It’s not every day that you read an article that goes against the grain of what a parent is supposed to do with the reality of the situation and asks the question, “Do you save all your child’s artwork or do you pitch?” This New York Times article about when art takes over by Michael Tortorello and what to do about saving children’s artwork resonated with me; even though, my boys are nearly all grown up, or at least are both in college. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be tongue-in-cheek but I loved its humor, for instance, this is the cover photo, with little Elizabeth displaying a piece from “her blue period,” as her mother says.
When art takes over. All photos via New York Times
A clever solution for another "blue period piece" *
I had mixed reactions to this piece because I did save a lot of my children’s artwork but I also was very selective and threw a lot of it away as it was coming in daily with no space to save. I think there must be a way to find a balance in doing this. I remember my mother, who is a trasher (opposite of a hoarder), actually saved some of my artwork. I was surprised when she presented it to me when I was an adult. I was moved that 1) she had saved it all those years and 2) that it sparked some reflection back in my childhood that seemed already so distant and removed. It brought back chuckles and a sense of innocence as well as some heartfelt emotion that helped temper the stresses that the adult world and responsibilities of living in it bring. It was nice to have that keepsake and then I promptly, being a practical person and aware of my limited space for clutter, pitched it. OK, I may have saved one that wasn’t a stick drawing. Now I know what to do with the two jam-packed portfolios of “masterpieces.” I’ll return them to their creators, for they may get more meaning out of them than I and it can be their responsibility to decide to keep or trash. Either way, the early artwork saved does serve a reflective purpose down the road — if you have a place to save it.
* Here’s some artwork that I get to enjoy everyday, as I turned my older son, Piers’, imaginative artwork of a pirate ship into a magnet. I think he was using pirate Legos at the time when he drew this and I’m sure still has that built ship somewhere. He’s now nearly 23 and getting ready to graduate from the University of Virginia with a degree in Civil Engineering. Through his early artwork, I can see the developing stages of that mind for creative construction in the making.
Child's artwork as a magnet
This song, Sour Girl, by the Stone Temple Pilots has been playing in my head all week. Funny that it’s one of the few songs where I do not like the video but here’s the link that coincidentally, reminds me of Telly Tubbies (for children), so may be weirdly appropriate for this post + it has better sound quality. However, I thought this was a better one to be able to concentrate on their music for Kick Starting the Weekend.
Due to the results of the current election, I decided to post one more mural and a surprise illustration that I received from one of my readers.
This 10 x 40 foot, trompe l’oeil architectural mural below, painted by EVOL, appears to be falling down. What a great illusion that I think is representational of the current state of affairs — as grand as the Berlin Wall finally being dismantled – slowly — piece-by-piece-by-piece, but eventually no longer and only a remembered scare. It’s also a memory that no one forgets and I would hope we could all learn from it’s circumstances as not to repeat again. When things fall down, however, the best thing to do is to clean it up.
Trompe l'Oeil painted Architectural Art Mural on dornob
One of my readers contacted me in July after seeing my post on Political Caricatures, where I used a (step-by-step) instructional how to draw Obama illustration by Steve Breen that was featured in my local newspaper. This reader was kind enough to ask me if he could copy the drawing and change a few things. I relayed that it wasn’t my original drawing but I had posted it in my blog with credit to the artist. I suggested he contact the artist, which he did, to get his permission, which he gave and said, go for it! It’s nice to see such thoughtfulness in this modern day to even think to obtain permission. Here’s Vince’s first version. He was going to change the sign and refine. I’m not sure if he ever did but I mentioned that I would like to use his caricature and that I would contact him when I posted it. Now seems a good time, considering. Don’t be surprised if you see these on t-shirts in the next election campaign. You can say you saw it here first and give the artist his due credit. Vince did a good job!
The response was so positive that Capeau decided to paint Monroe next to Einstein. On the great thinker’s other side is a question mark — and Capeau is asking Herald News readers to choose the next star who will appear on the wall.
The candidates are Charlie Chaplin, John Lennon, Humphrey Bogart, Lucille Ball and Judy Garland. To vote on a selection, log on to heraldnews.com. Capeau has agreed to paint the selection that receives the most votes.
