This is the largest and most elaborate spherical painting I have done to date, and the first actual commission. It was painted for Joe Erceg, and depicts the interior of his house. Joe is possibly my oldest friend, in that he knew my parents before I was born. Since the 1960s Joe has been one of Portland’s leading graphic designers, and now runs his firm Joseph Erceg Graphic Design with his son Matt. Longtime Portlanders may remember the giant butterfly painting designed by Joe which once covered the side of the Fleischner Building in Old Town.
For reference, I shot digital photographs, rotating the camera around to capture all aspects of the scene, while trying to keep the lens as much as possible at a fixed central point. I then loaded all the photographs into Lightwave, a 3D animation program, where I assembled them into a virtual collage approximating the shape of a sphere. Since Joe wanted to show multiple rooms in one image, I adopted the M.C. Escherish device of combining three different views, with gravity running in three directions.
Joe provided the canvas, a large metal sphere that was originally the support for a world globe jigsaw puzzle. Work on it took over two years, in between freelance deadlines. To keep the overall task manageable, I proceeded as if filling in a jigsaw puzzle, painting the pictures on the wall first, then the windows, then the plants and furniture, and finally the walls and ceilings. To save time setting the globe up every time I wanted to work on it, I set up a second studio for myself in the basement.
I am interested in doing more commissions like this one. Hopefully the next one won’t take two years.