I’m back! Here are two shots from today’s progress. The first is my scene every morning. I love it. 😀
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. 😀
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! 😀
I wanted to share my special place—just a couple blocks from my home. It’s where I feel like I can connect with the rest of the world.
Wishing all my friends a wonderful weekend and Happy Easter. Be well!
It’s all about being at the right place at the right time.
What is the value of a woman
Filled with the wonder of you?
Many see nothing ahead but a menacing storm.
I see a gentle road through dappled hills of green; a chance to fuse myself with the swirling clouds above; to catch the sweet scent of grass and trees.
I welcome the strong, cooling winds, the torrential rain about to fall, the lightning that will enliven me. Such serendipity to be here at just the right moment.
I don’t see danger ahead. I see life.
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.
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.
That being said, it is of the utmost importance that an artist keep his head above water—vital, 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.
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.
I just had to share—well, at least via a photo—a 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.
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! 🙂
A friend of mine is traveling Europe and the Far East for a month or so. I’m housesitting and loving it. I’ve temporarily traded in my Gulf view for that of a calm lake. No complaints here.
“The people I consider successful are so because of how they handle their responsibilities to other people, how they approach the future, people who have a full sense of the value of their life and what they want to do with it.
“I call people successful not because they have money or their business is doing well but because, as human beings, they have a fully developed sense of being alive and engaged in a lifetime task of collaboration with other human beings — their mothers and fathers, their family, their friends, their loved ones, the friends who are dying, the friends who are being born.
“Success.. is all about being able to extend love to people… not in a big, capital letter sense but in the everyday. Little by little, task by task, gesture by gesture, word by word.”
-Actor, Ralph Fiennes
I claw at self-made walls,
For decades they’ve stood firm
My fragile stream of love
Now seeks its way, unearned.
Copyright © 2011 by Ana Livingston. All Rights Reserved.
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! 😉
I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend and speak to you soon!
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.
Last night’s classic “Don’t you take a shot of me” shot. 😀
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!
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 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! 😀
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…
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.
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?
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!
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.
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!