Friday, November 25, 2016

Plan B, another version of the last wall

Surprisingly ideas come to you, you just have to let them happen.  I'm formulating a new plan for that last wall that will include some elements of the previous plan and include the two video screens.  It's a good thing that I love a challenge.
Besides that last long wall on the inside of the building, I'm trying to figure out how to make more of those skating icon figures for the outside end wall that faces the new parking lot.  I did some drawings of them, and made some measurements and decided that the only way to get anything done now (since the weather is too cold to paint outside) is to paint them on wood and attach them to the building.  I'm up for it, but maybe Marc is not.  It would be an additional $500 in wood alone.  I guess we'll, as they say, take it as it comes.  In other words, first things first.  Redoing the end wall with the big mirror ball and video screens along with the long wall with the new video screens is next on the agenda.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

New wall DELAY and revision!

What timing!  Just when I’m geared up and ready to proceed with the long wall and all the wonderful space themed artwork I have been planning for about a year, everything is going to be changed around.
We will be getting in lots of video games and other attractions.  We have been planning on the video games and even though they will be put in front of some of the artwork, it will still look ok and maybe after they are installed, I can add something around them.
We had not been planning to add large inflatables that will need to be on the main floor for maybe half of the time we are open to the public.  These are almost to the ceiling and will take up the entire width of the floor and use up about 20 feet of skating surface from the end wall towards the middle.  When they are inflated, you wouldn’t see the wall much but you would otherwise.
It has not been decided on which end exactly they will be installed.  Most likely the end where the large video screens are now.  That would mean that the video screens will move to the wall that I was just starting to paint, and where the video screens are now (an area that has been painted with the large mirror ball and cheering crowd scene) will need to be redone in some way.
The good news is that I hadn’t finished the new space wall, the bad news is that it would have been pretty darn nice!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Guild of Boston Artists panel discussion

I attended a panel discussion Saturday, Nov. 19th at the Guild of Boston Artists on Newbury Street where T.M. Nicholas, Stapleton Kearns and David P. Curtis were scheduled to speak.  David P.  Curtis was unable to attend because of a bad cold.
Stapleton Kearns is an artist that I studied with only a week or two ago in CT for a 3-day weekend workshop.  T.M. Nicholas I had not met before although I am very familiar with his work and the work of his father, Tom Nicholas (who gave me some advice when I was doing a plein air paint day in Gloucester).  I have known and studied with David Curtis for many years.  All three of these artists are leaders in the Boston School of art, in other words a definite style of New England painting and live or have lived in Rockport .  The room was packed and had standing room only, and I was lucky enough to be there early and got a seat on a sofa which turned out to be very very nice.  It is a pleasure to listen to two guys, who are very accomplished artists, sit and talk as if you were in the living room listening to their conversation.
I was lucky again by getting a parking space on Newbury Street about 3 blocks away from the Guild with the max allowed time of 2 hours.  First I pulled into a public parking place but when I saw that it would be $40 for 2 hours or more, I continued looking and four spaces down the street I found a spot for $2.50.  I had to leave before the event was over, and I was the very first one to leave.  I felt bad about that, but I think people in Boston have a different mentality about this type of thing as they realize there is always a parking situation.
I really enjoyed listing to TM and look forward to talking with him sometime.  There are not a lot of people that I would feel comfortable, lets say, sitting or having meal with, but I believe I would be able to have a nice conversation with TM, he seems like a regular guy and I liked what he had to say about the art of oil painting.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Dragon Scales and Skater Logo preparation

Here is a photo of the dragon with the scales on his tail.
Friday I bought some boards to make a stencil to hopefully paint something outside the front door maybe Saturday morning while the sun in on that side of the building.  It's too bad that the cold weather is moving in but it is that time of the year.  I am hoping to get some kind of signage or icon on the north side of the building, the side that faces the now open lot that will become the parking lot. That side of the building can be seen by all the traffic that passes over the bridge from Haverhill to Bradford.  When Spring comes we will do something permanent but I'm hoping we can do something to carry us over until then.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Skater Icon/Logo--rush job

