Spherical Perspective: Skidmore Fountain

Here’s a piece from Think Ink, the group show opening tonight at Steele Gallery in Seattle. This image of Portland’s Skidmore Fountain is the first spherical painting where I worked from photo reference. In the pre-digital era (1999) this meant standing at one spot and taking pictures in all directions, having the resultant roll of film developed, and then spreading the prints on the floor and linking them up in various ways to map out the 360° image.

David Chelsea is reading:
Nemesis by Philip Roth

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Spherical Perspective: Joe’s House

Joe's House.  Acrylic on world globe by David Chelsea, 2008. Not for sale. Photo by Tom Lechner. tomlechner.com/
Joe's House. Acrylic on world globe by David Chelsea, 2008. Not for sale. Photo by Tom Lechner. tomlechner.com/

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.
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Metaperspective: Keller Fountain

Double hemisphere painting by David Chelsea adapted from photographic panorama by Tom Lechner. Acrylic on paper, 2008.
Double hemisphere painting by David Chelsea adapted from photographic panorama by Tom Lechner. Acrylic on paper, 2008.

I based this view of Portland’s Ira Keller Fountain on a 360º panorama by photographer Tom Lechner, which he had printed on a paper model of a rhombic triacontahedron, a thirty-sided geometric solid approximating a sphere. Originally known as the Forecourt Fountain, it was designed by the architect Lawrence Halprin and dedicated in 1970,  You can view a large image of the painting here.
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Spherical Perspective: Spring Street Studios

Spring Street Studio by David Chelsea. Panoramic photo by Tom Lechner.
Spring Street Studios by David Chelsea. Panoramic photo by Tom Lechner.

This is one of my earliest spherical drawings, from 1995, my last year living in New York. It was drawn (in rapidograph on a styrofoam ball coated with papier-mâché) at Spring Street Studios, a life model drawing space in Soho.

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Spherical Paintings: Rebecca’s Room

 

  
Rebecca's Room on a globe
Rebecca's Room on a globe

This 360° spherical view was painted in acrylics on a world globe I bought at a yard sale. It depicts my son Ben and daughter Rebecca in Rebecca’s room circa 2002. Here is what they and the room look like today:

 

Ben and Rebecca today
Ben and Rebecca today

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