ART EXPANSION PLAN: HAPPENING OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS!

Hello, friends! I thought I’d stop by and let you know that I have been working diligently on a new art expansion plan that will be coming to fruition within the coming months.

As many of you may not know, between working in the Tampa, FL area as well as in Los Angeles, the vast majority of my artwork sales are generated from private commissions–either the individual has seen my work in galleries, private homes or on the side of very large buildings. 🙂 In addition to my current workflow, I now plan to create and offer affordable works on various online sites such as Fine Art AmericaSaatchi Art, etc. This is an exciting new phase for me as I can now create works that will be available to many more people. So I’m happy and excited to have you along for the ride! (I also intend to check in here and blog more frequently– I promise!)

I will continue to accept commissions, as always, so if you still have that wild idea you’d just love to have put on canvas or paper, contact me and let me know the specifics!

We’ll talk again soon!

~Ana

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Happy Birthday to Me! :)

#Celebrate #Life

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~Ana

Happy New Year! I Love You With All My Art!

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Love to you and yours!

~Ana

Van Gogh’s Advice for a Blank Canvas

vincent-van-gogh-ana-livingston-fine-artistNext month will come Ever Yours: The Essential Letters of Vincent van Gogh, which runs to nearly eight hundred pages and is frequently more absorbing, expansive, and instructive than a collection of letters ought to be. >Read more at the Paris Review here.

A sketch of a cicada in a van Gogh letter from July 1888

A sketch of a cicada in a van Gogh letter from July 1888

Hope you enjoyed.

~Ana

Lazy Day on the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Washington State

I apologize for my long term absence here! There’s much updating to do, but that will have to wait for another day.  Currently I’m back up in Washington State to visit my father, family, and this time around, to attend a school reunion. It’s been a great visit so far and here’s a shot from earlier day: the Skagit River in western Washington state. More photos and stories to come!

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Hope you’ve all been well. Speak with you soon! 😀

~Ana

Day Eight, Grapefruit Mural, Clearwater, Florida: COMPLETION!

Yes! I finished and have a very happy client! Here is his testimonial:

“Thank you so much.  I love the artwork!  My sisters are jealous and want to ship you to Ohio to do their houses. Thanks again, it’s just what I imagined!” – S.M.

And the final panels:

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Happiness like this is what makes my job so very worthwhile. 😀

~Ana
www.analivingstonfineartist.com
www.ana-livingston.com

15 Days Till I am in the Studio!

So proud of my daughter, Mariah June:

15 Days Till I am in the Studio!

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Quick Sketch of First Panel: Grapefruit Mural in Clearwater, Florida

Perfect Earth Day activity: Day One of my private commission piece, the two-panel Grapefruit Mural. It was great being outdoors with a pencil in hand!

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Happy Earth Day!

~Ana

My Little Slice of Heaven

I wanted to share my special placejust a couple blocks from my home. It’s where I feel like I can connect with the rest of the world.

Wishing all my friends a wonderful weekend and Happy Easter. Be well!

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~Ana

Coming Soon: Clearwater, Florida’s Exterior “Grapefruit Mural” by Ana Livingston, Fine Artist

COMING SOON: The “Grapefruit Mural” is a privately-commissioned exterior mural by Ana Livingston, Fine Artist in the city of Clearwater, Florida. It will be comprised of painted grapefruit on two entryway walls.

What can I say—my client LOVES grapefruit!

grapefruit-mural-exterior-mural-ana-livingston-fine-artist-private-commissionStay tuned for daily mural progress updates!

~Ana

www.analivingstonfineartist.com

Decadance, Part 2: Colombian Santander Dark Chocolate

And yes, it’s very good. 😀

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~Ana

Coffee and Overindulgence: Two Peas in a Pod

A friend just flew in from Colombia bearing gifts: Cafe Quindio, Cafe Oribia, Cafe Mariscal, and, of course, Juan Valdez. Let the coffee (over) indulgence begin! 😀

ana-livingston-fine-artist-colombian-coffee-overindulgence~Ana

The setting of this amazingly beautiful place is threatened by a housing development………

Inside Out Art Group

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Aerial view to take your breath away

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Bench by local Artist Woodcarver Frank Triggs after the Iron age Horse in the British Museum

Hillfort 13th March-right

Sketch by local artist Diana Baur drawn to the sound of skylarks overhead March 2014

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Photography courtesy of Borderland Tourist Board

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A crowd  of the 8,000 plus campaigners, whose voices are constantly ignored by Shropshire Council outside Oswestry Guildhall  intent on saving the Hillfort for future generations

 Please help to save this. You can respond to the final 6 week consultation on the SAMDev Plan at

 http://new.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/site-allocations-and-management-of-development-samdev-plan/

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Michelangelo Buonarroti: A gift from heaven that left us 450 years ago today.

