~ Let your happiness take flight ~
~ Let your happiness take flight ~
“Creativity takes courage.” -Henri Matisse
Hello! I recently created a “Support-An-Artist” page on the crowd-funding website Patreon*, and I’m here to thank those who have already made pledges to me and my art! I appreciate you all SO much for having faith in my artistic goals!
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:
I’m back! Here are two shots from today’s progress. The first is my scene every morning. I love it. 😀
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.
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. 😀
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! 😀
I’ll post more pictures tomorrow!
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!).
I appreciate your interest! 😀
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…
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. 😀
Day 3 in the lovely Florida sun. It’s quite beautiful out as long as you can withstand the high temperature…in the direct sun..for hours. I happen to like it (as long as there’s a breeze,) so no complaints here.
I worked on the two whole grapefruit today; one each on the two panels.
I’ll probably be working on the grapefruit halves tomorrow. Lots of reshaping and defining to do with these. All in all, I’m just happy the blobs are starting to come to life!
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!
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/
Again, thank you John, et al. for your kind words and hopefully see you next summer!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
…the artist signs her work:
Forty-five days later, and here I am: standing in front of my Clearwater Mural, which is now COMPLETE!
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!
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.
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!
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.
I’ll leave you with a shot of the wall as it is now. Until tomorrow!
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!
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).
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!
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. 😀
I thought I would give you a quick view of my mural work station each day: my scaffolding (or as I affectionately refer to it, “the rack”,) cluttered with all the important tools of my trade.
Usually I am dealing with only 3 or 4 colors at any point in time, but as the photo caption sums up, this is the touch-up phase. All this means is that I am rounding third base and on my way home with regards to this mural. I’ll be done will all touch-ups and alterations this week.
Trivia: Today I did indeed use every color shown here.
Today I spent the morning doing a lot of touch-up on the mural.
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.
Today was my “car” day at the mural. I refined the large pink car on the bridge, first of all.
“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!
I was painting this morning at the mural and I thought to myself, “It sure seems like I’m multi-tasking today…”
I’m left-handed, so I looked down to my right hand and saw this…
My right hand often gets the task of being my personal assistant, but when it comes to painting, I am actually ambidextrous. Comes in handy. 😀
Well, not quite a pink Cadillac, but my youngest daughter sure loves little pink cars, so here you go, Sweetheart!
First off, I want to say that I am actually very close to catching up on my backlogged mural blog posts that have been lying about in my head and on my computer for the last two weeks. That’s just how busy I’ve been. Luckily, I am able to “pre-date” each post, giving it the apparency of being posted on time. I promise not to fall so behind again!
Today’s artistic endeavor was short and sweet: I started on the third car on the bridge. I wasn’t able to complete as the lightning storm overheard chased me down from the scaffolding.
I will be back at the mural tomorrow (weather permitting); I don’t usually go to the job site on the weekends as my “rack” is securely locked up in the building. I do, however, have enough bottom work (requiring nothing more than a two-step ladder,) to keep me busy, so I’ll be there bright and early. Coming up on Day 40…how exciting. I hope to work til noon.
I’ll post a new image if the weather was compliant. Happy weekend! 😀
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.
Tomorrow I will tackle the next car on the bridge. One more step closer to completion.
See you then.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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. 😉
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.
I’ll post another shot of the entire mural tomorrow. 😀
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.
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!
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…
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.
Today was “poshing up” and altering more small sections of the mural in preparation for some big changes to happen next week.
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).
Added some details on the mural today as well as cleaned up a few areas. Had a rain storm “come out of the blue” towards the end of my day, which meant the newly-painted areas ran.
This was a minor setback, but I waited out the storm and corrected the damage. I’ll be back on Thursday to be painting more details—it’s slow, gradual progress at this point. Still have several weeks left on site.
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! 😀
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!