Typical Day at the Office – A Mural Artist’s View

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~Ana

www.analivingstonfineartist.com

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Day Seven, Grapefruit Mural, Clearwater, Florida: My Place in the Sun

I’m back! Here are two shots from today’s progress. The first is my scene every morning. I love it. 😀

1-grapefruit-mural-day-seven-ana-livingston-fine-artist-my-scene-each-morningThe second is today’s image of panel #1. Still more work to do but it’s coming along!

2-grapefruit-mural-day-seven-ana-livingston-fine-artist-panel-one-clearwater-tampa-floridaI’ll be back at the walls tomorrow around my usual time of 6:30am; I’m getting excited as I can feel completion day coming soon. 😀 More tomorrow!

~Ana

Close-Up Shots of my Grapefruit Mural Progress

Here are two close-up shots of my progress. It was 84 degrees at my back today; the sun heats up the walls like a hotplate, and the paint dries almost on contact. Despite all, I love what I do! 😀

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Artist in action: panel #2 of the Grapefruit Mural

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Panel #1 of the Grapefruit Mural. Progress is slow but sure!

I’ll post more pictures tomorrow!

~Ana

Day Four, Grapefruit Mural, Clearwater, Florida: Refinement

Today I feel like things are finally coming together. I still have much more refinement to do on both panels, but that might have to wait a bit. It looks like the bad weather that has been sweeping through the midlands (my sympathies) is now due here. Consequently I might not be back to the walls until next week. We’ll see…

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I hope you all are well and happy. When you have a moment, do check in and let me know how you’re treating life. 😀

Love,

~Ana
www.analivingstonfineartist.com

 

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

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

My White Sangria Sunday at the Lake

I just had to sharewell, at least via a photoa most delightful discovery I’ve made as of late: Eppa White Sangria. Now, I’m not a drinker by any stretch, but this stuff is just plain good and 100% organic, to boot.

In Eppa’s own words: “Introduced with a fruity and inviting nose that leads into a light-bodied and refreshing taste, Eppa SuperFruit Sangria is full of amazing flavor.” Too true.

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The new Eppa SuperFruit White Sangria. My one-word review: yum.
http://eppasangria.com/

I’ve tasted both the red and newly-released white and though both are very good, my personal palate leans towards the latter. If you have the opportunity to try a glass or two, do write and let me know what you think.

Bottoms up! 🙂

~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

Happy October to All, Near and Far!

Good morning one and all!  It’s October!  And that means for me, here on the Suncoast of Florida, that tolerable weather is almost upon us! 😉

Beautiful Autumn is on its way!

I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend and speak to you soon!

~Ana

Fine Artist & Muralist
www.ana-livingston.com
www.clearwatermural.com
www.themakingofamural.com

A Tribute to My Aunt Betty by Ana Livingston

This is a tribute to my Aunt Betty; a consummate pianist and all-around lovely lady who never compromised in her desire to live by her craft alone.

I remember she and my uncle, an incredible chef and business owner, ran a high-end dinner club in Marina del Rey back in the time when rubbing elbows with the likes of John Wayne or The Rat Pack was just a typical Saturday night.

My Aunt Betty. A screen capture from the 1958 classic “The Young Lions”.

The photo I’ve included is a VHS screen capture from the movie entitled “The Young Lions“.  It’s an old 1958 war classic starring Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Maximilian Schell, as well as other notable names.  That’s her happily playing while gazing towards the singing gentleman on the piano bench to her right: Dean Martin.

So, she was sometimes an unbilled pianist at a movie studio, amongst other things, all in addition to entertaining in their club.  And the one gig she rarely missed in all her years was Sunday morning service at their local church.

I remember there used to be this beautiful black and white framed glamor photo of my aunt that graced my grandmother’s foyer.  As a young, wided-eyed girl, I’d stare at it often and dream of the wondrous life she must have led.

My aunt is older now and long since retired, yet she’s still the lovely, warm-hearted soul she’s always been.  I’ve heard ever since I was a young girl that I “look just like Aunt Betty”.  What a wonderful, wonderful compliment.

~Ana

www.ana-livingston.com
www.clearwatermural.com

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

Clearwater Mural: Close-Up Photos, by Ana Livingston, Fine Artist

Here are some close-up shots of particular aspects of the Clearwater Mural, located at Honka Automotive (1266 Court Street):

This is the first car I painted on the bridge at the Clearwater Mural. It’s “The Ana”. 😀
Clearwater Mural at Honka Automotive, Clearwater, FL

The second car on the bridge…
Clearwater Mural at Honka Automotive, Clearwater, FL

And the third…
Clearwater Mural at Honka Automotive, Clearwater, FL

The radiant sun, with its concentric circles of light.
Clearwater Mural at Honka Automotive, Clearwater, FL

Momma dolphin.
Clearwater Mural at Honka Automotive, Clearwater, FL

And here’s baby dolphin—my favorite. 😀
Clearwater Mural at Honka Automotive, Clearwater, FL

This mural was such a joy to do.  I hope it brightens your day!