Birth of a Renaissance Master: Michelangelo – March 6th, 1475

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was born on the 6th of March in 1475. In my opinion he is the epitome of the High Renaissance.

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“David”. Created between 1501 and 1504 from Carrara marble. Currently located in the Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze.

Thank you, sir, for your endless inspiration and contribution to our culture. You are missed but could never be forgotten.

Renaissance master, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni – 6 March 1475–18 February 1564.

Love,

~Ana

Carnevale di Venezia! (Carnival of Venice) – A Short History

It has been said that the first documented use of masks in Venice dates back to the 13th century. In subsequent years, Carnevale evolved into a mass celebration where, being anonymous, one was not judged by their social standing. The result was that all classes could freely and joyously interact.

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Photography source unknown

Masks were later banned in the 1930’s under the ruling Fascist party, but Carnevale was given the breath of life four decades later by a group of local artisans in the late 1970’s.

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Photography source unknown

The Italian government quickly fell in step and now showcases this vibrant and very popular festival each year.

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Photography source unknown

One of the most prized awards during the carnival is “the most beautiful mask” or la maschera più bella.

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Photography source unknown

Carnevale di Venezia is one of the top festivals world-wide, drawing up to an estimated 100,000 participants and spectators each year.

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Photography source unknown

Ciao for now, Venezia! I will see you next year!

~Ana

To My Friends and Loved Ones on Valentine’s Day – from Ana Livingston

Today I hope we all take an extra moment and let the people we care about know how truly important they are to us; how they brighten our days and enrich our lives; how they make this journey called life so very worthwhile.

valentine's-day-ana-livingston-fine-artist-and-muralist-poet-writer-designer I’m wishing you all a wonderful day of love, admiration and respect as each of you are important to me. 🙂

Love,

Ana

Introducing www.AnaLivingstonFineArtist.com

Hello everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in. I hope you’ve all been well and happy. 🙂

I’ve been a busy girl and one little project I just completed was creating a new website – www.analivingstonfineartist.com – for lil ol’ moi. I hope you can take a moment, browse and send me your feedback. I would appreciate it!

New website of Ana Livingston Fine Artist & Muralist

http://www.analivingstonfineartist.com – New website of Ana Livingston Fine Artist

We’ll be talking more soonhere’s to each and every one of you having a wonderful weekend! (BIG wink to NFL fans).

~Ana

On My Birthday this September 27th…

…I will be happily maintaining the style and decorum for which I’m known…

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Enjoying life to the very last crumb.

Happy Birthday to me. 🙂

~Ana

Sending Love to Oswestry, England from Clearwater, Florida

I was pleasantly surprised to find that a splendid group of contemporary artists in Oswestry and the North Shropshire Borderlands, England (Inside Out Art Group), wrote an article about me and my murals (thank you!). The most heart-warming part of this gesture was the standing invitation they issued for me to come create beauty alongside them in their lovely town.

My answer in three short words: I would love to! Please drop in and see what these wonderful and creative folks are up to at http://insideoutart.co.uk/

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Inside Out Art Group: a band of delightful contemporary artists in Oswestry and the North Shropshire Borderlands, England. http://insideoutart.co.uk/

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Located in the North of Shropshire close to the English-Welsh Border is the ancient market town of Oswestry. Photo courtesy of http://www.oswestry.com/

Again, thank you John, et al. for your kind words and hopefully see you next summer!

