When discussing my latest series with others, I have been asked, “So why 42 pieces?” To be honest, the specific number 42 has no significance. It became more about the amount of space I wanted the work to fill and how I wanted all the pieces arranged. I do not usually provide images from the development stages in my sketchbook because I consider it my private domain for new ideas, drawings, and mistakes…lots of mistakes. But I thought the images would help illustrate the process. I particularly like the bottom corner of my sketchbook page where I have scrawled, “That’s a lot of paintings?” Yes. That is, in fact, a lot of paintings in three weeks.
One may notice from these preliminary sketches that some of my math calculations have been rounded here or there: remember this was the planning stage. I have a systematic way of breaking down tasks when I take on a project this large which includes trying to predict the number of days needed to complete the whole thing. I neglected to factor in time spent varnishing and drying. Luckily I allowed for some wiggle room in my calculations! I will discuss the concept and emotive reasons for creating such a large work in my next post.