One of many beautiful sunset shots I took this evening in Dunedin, Florida.
One of many beautiful sunset shots I took this evening in Dunedin, Florida.
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.
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!”.
The Making of a Mural: Daily Chronicle by Tampa Bay Artist, Ana Livingston
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. 😉
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!
Today started off great! The sun was shining as I was sewing up the last sections on the wall. I felt refreshed after having yesterday off, so was ready for a full five-six hours of brush work.
Well, that was until just before noon when the incessant rains kicked in. Hello, Summer (yes, the summertime is the rainy season here in sunny Florida)!
Not all was lost, however, as I have only a small section of the entire wall space that does NOT have a first coat on it. This is progress to me! 😀
I had three more friends stop by today–Mark and Linda Ferguson, as well as good friend and Tampa Bay preeminent pianist, Norman Thalheimer. Thank you, all!
Tomorrow I will be spending the first part of the morning mixing up some new colors. I have large sections of layering yet to do, and it requires variants of the existing base color. I am just hoping the rains stay away until at least mid-afternoon!
A snapshot of tomorrow will be to get all base color on the surface, quickly following by some gradient colors. Essentially, I would like to get the wall set up for me to go full bore on the first details starting Monday. It is still my plan to have the mural complete by the end of the month, so positive thoughts on me staying on track!
I’m hoping everyone enjoyed their middle-of-the-week day off. I certainly did, as not only was it a national holiday, but also my son’s birthday. 😀
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.
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 Clearwater— that 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…
Arts & Cultural Information in the Tampa Bay Region (featuring Artist, Ana Livingston)
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
All right! It’s the start of a new week, and what could be more fitting than actually starting the painting process?
Today I began with the base coat on the lower right-hand section. The shapes are unintelligible at this point, but that is the way of it with mural painting: layer after layer will be applied, and just like with a jigsaw puzzle, sometimes the whole image doesn’t come together until you snap in the last piece.
The temperature hit 90 degrees today, but luckily there was a bit of a breeze skirting the end of the building. I actually don’t mind the heat itself; it’s when the air becomes stagnant that I find myself wondering if it’s time to pack it in for the day.
More friends (and people I’ve never met,) are stopping by to see how everything is going along. I appreciate this very much. I’m actually asking everyone to “honk your horn when you drive by Honka!” This involves you in the process, I love it, and it’s, well, just plain fun. 😀
Well, I have brushes to clean and planning to do for Tuesday’s stint at the wall, so I’ll end off for today. I’ve attached a photo showing the first paint to “hit the brick”. More tomorrow!
Since I had a little extra time on my hands, I just created my official website: www.ana-livingston.com.
It has up-to-date information on my current exterior mural project here in Clearwater, FL, and will – going forward – feature my upcoming projects as well.
Please let me know how you like it, and be sure to tell your friends to tune in and watch my mural “grow” over the next two months.
I appreciate your interest and feedback!
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!
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”.
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. 😀
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. 😀
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!
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!
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!
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…
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!
Ana Livingston, Fine Artist & Muralist, Tampa Bay, Florida