Love,

Ana

Enrico Caruso: His Life, His Music, His City ~ PBS Proposal ~ Pasquale Esposito, Italian Tenor

I want to tell you about Pasquale Esposito‘s unique documentary/concert paying homage to Italian Tenor, Enrico Caruso through his life, his music, his city.
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Italian Tenor, Pasquale Esposito, founded Notable Music and Arts Organization in the Spring of 2012 with the hopes of promoting music education both globally and locally. Through the non-profit charitable organization, Pasquale and his production team are presently preparing for a PBS proposal titled: Enrico Caruso – His Life, His Music, His City.  The project is a documentary/concert that pays homage to the great Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso. The project will highlight Caruso’s beginnings in his hometown of Naples, Italy and the music, scenes, and people that influenced him as an individual and performing artist.

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Through Pasquale Esposito’s perspective, the audience will experience a unique portrait of Caruso that has never been exposed through the fusion of a live concert coupled with a documentary. The goal of the project is to provide the world with a complete DVD of the documentary/concert and an audio CD including all of the songs performed in the documentary/concert which would provide knowledge of this great figure in music history and to pay tribute to the “bel canto” technique. In order to expose this great project to the masses, it will be first pitched to PBS and other channels for televised broadcasting for 2014 prior to public distribution.

The concert is set to be filmed at Castello Giusso on September 3 & 4, 2013 on the Amalfi Coast, Italy and the documentary footage will be filmed in Naples, Italy. This Kickstarter project is currently 98% funded with just 15 days to reach its goal! Please make your pledge today. All donations are tax deductible.

I have backed this wonderful and aesthetic project; I am hoping you will too. For more information, please call 408-528-6308 or email.

Thank you!

~Ana

Fine Artist & Muralist
www.ana-livingston.com

Poolside on the 4th of July Weekend

What a glorious weekend it is; low 90’s with a nice breeze, constant boat traffic to and fro in the Intracoastal Waterway, and I am enjoying every moment, in and out of the pool.

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I’m downwind from someone’s great smelling bbq!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. My best to you all!

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The water temperature is a little coolish. Perfect on a hot day!

~Ana

Through the Pages of Tuscany

Ah, Tuscany. My favorite place in the world.

Because Tuscany is a treasure trove of fine art, breathtaking architecture, savoury food and world renowned wine, travelers to the central Italian region often overlook its rich literary history. Yet for any lover of great poetry and prose — particularly writers like Boccaccio, Petrarch and Dante — Tuscany is also the muse that inspired some of the writers’ greatest works. Read on…

~Ana

Siena's Basilica of San Domenico houses the partial remains and relics of the city's patron saint Catherine

Siena’s Basilica of San Domenico houses the partial remains and relics of the city’s patron saint Catherine. (BBC)

With a Piece of Chalk

Truly amazing.

~Ana

Entombed Art: Seattle’s Belltown District Exterior Mural, Washington State

I have collaborated on just two murals in this life and those were both on the west coast. Here’s a couple in-progress shots of my first project: a very large exterior mural in the Belltown District of downtown Seattle, Washington. The mural required four vertical stages of scaffolding, took two months to complete, and depicted various Seattle landmarks in a montage format with, well, flying coffee cups.

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The Belltown Mural in downtown Seattle, WA

Though we enjoyed the mildness of the Pacific Northwest summer, our days were dedicated to bringing to life an enormous wall painting. There are many moments from those weeks still fondly etched in my memory.

Those were also exciting times as we were creating in the days of the thriving Grunge music scene. This was back when one could drop into a neighborhood club on any given night (after a day “at the wall”) and see the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains (I saw the latter at the historic Moore Theatre).

Designer coffee shops weren’t the rage as yet, but were just starting to sprout up (seemingly) on every third street corner. Yes, the flying coffee cups mural theme was whimsical at the time, but in retrospect, foretold the coming popularity of a new age of coffee shops and their proliferation across the American landscape. Hello, Starbucks.

As a bitter side note on the mural, a building has since been erected in the adjacent parking lot, effectively entombing our work for all time. I’m hoping those passersby who appreciated our mural while it still stood in the light of day continue to make their way by that site and smile, remembering simpler times.

~Ana

The Incredible Power Of Concentration – Miyoko Shida

I am in absolute awe of this beautiful woman, her ability and serenity.

~Ana

3D View of the Sistine Chapel – a 360-Degree Panoramic Splendor

I went to this website and found it absolutely mesmerizing. You have the ability to scroll 360 degrees “within” the Sistine Chapel, all the while being accompanied by beautiful chorale music playing in the background.

