By Marcia E. Gawecki
Banners were my way of getting around the expensive framing racket. I started with door-sized tab-topped curtains but lately, I have been working my way down to smaller sizes. to fit the market.
I was inspired by a shy and attractive Ella in an early black-and-white photograph that I found online. I worked on the banner on New Year’s Eve (not wanting to go out on “Amateur Night”).
After a few hours of painting, I turned the banner over to add some tick marks. The marks help me keep track of my hours. Generally, it takes me 20-25 hours to finish a small portrait. If I go longer than that, there’s something awry!
I was surprised to see such a clear mirror image of Ella smiling back at me!
The reverse or mirror image looked better than the original that I had been diligently working on. It seemed a shame to paint over it, so I added some colors to the background.
All the while, I was thinking, “What would be the advantage of having two images on a banner? It would take double the amount of time, but would the effort be worth it?”
Then it hit me! The double image banner could be used as a curtain on a door with a window!
On my front door, there’s a portrait of President Obama that I did in 2008. However, there’s peach paint covering the back of it. Yet, next to the door, is a larger banner of another Obama banner that I did in 2012. When the sun shines, the reverse image peeks through!
Sitting in my living room, I’ve often wondered if I should paint the Obama reverse. Yet, with that large format, it would take hundreds of hours to complete. After the second election, people were more angry about the economy less interested in buying Obama images. So I don’t show that banner much, but I display it outside my Idyllwild home to show my continued commitment to the president.
After painting awhile on the Ella reverse, I decided to take a picture of the two sides and send it to an interior designer I had just met. It was an impulsive email, but I figured that I was onto something really cool for the right market.
If wouldn’t have to be images of jazz legends, but of anyone! I could create double-sided portrait banners of friends or family that people could display on their own front, back or side doors of their home or business.
These double banners could even spruce up a guest house or shed!
I might try it on the next few small banners that I do to see if there’s any interest! It would be double the amount of work, so I may have to charge more for the finished project. It might have a bigger appeal to designers who appreciate artwork that does something more than just hang on a wall!
To see the finished double-sided Ella Fitzgerald, visit the Acorn Gallery at 54750 North Circle Drive (next to Cafe Aroma) in Idyllwild. Call (951) 659-5950.
Copyright 2013 Marcia Gawecki Art. All rights reserved.