Ed Capeau paints celebrity mural. Photo by Jack Foley for Herald News
Kimberly Brooks paints a series of portraits as part of her Stylist Project, as seen in this one of Rachel Zoe.
Rachel Zoe portrait by Kimberly Brooks on The Examiner
These are some fascinating portrait murals created by chipping the paint away, or scratching the surface of the existing paint — a reverse process of painting, by Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto.
I was really taken with the moment when I saw this mural and its subject, Marc Abrams, a physician who was a celebrity in his neighborhood for walking 20 -30 miles, shirtless, while often reading the paper. He was a fitness advocate but sadly was found dead in his backyard at age 58.
Marc Abrams walks past a subject in a mural painted in his likeness
And in light of the upcoming election, here is one of my favorite murals. This is a link to other optical illusion murals besides this one in DC, that I’ve always admired.
Trompe l'Oeil Graffiti Mural in DC. Photo by katmere on Environmental Graffiti
The murals I mentioned in the last post must have required a lot of tape. Although painter’s tape is traditionally used for “taping off” areas for painting and mural projects, this sticky blue stuff can also be used to make unusual and temporary tape art and murals as seen in this examples by Michael Townsend.
Michael Townsend. Photo via Technology Review by John Maeda
Bonfire Tape Art by Michael Townsend
I also ran across this unusual site via Trend Hunter for tape murals by Multipraktik. This video describes the process for making their creations and shows the fun involved.
I should have put Trend Hunter on my blogroll a long time ago because I get so much interesting info from this source. This time I discovered “25 Eye Catching Murals,” so I posted a few visual screen shots here that are worth exploring on your own.
While exploring, I got so caught up in other images that it was fun to drift around on this site and discover wild and wacky things that are equally innovative as they are humorous and inspirational.
Remember the days of finger painting? Now you can avoid the mess and “paint” with this fabric.
You can learn about a new concrete cloth that can be used for commercial as well as military purposes.
Unusual billboards such as this “Fake Sky” for Berger Paints caught my attention. I think my brother, who is in the billboard business might like this innovative way to advertise, but I bet it is expensive and difficult to install.
Since I like this billboard’s visual effect, the optical illusion curtain also caught my attention.
Thought provoking public service announcements here can’t help but grab your attention. I also like Trendhunter’s public rating system and photo gallery with related pictures but getting back to the original post isn’t all that easy.
Finally (and I could go on and on, there is so much to see), since I am traveling back from the beach, I’m disappointed I didn’t see this post at the start of my trip. If I only had thought about getting sunburned as an art, rather than missing random spots with my sunscreen.
I must have books on my mind because that is what I try to catch up on while on vacation. Lately, I’ve been getting audiobooks through audible because I can listen while doing other things but I have hard copies to read. So what to do with them once I return? We have so many books that I make my husband take any that he’s never going to use again down to the used books thrift store, every time he buys new books. Storage is a commodity where we live.
Radiohead (again), Jigsaw Falling into Place, seems to make sense for this post and Kick-Starting the weekend. I like this song but I had to laugh when I saw the video as it made “trying to hold a book on your head” operate on a whole other level.
On another note, I cannot believe I have a 22 year old son! Piers, my oldest son just celebrated a birthday. I remember when he was a 6 week early preemie coming into this world amid a lot of surrounding complications. He’s proved that it all works out eventually.
There is a little known piece of the Eiffel Tower in New Orleans — little known that is to non New Orleanians. The funny thing about this structure located at 2040 St. Charles Avenue is I remember it well when it was first constructed in the 80’s and operated as a restaurant. Then it sat abandoned for nearly 15 years or so. Just a few years ago it operated as The Cricket Club, a rental place for events. My brother and sister-in-law, in fact, were married here and it was a gorgeous wedding. Toni, his wife, lit the entire front space with candles that reflected light off of the towering bank of windows. The only trouble at that time was that we didn’t know if the evening wedding was going to happen until 6pm — after the waters subsided enough from a sudden torrential thunderstorm that down poured on the city and left it flooded. It was the first flood after Katrina, so you can imagine how all the residents, not just those trying to get to a wedding on unsurpassable streets, thought, “Oh, no, here we go again.” The caterer had to wade into the event holding the cake above his head.