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The artwork here is beyond incredible and is spiritually uplifting. Such splendor.

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Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni’s tour de force: the Sistine Chapel ceiling. My most favorite work of art in the entire world.

I hope you enjoy this experience as much as I did.  Have a wonderful weekend and speak with you soon.

~Ana

A Walk Down Memory Lane: 1943 Group Photo from MGM

This is a promotional photo of many of the actors under contract with MGM at the time of the studio’s 20th birthday party:

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Recognize anyone?

1st Row: James Stewart, Margaret Sullivan, Lucille Ball, Hedy Lamarr, Katharine Hepburn, Louis B. Mayer, Greer Garson, Irene Dunne, Susan Peters, Ginny Simms, Lionel Barrymore.

2nd Row: Harry James, Brian Donlevy, Red Skelton, Mickey Rooney, William Powell, Wallace Beery, Spencer Tracy, Walter Pidgeon, Robert Taylor, Pierre Aumont, Lewis Stone, Gene Kelly, Jackie Jenkins.

3rd Row: Tommy Dorsey, George Murphy, Jean Rogers, James Craig, Donna Reed, Van Johnson, Fay Bainter, Marsha Hunt, Ruth Hussey, Marjorie Main, Robert Benchley.

4th Row: Dame May Whitty, Reginald Owen, Keenan Wynn, Diana Lewis, Marilyn Maxwell, Esther Williams, Ann Richards, Marta Linden, Lee Bowman, Richard Carlson, Mary Astor.

5th Row: Blanche Ring, Sara Haden, Fay Holden, Bert Lahr, Frances Gifford, June Allyson, Richard Whorf, Frances Rafferty, Spring Byington, Connie Gilchrist, Gladys Cooper.

6th Row: Ben Blue, Chill Wills, Keye Luke, Barry Nelson, Desi Arnaz, Henry O’Neill, Bob Crosby, Rags Ragland.

Hope this brought back some great memories.

~Ana

The Sleeping Giant Awoke

Well, I’m back.

It’s odd to think that those three little words are the first line of my long-overdue post while simultaneously being the last line of a long, yet very epic novel (spoiler alert for that link). At any rate, it’s been awhile, eh? Probably 3 months. And I’ve missed you. 🙂

I have been wrapped up in this and that, and well…you know how life goes. In deciding the content for my first post in so many months, I thought of my time in Hawaii so many years go.

I had just graduated high school at age 17, my step-grandfather had passed away, and I was asked by my grandmother to accompany her (with parental permission) to Hawaii that next winter. My family and I were living on the west coast at that time, and I had always wanted to experience the islands; all the while growing up they seemed so close but at the same time a million miles away. Now my dreams were to become reality.

Winter came and I found myself boarding my very first airplane to a new world. We left a frozen land, crossed an endless sea, and ultimately landed in an oasis of sun, fun and surf. The two of us then proceeded to travel the normal tourist route of shops, hotels and marketplaces in bustling multi-cultural Oahu.

I have to admit that Oahuor The Gathering Place being the busiest and most tourist-friendly of the islands, did not resonate with me. After due time I was happy to find myself finally climbing a tarmac staircase onto a rickety puddle jumper destined for Maui.

Now, this was many years ago, mind you, and probably at least 2 dozen major hotels have since been built on the leeward side of the Valley Isle, and built in what I remember as being “nothing more” than pineapple and sugar cane fields at the foot of the West Maui Mountains. In those days it was a magnificent sight and one I never grew tired of.

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The West Maui Mountains back when pineapple and sugar cane fields ruled the shorelines.

After the Maui experience we flew up to the northernmost island, Kauai. The Garden Isle, at that time, was scarcely populated and I recall there being a building restriction in place: a maximum of 5 stories. Consequently, it kept the hotel chains to the bigger islands and the result on Kauai was that you were surrounded by the native culture, which I had come to love.

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I stayed in a hut on the Wailua River. Banana trees grew in the front “yard” which seamlessly merged with the shoreline.

For a short time I stayed in a very small cabin on the Wailua River. This was a calm and quiet time, and I somehow escaped ever viewing the boat that would take sunburned tourists up the river to see the famed Fern Grotto.

