Monday, March 4, 2013

Kira Nehmer - Scrims and drops and stencils

Blog 5- February 21, End of Week Four
The show that I’ve spent most of my time on at OSF is called The Unfortunates.  So far we’ve painted a tile floor, a large scrim, a traveling bounce drop and we’re starting another floor tomorrow. 
The tile floor process was intense.  We painted about 700 6” square masonite tiles, 400 of which had an intricate design in the middle.  When looking at the research, my instinct was to make a stencil to do the pattern, but they had other tricks up their sleeves here at OSF.  The first challenge with the pattern is that it is small and the second, that the designer wanted the pattern to be very crisp.  We were concerned that if we used a stencil the paint would bleed, so we decided to use a vinyl cutter to create stencils that would adhere to each individual square.  The vinyl cutter takes the image from the computer and then “prints” out the image by cutting it.  We then took our stencils and transferred them to transfer tape so that we could apply each stencil to the tiles, peeling away portions of the stencil as we painted on the appropriate colors.  We had problems with the vinyl peeling our base color off of the tiles, but we quickly discovered that if we sealed over the vinyl (we used Varathane Clear Satin), and then applied our color, we could easily remove the vinyl without peeling off our paint.  Because we had so many tiles to paint, we set up a little assembly line to get these done as efficiently as possible.  I had to step away from the project to paint scrims, but I’m glad that I got to see how the process worked with the vinyl.  I’ve created stencils out of a lot of different materials, but never vinyl and transfer tape.  

Tile Transfer - Tape

Tile Process - Peeling and Final Product

The past few days I’ve been painting scrims and drops out at OSF’s warehouse space with another scenic artist.  The scrims and drops have the same watercolor type of feel to them.  It’s a style that I’ve painted quite a bit, but I’m learning to experiment more with sprayers.  My one go-to trick with garden sprayers is to do a fine mist over everything at the end to tie things together.  I tend to be a subtle painter.  My partner in crime, however, is a bold painter, and we’ve made a good team.  I’m learning to adjust the spray more and experiment with using streams of paint, as opposed to fine mists all the time.  I’ve been really happy with the results and happy to expand my use of a tool that I use almost daily.  
The Unfortunates drop

 The Unfortunates scrim - final spray

Unfortunately I won’t be here to finish this show.  I won’t even be here when they start tech rehearsals, let alone for opening.  It’s a bit unsatisfying for me to be working on a project that I won’t see completed.  It reminds me of my freelancing days.  One of the obvious perks for me working in regional theatre is being around from start to finish, from conception to actualization of the piece of theatre.  I enjoy being able to see the shows that I’ve worked on.  
On that note, it is opening weekend here at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  I was able to see The Taming of the Shrew while it was in previews and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I have always had a hard time with the sexism in that script, but this interpretation had Petruchio meet Kate in the middle somewhere, which I appreciated, as a modern day feminist.  I was extremely impressed with the design concept and the production quality.  The design concept was 1950’s Rockabilly, which led to a very whimsical, fun show, complete with live music and incredible costumes.  I’m so glad I saw it and I hope to see the other three shows that will open this weekend before my time here ends.  

No comments:

Post a Comment