On Saturday, Nov.  19th, I got up early as I was very motivated to paint a skater logo or icon on the outside of the Skateland building.
There are very few warm days left to paint outside.  I wish I could paint the new visible end wall side of the building since the vacant lot next door has been cleared leaving a beautiful view of the building.
The problem is that it is the north side and the cement blocks feel like 32 degrees.  I’ll try to find out how to paint on a cold surface, but don’t hold out much hope.
Since I was planning to go into Boston at 1:00 and the rink would be opening then as well, I literally raced to get this done in the approximately 4-hour window I had.  I started from scratch
although I had done the drawing the night before on a piece of paper.
So first I put together some foamboards and cardboards large enough to fit the drawing on to make it into a stencil.

Then I drew the image onto a piece of plastic, some recycled scrap, I’m big on recycling.  Then I projected that onto the boards, drew around the inside of the marking, took it down and cut along the drawing line with a razor knife–pretty hard to do with a dull blade and in a hurry, fortified the stencil as best I could with tape and dragged it outside.

 First I had to make a run to the local hardware store as I needed exterior spray primer and top coat–great stuff that dried in 10 minutes per coat.  I mixed up some black paint for the outline.  Taped the stencil to the outside wall with masking tape and did 2 primer coats and 2 finish coats and the outline.  First I did one outline and realized it needed a thicker outline so went around the first outline.  I finished one minute before the manager arrived and in plenty of time to head into Boston!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wings and Tails!

Yup, the dragon has his first coat of paint.  Actually I'm calling it the 3-D dragon because he looks like hes coming to get you!  The wing was very difficult to do with the angles and the fact that it's on the ceiling.  It wasn't so hard painting on the ceiling, but what you think you want to do when you are on the ground, gets lost when you climb up on the staging, you can't figure out where you are, especially during the drawing stages.  The most fun part was putting the scales on his tail!

First coat?  Well, I'm thinking and hoping that I'll be able to overcoat with the UV paint.  Usually the UV paint has to go over white, but this would require that I put, for example, green UV over green regular paint.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Went to Portrait Group today.

Portrait Group
I haven't been to portrait group for well over a year.  Since I always have my eye on what to do next, I have to regain my skills with regular oil painting.  I felt a little like a duck out of water last week when I attended the Stapleton Kearns workshop, realizing that I haven't worked with regular paint brushes much since I've been working on the mural.  Incidentally, while I'm painting the mural and have the opportunity to use a brush or a roller, it makes me smile.
I have been doing a few 6x6" paintings that I'll put up on DPW soon, hopefully in time for people shopping for Christmas.
Well, it felt pretty nice to be there today, very many of the people who were there before are still there, and I think I did better than I expected to do.  I have to reassess my supplies, as my brushes are in bad shape and maybe I should have two palettes going in order to do portraits one day and the 6x6"s the next.
When I was working on portraits in the studio almost 2 years ago, I was using a very large palette with A LOT of colors, and some pre-mixes so this sketch type of portrait work uses fewer colors.

If you want to read about the Stapleton Kearns workshop, go to my adventures page.  That is also where you would see my recent Italy trip.

Finally on the home stretch with the mural!

This past week I finished the video end wall and the area over the sales area where the DJ stand is also located.  
It's not finished in this photo.  More photos will follow later.

I started the long wall the was the original reason why this project began.  Imagine that.  
As I probably mentioned in a recent blog, I lost my original drawing and had to make another one. Basically it's a view of space with lots of planets, dragons, a castle, etc.  I started by creating a foreground area 31" up from the floor by painting a middle gray upon which I will paint rocks, valleys, mountains, cliffs, a volcano, craters, etc.  The 31" is only to get something to gauge the space by.  Next I began to work on the big dragon.  We have a big dragon there from previous mural designs and the kids always want us to keep him.  I'm making the wings and tail much bigger.  Here is the way he was before:

He will have UV paint over the colors I have painted him.  
I'm not sure how successful this will be because the UV paint 
should be painted over white to get maximum effect.
Here is where he is now but he's only half done.
I may change the shape of his tail.  I won't know until after I do the shading and put some scales on it..  You can see the gray 31" underpainting for the foreground along the bottom.
Here are some of the drawing procedures.
You can see the original wing if you look closely.