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The famous lava-rock grotto covered with hanging ferns otherwise known as the Fern Grotto. Kauai, Hawaii.

I was more content to pick ripening bananas off the trees by the shoreline or crossing over the road and down the hill to collect shells on the beach by Kapaa Town. And then, there were always the moonrises…

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Moonrise on the shore of the Wailua River. Otherworldly, to be sure.

Kauai is known for many things, one of them being the mountain range that serves as the resting place for the mighty Sleeping Giant (Nounou Mountain). As Hawaiian legend goes, the giant (after much labor or overeating….or both,) laid down on the mountain ridge and never again rose.

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This island also holds the record as having one of the rainiest spots on Earth: Mount Waialeale (Hawaiian: overflowing water). Rain has fallen more than 340 days within a single year here, and has at least once accumulated close to 700 inches of annual rainfall. The result is endless green.

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The “Wall of Tears”: a mountainside in the crater atop Mount Waialeale, Kauai.

It’s interesting that I recalled these memories today, and perhaps even more interesting to me that I decided to share them. Simply put: Hawaii was a life-changing experience for me all those many years ago. It was there that I decided what I wanted to be in lifetruly.

Is that to say I haven’t taken a detour now and again? No. But at least I knew when I had wandered, and which was the right path when I’d finally made my way out of the wilderness.

Well, I’m back.

~Ana

Another View of Clearwater Beach, Florida

This is from my sunset stroll in the Old Clearwater Bay area this evening: Clearwater Beach, which just recently was voted “Florida’s Best Beach Town 2013” by USA Today.

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Looking west from the mainland city of Clearwater out to Clearwater Beach, Florida

That’s what’s new in my world.

Hope everyone’s week got off to a calm start…

~Ana

My Sunday Morning Gyro

Not what would be considered classic Sunday morning fare here on the currently-not-so-sunny Suncoast of Florida, but delicious nonetheless.  And I unabashingly (if there ever was the word) devoured this in no time flat.

The gentlemen at the neighborhood Mr. Gyros know me well enough to start in on carving for my “Ana Special” the moment they see me coming through the door.  Thanks, guys.  It was loved.

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My delicious “Ana Special”: pita, lamb, tasty olive oil and lots of feta. You can never have too much feta.

~Ana

Mischa Maisky plays Bach Cello Suite No.1 in G

This is exquisite.


~Ana

“On the Road” by Jack Kerouac (Excerpt)

 “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'”

