With Florida Behind Me

It feels so good to be home. Not sure I'm up to doing that again any time soon, if ever. Instead I think I'll put my focus on 'here'.
That said, at the moment there are no job prospects here, and that's worrisome since I am my only source of income. So I'm considering doing some more DVD instruction.......I'd love some input on that from you......ideas? suggestions? making them better? themes?
A couple of months ago I took the Tropical DVD and began adding to it.
I added this seagull at the bottom and another bird in flight at the top. I've yet to edit the video having put it aside to work on other projects, so it'll be a week or so before this one is ready to release.
I'm also working on putting an Etsy shop together, thinking I'll move the sales of the DVD's over there. I'm also thinking of painting some things to sell through Etsy...... floor cloths, maybe some smaller hanging murals for kids?
I started playing around with small floor mat ideas a few years ago. I've had this one at my kitchen sink for a couple years now.....love it. You find yourself being careful not to step on kitty.
It actually inspired a custom order when I had a copy of it for sale on ebay. This client had five cats.....these are them.

Had some ideas for some fun place mats for pets too.
All of these and more (haven't forgotten the growth chart idea) will go up on the Etsy shop, along with maybe some DVD instruction on how to make them??? They will all be custom painted when ordered.....no printed copies.


Big Disappointment

Well, I found out today that they hung the elevator mural on a wall outside of the elevator. It was a big disappointment for me.
True, it will probably be seen by more people now, but its a shame it couldn't have been worked out (for the elevator shaft). Lesson....always insist on seeing the specs for the project and always take your own measurements. They'll be framing it in bamboo. How bout that chandelier? Crazy uh?
So now they are looking for something else to put in the elevator shaft. I suggested having a print made from maybe one of Frank Mckinney's photos taken on trips to Southeast Asia, maybe have it printed in a sepia tone....found a few large format printing companies online that I passed on to them. I also recommended a company, Creative Art Technology that makes large scale prints using paint (not ink) if they wanted to just make a copy of the original mural and have it sized so that more of the artwork would be visible within the confines of the elevator cabs framed glass walls........but the original was hung already so that was not an option.
Oh well, gotta let it go.
Tomorrow I go finish up at the restaurant and head home hoping the weather isn't too bad on the drive up......heard some noise about snow, and its been a long time since I've driven in icy conditions.


Two Days Off

Another two days free while they prepare to knock out the wall tonight and ready the new framing for me to paint on Tuesday. It'll be a long day Tuesday, but my final one on this project. I also forgot that I have the new bathroom to do, and I've convinced them (I think) that carrying the tone on tone palms into the restroom would be the quickest and most economical treatment. Then the main mural walls will have been dusted for me and I'll be putting a coat or two of polyurethane on for protection. Then, that sign that I painted in the new section is also in the original restaurant and that needs to be painted out....they're putting a 60" flat panel tv on that wall. Like I said....looooong day.
I will post pictures of the final 'look' before I leave. Meanwhile I think I'll just soak up some of that infamous Florida sunshine before heading back to my part of the world.....16 degrees in Narberth, Pa this morning.


No More Pictures Of This One

Not going to be posting anymore pictures of this project.
Suffice it to say I added a few more elements and tomorrow will do the tone on tone work. They should be ready for me to do the touch up work (from tearing down the wall) on Tuesday, maybe (hopefully) even on Monday. I'm pretty ready to get home.


In the spirit of fun

Ok....I finished up the sign today and started working on the 'fun' elements. I'm not sure I'm very good at coming up with 'fun' ideas....a bit too serious sometimes....but I'm trying :-) I'm always anxious to do some serious piece of art after working on projects like these.
Added a purple polka dot bikini, and started on a bottle of Corona. (picture distorted by angle)
Put their favorite parrot in a hammock with a margarita.
A little surf shack on one of the islands. I'll go in tomorrow and most likely finish up all the colored mural, and Saturday will knock out the tone on tone mural that goes around the restroom area......shouldn't take long....a few hours at most.
Below is the wall that's going to be cut out Sunday night. The opening of course will have to get framed in, sheet rocked and taped, but they're expecting everyone to finish on Monday....I guess that means me too?


Just a few more days.

