THE FINISHED FRAME WAS A JOY TO SEE IN 3-D THIS WEEK - it was finished today, Thursday, December 11, 2014. Rich did an amazing job building the structure and fitting the carving and the weaving. It is the most solidly built and the most beautiful frame I have ever seen applied to one of my paintings. The painting may be lost behind some old boxes some day in a storage room, NOT THE FRAME!
The frame tells a story. The Ojibwe Black Ash basket weaving and the Nordic Viking carving design represent the two cultures meeting in north America a thousand years ago. They engaged in some way with the Sioux and Ojibwe in what is now Minnesota about 700 years ago or maybe earlier. The quarter sawn oak frame structure is similar to the oak used to build Viking ships. It is wonderful to have these very beautiful handmade elements displayed with the painting story.
This physical and emotional painting marathon has finally brought me to the finish line. I have given my best effort. I am having a couple of artist friends have consented to give the painting a final critique with their fresh eyes. What works? What needs tweaking? Their critique will provide opinions and suggestions that I must sort out with care. It is well worth the risk of getting banged around a little to discover gems of truth that will help better the painting. I can honestly say that I ran out of steam yesterday and squeezed out a few hours more this morning. After a weekend of rest I will make a few more "adjustments" next week based on the critique and give it a good long rest.
The Runestone Museum will now prepare a home wall for the painting in the next few months along with improvements to the entire Viking display. An open house will be scheduled for March or April 2015.
What's next? I will be writing some educational pieces to work with the painting at the museum. recording the process of the painting in a small book, and preparing images of the painting to be available in the Museum Gift Shop this coming spring.
THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING THIS PROJECT over the last several months. Your interest and kind words have been encouraging and helpful along the way. I hope you will find your way over to the Museum this next year to see the Viking display and the Runestone. Some of you have told me you have not visited the Museum before. There are many very interesting things to see and learn. I will be hiding behind the painting looking for you!