-Jack Kerouac

From the novel “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac, American Novelist and Poet. Copyright © 1957

~~~

~Ana

Mariah June’s Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

I am so ridiculously proud of my daughter, Mariah June.

Mariah June: Actress, Vocalist, Photographer and Screenwriter, and on her way to mastering the Culinary Arts. Photograph courtesy of Mariah June

She’s a true Renaissance woman and has added the culinary arts to her long list of artistic skills:

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.

Mariah June's Chicken Alfredo

Mariah June’s Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. Photograph courtesy of Mariah June.

Bon Appétit!

~Ana

Fly with the Eagle: A Video

How wonderful:

~Ana

On My Birthday by Ana Livingston

I’m hoping today that maybe I’ll be remembered for having done a little more than just having lived; for having loved; for having helped; for having brought my own special light into the world; for having made a difference.

~Ana

Clearwater Mural featured in The Comm Line Magazine!

The Clearwater Mural is featured in this month’s edition of The Comm Line Magazine online (page 12)!

The “Clearwater Mural” by Tampa Bay Fine Artist, Ana Livingston, is featured in this month’s edition of The Comm Line Magazine online.

I want to thank the editor, Sally Heath, for publishing my article, and I hope it opens new avenues for many artists in this area.

Stop by the mural for a closer look.  It’s located in the East Gateway District of Clearwater at Honka Automotive, 1266 Court Street.  Tell them Ana sent you!

Thanks again!

~Ana
www.ana-livingston.com
www.clearwatermural.com

New Clearwater Mural Website by Fine Artist, Ana Livingston of Tampa Bay

Good morning, all!  I hope you are enjoying your Sunday, as I am.  I just wanted to stop in and give you an update on my mural-related activities.

I’m not a website designer by any stretch of the imagination, but just as I approach many things in life: “something is only unknown until you know it.”  So, in wanting a more comprehensive representation of my mural on the web, it required me to quickly learn the basics.  The result—www.clearwatermural.com—provides a chronological slideshow plus more information on the making of the “Clearwater Mural” here in sunny Clearwater, FL.  I will add more informational tidbits and photos as the website grows.

ClearwaterMural.com – the new website featuring the chronological painting process of the Clearwater Mural by Fine Artist Ana Livingston of Tampa Bay.

As mentioned on the website as well as in this blog, painting the mural was a 45-day process—from the preliminary sketching to the final strokes of signing my name.  The reason for this extended amount of time was the intense heat, humidity and sunshine during the summer months here in subtropical Florida.

The surface I used was the west-facing wall of Honka Automotive (1266 Court Street). This meant I had until around noon or 12:30pm each day before the sun crested the roofline and I would be in complete sunlight.  At this point it was impossible to work, not just due to it being insufferable for the human body, but because the paint would literally dry on my brush.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, “An Article on Endurance“, there are many factors on exterior mural painting in extreme climates that most people would never consider.  Just the sheer heat itself emanating from the wall is incredible; that coupled with the direct summer sunlight make it a furnace.

But these, quite simply, are nothing more than small, negative facets of the mural-painting game.  The goal is to overcome them and create as close to your vision as possible.  I feel I did this.

I had someone ask me yesterday if I learn things from my projects.  Absolutely.  Above all I gain a broader understanding of myself, aesthetics, and the human spirit.  I acquire a deeper discernment of all the good in others, in myself, and how the beautiful effects we create in the world are reflected and magnified in others.

And what could be a grander lesson than that?

~Ana
www.clearwatermural.com

Clearwater Patch News features Fine Artist Ana Livingston

In the news with the Clearwater Mural I recently completed at Honka Automotive!  If you’re in the area, stop by, chat with the friendly staff, and have a closer look at Clearwater’s newest exterior mural!

The Clearwater Mural by Tampa Bay Fine Artist, Ana Livingston

http://clearwater.patch.com/events/the-clearwater-mural-by-fine-artist-ana-livingston

~Ana

The Clearwater Patch News site features Artist Ana Livingston and her mural located at Honka Automotive in Clearwater, FL

Clearwater Mural by Fine Artist, Ana Livingston: Before and After

Here are the before and after shots of the wall at Honka Automotive, where I spent 45 mornings painting artwork now known as the Clearwater Mural.  Before:

And now, the finished artwork:

I had an amazing time executing this mural!  Many thanks go out to first, my son, Ian Phoenix (www.shadefyre.com), who created the design concept, and then to Randy Meyers (owner, Honka Automotive) and his crew, and last, but certainly not least: EVERYONE who has supported me with their love, well wishes and beautiful comments throughout this project.

Thank you!

~Ana

www.ana-livingston.com
www.themakingofamural.com
www.analivingston.wordpress.com

Clearwater Mural: You Know It’s a Done Deal When…

…the artist signs her work:

The Clearwater Mural, by Fine Artist and Muralist, Ana Livingston, is now complete. It is located at Honka Automotive, 1266 Court Street, Clearwater, Florida

Clearwater Mural, Day Forty Five: COMPLETE!

Forty-five days later, and here I am: standing in front of my Clearwater Mural, which is now COMPLETE!

The Clearwater Mural, by Fine Artist, Ana Livingston is now complete. It is located at Honka Automotive, 1266 Court Street, in Clearwater, Florida.

