I was recently asked to paint a violin for the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra‘s silent auction, which followed a performance featuring cellist, Julie Albers. They asked a number of local women artists and I was more than happy to take a lonely violin and make a project out of it. When I arrived at their offices to pick up my violin, I had a choice between one without strings and a crack in it and one that was in decent shape and had two strings. I chose the latter, although looking back on it I probably could have made good use of that crack.
The first thing I thought before I had the violin in my hands was that I would strip it, stain it (either green or red) and then paint something in black acrylic. I am definitely much more comfortable using a pen than I am using paints (I love the control and clean lines when I draw with a pen), but I was looking forward to the challenge and the chance to bring out my paints again. I don’t know where they came from, but I think my acrylics multiplied since the last time I opened that bag (there are at least four large tubes of white paint in there).
Initially when I was thinking about designs, I imagined something using my bubbley tentacles, and then since octopi have been on my mind lately it seemed to be the natural progression. The title “octave” came after I was done painting and needed something more than just “Untitled”. I thought of naming it the obvious “octopus” or “octopod” and then “octave” hit me like some cheesy pun and I had to do it.
Below are more photos from the process I went through to paint the violin. It definitely took longer than I thought since there was so much waiting time between stripping, drying, sanding, conditioning, staining, painting and then varnishing. Along with the photos of the process I also set up my camera and created a time lapse video of me painting the octopus on the violin. You can even follow the link to the vimeo page and watch it in HD (larger than life for your massive screen). Enjoy!
Whether or not these violins are meant to be played, I am not sure, but I went ahead and bought new violin strings so that it can be played . . . although I will mention that the sound post popped out of the violin when I was sanding it. I haven’t played violin since I was a wee one, but I imagine that is somewhat important.
Side Note: Unfortunately I am out of town this weekend, so I wasn’t able to make it to the performance and auction last night, but I am looking forward to seeing photos from the event and all the other violins.