~Ana

Clearwater Mural: Dolphins, Before and After – Artist, Ana Livingston

Here are shots of the Clearwater Mural dolphins, before and after:

There’s still some refinement that needs to be done; I got chased off my scaffolding today by the impending Tropical Storm Isaac (we are just now starting to get some of the rains).

Dolphins–the after shot–at the Clearwater Mural by artist, Ana Livingston

I plan to be on the wall tomorrow.  Please let me have 4 hours of dry weather…I have just a handful of items to finish before I am complete with the mural!

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Forty One: Touch-Up

Today I spent the morning doing a lot of touch-up on the mural.

A day of refinement on the Clearwater Mural. It will be complete this week. Artist: Ana Livingston

These last few days will be doing mostly that: touch-up and repair.  I’ll be climbing the scaffolding and viewing, descending, moving the scaffolding, climbing and viewing again, all the way down the wall, to make sure all areas can be checked off as officially “done”.

I’ll be back tomorrow to 1266 Court Street, here in sunny Clearwater, Florida, to continue with the refinement.

Until then…

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Thirty Eight: Road Work Ahead

Today at the mural was spent adding to the shoreline in addition to working the roadway section. Very warm day = paint drying as soon as it’s touched the wall.  That makes it a wee bit difficult to move the paint around.  Essentially, it just adds time.  That’s ok—I’m here on this project until it’s truly finished.

Artist, Ana Livingston adding more refinements to the Clearwater Mural located at Honka Automotive Service.

Tomorrow I will tackle the next car on the bridge.  One more step closer to completion.

See you then.

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Thirty Seven: It’s For the Birds

My time at the mural today was devoted to changing the suspended black blobs into something recognizable as well as being appropriate for the sunny Floridian skies: birds.

Birds were added to Artist Ana Livingston’s Clearwater Mural, located at Honka Automotive on 1266 Court Street

I also applied several different base colors—in turn—to see which I liked on either side of the road.  I will probably continue to tweak this area; we’ll see.   Slowly, but surely, the mural is shaping up.

Onward and upward…

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Thirty Six: Working the Skyline

I spent some of today divided between the skyline—changing some subtle colors as well as refining the buildings—and working the ground on either side of the mural roadway.

Working on the skyline and beach areas of the Clearwater Mural. Artist: Ana Livingston

I’m not exactly certain as yet what I will be doing in the bottom left hand section.  I tried several different colors and effects, only to paint right over them.  Not as drastic as it sounds, but sometimes one can’t really tell how something will look until the paint hits the wall.

Florida’s summer is definitely here.  I hope to accomplish more tomorrow.

Until then…

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Thirty Five: Here, There, and Everywhere

As the first order of business, I completed the second car on the mural bridge today.  Beyond that, I poshed up the bridge and a few other sections.

More touch-up and refinement today at Honka Automotive’s Clearwater Mural. Tampa Bay Artist, Ana Livingston

Then I decided to take various brushes filled with various colors, over to various areas of the surface to blot out any smudges or paint spillage. This task will have to be repeated to a lesser degree as one of the final steps, but thought I’d get a little headstart.

The heat was overwhelming today.  Let’s see what I can accomplish tomorrow.

Talk to you then!

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Thirty Four: Adding the Second Car

I decided it was time to add another car to the mural bridge.  After all, Honka Automotive is all about cars, right?

Beginning work of the second car on the bridge of the Clearwater Mural. Artist: Ana Livingston

The wall was very warm today; what that means is the paint dries the moment it’s applied.  That might sound advantageous, but it is actually the opposite, as often my objective is to blend the color and/or make it seem semi-transparent; with an excessively warm surface the paint dries on contact and well, that’s “all she wrote”.

At any rate, I was able to add—though not complete—the second car.  Car completion will be at the top of the mural list manana.

More to report tomorrow afternoon!

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Thirty Three: Dolphins at Play

Here’s the promised image of the mural with the dolphins added.  I think they bring the needed “life” to the Honka Automotive project that it has been missing.

Dolphins added to the Clearwater Mural at Honka Automotive (1266 Court Street, Clearwater). Artist: Ana Livingston

I’ll be back tomorrow with more news and an updated image.

See you then!

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Thirty Two: The Dolphin Transformation

What’s it gonna be? Early on in the Clearwater Mural process. Artist: Ana Livingston

Dolphins are a big item here in Clearwater, and most probably all of Florida.

