Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Update 7: Above The Timberline

Greg Manchess

Well, it’s August and the big push is on to finish Timberline.

I’ll be honest…I’m behind. Not quite where I wanted to be at this time. It’s not that I haven’t been putting in the hours, averaging about eleven to twelve hours a day. It’s trying to calculate which paintings will eat up time due to complexity, and assuming the simpler ones will go down faster. 

Does logic ever work with timing a painting? It should. But the thing that’s the hardest to calculate, the most difficult to foresee, is how much time will be taken up in tweaking a piece to get it “just right.” I’ve written posts about it: when you’re in the throws of a drive for perfection, things slow down. Even after years of experience and knowing what’s happening, it’s still problematic.

But on a personal project like this, I’m ok with getting it right and the time it takes to achieve that.

In the meantime, I had a great chat with my editor at Saga Press (an imprint of Simon & Schuster), Joe Monti, as we checked in on each other to see where we stand. This type of book hasn’t been tried before to this degree. We’re both a little in the dark. We had to laugh about that.

So, even though I’d been working with the assumption that this deadline is as hard and fast as an advertising deadline, it appears that, as per all things ‘publishing,’ there may be a little extra time to meet the production schedule for the artwork, the design, and the manuscript, and still get the book on the shelves by Autumn of 2017. That way, we won’t push the pub date into the next year.

I’m still on my own focused deadline, though, to try to get nearly all of them done by the end of the month. Some pieces will likely flow over into September. Either way, I have to get back to generating income.

I’m at the point of calculating hours per painting to try get an idea if I can make it. At the moment, I’m finishing and tweaking 25 pieces on the walls, with 8 sketched new ones on the floor, and looking to start at least 5 more by the weekend, leaving around 27 to begin this month. That adds up to about 60+ paintings begun in late June and done by sometime in early September.

Unless I stare at them too much.

Well, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had on a job. I can’t wait to show you!


  1. These images just exude fun--it really looks like you've enjoyed making them! (even if you're feeling the heat of deadlines) I'm glad you're not settling for "good enough". The passion you're pouring into this shows, and the finished result will totally be worth the extra time you take. Keep pressing on!

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  3. Aw, yer the best, Jessica. THANKS!

    The pigment is going down well and enjoyably. I'm wearing out brushes right and left, going through boatloads of canvas, burning through pencils and tape. Yikes! : )

  4. Wow what a workload but your making it look easy Greg! Those brushes better beware!!! Soon you might be finger painting ha! Glad you have some wiggle room on the deadline, hope it gives you that time to add that finishing touch and bring the whole thing together. Nice to see those illustrator cameos ;)

  5. Thanks, Matt!
    Kinda weird looking around the studio and seeing about 70 paintings hanging all over...

  6. I was wondering if you budget in time to put paintings aside so you can come back and look at them later. Or is that a luxury you don't have? When I'm working on an illustration, I often get too "close" to it and become less objective than I would like to be. When it's more or less done and I take some time away from it, I usually notice tweaks and adjustments I want to make upon viewing it again.

    Good luck with your grueling pace, and keep having fun!

    Mr. Mei-Yi Chun

  7. Leeroooyyyy Jeeeenkiiins!!!!!! Good job, Mr Manchess! Love that one pic and how you hinted of the cigarette in the guys's mouth. Excellent.

  8. The work is looking great Greg! The world will be ready when you are.