In the Contiguous U.S.
Ever feel like this guy? (I know I do). In On the Ball, a tightrope walker maintains equilibrium in a most challenging situation.
If you are familiar with my work, you are probably aware that I like to stage elaborate scenes in my studio before I paint. With On the Ball, I couldn’t really stack the baseball, tennis ball, 8 ball, golf ball, and metal ball bearing!
Instead, I put each ball at the proper height using a stand and took a picture. Then, keeping the camera at the exact same angle (to ensure the reflections and shadows were right), I snapped a pic of the next ball at its appropriate height. I repeated these steps with each item and then combined each image on the canvas.
Since the tightrope walker faces such peril, I wanted the background to be extra-dramatic so I used an effect I don’t do often: the all-black background with spotlighting. Black backgrounds are HARD to do. I start with the whole surface painted black, then mix various other colors with black to apply to the center to indicate where the light hits the scene. The trick is to keep the whole area perfectly clean - even one ding or fingerprint can ruin the entire surface. But I think the effect here was worth the additional agony.
Our intrepid former is a “Whirling Wilmer” toy from the 1920s. He has a sharp pointy toe that will balance on anything (except maybe a ball bearing in real life).
To purchase On the Ball, please contact the Richard B. Hall studio directly.