When I first left that one section blank very early on in the mural process, I hadn’t decided whether I was going to place a dolphin or manatee amongst the waves.

Manatee or Dolphin or? Color, but no definition as yet at the Clearwater Mural. Artist: Ana Livingston

I was actually leaning towards manatee until someone reminded me of Winter the Dolphin, in addition to the temporary installation of dolphins being set out on Clearwater Beach.

Ok. Dolphin it is. But the grey area is much too large. Solution: Two dolphins! Clearwater Mural, Artist: Ana Livingston

Ok. Dolphin it is.

So, today I decided to bring that big gray blob to life.  And then, right in the middle of refining it, decided to split it in two.  Afterall, Honka Automotive IS a family-run business.  😉

Momma dolphin is still too large; more forming to do. Clearwater Mural. Artist: Ana Livingston

Besides, I just like the overall feeling of a mother and baby dolphin frolicking in the water off the coast.  Sounds like fun to me.

I managed to run out of white paint midway, so neither dolphin has fins as yet; I’ll probably make a small paint run next week; I’m sure they will be fine until then.

The finished dolphin family. No fins as yet, but those will come later. Clearwater Mural, Artist: Ana Livingston

I’ll post another shot of the entire mural tomorrow. 😀

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Thirty One: Honka Automotive Repair

As promised, I am posting the Before and After shots of the first car I’ve placed on the bridge (yesterday):

Car repair at Honka Automotive Service. Artist: Ana Livingston at her Clearwater Mural, 1266 Court Street

I’ve been asked by more than one person already why I decided to even PUT cars on the bridge.  Well, I instantly referred them to the building the mural is on (Honka Automotive), and what it is they do so well, 5 days a week: repair automobiles.

So, here are the shots.  I had fun creating it!

More tomorrow, from the mural.

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Thirty: The Top of the Bridge

My first car!  I decided that I would not only make my own model car – the “Ana” – but it would be at the top of the bridge. 😀

Adding the first car (photo and inset) of many to come, at the top of the bridge at the Clearwater Mural, at Honka Automotive. Artist: Ana Livingston of Tampa Bay

I am very satisfied with the outcome; I will show pics tomorrow of how I left the “car” at the end of the day before.  It didn’t look like anything close to what it turned out to be.

So, one car down, several more to go.  At Honka Automotive, it’s all about the cars!

One day soon I will approach/attack that gray blob in the water that I know SO many people have been waiting to see transform.  I promise it will be soon.

See you at the mural!

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Twenty Seven: Riding the Waves

I decided to do some undercoating on the waves today at the mural, in addition to starting the correction process on a few adjacent areas. There are sections now that I am rethinking; we’ll see how much time we have to make these changes (or not).

Have an excellent weekend and see you on Monday.

Artist Ana Livingston’s creation: The Clearwater Mural at Honka Automotive on Court Street, Clearwater, FL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Ana

www.themakingofamural.com

Clearwater Mural, Day Twenty Three: Here Comes the Sun

This is a rather late post from Friday; WordPress experienced some downtime.

Clearwater Mural at Honka Automotive at 1266 Court Street. Artist: Ana Livingston

As you can see, I’m still working on many little touch-ups and alternations here and there on the mural; Friday’s work ended up being primarily about the sun.

Due to the lateness of this post, it is short and sweet. 😀

I will see you all tomorrow after that day’s work.

Til then…

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Twenty Two: Continuation

Today was bright and sunny at the mural—in complete contrast with yesterday’s full day of rain that occurred in my absence. Good timing on my part! 😀

I spent all day roughing in a lot of details in many areas in preparation for some large additives that will be occurring next week. This is the part of the process where it can feel like you aren’t making much headway. This is due to the areas being addressed are so much smaller than the earlier stages. You just have to stay on task, keep patting yourself on the back and acknowledge the progress.

Clearwater Mural at Honka Automotive in Clearwater, FL. Created by Tampa Bay artist, Ana Livingston

This entry is being typed up late tonight (almost midnight), so will be keeping short this time around. I’ll be back at the wall tomorrow morning and possibly either Saturday or Sunday. I have so much yet to do!

Thanks for being there. We’ll talk more tomorrow.

~Ana

www.ana-livingston.com

Clearwater Mural, Day Twenty One: Like Playing a Game of Chess

This morning I realized that I’m playing a kind of chess game out here with the elements. Always trying to second guess what the weather has planned and whether I’ll get a particular mural section dry before the raindrops decide to fall again. Definitely keeps me on my toes!

The rain did have the upper hand for a large part of the morning, but I triumphed by around 11 o’clock and was able to get a decent amount of paint on the wall.

