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:

grapefruit-mural-day-eight-ana-livingston-fine-artist-clearwater-florida-1-panel-twograpefruit-mural-day-eight-ana-livingston-fine-artist-clearwater-florida-2-panel-one
Happiness like this is what makes my job so very worthwhile. 😀

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

Day Six, Grapefruit Mural, Clearwater, Florida: Changes

Well, the inevitable day arrived where I decided to make a change. I wasn’t happy with the grapefruit segments on Panel #2 (with the curling rind), so painted over them and began the detailing process anew. I think, all in all, it will end up looking more “correct”.

My day today was cut short so am hoping to spend a bit more time painting tomorrow.

day-six-before-and-after-grapefruit-half-mural-by-ana-livingston-clearwater-florida

Before on the left; revised on the right. Even though I’ve just started the repair process, I think it was a good decision to make the change.

day-six-grapefruit-mural-ana-livingston-fine-artist-clearwater-florida-panel-1

Panel #1: just now starting some refinement on the segments

day-six-grapefruit-mural-ana-livingston-fine-artist-clearwater-florida-panel-2

Still a ton of work to do, but am now more content with the segments. Stay tuned for the evolution next week!

I hope you all have an excellent (and quick!) Friday tomorrow so that we can all jump into our weekends. And again, thanks for your interest. It is appreciated. 😀

~Ana

Artists: Living the Present, Creating the Future

I have been an artist since I was old enough to pick up a stick and carve in the dirt.  From there I took an even more active interest in art, and with my family’s support (and access to a small studio where I was allowed to paint a few times a week,) I finished my first framed oil on canvas at the age of 6.

carving-with-a-stick-in-the-dirt

Artist tools at an early age: any stick and a patch of dirt will do.

Now, I would never say I was a prodigy. I simply had an unquenchable desire to create beauty wherever and whenever, and it was sometimes nothing more than taking a crude watercolor brush to butcher paper or weaving a daisy chain while sitting in a field. The fact remained that there was a creative flow within me that never ebbed.

To state that I was most happy when I was creating art is a fact and probably true with most artists. But within that fickle activity called life, circumstances, sometimes out of need or ignorance, can take one down a path into the mundane and complacent. And if anybody ever wanted to know how to extinguish artistic urge, it’s to submerge it in the day-to-day humdrum routine of the ordinary. Surefire killer.

a-young-mural-artist-ana-livingston-fine-artist-muralist-tampa-bay-sarasota-venice-island

The best thing you can do for artists is simply let them do art.

That being said, it is of the utmost importance that an artist keep his head above watervital, actually. The reality is that artists have a gigantic hand in injecting the beauty and vitality we all enjoy in present day life. I wrote an article about this very subject: the role of the artist in society and how their creative impact is broad and deep.

ana-livingston-fine-artist-muralist-clearwater-mural-painting-tampa-bay-florida

Ana Livingston, Fine Artist & Muralist. My Clearwater Mural project which is chronicled at http://www.ClearwaterMural.com and http://www.TheMakingOfAMural.com.

Without the beauty continually brought into being by the many players in the various genres of art, this world would be a dull, soulless place. My personal role and responsibility as an artist is to not only create beautiful work that uplifts others, but to actively support my fellow artists. Art is my job, my life and my love, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

~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.

usa-today-best-2013-clearwater-beach-ana-livingston-artist

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

Sunset in Dunedin. Florida

Sunset in Dunedin. Photograph by Ana Livingston

Sunset in Dunedin. Photograph by Ana Livingston

My Hand-Picked Bouquet from Dunedin Edgewater Park

I hope you find this as lovely as I did.

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

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 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 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 Six: More Refinement

Today was “poshing up” and altering more small sections of the mural in preparation for some big changes to happen next week.

26th Day of the Clearwater Mural by Artist, Ana Livingston.


The weather held out today, which is a surprise for Florida in the summer. I’ll be back at the wall in the morning; stop by if you’re in the area! (west-facing wall of Honka Automotive: 1266 Court Street, Clearwater, FL).

~Ana

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 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 Three: Sketching Phase Continues

At Honka Automotive, the west-facing wall!

Fun in the sun today.  I am nearing the end of the sketching phase of the mural.  I will wrap up placement of all the remaining objects (in addition to any amendments) tomorrow – right on schedule!

Monday I begin putting paint on the wall.  This is when the piece truly starts to come to life.  As I’ve told a couple of my art supporters and friends, I can’t wait to get paint under my nails.  That’s when it will really feel like I am “home”.

More tomorrow!

~Ana

Below is an image of some of my “chicken scratch” on the wall.  These marks would mean nothing to most, but contain all the world’s secrets to me.  😀

Closeup of one section of the mural. Sketching phase will be complete Friday, June 15th.

Clearwater Mural, Day Two: With My Pencil in Hand…

It was a nice blustery day today at the wall.  Having some wind always uplifts the spirit as well as cools the body temperature.

Felt like I made good progress early as I finished all the basic markers around 9:30am.

I then sat down and did all the precise calculations to reconstruct the original concept art (an almost square image) into something very elongated (mural dimensions: 9′ x 55′).  A bit of an undertaking.

The remaining two hours were devoted to placement markers for most of the important items in the mural.  It is at this stage that I always feel myself finally wrapping my mind around the concept on the wall to the point that it no longer seems enormous.  It’s now simply my canvas.

I’ve included an updated shot of me today; the mural itself doesn’t look much different than yesterday’s image, so thought I’d present myself instead. 😀

~Ana

Artist Ana Livingston at her mural in Clearwater, Florida.

Clearwater Mural, Day One: The Journey Begins

The first (real) day of my mural project began this morning.  Clear skies and warm temperatures (mild understatement).

I was able to finish all measurements and “markers” on the wall, with the exception of the last 15′.  It was simply getting too hot by noon (nearing 90 degrees).

Well, I’ll finish that up tomorrow and start on the real sketching: the concept itself.  The fun’s about to begin!

~Ana

Honka Automotive: the site of Artist, Ana Livingston’s latest exterior mural. Clearwater, Florida

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