What an incredible experience this has been; two tropical storms, various other ups and downs…but my favorite times were always when folks went out of their way to stop by to thank me and let me know how the mural uplifts them.  THIS is what makes it all worthwhile.

Clearwater and Tampa Bay: You are welcome!

Love,

~Ana
www.ana-livingston.com
www.themakingofamural.com
www.analivingston.wordpress.com

Exterior Mural Creation: An Article on Endurance

It has been interesting, over the years, to hear individuals’ thoughts on the difficulty of doing exterior murals.

I would say on a whole that their views are split about 50/50. About half think it’s a walk in the park (“I mean, how hard can painting be?”), with the other just standing in amazement.

The fact of the matter is the reality differs from person to person, season to season, job to job.

Tampa Bay Artist, Ana Livingston, restoring the Avenue du Jardin mural in downtown Clearwater, FL.

I’ve worked on what I would consider substantial jobs (120′ horizontal walls on a graveled decline, meaning extreme attentiveness as well as four stages of scaffolding at the bottom,) to a 6’x6′ piece I could do standing on a 2-foot step ladder.

One of the biggest factors, and one most don’t consider, is the hoisting of one’s body weight up one, two, three or more stages of scaffolding dozens of times each day. And then there’s the obvious climbing back down, using the already-weary muscles. This coupled with the pure exhaustion of being out in the elements for hours on end can have quite a cumulative effect.

Another aspect most never think of is the fact that once you are up on scaffolding–which you are entrusting with your very life and never, ever, forget for a moment–is the fact that muscles are constantly tensed: legs and pelvis for support, torso for control, and ultimately your arm and hand for accuracy.

Additionally, you’d be amazed how one must contort their body–and hold it completely still–for entire sections of precise work. There are other instances, and any artist doing large murals can attest to this, where one must simply use their other hand. Now, I am left-handed, and am obviously very adept at using it artistically. BUT, there are always points in large projects where one really must employ the other hand. This action adds its own stress factors.

The other elements, literally, are the heat index, rain, wind, etc. These can have a profound effect on you, especially when you are elevated and at the wall’s edge. Winds are funneled which contribute to stability issues, and tend to rapidly dry out the paint; all in addition to leaving you physically parched.

Of the elements, the sun and heat are the largest factors. I currently limit my mural painting to that time of day when the sun is NOT directly beating down on me. This is just common sense, but even with that tactic I am not escaping the humidity (or, in the case of mural creation in Florida during the summer months, extreme heat anyway). The overall heat issue can be unbearable to many, but I just take it in stride.

Now, I’ve only talked about some of the physical and environmental factors extant in executing a mural. The rest are mental and artistic. When you are up in the air ten, twenty, or more feet and are standing two feet from an enormous wall surface, one CAN get lost in it. An artist has to continually “view” the entire work from, say, 30′ back from the wall. This is an interesting concept for sure, but without this ability, one would spend ¾ of their day climbing down and stepping back to see what they need to do next. Not very efficient. One has to maintain an overall sense of where everything is and their exact strategy on what comes next.

My current mural has an additional ingredient that makes it even more demanding. The original concept art was 8.5”x11”. I have had to recalculate that out onto a 9’x55′ wall. All this without throwing anything out of proportion. I’ve drawn in markers on the entire surface, but with many things, what looks good on paper doesn’t always translate into the real world. All this is to say that there are constant refinements and alterations taking place as I paint. Yes, more to make the project interesting!

In closing I want to add THE most important point in all of this: it is done very happily and for the sheer love of the work. This is my most favorite of art forms, and the gratification that comes back to me, when people go out of their way to tell me that the mural has touched them, is enormous. But even with that said, I don’t do what I do for me; I do it for anyone and everyone with the hope that it uplifts them, if only for that moment.

~Ana

The Making of a Mural: The Mural Chronicle of Artist, Ana Livingston

Ana Livingston, Clearwater Mural Artist, featured on ARTS TAMPA BAY website!

Thank you, Arts Tampa Bay, for featuring me online at my mural!

To see the listing, click HERE.

~Ana

Ana Livingston, Mural Artist from Clearwater, FL, is featured on the Arts Tampa Bay website (http://www.artstampabay.com)

Murals and Michelangelo by Ana Livingston

I have often been asked which artist has been the most inspirational to me in my life.  My immediate answer has always been, and forever will be, Michelangelo.  His Sistine Chapel masterpiece, in my mind, is the single greatest artistic accomplishment in the world.

For four years he worked on scaffolding at a height of almost 70 feet. On his ceiling “canvas” of 12,000 square feet, he created over 400 life-sized figures alone.  Every inch of this work has endured, to this day, as sheer awe-inspiring beauty.

Regardless of content, mural art can be a spiritual journey for an artist.  It is an incredible achievement with regard to skill and execution, but also demands of the artist an unfathomable quantity of tolerance and endurance.

The Agony and the Ecstasy, indeed.

~Ana

www.ana-livingston.com

“The Creation of Adam”: One section of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling masterpiece.