Making headway. This is the end of that long wall. The chain hanging down (one of two) will be holding a big flat panel tv. Lamps are going to be hung on all the trompe l'oeil posts.
And this ......I've started the other side.The owner wants me to lighten up a little and put some more 'fun' elements into the mural, so I'll be focusing on that tomorrow. He doesn't want it to be just a pretty tropical scene, but something more fun.
The wall dividing the original restaurant from the new addition is being taken out Sunday night and I have to be around to fix up the area around the new opening. I'm hoping they trim it out right away....sheet rock, taping, etc....so I don't have to wait around. They're hoping to open the new addition in time for the super bowl.
Still don't know what they want to do about the elevator mural. I've offered to come and make adjustments on site if they're able to remove the glass from the cab....so I can access the mural after its hung on the shaft wall.


Half way back to home base yesterday and realized I forgot to take pictures!
I did though get a bunch done.....added the final touches of foliage to the first long wall along with some birds, and got the second wall's sky/clouds done. I should finish up the second wall today which will leave me with just the areas around the tops of doorways, touch ups when they break through the wall that separates the two sides of the restaurant, and the tone on tone mural around the restroom area. I'm thinking 3?....maybe 4 more days....we'll see.
Up early to hit a Walmart on my way to work. I've been depleting all the local Walmarts of my favorite green craft paint...hope this one has some.
Oh.....a note......always, always, always insist on taking your own measurements! I got a another call for the 'mansion' folks yesterday, I was told that the glass elevator framing was not considered when dimensions were given to me........some of the artwork would not be visible once its hung inside the shaft, blocked by the elevator cab's frame that holds the glass walls.
My advice to them was to remove the glass that was prematurely put inside the elevator cab framing (the guy who has to hang this thing would also like it removed to make his job easier) so that I could make more adjustments after its hung. Their thought was to maybe hang the mural somewhere else....which would be a shame.....oiy.



Yesterday turned out to be a wash ..... the tile folks had not finished laying the new flooring as hoped and the additional wall was not yet primed.
I'm told everything is ready and waiting for me today and I'm anxious to get in there and get closer to completion of this project so I can head back to Philly. Pictures later today.


Lazy Sunday Afternoon

I got lost in link land again, jumping from site to site, blog to blog, its totally amazing the things you come across. I wanted to share this example of just that.
These were created by James Crulley
Pear Shoes
Bread Shoes


Couple Days Off

Finally reached the end of the wall,
but still working on adding the flowers, and I decided to fill in some of the background with distant islands....I didn't/don't like all the empty space between the palms.
This back wall is going to get a simple tone on tone palm tree mural.
And this is the other wall that just went up and will be muraled like the long wall. I'm telling you, these drywall guys were amazing.....great teamwork ....that wall went up so fast!
I'll have a couple of days off now.....tomorrow the floor people come in to lay the tile. Monday the walls will get primed (for me), and while that's being done I'll finish up the long wall....start on the other side on Tuesday.


Continuing Down the Wall

I'm slowly making my way down the wall. I keep going back and adding or changing things. Still have my seagulls to add, and gotta get some more flowers/color in this. A bamboo wainscot will be on the lower half of the walls actually covering up about an inch or two of the mural.....painted extra just to be sure :-)
There's another 15-20 feet of wall beyond what you see here that needs to be done, and then the dry wall folks were in today preparing a wall opposite of this one, that will also get a mural. Lots more to do.



Made a little progress today. The tree to the left took most of my day.....one leaf at a time. There's lots of filling in to do...more foliage, bring in some flowers for more color. I originally painted this restaurant about three or four years ago, and I have to paint this new wall to fit in with the work I did then......that can be a little frustrating when you know you've learned better ways to do things.
This is the original wall that's being taken out for the expansion. You can see below I have a way to go yet with the replication. Plus the new wall is at least twice as long as the old one.
Anyway, back at it tomorrow and it should be an interesting day.......guys will be in there putting up another wall.......lots of dust!
That's just an air conditioning duct hanging into the picture... they're in there working too, along with the electricians....busy place.

Hurricane Grill & Wings

Started the restaurant job Monday. I needed to go in and just prime the new wall, then started the actual artwork yesterday.
More later.


