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the very large triptych, part 9 ~ reflection

by | Jun 22, 2024 | Uncategorized

“How long did that take you?” is a question I’m asked often about my paintings, though rarely by other painters. That’s because they understand that the creation of a painting involves far more than simply applying paint to canvas.

And maybe that’s the key point I’ve sought to illuminate here in sharing the story of the Very Large Triptych: Applying the paint to the canvases was the least time-consuming part of creating the Very Large Triptych. If you were to add up all of the hours I spent with my paintbrush literally on canvas, it would probably add up to less than a day’s worth of hours; two entire days would be a stretch. Yet this painting consumed my time, focus, and creative energy — as well as my home — for nearly a whole year.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely. I wouldn’t have accepted the commission if I didn’t think it would be an enjoyable, positively challenging experience. Nor would I have agreed to do it if the other people involved were not a pleasure to work with.
RAS & TAC treated me with warmth, kindness and trust. They valued my thoughts and gave me plenty of space and time to do what I needed to do. They respected me, and that was vital.

Respect emanated from my family and friends as well. They accepted my need for privacy when I didn’t want to share photos of the painting process, and understood if I didn’t invite them in when they stopped by.

Especially respectful was My Good Man [MGM], who supported and encouraged me from day one. He assisted me anytime I requested help, and never balked when I needed more solitude than usual to focus on the Very Large Triptych. The support, interest in and enthusiasm that I received from friends and family for this project has been invaluable.

I once knew a gallerist who, whenever someone asked him how long it took an artist to create a particular work of art, he responded, “Their whole life.” Meaning that all of the artist’s lived experience — every painting they made before this one, every drawing, every photograph, every time they’d noticed shapes and colors and textures, every moment of being awestruck by a dramatic sky or dapple of light — ALL of it, had led to their experience and time creating that painting.

How long did it take me to paint the Very Large Triptych?

It took me my whole life.

Sangre de Cristo Sunrise ~ Peaceful Magnificence by Dawn Chandler
(The Very Large Triptych/VLT) ~ oil on canvas ~ 45″ x 162″

the very large triptych, part one ~ the request
the very large triptych, part two ~ the proposal
the very large triptych, part three ~ discovering the landscape
the very large triptych, part four ~ experiencing sky
the very large triptych, part five ~ painting the studies
the very large triptych, part six ~ new studio & first strokes
the very large triptych, part seven ~ the big reveal
the very large triptych, part eight ~ delivery & installation
the very large triptych, part nine reflection*

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Meanwhile, find more of my stories, insights and art here on my website Shop my art via my Etsy shop. And please consider joining me for TuesdayDawnings, my weekly deep breath of uplift, insight, contemplation & creativity. Find other ways to keep tabs on me via my connect page.

Be kind. Notice what you notice.

~ Dawn Chandler
Painting, writing, photographing, hiking, noticing and breathing deeply in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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