Gundy elaborated on the student's tale in the "Going the Distance" piece with a series of watercolor paintings. Together these smaller images form a storyboard, with the sequence of paintings presented as a video set to music. Viewers can watch a 'trailer' at http://www.westsoundacademy.org/
Gundy did his first storyboard in the late 90's. He remembers being in his studio - stuck and staring at a blank page. It was around this time he realized that what he wanted to say could not be communicated in a single image. He recalls, "I began producing small paintings to establish characters, then would ask myself, "What happens next?" " The result would often be a series of paintings, all different sizes, which illustrated a story, much like a storyboard artist would create for the major shots of a film. He adds, "What I discovered is that this is a totally unique art form, quite different from a single painting on the wall. As an artist I am always trying to engage the viewer, get them to react, or interpret the story in their own way. ..I want to make people think, consider possibilities, and draw their own conclusions."
For West Sound Academy, Gundy created a storyboard called "Going The Distance" - about fifty paintings long. The series is so big it can't even be framed, but Gundy is able to use a video format to share it with viewers. Gundy says that presenting the storyboard as a video "gives me incredible control over how long the viewer sees each image, when they see an image, and the music that's used with the images."
Gundy got his inspiration for "Going The Distance" from the students at West Sound Academy. "The idea first grew from an interesting rock on the campus," Gundy says. "This was a rock with a flattened-off top that the students loved to climb together, to sit on and use as a reading spot, and just generally interact with. I took this rock and increased its size as well as exaggerated some of its features and made it one of the starting points of the adventure in my story. At the beginning, a boy discovers a magic book, hidden behind a hole in a fence. He takes the book to show two of his friends from school, and the three of them set off on an adventure to discover some of the things they see in the book. Along the way, they encounter the big rock, a flying fish, mountains of giant books, and a magical sailboat that takes them on to their next adventure."
Gundy continues, "The story has a surreal dream feel to it, but staying true to the wild imagination of young people. With this story I am affirming that anything is possible, when you use your imagination, are creative, and have to that follow-through determination to "go the distance." I even used primary colors - red, yellow, and blue - for the characters' sweatshirts in the story, as an artistic motif that all colors are mixable from the primaries...suggesting these three can do anything if they help each other out along the way." Gundy is doing is part to help out West Sound Academy: he's visiting the school on October 22 to talk about his work currently on exhibit at Frodel Gallery, his 18x24 panel from the "Going the Distance" storyboard will be auctioned in November to benefit the school, and the video will be screened at the gallery reception and at the auction. The many paintings from the series will be given to West Sound to be put together in a book, so that future students can be inspired by Gundy's imaginative storytelling.
To see more of Gundy's work, visit his website at: http://www.derekgundyart.com