That’s a side note of family fun. This story, however was brought to my attention by my mother, who still lives in New Orleans. Evidently a group of artists got together via the Eiffel Society to “create art” while living in the structure for a month. OK, I like great art but decide for yourself if this unfortunately fits the artist stereotype. This supplied my humor for the day and why there is a huh in the title.
This is where two posts meet. I could have easily found a quick mention for Friday and included my weekly Kick Start your Weekend music but I’m dealing with a conundrum and in also trying to find something to write for my other weekly blog post, Slipcovers for your Walls, I realized as I was searching for this one, that in thinking through this creative process, I found the answer to both. I’ve already posted this on the casartblog but here it is with more thought process.
Here’s my conundrum (not only trying to figure out what to write) but the value — the artistic merit and importance of some latest designs / artwork that I’m working on for Casart coverings. We posted a while ago on the Slipcovers for your Walls blog about our efforts to help the Gulf Coast recovery. It’s an issue that is very personal to me and I’m passionate about wanting to do something. As Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, states so truthfully in his editorial, this area needs some help. It’s still reeling from Katrina and now this?!
As an artist, I think about art to help in the response, so I have created a Gulf Coast Mural and designs where proceeds will go to two selected organizations that are at the forefront, helping in this effort. I helped this way for Katrina and other artists that I have posted on, have done the same. But what do you do when you start to question whether or not it makes sense to do. Will people like it? How will they use it? Will they purchase it? Will they even understand it? I have some valid answers that I think apply to all of these but I know I am too close to decide.
There are some valid points from the links above to consider and some quotes I’ll pull:
“I like to say, to find inspiration, one should take a look around. What is surrounding you?” — Rebecca Reilering (Research to Feed Your Visual Mind)
“...destroying your designer’s artistic confidence by tearing down a design without acknowledging any positive points, is usually not good policy…One reality that I feel escapes many clients who hire graphic designers is that while this is a form of commercial art, the process is still art. The creative process is still emotional, inspirational and can be very personal, so it’s important to acknowledge…” — Fuschia Mac
” I’ve looped my mother in the conversation…she has a good eye for design….The design you put together needs some brighter colors…perhaps a little pink? Throw in a kitten or two. Everybody loves kittens!…All hope is lost…You are no longer a [web] designer.” — Oatmeal (How a Web Design Goes to Hell)
“Success without taking risks is impossible. Mistakes are a part and parcel in the process of achieving extraordinary results. A good designer is not taken apart by such mistakes, rather he learns from it…Some people embrace it and others don’t. If you want to to survive in a world which is changing rapidly as we speak, I suggest you listen closely to the former kind and try your best avoiding the latter.” — Richworks (The Art of Design/Creative Thinking)
And a quote he pulled for his blog that I found really thought provoking:
“Talent hits the target no one else can hit; genius hits the target no one else can see” — Arthur Shoepenhauer
OK, so now I know why some artists, myself included at times, feel a little crazy and that part may explain the stereotype. Can you have talent and genius together? I would say yes, I hope so.
Here’s a glimpse at the latest work. I’ve posted a blog poll to get feedback and of course you can always comment with more specifics but I’d like to know your thoughts. The concept here is to offer an interactive mural — a way for the customer to design their own mural (from these already painted creations). This is an example. The hard part is how to explain this on a website where we don’t have the technology to create something with code to drop and drag in the images. I wish we did.
This mural can be created in any configuration with these separate panels
Here’s an example of one of the individual panels with wording. They will also be offered without wording in a white or water background.
Casart Pelican for Gulf Coast recovery
Since you can’t bring your wall artwork with you to show others in public, what about wearing your mural, or parts of it? I came up with a new Crawfish Cotillion design made with the crawfish that I painted. So, I thought, why not make it into a weekender or beach bag that you can hopefully use on the Gulf Coast beaches? Here are some preliminary designs for this concept, showing two ways to offer the crawfish design + we’ll have this in many colors. Cross over the the Casartblog to vote on your favorite patterns, after you vote here.
Weekender Bag concept with Crawfish Cotillion Design
Casart coverings Beach bag concept with a mural element
Many thanks for your input and in keeping with tradition, here’s some appropriate music to Kick Start your Weekend, and one of my very favorites for New Orleans’ music, “Yes We Can” by Allen Toussaint, accompanied by Elvis Costello: