Patrons attending the opening night of the San Francisco Opera on Friday were treated to a colorful performance of Puccini's Turandot as well as a special gala dinner in a majestic tented Opera Ball Pavilion, An Evening in the Forbidden City.
Renowned event designer Robert Fountain commissioned me to help decorated the pavilion with large scale portraits of Chinese Emperors. Of course this is right up my alley so of course I said yes.
With only about a week to paint these, I called in my friend and colleague, Melinda Morey. We had a brilliant time working together! We were fairly literal in our painting technique - using a period Chinese style and including a lot of rich pattern. I was especially thrilled to be using such pure, saturated color for the magnificent robes of the Emperors: vermillion, gamboge, pure cadmium yellow, indigo, kingfisher blue...
|the ghostly apparitions of Emperors in my studio|
|Melinda's clear favorite was the kindly old emperor in the vermillion robe.|
|Emperors in the studio just after completion|
|Lynne with three of the 9 foot tall paintings|
The Gala Pavilion was fabulously draped entirely in red, and the portraits hung and lit to great effect.
After the opera, the party continued with dancing in the Hall of the Emperors.
Bertoclucci's The Last Emperor
Twilight in the Forbidden City by Reginald Johnston
Murals for special events? Why, yes!