Very..VERY..quick Hawaiian mural

Time restraints and a client on a tight budget, I needed to work very quickly and create the mood as simply as possible.
The task?.....to complete two bathroom murals and do some alterations in other parts of this new business (a restaurant) in two days. Yesterday I managed to get one bathroom completed and the second one started (just a portion of the sky). Time: 7 1/2hrs.
I started by laying in the sky. Starting darker blending lighter as I reach the horizon line.
Next, lay in the clouds.
Then I added the ocean and started with the background.
Finally adding in the details. This wraps around three walls.Today's project, complete bathroom two and hopefully have time for those alterations.


Elevator Mural Repair

Not too bad....a couple of hours to match up the bit in the corner, and work on the ceiling....toning it down a little, it was just too fussy for such a small space.
You can see that I added some more clouds, especially in the corner to help conceal the seam from the added piece of canvas (the main piece had shrunk). I also extended the lily pads up and into the scene, again to help conceal the seam. Maybe should have brought more over into the side panel?
I really love the way the bamboo wainscot looks with the mural. I think they're going to clear coat it, and that will really bring out the tones in the wood to match the mural.
This afternoon I will spend time gathering inspiration pictures for the Hawaiian mural I'm working on tomorrow.


Finally...work begins today

I finished the adjustments on the main elevator mural yesterday and will be spending time at the mansion today....delivering the mural and making the changes to the service elevator.
Saturday and Sunday I'll be adding some Hawaiian touches to some mural work in a restaurant I had done a few years ago.....new owner.....new ambiance.
Monday starts the work in the Hurrican Grill & Wings restaurant in Stuart, Fl. They've expanded into the property next door and I'll be painting the new walls to match the work I had done a couple of years ago. I'm guessing I'll be in there a week to ten days.


Its Harder Than It Looks

I am a brave soul (to post these), but learning and sharing is important.
I was following a heated debate that was going on, on Craigslist a few weeks ago, all about formal art training....the pro's and con's.
I am not formally trained, but always secretly wished I had been able to afford to go to an art college where I could have been 'shown' how to do things and why. I'm not really good at following book instruction, I'm more of a visual learner I guess. I'm not saying you can't do this on your own, I just think it would be easier with someone showing how/why. And hey....I'm getting older....easy would be nice for a change.
Anyway, here are two examples of why I think formal training would be helpful. These are my first attempts at painting small (5"x 7").
I expressed my interest in a recent post about the daily painters, and thought...."Hey, I could do that too"..........not! How humbling.
The first one?...the pepper?......I fussed and fussed with that thing until it became just a muddy mess. Whats missing? My understanding of colors and their relationship to each other, and my experience using 'tube' acrylics....a whole different animal than wall and craft paint.
So for my benefit as well as others who may struggle with this, I'll post some links to sites I had discovered a while ago but obviously didn't spend enough time studying....they're on color theory.
Link one. Link two. Link three.
And here's the link again to the dailypainters website, so you can see the difference (in the quality of the work).
I'll keep on working on these til I'm happy.
I'm glad I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and forcing myself to learn new things....its all good :-)


I got to take some photos of the service elevator mural installed at the mansion.
You can see in the one corner where the wallpaper hanger fitted in a piece of canvas to compensate for the shrinkage of the center panel. Below the canvas they will be putting a bamboo wainscot.
This is part of that third panel that I didn't post before. The mural tells a story of an island fisherman first preparing his nets for fishing, then fishing, and then home with the catch. Notice his hat hanging on the porch of the house, the fish drying between the two palm trees and a pot on the campfire.
I'll go back in and work on that corner section and redo some of the ceiling that I wasn't happy with.

I was so disappointed....while I was at the mansion I spotted a pod of dolphins just off shore, and I actually captured them on my camera. I was hoping to post a video of them, but......I accidentally ERASED THE FILM! I wanted to cry.

OK! The diet starts today...lol

There's something very dangerous about living up north and being bundled up in layers of over sized clothing.......you tend to grow into it. No doubt where there are less cloths, there is more awareness .... guess men have always known that :-)
Anyway, right after I run to Publix for bags of greens and fat free salad dressing I'm going over to check out the work that needs to be done at the mansion. Then spend some time with my son/his wife/and the two grandbabies. They've been in town visiting her family and are leaving for home tomorrow.
I meet with the Hurricane Grill owner on Monday to talk about what needs to be done there.
So I'll go finish my coffee dockside and get this day started.