics green with added silhouette player’s for side 3, and now what color for side 4? So many colors ran through my head. Should there be a textured pattern instead of a plain color? No. Keep it simple. Since the image was to be a silhouette of the city I figured it should show the sky and the water so I blended white and the Liquitex Basics blue for a nice light blue and painted the entire side with this color. Nice. The yellow and green of the TD Bank logo along with the black added just enough balance of other colors and was enough for side 4. The bridge is placed on either side of the city only as a recognizable image and part of the overall design.
This is starting to come together.
Two steps forward and one step back. This is how I was feeling. The frustration was setting in and I needed to stop for a bit. Other parts of life were calling yet the deadline for this was looming overhead. I have to admit to getting quite annoyed with this whole thing. Steve could sense that big time. Meanwhile this whole thing was happening during playoffs. Celtics were holding their own at this point. I wanted to be done with this but knew I had to plod on and stop complaining. No one likes a whiner.
Side 5 – What color for the background of side 5? I decided to go neutral, mixed up a light tannish color, painted it on and immediately disliked it. I wiped it off as best as I could. It would have been annoying to let it dry with that color knowing I wanted to change it. It was ready for a second choice before too long. I mixed up some color combo, used it and came out a darker tan shade. It was okay, not a great choice but I was tired and I just had to pick one color – pick one! Leave it alone. It was fine as it didn’t clash with the top parquet floor color.
While waiting for that to dry, I added more detail to the uniform the bird was wearing. CELTICS was painted on the front and I opted to put the #6 on the back. Steve told me NOT to put the name Russell on the shirt as that was not a ‘thing’ they did. I had to make the claws look like court shoes were on them adding some details and the laces. Socks were blackish and this part finished.
Now I needed to pick something from the pile of printed random scraps of paper of ideas that I scoped out from the beginning. Something was bound to pop out as the last and final design idea. Nope. Around the bird I went trying to get a feel for what was missing in the great balance of things on my pentagon base. I thought of painting a basketball hoop on one side with a player shooting a basketball from the other side. Nope. I didn’t need any more figures because then it would be deciding who should it be?
This side needed another piece of big art and decided to put on another Boston Celtic iconic image; a shamrock in the center of a circle with the word CELTICS arcing over the image. This needed to be probably about the same size as the leprechaun circle so I used the same plate. By now I was so done with having to make decisions. I mean, really, this was not a business meeting that needed a roundtable discussion of some important strategies. It was just a one person art project. Bottom line is though that hopefully the finished piece would make a significant impact down the road at the auction; the money that is destined for Veteran’s Count.
The deadline was in six days. Before then I had to finish all of the painting including any touchups. Then the eagle needed to be seal-coated with a weather-resistant protectant which would take 48 hours to cure. No more dawdling!
Side 5 had its challenges. I opted to paint the basketball hoop on one side slightly overlapping the center symbol. I took a cut out image of a basketball and held it in various places until I picked one and traced around it in place. Then I mixed up a basketball color using red, yellow and green and painted it in place. There needed to be more on this side as it didn’t look balanced. Once again I looked through my pile of random cutouts and thought about the flags. So many flags are hung up in the rafters reflecting many winning seasons. Too much lettering for me to think about so how about if I just put one? Well, I hadn’t enough room to do it justice so skipped that idea. Meanwhile they lost the final round of the playoffs and now what do I do with finishing the eagle? I took a permanent marker and lightly wrote NBA WORLD CHAMPIONS above the Celtic symbol. Overall they have won a lot of championships so I thought it was fitting. The ending this year was disappointing with Thomas out and so much talk about LeBron this and LeBron that. Next season it’ll be a different story. They’ll always have a strong fan base. I’m hoping this will hold true at the Veteran’s Day auction finale.
I was close to finishing but no cigar. Ha, ha. Actually, I would need to put Red Auerbach’s name on there somewhere along with whom? I had no idea who were the key players over the years and ones to highlight in finishing up the bird. Steve helped me come up with a list. These names would be placed around the rock base where the eagle was perched. It would be the last lettering blitz to finish the project.
The colors of the rock, the wings and body of the bird had yet to be determined. More of the details still needed to be finished.
Stay tuned for the next installment!
For Deb’s first entry, read The SOS Eagle Parade 2017 – The Beginning of the Challenge
For Days 1 and 2, read The SOS Eagle Parade 2017 – Days 1 and 2
For Days 3 and 4, read The SOS Eagle Parade 2017 – Days 3 and 4
For Days 5, 6 and 7, read The SOS Eagle Parade 2017 – Days 5, 6, and 7