Following upon the success of my Coffee-themed series of paintings, I am commencing on a series of whimsical paintings for Wine Lovers. Here are the first ten:
Here's what these paintings look like framed, floating on a black mat in a 15" x 15" black frame that really brings out the colors:
The above paintings are currently priced at $275 framed (less if you want to do your own framing). Also available as 8" x 10" paper prints and as 8" x 8" Limited Edition Metal Prints ($75).
Here's a timelapse video of the painting of Drinking Buddies (see prior blog posts for more time-lapse videos):
Art Interruptions is an annual public-art program, run by the City of Seattle's Office of Arts and Culture, for purposes of vitalizing selected Seattle neighborhoods with temporary Art Installations that create discovery and surprise.
I had the good fortune to be one of 7 artists selected in 2016 to activate the Rainier Valley East-West Neighborhood Greenway, which is a pedestrian path that runs through a neighborhood, connecting parks at each end.
My contribution to this project is a series of mini-murals tucked away behind street signs. When approached from one side, these look like ordinary signs, but peek behind them, and here's what you'll find:
Was that fun? Yes it was! :)
How did this project come about?
The City of Seattle maintains (and periodically updates) artist rosters, and when opportunities like these come around, artists can apply to the projects with specific proposals. (In business jargon, it's an 'RFP'). The proposals are reviewed by an panel of jurors comprising of citizens, artists, and city officials, and artists are selected based on the match between the proposal and the site/audience requirements.
My original proposal for this project was to traverse the neighborhood and create surprise/discovery by painting whimsical little vignettes on various surfaces (corners, sidewalks, rocks, poles, utility boxes) etc. The panel loved the idea, and I was selected as a project artist, only to discover that actual painting on public and private surfaces was a no-no (too permanent, invites graffiti, has site permission issues, etc).
After much discussion, we concluded I should create temporary art primarily on Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)-controlled surfaces - in this case neighborhood street signs. (And only particular kinds of signs that would not distract from pedestrian or traffic safety - e.g. no Stop signs, or School Crosswalk signs).
The process involved:
* Identifying the most appropriate signs
* Finding a way to exactly measure the signs
* Creating designs that, as far as possible, took advantage of sign location, shape, or other attributes
* Finding a way to economically create 20+ designs
* Finding a medium on which to render the designs so they could be temporarily attached and eventually removed
* Overseeing the fabrication
* Painstakingly trimming each design to fit it's intended site (ever notice those rounded corners on street signs?)
* Finally, site installation - every one of these signs is 10 feet high!
Here are some process photos:
For this project, I realized I would have to design everything digitally. (If I painted with real paints, I would have to scan the paintings before they could be printed on adhesive vinyl. By painting digitally, I could skip the scanning step altogether and save lots of time in the process). The above images show two designs in progress, hand-drawn on a computer. (The one on the left is Escher-inspired - Escher makes it look easy, but, trust me, repeating patterns are HARD!). Even with digital designs (hooray for UNDO), I did twenty designs taking about 4-6 hours each (=80-120 hours), meaning I was sitting in front of a computer for almost 3 full 40-hour work weeks. (Don't let anyone tell you artists don't work hard! :) ).
This one gave me the most trouble! Honestly, you haven't lived, till you're perched 10 feet high on a ladder, holding a large sheet of sticky vinyl, while the WIND IS BLOWING HARD. This was the largest piece and it kept sticking to itself and to the sign in odd ways due to the wind. I had to rip it off and put it back on many, many times. Took almost 2 hours. (Notice all those uneven areas? Now you know why)
Overall, this was an intense, but fun project. The art will be up Sept - end Dec 2016 so go see it anytime. More details on the City Website.
Many thanks to the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and the Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Art Funds for making this project happen.
Click below to see more details.
If you made it this far, maybe you'd like to get a copy of this special Dragon print based on one of the Mini-Mural designs...?
"Ombrophobia (Fear of Rain)"
Available in 3 different ready-to-frame sizes.