Friday, May 16, 2014

Celebration!!! SQ FAIR Lima mural for 2014 completed!

So wonderful to complete this monumental task assigned to me!    I am still not on 'normal time' yet, but in a week or so, I should be. What a diverse group of people to have the pleasure of capturing in paint. Great fun to host their sponsors/family members in the studio to add their personal touch and paint their initials on.




 Thanks for following along and I have been asked if I would like to be considered for 
the mural artist for 2015!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Time in a Bottle...please?

Where has the time gone??? That is what happens when an artist gets focused. Time has no meaning, as you get in the zone and tunnel-visioned, it just slips away. Or in some cases, the hands on the clock pick up breakneck speed and you are positive you haven't been working that long!

                                            Just so long that I am now laying down on the job!!!

Sure makes you wish you could put time in a bottle! There have been so many events that I was interested in attending but I just know I dare not break the flow of work that is happening in the studio.

Happy to say a milestone has been reached..........HALFWAY! Yea! Actually, 16 of the 30 are now complete.
I had so much fun painting William Davenport, the first African American police chief in Ohio and maybe the U.S.  He made eye contact with me...........that is when I know that I have captured the human spirit of the person! It is rather jolting the first time it happens...having it feel like a live human being is going to step off the board and give you a talking to!

Stay tuned...some really different ones coming up....doctors, ballplayers, lawyers, etc!
And some really wonderful news!
Thanks for being a part of my day.....goodnight!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Productivity thrives..... thanks to Old Man Winter!

The winter that just won't give up has had one positive effect; it has caused me to stay in the studio working like a mad woman on this mural, just so I could avoid the mess right outside my windows.

 Being lucky, having heat and light along with enough food to eat, kept me on track and here are the results. Still learning to handle the paints but having sponsors in the studio to make a few marks of their own has made this so much more fun!

Even the next generation participates..

'Eileen' added...just above his heart

The Continis showed up with great enthusiasm!

From signing 'Eileen' above Bo's heart to painting his shoes, they did a terrific job and we had a great time.


We even arranged a second day for MORE Continis!
Then it was time for LaGoy...

Again, a great time...
Tom Ahl was finally able to get here and get to get a sneak peek at his parents, Bill & Peg. We did just a couple of tweaks after he took a couple of photos and went back to the car to show to Peg. Yea! Happy to say these have been moved to the 'completed' room and I am once again applying caulk and primer....stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Here comes winter storm NITA....geez...

Well, I guess there is no danger of me being distracted by wanting to be outside painting plein air! It is one snow storm after another, helping to keep me on track with this mural. It is a ton of prep work to get a panel ready for the portraits, so that might explain why I lost my assistant. Despite that, I am actually making better progress as I use my time in between coats of caulk and paint to do drawings, run get more supplies, etc.

What a treat it was to have Kathy Seitz come over to paint on her honoree, her father, Joe O'Brien! Her husband Dick joined her and watched with a wide grin on his face as he saw how much she was enjoying it! An artist at heart, I think! We had no photos for his legs, so my husband, Claude, modeled for them.

                                                        Painting in the canopy.....

                                             Three more drawn on.....the last one is the one I had a rather poor photo of. I did, however, go back and make some corrections and he looks better now. Then I chose to add the old doctor bag, for in the days when they made house calls. ( As I do remember those days!)

Alberta Shurelds daughter, Vickie, came to paint in the shoes for her mother, as she had to pose for the legs and shoes. What a memory for her! I was so touched to get a big hug from her as the tears rolled freely down her cheeks as she thanked me for capturing her mother's personality, as well as her likeness. Vickie said she would definitely be touching those folks if they were that close.
son, Jim and grandson, Brandon both took a shoe to paint
and then add their initials...

on their honoree, Wayne Gideon

                           What a joy they were to get to spend some time with in the studio!

There are 6 portraits complete now..........just 24 more to go! The last one was a real tough one, as I had the old faded photograph from the web, no less, of a shadow figure; but it was HIS stance, so I used it. I had only been given a web photo of the face and was told to just do the best I could, as that was the only one known to exist.
more transfer of the lettering
wrapped in a sheet and corner protectors added


Friday, January 31, 2014

Over the snow drifts and through the ice, to the 2nd floor studio we go....