Because of the intermittent rainfall, I was restricted as to what I could paint. The very short list included reaching all those not-easy-to-reach areas located under the eaves. These sections needed to be done, so what better day than a cooler one? 😀

21st day in the creation of the Clearwater Mural by artist, Ana Livingston

Truth be told, today wasn’t one of my most spectacular days at the wall. In addition to the elements (and taking care not slip and slide on the scaffolding), I managed to run out of one of my mixed colors. 😦  Though this isn’t necessarily tragic, it’s always a minor setback when you realize you’re out of the base colors you used for mixing in the first place.  Sigh…

So, what I did manage to get done today was blending all the remaining high sections and two red-to-orange areas, and well as beginning to define the bridge supports. The good news is today marks sealing up the last unpainted areas (finally)! All remaining white areas are exactly that: painted white (for the moment).

I had two new faces at the wall today; one was a gentleman who had been shopping up the street, noticed the mural and decided to walk all the way down the hill to tell me it looked great. Thanks, Gerry. 😀

Also, fellow Clearwater resident and Facebook friend, Sherry Van Hootegem stopped by with her adorable little dogs. It ended up being a quick visitthe rain started in once more—but she did mention she reads my mural posts daily, which means a lot to me.  Thank you too, Sherry! 😀

Tomorrow I’ll be off again (as I am each Wednesday,) but will return the day after, bright and early. Positive weather thoughts for that morning!

Have yourselves an enjoyable middle of the week and talk to you again on Thursday!

~Ana

www.ana-livingston.com

www.clearwatermural.com

Clearwater Mural, Day Twenty: A Time for Details

Today marks the twentieth day since the morning I first drove into the parking lot of Honka Automotive and took a pencil to the bright white surface of this soon-to-be Clearwater mural. Time has flown!

I actually did the math rapidly in my head: I only work in the mornings/early afternoons, put in an average of around 5 hours each time I’m at the wall, so that equates to roughly 100 hours, or only 4 full days that I’ve been painting.  Again, amazing!

When I arrived early on this 20th day, I had a mental list of all I wanted to get done and in what order, and promptly tossed it aside. I went to the complete opposite end of the mural and started there. Spontaneity, you know? 😀

Day Twenty at the Clearwater Mural at Honka Automotive on Court Street. By Artist, Ana Livingston

So, to begin, I roughed in some palm trees and a bit of roadway. I then filled in a couple of needed second coats in several areas, as well as adding some touch-ups here and there.

Oh, yes! I had another fine artist stop by my worksite today: prominent Venezuelan artist, Salas Davila.  He was a bright and bubbly gentleman who could not speak English, and I very little Spanish, but we ended up having a nice conversation anyway. 😀

Salas is an internationally-recognized figure in the arts, and I was very happy to make his acquaintance. He currently resides here in Clearwater, and is excited about creating and displaying his art in this area.  My best wishes to his continued success!

And, as far as all the other individuals who are making a positive effect on me and my work, I would be incredibly remiss if I didn’t acknowledge my family and close friends, in addition to all my many friends on Facebook, my blog, etc., who daily leave me the most fantastic comments.  Thank you.  😀

Ok! More changes to be occurring at the wall tomorrow, so once again, nice to have you along for the journey and see you then!

~Ana

Official Ana Livingston Website

The Making of a Mural Website




Clearwater Mural, Day Nineteen: Blending and Boldness

Welcome, Friday the 13th—always a lucky day for me!  Today was so wonderful to be up painting with passersby shouting to me from their vehicles, “Looking great!” and “Beautiful!”  These remarks are SO encouraging! Thank you, all. 😀

When I first arrived this morning at the mural, I decided to just dive right in on the blending of the main sections of yellow and orange. I know many people were waiting for this moment as well. 😉

I still have the upper, can’t-quite-reach sections yet to do, plus several coats of additional layering, but so far, so good, yes?

Day Nineteen in the creation of the Clearwater Mural by Tampa Bay Artist, Ana Livingston

I worked on those two sections – back and forth – until the wall heated up to where the paint was no longer fluid enough to move around properly.

That brings up an interesting point, and one that many would not consider: The paint on the wall dries very quickly – oftentimes TOO quickly – due to the surface temperature of the wall itself. This coupled with the drying wind, makes it very interesting in one’s attempt to keep the paint sufficiently wet for blending.

I addressed some of the physical and environmental factors in Florida exterior mural painting in my earlier post, An Article on Endurance.  So, the above now stands as an additional example: if one hopes to do this type of paint blending during the summer months here on a wall situated as this one is, it must be done before about 10 o’clock in the morning.  Just a fact.

