Introducing my largest commission to date, two new abstract sky paintings for the Halekulani hotel resort in okinawa, japan.
めんそーれ (‘Welcome’ in Okinawan)
This week I’d like to share with you a behind the scenes look at the abstract sky paintings I’ve been creating in my art studio recently.
If you’ve been following my art on social media, you’ll know that I’ve spent the past several months working on a very large commission project for a brand new luxury hotel being built on the coast of Okinawa, Japan.
I’ve been working closely with interior designers in Tokyo to create two large 4′ x 6′ abstract sky paintings that will be the focal point inside the main restaurant of the Halekulani Resort hotel. The restaurant, Shiroux, is lead by world renowned, two Michelin star head chef Hiroyasu Kawate. This is my largest commission project to date and I’m honoured to bring a little bit of Canadian beauty to the coast of Okinawa.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
We began with inspiration photos, preliminary sketches and digital renderings of the hotel where the paintings will be displayed. The head interior designer was first captivated by my series of abstract landscape paintings. We selected a cropping from the skies in my previous artworks ‘Daydream’ and ‘Fondness for Grey’ (available as a print on canvas) as inspiration for the colour and texture for the commissioned paintings.
Each painting needed to have it’s own theme and colour palette yet also work together as a diptych. One painting would represent an abstract cloudy sky with a soft palette of blues, purple and a bit of yellow and peach for the warmth of the sun. The second painting would be inspired by the lush greenery of garden foliage growing under a glowing summer sky.
Although each painting needed to work successfully as individual works of art, my goal was to incorporate similar colours and textures into both paintings to tie them together in conversation with one another.
Paint mixed and ready to go. As you can see, paintings this large require a lot of paint!
Before I began the actual 4’ x 6’ commissioned paintings, I created two smaller 3′ x 4′ abstract sky painting studies. They served as a reference point for discussion between the interior designers, the hotel representatives and myself to ensure we were on the same page and allowed room for adjustments before the final paintings were created.
Each and every brush stroke made or layer of thick gooey paint applied is done with thoughtfulness and care. So much love and dedication goes into the paintings I create.
Adding one last layer of under painting to the sky before I start adding thicker layers of texture to bring out the clouds. These thin layers of glaze overlap and blend together to create depth and subtlety throughout the paintings. This layer in particular is going to tone down the vibrancy in some areas and add warmth to others creating a beautiful multidimensional background for the abstract cloudscape.
THE FINISHED PAINTINGS
‘Morning Glow’ 48″x72″
The completed paintings are now in Tokyo, Japan getting framed. After that, they’ll be delivered to Okinawa for installation at the Halekulani Resort Hotel (opening July 26, 2019).
NEW COLLECTION COMING SOON
I was so inspired creating these abstract sky paintings that I wanted to explore this theme further once the Japan paintings were completed. I fell in love with the process of glazing and layering paint to create an ethereal atmosphere and infinite depth within the paintings. They remind me of laying on my back in the grass as a child, daydreaming as the clouds drifted by above. They are serene and tranquil. Looking at them gives me a deep sense of calm, freedom and a feeling that anything is possible.
Stay tuned for the release of my new abstract sky collection inspired by these Japan paintings. Five works will be available, including the two 36”x48” studies shown above. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did creating them.
又ん御行会ー拝なびら (‘Let’s meet again’ in Okinawan)
P.S. I’d say a trip to Okinawa to see my paintings hanging in their forever home is in my future. Check out the resort below, it’s too beautiful not to visit!
The Halekulani Luxury Resort and Spa
The Halekulani Resort is set on a mile long stretch of coastline on Okinawa’s main island within the Okinawa Kaigan Quasi-National Park giving it a varied environment – lush forest as well as white beaches bordering an extensive coral reef. Part of the natural environment is a hot spring on the property feeding a pool at the spa.
Savor Michelin-starred cuisine
Chef Hiroyasu Kawate will operate as Consulting Chef for the innovative restaurant “SHIROUX” (meaning ‘White’ in Okinawa dialect). Among Asia’s most acclaimed chefs, he is the owner and chef at Florilège in Tokyo, whose two Michelin stars and No 3 place on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 list attract food lovers from across the globe.
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vibrant moments from my studio, and lively conversation about the craft of color.
Dear Mrs McKinnon,
I am an art student in the UK and I’d really like to look into your artwork as a part of my project.
If it’s not too much of a hassle could you tell me a little about your painting process – for example:
– How do you start a painting?
– What do you look for in terms of subject matter for your paintings?
– How do you choose colours for your bold palette knife strokes and how do you apply them?
– How do you know when a painting’s finished – is it just intuition or is there something specific that you’re looking for?
I realise that you are a very busy artist and may not be able to reply – I’m sure that if you replied to every comment sent to you then you would never have time for your art or family. Either way, thank-you for your time!
Hi Crispin, thank you for your comment and interest in my paintings. Please send me an email at email@example.com and I’d be happy to answer your questions. Thanks!