Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Aimee Ford Foster 2.0: Of Hot Air & Cool Oils

MAU v. Hartford at Quechee Green (Joey Kulkin photo)

BENNINGTON -- Orange and red and brown and yellow but mostly green was the foliage, and plush and cool was grass to the touch. Soft blue smeared with marshmallow goo was the sky, and at 4-something in the afternoon, maybe even 5, there was soccer being played up in the guts of Vermont, Mount Anthony and Hartford, into the back 40. The action was passive, and this October afternoon was gorgeous and peaceful. // Quechee. // That's when it appeared way over there and up high, plump and purple with yellow and orange and red. Basket and flames and riders. Click. // Not the best photo I took as a sportswriter but one of best. Friends think I Photoshopped the balloon into the shot but this shot from 2004 is real. // And it inspired a sportswriter from Florida to interpret it with her own colors and strokes.

"Quechee" by Aimee Ford Foster

Here's a Facebook chat counter boy and Aimee had last month after the framed 30x40 piece arrived at Fiddlehead at Four Corners.

"It's unbelievably great. I haven't seen all your work but this is your masterpiece. What are the dimensions?"

"You are the only other person on earth who could possibly enjoy it as much as I have. But there's no play for it. 30 by 40."

"What are all the specs -- what kind of oil, canvas, etc etc. how long did it take?"

"Took about six months, I think. I use Grumbacher oils."

"how come you painted it? what about the photo? what about the photo inspired you? you may never do anything as detailed as this again. don't let that dissuade you. just saying, this is impressive."

"The first time I saw the picture, I loved the balloon. I wanted to paint it."

"Could be degas 1878."

"Crap, I'm on my phone. Let's try again. Shipping was crazy. Way more than I thought. First time I saw the photo, I wanted to paint our. It. I think I had just started painting again. Then I got to know you and you once said you had always wanted someone to paint it. I did some other canvases. I kept thinking about the balloon. I wanted to do a big canvas. The balloon needed a big canvas. So, I started it. Maybe in November. And I painted and painted. I did the trees so fast. Fall calls to me. I wanted to paint fall trees so much. The rest? So hard. There are for layers of paint in the grass. Partially to get the texture right. Partially the color. The players were tough. Don't like to paint people."

"good stuff. did you show your teacher?"

"The artist I take class from, Kelly Arnold, helped on the players, especially the faces. Oh yeah. She was there when I finished. I think I finished it in April."

"April, July ... same thing."

"Too me long."

They talked about placement in the gallery and possible price tags if Fiddlehead customers loved it that much. Then the chat shifted back to more specifics.

"The red tree above the building is my favorite thing. And the balloon. I created all the texture in the trees with brushes. The texture of the grass came from painting with two different palette knives."

"agree with the red texture. it's raised. how do you describe something like that?"

"Just texture. I like having texture. Most of my paintings have some. It's just a lot of paint. This is my most textured canvas. It helps play with perspectives."

"why are you in arkansas?"

"Torture. Ha. To see my father in law. I used a long, thin piece of cardboard to help paint the net."

THIS IS THE SECOND TIME Aimee turned a counter boy photo into a work of art. Read about how his "Saturday in the Burg" begat her "Beauty and Despair" here.