After the blending stage, I boldly scribbled in a few lines under my 40′ brown horizontal “stripe” on the wall and ascended the scaffolding to start applying more color.  Enough was added, I believe, so that there is not one remaining Pinellas County resident who has any doubt as to “what that stripe is”. 😀

Oh, yes: I met two very interesting people today. The first was another visual artist – the very first to come out to my project – by the name of Jon Lee. Very nice guy who is very interested in doing mural work in the area. We’ll be putting our heads together in the near future.

The other gentleman was Charlie Littlejohn. He’s lived in Dunedin all his life, and if his name sounds familiar, it’s because of the work he does in his community, in addition to being the husband of Susan Littlejohn, a very well-known and well-respected real estate broker here in Dunedin. Charlie and I had a very nice chat!

Well, once again I plan to take the weekend off.  I’m very excited about next week’s work at the mural, however; a lot of changes will be taking place!

Have an excellent two days off, everyone! Be sure to enjoy it with family and friends.

See you Monday!

~Ana

Daily Chronicle of the Clearwater Mural by Artist, Ana Livingston

Clearwater Mural, Day Eighteen: “Anything Can Change”

Today was all carefully planned, but ended up bringing one of my very own sayings to life: “Anything can change, and everything will.”

I got to the wall, had one hard look, and decided that a couple of hitherto (and large) “unchangeable” areas just weren’t working for me. And so, they changed. The overall “flow” of the mural is better for these adjustments, I feel.

Some major changes took place today in the Clearwater Mural. Executed by Artist, Ana Livingston

Tomorrow will be my last day this week of working on the project. I feel as though I’ve lost some traction what with being off for two days. I will have to come up with an excellent strategy to “make up for lost time” over the next week.

I’m also hoping the weather decides to dump its moisture over my two days off this weekend so that I won’t be chased down from my scaffolding again on Monday. It’s looking more like the first week of August before I complete, what with the rains coming in for a daily visit as of late.

BUT, I’m optimistic as ever, and will give it my all again tomorrow. 😀

Speaking of which, I will see you then…

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Seventeen: Painting the Details

Fresh off of a relaxing weekend, I put in some extra time today. It always feels good to be back painting!

The thunder and lightning made for a more interesting day on the wall, for sure, but since the storm was moving slowly in the opposite direction, there was no reason for me to stop the process.

I thought about not posting a photo today, as when the embellishments start there will be days when it won’t look much different from the last. For me, of course, even the slightest of changes are noticeable, and that coupled with having spent many hours elevated with brush in hand, there’s never a question in my mind as to whether I “did” anything. But, for the casual observer, it might seem otherwise.

Detail work starting at the Clearwater mural located at Honka Automotive on Court Street. Tampa Bay Artist, Ana Livingston

I had a nice chat with a NAPA parts deliveryman today (the mural is on the west-facing side of Honka Automotive, here in Clearwater, FL). He asked me many questions about the making of a mural, and told me how much of a welcomed sight it was when one rounded the curve at the top of the hill. Very nice to hear. 😀

Today was filled with refinements which will have a full two days to dry. You won’t see me at the mural tomorrow or Wednesday; I have previous engagements to attend to, but will be back bright and early on Thursday.

If you’re in the area on that day, do stop by and say “Hi!”.

~Ana

The Making of a Mural: Daily Chronicle by Tampa Bay Artist, Ana Livingston

Clearwater Mural, Day Sixteen: The Best Laid Plans…

Well, for today I had all sorts of marvelous plans of what I was going to pull off in the first three hours, but once I got my nose to the wall I realized that much of it needed a little sprucing up before the required layering I talked about yesterday.

It’s always best to make these types of large changes and additives at this stage of the process, and that fact coupled with the surface having the entire weekend to dry just made too much sense for me to do anything else.

I did tweak several other small things over the course of the day, but they would be detectable to only a few, so today’s progress photo really didn’t look much different than yesterday’s until I decided to take it from a different angle. 😉

The sixteenth day at the Clearwater Mural. Project being executed and chronicled by Tampa Bay Artist, Ana Livingston

Monday starts a whole new phase of the mural: the detail work (well, in addition to the remaining layering required). This is when concentration is key.

It was interesting to talk with one of the technicians today (at Honka Automotive, where the wall is,) as he thought I was on the last leg of the project and would be wrapping up next week. I told him that in actuality I was right around halfway. He was astonished. Yup, a lot left to be thought through and created.

I had over a half dozen friends stop by today, which was wonderful! Pretty soon I’m going to have to bring in some benches, set up a BBQ, and serve refreshments. Now, wouldn’t THAT be fun? 😀

I’ll be taking the weekend off, as usual, hanging up my superhero tights and being just me. I’m looking forward to it. In addition to “real life”, I do have two weeks of paint application to visualize before Monday morning rolls around and the paintbrush beckons.

