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

muralists-view-ana-livingston-fine-artist

~Ana

www.analivingstonfineartist.com

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 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

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.

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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

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 Five, Grapefruit Mural, Clearwater, Florida: Things Are Heating Up!

Today marks day 5 of my ongoing 2-panel mural here in Clearwater. With the hot spring weather firmly in place, it’s becoming a little more challenging. I am satisfied thus far on my progress and will be back at the walls around 6:30am tomorrow (gotta stay ahead of the sun!).

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Panel #1 of the Grapefruit Mural. Making progress!

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

Second panel of the Grapefruit Mural

I appreciate your interest! 😀

~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

Tools of the Mural Artist’s Trade

tools-of-the-mural-artists-trade-ana-livingston-fine-artist~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…

on-my-birthday-september-27th-3013

Enjoying life to the very last crumb.

Happy Birthday to me. 🙂

~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.

belltown-mural-seattle-washington-ana-livingston

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

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.

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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

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

Author Ross King’s “Leonardo and The Last Supper”

I have tremendous admiration for the stellar figures of the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci being one of the most prominent.  The book “Leonardo and The Last Supper” (author, Ross King) was recently recommended to me as an intriguing look into the man and his life.  It’s on my list of “to-reads”.

Leonardo da Vinci’s famous wall mural “The Last Supper” situated in Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.

~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

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

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, Day Forty Four: Nature Calls

We’re nearing home base on this mural project I had a short morning at the wall, but was able to complete ALL touch-up of the wall surface, with the exclusion of the bottom left-hand shoreline corner, from the horizon line down to the blue base.

Adding vegetation to the shoreline on the Clearwater Mural by Tampa Bay Artist, Ana Livingston

It feels good! 😀 In addition to all this, I started dropping in a few trees on the shoreline as well as tidying up some of the existing lines and colors.

I’m off tomorrow, but will be back Sunday with the plan to COMPLETE!  This means finishing the vegetation as well as repainting the entire blue bottom of the wall (paint drips that have accumulated for 44 days).  All this is possible if Tropical Storm Isaac bears far enough west.

I’ll be back to report on the project, come Sunday!  Have an excellent weekend!

~Ana  😀

Clearwater Mural, Day Forty Three: Painting the Perimeter

Though not obvious from a distance, the entire length of the mural perimeter edge needed touch-up.  The two shots below give you an idea of what I’m talking about.  Here I had to touch up the top edge using the gradient sunset colors, in addition to painting over any of the colors that made their way onto the white eaves.

Painting the perimeter edge at the Clearwater Mural, Honka Automotive

Second example of the perimeter painting taking place at the Clearwater Mural on Court Street. Artist: Ana Livingston

I’ll leave you with a shot of the wall as it is now. Until tomorrow!

~Ana

More touch-up today at Artist, Ana Livingston’s Clearwater Mural

Clearwater Mural, Day Forty Two: Dolphin Day

It’s Dolphin Day at the Clearwater Mural!  Today marks the day that the Momma and baby dolphin are complete and free to frolic in the surf!

Momma and baby dolphin frolicking in the surf at the Clearwater Mural. Artist: Ana Livingston of Tampa Bay

In addition to the dolphins, I repaired some other small areas here and there.  More refinement on the mural tomorrow.  Still looking like I will complete the project this weekend!

~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: Car Transformation, Step by Step

This might be of interest to some: the transformation of one of the cars on the Clearwater Mural, at Honka Automotive, 1266 Court Street.

I started this playful little car late one day and left it as you see it in the top image.  When I arrived at the wall the next morning, I took one look and decided it needed to change (but had not really defined “how”).

Well, I obviously altered this and that, and finally came up with the right degree of “playfulness”.  I think it’s kind of cute. 😀

~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 Forty: It’s All About The Cars

Today was my “car” day at the mural.  I refined the large pink car on the bridge, first of all.

