— From the pages of FLL Issue #13
Fine Living Lancaster asked the artists of Root 222 if they’d like to take a stab at painting our magazine’s cover. The piece needed to incorporate the three artists: Deric Hettinger, Anthony Mark, and Schon Wanner, who are the subjects of the cover story. They needed to become a part of the painting.
Take a stab, they did.
Schon says, “FLL gave us complete creative control.”
The outcome of that creative control resulted in an 11-foot-tall enchanted forest occupied by three mystical creatures. Schon stands before the wood with a ball of fire hovering above his head. Anthony exhales the wind, and smoke rises from Deric’s fingertips. Eyes peer out from the darkness.
The inspiration for the work arose from, “Mother Earth, the great mystery, and all of creation,” Anthony says.
“The magazine found the most mystical and confrontational art group possible,” Schon says. Asking the group to create something “palatable” for a wider audience was a “fun challenge,” he notes.
Root 222 began by making a wooden frame out of 2×4’s and 2×3’s. The three men prepped the workspace pretty much as they do any other canvas (except this was much taller and so much wider). They also painted the nameplate, Fine Living Lancaster. They used a projector to get the lettering to scale, and then “had to line ourselves up, so that we fit the completed vision,” Anthony says.
In all, the project required about 45 man hours. At one session, their friend, Justin Leach, from the band RiverRat Jenkins, serenaded them to encourage them forward. The painting required lots of ladders and kerosene, the artists say, which fueled the heater to dry the paint.
Schon says the specific boundaries pushed them creatively. It was exhilarating, he says.
“I’d do it again,” Anthony says. “Who’s next? Time magazine? Rolling Stone?”
Deric says the experience was “amazing, exciting, proud, humbling, and for us (believe it or not) easier than we anticipated.”
You can see the final painting of the FLL#13 cover on display at the Lancaster Arts Hotel!