I also wanted to state that I have thoroughly enjoyed the feedback I’ve received via emails, texts, on Facebook, my blog, in person, and elsewhere. It really feels like you’re all along for the ride and is so encouraging. 😀

Have yourself an excellent weekend—remember to have some fun!—and see you all on Monday!

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Thirteen: Florida’s Summer Is Here

At the mural this morning I got the distinct feeling that Florida did not want any of us to forget that summer was here. 😀  Regardless, I did get more color put in and the ever-needed second and third coats where they were due.

First day in July at “The Wall”: The Honka Automotive mural located at 1266 Court Street in Clearwater, FL. Artist, Ana Livingston

I was very happy to see more friends drop by; that always brightens my day!  I’m constantly amazed at just HOW many people are keeping tabs on this artwork.  It is, by far, the most vibrant mural in all of Clearwaterthat is for certain! People are LOVING the colors!

I’d also like to take another quick moment and thank all the “guys” here at Honka Automotive. They are always there when I need a hand, and are a joy to work alongside. They are the best!

Tomorrow I plan to get in even more color.  I am thinking that will be the day when the mural will start to come alive; where things will start to congeal.

More on my progress then…

~Ana

http://www.ana-livingston.com

http://www.themakingofamural.com

Arts & Cultural Information in the Tampa Bay Region (featuring Artist, Ana Livingston)

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

Clearwater Mural, Day Twelve: A Painter in the Sun

Today was great!  I returned to the wall from my paint run and started with brushing in some brown, followed by orange; basically getting more of the base coat in.  I think the abstract objects are just now starting to present themselves as something more.

I had several new faces appear at the wall, and engaged in pleasant conversations with people I’d never met up to that moment.  They all had been following the mural from the beginning.  That was so wonderful to hear!

I also had a very good time chatting with Mark Ferguson.  I relayed some of my stories of murals past, which included bringing in apprentices and the results of doing so.  All I can say is now it’s funny. 😀

Honka Automotive (where the wall is located) was hopping with customers today, and “the guys” (mechanics) were oftentimes running from vehicle to vehicle, just to keep up.

I’ll be taking the weekend off, but will be there again bright and early Monday morning.  And for those of you who keep inquiring, I would say by mid-week it will be glaringly apparent “what the wall is“. 😀

Have a wonderful two days off.  I’ll see you Monday!

~Ana

www.ana-livingston.co

www.themakingofamural.com

Clearwater Mural, Day Eleven: Repair and Progress

This morning was productive and it felt good to be back on the wall.  Only a half an hour was spent undoing some slight damage from Tropical Storm Debby (the fresh paint being pelted by sheets of rain and hail).

I dropped in another color (beige) at the bottom lower left, as well as adding a few more accents.  I’ll have to make another small paint run in the morning as the color I need can not be mixed from the colors I currently possess.  I REALLY want to get a LOT of color up tomorrow!

I still have MANY friends and drop-ins asking what the mural is. Any day now it will become apparent. 😀  I’m getting excited, and so should you!

See you at the wall…

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Ten: The Wind, Rain, and Me

Tropical Storm Debby, with her last band of rain and wind hitting us on Tuesday, did manage to cut short my day at the wall.  I actually did put in a partial morning, however, but had to finally call it a day when the gusts of wind topped 35 mph and the rain, angling in on me under the overhang, proceeded to drench me in two minutes flat.

On the bright side (in more ways than one), the hours before that were wonderful.  I adore the wind.  So much so, if the rain had never burst forth from the heavens I would have stayed on the scaffolding until the very last moment.  Wind excites and enlivens me.  That’s the best way to put it.

Since I was soaked by the time I got my bag of brushes and paint to the car, I had lost all thoughts of taking a photo.  Truth be told, I’d resigned myself that morning to doing little more on the mural than a second coat on the red and yellow sections. Consequently, the photo really wouldn’t have shown much change.

Now, for tomorrow, I have plans to fill in yet more of the “undiscovered country” (white sections). I had hoped to have ALL of the white areas filled in by Friday, but with the tropical storm having the upper hand this past week, I’m a bit behind schedule.  I’ll do my best tomorrow!

Have more for you then.

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Nine: The Forces of Art and Nature

I triumphed over the forces of nature until around 11:30 this morning.  Then the rains turned the tide.

A little paint – a very cheerful yellow – was able to find its way onto the wall surface nonetheless.  Just one more piece of the puzzle in place.

Day Nine at the Clearwater mural by Tampa Bay artist, Ana Livingston

Some of the first hour was spent cleaning a section of the wall after the weekend’s beating by Tropical Storm Debby.  It’s amazing just how much plant debris can get plastered on a surface by wind and rain.