Day 40 at the Clearwater Mural at Honka Automotive, 1266 Court Street, Clearwater, FL. Artist: Ana Livingston

“Refined” is a nice word for almost painting out the entire thing and starting over. 🙂  I didn’t like what I had left at the end of the day on Friday, so repairing that section of the mural was at the top of the list today.  I also dropped in two smaller cars on the beach road at the bottom left.

I will be completing the mural this week; definite mixed feelings here.  I love what I’m doing, I love the “family” at Honka Automotive (where the mural is located,) and I absolutely love all the feedback from folks who tell me that seeing the wall, with all its bright colors and playfulness, makes them happy.  THAT’S what it’s all about!

My mental list of “to-do’s” at the wall is growing smaller and smaller.  Life just won’t be the same without pulling up to my slot in the parking lot each morning and hauling out my gear. Ah, well…I’ll leave these thoughts for the end of the week.

More color to apply tomorrow!

~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 Eight: More Refinement

Today at the mural was spent refining more areas, as well as completely changing others (though the subtleties might not be evident as yet). More work tomorrow, and the new news is I plan to stay on-site for a couple of additional weeks in order to provide a finished product I am happy with. More tomorrow…

Day 28 at the Clearwater Mural. Artist: Ana Livingston

~Ana

www.ana-livingston.com

 

Clearwater Mural, Day Twenty Four: The Bridge

Start of a new week! Today was interesting for a variety of reasons, the most significant of which is that business is BOOMING at the site of the mural, Honka Automotive! There was so much business that some cars were double-parked. This is what I like to see! 😀

Working on The Bridge on the Clearwater Mural, located at Honka Automotive in Clearwater, FL. Artist: Ana Livingston

As far as the realm of painting goes, due to the amount of traffic (good thing), I could only position my scaffolding in a couple of areas.  Consequently, I worked a little on the buildings, but spent the remainder of the morning on the bridge.  I’m glad, as it’s now finally starting to take shape!

I had several guests stop by today, the most interesting of which was a man atop his Harley on a sojourn from Illinois.  Beautiful bike and very nice man.  He made a u-turn just to come in for a closer look and to let me know how wonderful it made him feel when he crested the hill. I love people going out of their way to convey this kind of feedback! 😀 

As an added note, my original estimated target date of completion (July 31st) of the mural has been shifted into the future by about two weeks.  So, invite one and all to come down to Honka Automotive (1266 Court Street in Clearwater, FL) and see me—a live artist-in-action—most weekday mornings.  I’d love the company, and the mural is so vibrant up close!

I’ll be making a small paint run early in the morning; I really feel like adding some new wild and crazy aspects to the mural, but there is an order to everything, so we will see. 😀

Hope everyone is refreshed from their weekend off and had a great start to the week. See you tomorrow!

~Ana

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 Fifteen: Rain, Rain, Go Away…

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.

Day 15 at the Clearwater mural located at 1266 Court Street (Honka Automotive) in Clearwater, FL. Executed by Artist, Ana Livingston

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. 😀

Until tomorrow…

~Ana

Clearwater Mural, Day Fourteen: Coalescence

July 3rd at the wall! Today not only marks the eve of the anniversary of the beginnings of national independence for this country, but also the day that the objects on the wall of Honka Automotive, here in Clearwater, FL are actually growing together and becoming one. 😀

The tenth day of painting at the mural site in Clearwater, FL. Artist, Ana Livingston

It’s my tenth day of applying paint, little by little, and I think now it has come to a point— finally— where one can see what a good share of it means.

I had a very good friend stop by the wall today; hadn’t seen him in a year or two. Thanks for coming all the way down from Ohio for the visit, Paul! ;D  Also, thank you, Jan, for dropping by. We’d seen each other taking walks near the Intracoastal, but today it was nice to officially make your acquaintance!

I’m off tomorrow, enjoying the day with family and friends, but with both Thursday and Friday left in the week, I plan to ensure the entire surface gets a couple of coats, and then the fun begins: detail work!

A big THANK YOU goes out to all who stop by, drive by, and/or have their thoughts with me. All of you are appreciated!

Have a great 4th!

~Ana

Official Ana Livingston Website

The Making of a Mural Website

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

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)

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