I was recently asked to paint images on the electrical boxes in my home town. It is part of an effort to turn some of these plain boxes into works of art. Although this public art project is one that has been done in larger cities, it is new for my small town. It has been a wonderful experience but it has not been without its challenges. So what have I learned?
1. I needed to be prepared, in my case, to work in sweltering heat.
2. I needed to remind myself that everyone is not going to like my art. Hey some people actually preferred the dull painted electrical boxes the way that they were. Who knew?
3. I needed to prepare my self for a host of insects that were on the boxes. Actually I think that I discovered new ones that had never been seen.
4. I discovered that I can actually forget to eat a meal. I would become so engrossed in the
project that I would forget to eat a meal. I found that I lost weight without really trying. Yea!
5. It has taught me to get over my dread of painting in public. It’s wonderful talking with people and introducing my art to some who ordinarily would not see it. It has been interesting hearing the stories that they have shared with me, and the interest that children have shown really made the project well worth the effort.
When I took an art appreciation class at my local college, I had no doubt that I would enjoy it because I have always wanted to learn about artists and the process of creating art as well as what inspired artists to create what they did. I just didn’t realize how much I would learn from the class and how much of an effect it would have on my own art. Yes, it has truly been an eye- opening experience.
One of my favorite parts of the course was analyzing and interpreting works of art. One of the paintings that I selected to analyze was The Night Cafe by Vincent van Gogh. I had always been interested in his life and art and from the course; I learned that the colors and the lines that he used for the painting really set a mood for how he must have been feeling at the time.
We know of some of the stories of how van Gogh suffered from periods of deep depression and he was deeply affected by color. The colors that he used for this painting was to get an emotional response from the viewers. When I first saw this painting I did’nt think of it in a menacing way because I tend to like bright colors in my work as well as in others but in the course of the study I began to see this painting as well as others in a different light. Red in the painting can arouse feelings of anxiety and maybe even anger and aggression. The café itself is not a fun, cheerful place and is rather a not so pleasant place to be. So perhaps the painting also reflected how he was feeling. There were other significant things going on in the painting that you might be observing about this painting.
We learned as a class to better analyze many works of art as well as our own. Toward the end of the course we were asked to create a self-portrait in the style of one of the art periods that we had studied and analyzed. There were many art periods that I enjoyed learning about such as neoclassical, and impressionism but I chose to do a self-portrait in the Byzantine style from the Middle Age period. My choice was based on the use of the rich gold that was used in the art of that period. Although some of the characteristics of the period was the use of icons and religious subjects, I wanted to give my painting a more modern look but still using some of the features of the period.
This is my self-portrait.The class was indeed an eye-opening experience. It taught me to appreciate the works of artists more and to think about the process and decisions that went into the creation of their work. It helped me to approach my work with new “eyes” and it helped me to see that many of them had the same struggles and feelings that I have in my process of creating art. This was indeed an eye-opening experience.
My inspiration for this painting came from my love of hats. I have never been able to wear them with the grace and style that my mother did but I still wear them. This is part of a series of small paintings that I am doing. The size of it is 8×10″inches.
This painting pavers tutorial is an addition to the tutorial that I wrote a few months ago. I am always exploring ways to improve bricks for my paintings.Some artists paint on their bricks with little preparation which is good if you want the texture of the brick to show. I like a smooth surface to paint on because it helps in adding details to my art. I have tried various primers for my bricks, but recently I started using Olympic masonry block filler which works well for filling the cracks and pores of the bricks. I purchased it from Lowes’ Home Improvement store. http://www.Lowes.com It requires less coats. For more information on the process I hope you will check out my older post. If you have not tried painting on pavers I hope that you will. Mudpiestudio.blogspot.com has an interesting blog about bricks. Check them out.I would love to see some of your work. Please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.