I did enjoy the swift winds when I first climbed into my nest around 8am.  Then the gusts grew to be so strong that I had to adjust my balance frequently.  I’m six feet tall and always have my feet planted firmly on the scaffolding, so that gives you an idea of the force.

I did love the wind for the most part today, not just for being itself, but for keeping the mosquitoes at home.  No artist on the menu this morning.

Today marks the second Monday I’ve been at the wall.  It seems hard to imagine next week’s Monday will fall in July.  Time has indeed flown.

I’m still on schedule, amazingly, even with starting a week late and a tropical storm to contend with.  My target for this week’s end is to have the entire mural surface covered with a new coat of paint.

Hopefully the last remnants of Debby have moved off and I can enjoy a full morning (sans rainfall) tomorrow.  I have so much to accomplish this week.

Until then…

~Ana

Exterior Murals vs. Hurricanes: No Painting in the Forecast for Tomorrow

Thank you, Debby, for deciding that the bulk of your downpour, lightning, and general strong winds were going to occur this weekend (when I’m not at the wall).  I did just check the online weather channel moments ago, however, and it looks like exterior mural painting is not in the forecast for tomorrow either.

Well, the bright side is I can spend Monday morning doing some preliminary sketches for my next mural project.  Always a silver lining, you know?  😀

I hope everyone in the Tampa Bay region is indoors with family and friends, drinking homemade hot chocolate and enjoying some good ol’ reminiscing while gathered around the fireplace.  I’d say that would make for a perfect afternoon.

I’ll update you tomorrow as to whether Hurricane Debby has taken a turn to the west.  If so, then more paint is going on the wall with a photo to follow.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

~Ana

Hurricane Debby in the Gulf Coast. She’s likely to hang around tomorrow as well, so no exterior mural painting in the immediate forecast.

Mural Painting: A Journey Through Color by Ana Livingston

Good morning, all!

I again wanted to state that I have thoroughly enjoyed all the feedback I have received thus far through emails, phone calls, posts, and folks stopping by the mural site.  I appreciate this more than you know!

To see a day-by-day photo chronicle of the mural (from Day One), click here: www.clearwatermural.com.  There will be MANY changes in the upcoming week and a half, so check in daily!

As I stated to several of you in person and/or to many of you through an earlier post, my new official website (www.ana-livingston.com) is now up and running, includes daily posts regarding my current project, and will include additional projects as I begin them.   So far, after the Honka mural, I have another interior mural to start/complete while simultaneously finishing an oil on canvas commission piece later this summer.

Things are heating up all over, and this is a good thing!  Again, I appreciate you being with me on this journey!

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Eight: In the Heat of the Day

I finished off this week’s work on the mural by changing out one of the base colors.  I decided a week ago that it just didn’t have enough life to it.  So, today it is no more.

One of the highlights of my day today was that another business owner approached me for an interior mural he would like done.  Great news!  What could be more fun than back-to-back murals for two wonderful Clearwater business owners?  More on this as it develops…

I worked a shorter day today.  Usually I’m at the wall until around 12:30-1pm, but today the heat index was such that I ended off a little earlier.  Once streams of perspiration start down your back, that’s the point when you make the decision it’s best to retreat indoors.

I found out today that yet another business owner (across the street and to the west) calls in to us each day (Honka Automotive) begging to be told what the mural concept is.  He watches me adding and altering sections, but it’s driving him crazy as to what the end result will be!  Well, I can only say “stay tuned”.  🙂

I won’t be at the wall this weekend, but will arrive bright and early on Monday.  I plan to start putting in some of the center area.  This will be a bit of a tip-off and could very well finally answer most of the question: “What IS this mural?”

Have a great weekend, and be talking to you soon!

~Ana

www.ana-livingston.com

Artist Ana Livingston’s latest exterior mural located on the wall of Honka Automotive, on Court Street in Clearwater, FL

Clearwater Mural, Day Seven: More Base Color

It always feels good to be back at the bricks.  It’s like home to me now.

Today, weather-wise, was interesting.  It threatened to rain the entire morning (but didn’t), so consequently the humidity was very high.  Not the best of working conditions, but the wind was still blowing so no complaints here!

More people stopped by today to chat or honked as they drove by which always uplifts me.  Thanks! 😀

The base coat is still going on in stages, so the “fun” part of the mural is yet to come.  Right now, my prime objective is to get paint on the entire wall.  The refinement will come in a week or so.

Let’s hope the weather holds for tomorrow—I have a lot to accomplish.  Speaking of tomorrow, I’ll write more then!