Record-setting artic temps here in Ohio, along with gusting winds,  are making it impossible to heat the unattached garage sufficiently to use the caulk and paint! That meant finding room to fit 4 x 8' sheets of plywood in a horizontal position with enough space around them to allow a person to apply the necessary layers of caulk, primer, and undercoat.

I managed to make room for one in the studio upstairs and then decided the dining room was the only other option. The winds were so high we had to delay trying to haul one up to the 2nd floor stairway, with a landing and turn. My arms were already sore from helping to load the sheets in the van and then unload them into the garage. My over-stretched tendons were yelping from abuse!

After getting another snowstorm last night and drifts going a few foot deep, it was necessary to dig a path and shovel the stairwell, just to reveal a pretty thick coat of ice. I prayed the temps were high enough that the salt would provide for traction, as it was treacherous enough trying to wrangle that panel in the still blowing wind.

Most of our house is now consumed with work areas for the mural. I find myself constantly moving things so we can prepare a meal! Progress is being made and that is a wonderful feeling. I have the majority of the photos to work with or at least have promises of them coming soon.

My apprentice, Elliot, has been learning to prep the panels and we have been making mistakes together but we are managing to correct them quickly.

I need to buy stock in a paper towel company for sure!
Before I can move on, I needed to design the narrow canopy for the top edge, to finish it off, so I decided a paper template was in order. After perusing the web for samples and ideas, I settled on something simple so as not to distract from the people.
It was a pretty straight forward task to tape it up, after planning the placement of scallops to end at a peak where panels come together, so in a reasonable amount of time, it was completely painted in. Deciding it needed a cast shadow, I painted one in , using a mid tone grey and the pattern for the shadow edge. Long story short, I painted the shadow at least 4 different ways, each time consulting with my husband for an unbiased opinion. Each time I was unhappy with the results and had to keep repainting. Then my husband declared it looked better without a cast shadow so there you go; NO cast shadow.....move on!
Next order of business was to paint the honorees name in the dark area at the bottom. I already knew exactly what font I wanted to use, so sizing was the only issue here. Each name is being sized to fit the space, depending on number of letters.

CELEBRATION!  1st panel is compete and can move out....slide in another one...only about 14 or 15 more panels to go!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Barry Ruben...Need a hand? How to improvise..

Working on portrait number 3, Barry Ruben. Great challenges here, as the full body shot was in a suit and the face shot was in a reds to marry the two. Plus, I was missing the entire right arm in the full body shot and most of the left hand in the close up.

I determined it would work better if he were facing slightly to the left to keep the vision flowing across the mural, so I elected to 'flip' the body. This solved a couple of problems, as I was able to them use the left hand in the body shot to sketch from and just change the angle. I drew a rectangle over the right hand as a guide; my sketch still ended up being a little large so I used my printer to reduce my drawing 10% and it fit just right.

Changing the position of the hand presented another problem; the extended fingers now looked awkward , so I made them appear to be curled up more.

Barry Ruben, co-owner of Lima Bargain Center and owner of the semi-pro baseball team, the Lima Locos. ( The sponsors are in sw Florida and would have loved to have been here to add a stroke or two!       Well, guess that is a small price to pay for being where it is warm and sunny in January.)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Invite! They will come!

Getting the first portrait under my belt was a huge relief, for now I feel I have a handle on how I am going to approach this. Having a game plan is of the utmost importance! Leaving room for some flexibility adds to the difficulty but must be done.

To make this a truly 'community' mural, I decided to extend an invite for each sponsor to come apply a few brushstrokes to their chosen honoree, allowing for more ownership and pride in the mural. Truth is, I get the biggest kick out of sharing! Today, Kathy Seitz seized the moment to become a part of the history of this mural and painted in her father, Joe O'Brien's trousers. ( My husband Claude posed for me, as we had no photo reference for his pants). It worked!

Dick and Kathy have been a delight to work with through this entire process and leave me eagerly anticipating getting on to the next one. Knowing they were very pleased with my interpretation sure made my day!
As an added perk, I asked Kathy to sign her initials by her father's trousers, to show everyone where she painted on the mural! Look at that smile......