Posts tagged ‘arts’

Public Art – The One Cool Thing About Jury Duty

Ah yes, jury duty, one of those things we all dread doing.   This was the second time after many years that I had been called in to participate, however unlike the first time, I actually served on a jury.  Pretty intense.  I’m glad that it was just a civil case that lasted for a couple of days.

While I wasn’t all that thrilled about being holed up in the courthouse, I had to admit that it was a beautiful facility.  If you’re a juror in Charlotte-Mecklenburg you have to applaud how they’ve made the process so easy to follow.  From a logistics standpoint, it was a breeze getting to the parking garage from I-277 followed by a short walk to the courthouse.  There is a waiting room on one of the floors with theater seating, an area with desktop computers,  a full service break room, free Wi-Fi, and chairs specifically designed for people using on laptops.  But you probably don’t want to hear about all of that because this is an art blog for Pete’s sake.

And there certainly was art there.  Public art,  the other bright spot.  The only unfortunate thing was that I was unable to identify the artists that created the work.  Let’s say signage wasn’t very present, if  at all.

My first encounter with a piece of public art was when I was leaving the parking garage and heading towards the corner of McDowell and Fourth.  It was a large metal hand sculpture.  I called it,  “The Helping Hand” which sounds like a fitting name.  It was all I could do to NOT climb on it but the block was practically teeming with Sheriffs.

Helping Hand

As I crossed the street and immediately entered the security area of the courthouse, I caught hold of this stunning ceiling design above me.  What you see are these perforations that allow the florescent lights to come through but it mutes the lighting enough to  soften the overall look of the area.

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Once I got through security I entered the main lobby and saw this awesome work suspended from the ceiling.  The image is a human face, however what you don’t see until you take a closer look is that the image is made up of a collection of smaller human faces that are suspended from the ceiling.

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And then of course here is what I call “The Writing on the Wall” which are the stone etchings along the facade of the courthouse.  I think a lot of courthouses across the country have these similar etchings.  There are plenty more than just this one here but I was in a hurry getting back from lunch.

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I also took this shot on my way back to lunch.  This was near the Government Center which is about a block or two from the courthouse. It’s an older piece  that’s been around for a long time.  When I first saw photos of it that was back in the mid-nineties.   As you can see it’s sitting in an empty fountain.  I remember the photo showed this piece sitting in the fountain while it was running, thus creating a more dramatic effect.

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So that concludes my tour!  Charlotte, as usual, your beautiful weather did not disappoint!  Art is a reward for those who continue to look for it!  Fortunately this go round, I didn’t have to work that hard.

Yes, I am still among the living!

So I must own up to being a total slacker on the blogging front.  So much for writing consistently.  Things have been pretty busy lately.

A couple of weekends ago, I went to New York to support my sister’s solo photography exhibit in Brooklyn called “Visions of New York.”   It was a great exhibit and I want to post more about this later because there are some great things I’d like to share.   She did an awesome job and worked her tail off.  I am very proud of her and feel inspired to do something similar in the future.

I elected NOT to do the All Arts Market in July because I needed the time to create new material however, I’ve signed up to do it for August17.  That will be the start of a crazy weekend because the following Saturday, I will be attending a church retreat most of the day, AND playing in a volleyball tournament that starts that evening.  I am nuts!

Next month, our church will have its annual homecoming event.   We have a Visual Arts Ministry to which I am the coordinator of.  I am rounding up artists (both members and non-members) to see if they would like to display their art during that weekend.  Last year’s display display was a success.  This year I expect more artist participation.

Yesterday I was in my studio (that still sounds strange to me but in a good way) working on my “Black and White and Red All Over” series.  This time I am painting individual throwing stars on small 6″ x 6″ canvases.   I will do a total of three and then follow up with painting three stars on a larger separate canvas.   Here is my work in progress on the first one.

Whew!  With so much going on I wonder, “What am I thinking doing all of this stuff?”   Well, I’m under the impression that I can do it ALL!!

Drawing Out Loud For A Year Now!

One thing that my blog and I both have in common is that this month we are one year older.  I wrote my first post about a year ago as I was also frantically preparing for the Arts Market.

Stepping into the art scene has been an experience and I have learned a lot.  Sometimes I think I should be further ahead than where I am now but I have to remind myself that it’s only been a year.

I still face a lot of the same issues such as:

  • Time management
  • Finding other venues to sell my work besides fairs and markets
  • Dealing with insecurities and fear of rejection
  • Procrastination
  • Learning how to effectively use social media for marketing purposes

On a more positive note I have no regrets.  I will not have to ask myself the question, “What if?”   Even if I fail, I will have won anyway because I tried.

One thing that also struck me was that you never know who’s watching you.  I was surprised when a very good friend of mine told me that I inspired her.  She admired that I was so determined to pursue my art in spite of my having a full-time job.   Even as you go through trials your struggle can be a blessing to someone else.   That was part of the reason why my friend, who is a very talented and creative person herself,  started to apply to art schools.

Finally, it’s just nice to make art, period.  We are creative beings and we need to nurture that side of us. It’s quite rewarding to be able to create something from start to finish.  When it’s all done you can point to yourself and proudly say, ” I did that!”

Soooo with all that said, Happy Birthday Drawing Out Loud!  Muuuaaahhh!!  Looking forward to many more birthdays to come!

New Sketch: Patridge In A Pear Tree

Okay so it’s already May!  Time is flying! My birthday is  just around the corner, and it occurred to me that it won’t be long before the arrival of Christmas.  Yeesh!  I shudder at the thought.

This prompted me to start generating some ideas for my on-going “Twelve Days of Christmas” project.   I started working on my sketch a couple of days ago for “Partridge In A Pear Tree.”   Back in 2010, I created an earlier version in watercolor pencil and used it for Christmas cards to send to friends and family.  The final product turned out fairly well, however months later after completing some of the other pieces in the “Twelve Days” collection, this partridge now seems so serious by comparison.

This time, I want to make the new one brighter and a little more animated so here is the latest sketch below.  I love him!  He has just finished eating a pear that was hovering above him and is leaning back, full belly and all, feeling extremely satisfied.  When I create the final, the leaves will be even larger and overlapping, thus eliminating any white space.  I am considering the use of oil pastels to make the colors pop.  No surprise, I will probably struggle with the decision of what colors to use for the partridge.  There’s a good chance that I won’t stick to the same palette in the sketch or even the original partridge drawing for that matter.

Sketch: The Veil

As I had stated in my last post, I was going to show the sketches that I drew while I was at the Rock Hill Pottery and Arts Festival.

This one here is called “The Veil” and is something that  I am committed to launching into final production.  A couple of years God gave me this image in a dream when I was going through a particularly dark time in my life. It really speaks to Christ’s  redeeming love that is always there even we make mistakes and find it difficult to forgive ourselves.  The message is pretty powerful and I realize that it not just meant for me but that it’s also meant to be shared with others.  So I plan to really get cranking  so I can share the whole story.

As always, there is so much planning involved before I begin working on a final piece.   There are a few more images that I need to flesh out.   I also want to practice drawing columns and stone so I can achieve the look that I want.  The size will be roughly  24″ x 36″ and my medium will be chalk pastel.  I’m looking forward to sharing the final work with you!

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