~Ana

Day Seven at the Clearwater mural located at Honka Automotive (west-facing wall). Artwork being executed by artist, Ana Livingston. http://www.ana-livingston.com

Clearwater Mural, Day Six: Base Color Being Applied

Day 6: I felt like I made some good progress today!  The weather was compliant in that I was able to work under a slight overcast with a constant breeze for the entire morning.  Wonderful!

As mentioned yesterday, the mural does not “look” like anything except abstract images at present.  It will probably have this same feel for the next several weeks.  At some point mid-July it will start coming together; until then it’s fun to listen to theories as to what each shape represents.  😀

I am really enjoying myself in addition to getting a very nice tan!  I had several more friendly people (I’d never met) go out of their way to stop by and chat with me today; I always love this!

Randy Meyers, the owner of Honka Automotive (where the wall is being painted), has been such a pleasure to work with.  He and his staff are so accommodating and go out of their way to ensure I have everything I need.

Well, I’m off tomorrow, but will be “hitting the brick” bright and early on Thursday.  More news then!

~Ana

http://www.ana-livingston.com

Day Six at the Clearwater, Florida mural of artist, Ana Livingston. The wall is located at Honka Automotive, 1266 Court Street.

Clearwater Mural, Day Four: Sketching Complete!

Arrived at the mural around 7:30am with the hope of beating some of the heat.  Guess it was my lucky day as it only got up to the high 80’s.  😀

I finished all the preliminary sketching today, as expected.  I say “preliminary” as with all artwork, painting is actually part of the evolving process of drawing: some of the top layer items will be drawn in with a brush during the final stages.

Completed some needed spot priming today as well, so Monday morning I am ready to break the seal on some cans of paint.  Exciting!

The wall feels like home now.  My one stage of scaffolding has become an extension of me.  Sometimes it’s amazing how connected an artist can become.

Over the weekend I will finalize my strategic plan with regard to the area of the mural to approach first.  I have all supplies now with the exception of paint, so I’ll be making a paint run on Sunday.  At that point I will be fully prepared to start bringing our concept to life.

Will have more Clearwater Mural news as well as a photo on Monday.  Have an excellent weekend!

~Ana

Clearwater Mural: Cleaning and Preparation Complete

First step in the upcoming Clearwater Mural is done!

Early this morning I completed the thorough cleaning of the entire wall surface. Tomorrow I begin sketching. Fun!

I’m very happy with my decision to limit my hours to only being on site in the mornings. With 90 degree days with 86% humidity, it would be silly to do otherwise.

More news tomorrow!

~Ana

The BIG Question in Exterior Mural Painting by Ana Livingston

The BIG question is: Will the rain hold off?

Luckily, this question is of minimal concern this weekend as I’m only scheduled for wall cleaning.

But, as of early Monday morning, I will be starting the sketching phase. Out in the elements.

Positive weather thoughts!

~Ana

www.themakingofamural.com
www.analivingstonfineartist.com

Random Thoughts About My Upcoming Clearwater Mural Project

I had originally planned on starting the mural on June 1st.  That didn’t quite come about (ended up with jury duty, etc.), so I will be beginning a week late.  Not a problem.

Had a look at the weather forecast for the upcoming week and a half: scattered thunderstorms each and every day in Clearwater.  This isn’t of extreme concern as I plan to be working on the mural in the mornings only.  Consequently, I am hoping for just late afternoon rains for the next two months.  😀

Going over my preliminary “attack” strategy for the mural (with regards to placement of color and in what order, etc.).  Will be pressure-washing the wall either tomorrow or Sunday, with “sketching in” while on scaffolding to begin on Monday.  Am hoping this phase does not last longer than three “days”.

I’m starting to get very excited.  I love the outdoors, and what could be more fun than creating on a huge canvas while you’re there.  Can’t wait…

~Ana

“The Wall” located at Honka Automotive, 1266 Court Street, Clearwater, Florida

Hello and Welcome to the Art Blog of Ana Livingston, Fine Artist and Muralist

Hello and Welcome to my Art Blog!  I am a fine arts artist and muralist based here in the Tampa Bay area.  Very nice to make your acquaintance!

I have been commissioned to paint my next exterior mural on the wall of  Honka Automotive here in Clearwater, FL.  It is a moderately-sized project (wall is approximately 15′ x 55′), and I have successfully glided through the permitting progress.  Work should be starting mid-June, weather permitting.

Additionally, I will be presenting a companion website – themakingofamural.com – that will be chronicling, day by day, my mural progress over the next two months.

I look forward to your comments as well as our journey together!

Sincerely,

Ana the Artist

Ana Livingston, Fine Artist & Muralist, Tampa Bay, Florida

Ana Livingston, Fine Artist and Muralist of Tampa Bay. She will be executing the “Clearwater Mural”. A 55′ exterior wall of Honka Automotive, here in Clearwater, FL