Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Recent Work

A lots been going on. I taught a mural class with the DPAP
(Decorative Painter Apprenticeship Program )

We had a small class but completed a mural to help renovate a wonderful old building in New Orleans that was recovering from the Damage caused by Katrina. The building will open for business in City Park, NO, in just a few days. If anyone could see that park, could meet the people of the city of New was immensely moving, but heart lifting as well.

And... the food was AWESOME... Go for the food, enjoy the music, shed a tear for the devastation and learn how people can knit a city together with the effort of their will and very little else. Put it on your destination list. New Orleans is a city with a cleansed soul and a richer, stronger community to share.

On the renovation front... My studio is full of maple for our new addition. The floors will be beautiful and my studio will never have been so fully functional or so comfortable... imagine that I'll have running water, good storage, granite counters (salvage of course) and good light. I'll be able to handle a mural on canvas as large as anyone can throw at me....! I'm excited beyond what I can express.

The first project for my studio will be to host an event for SALI. We have taken on another charity this year. Along with several other artist's groups in Austin, we plan on creating panels designed around the thought of "Hope" as will be imagined and explained by the residents at a local home for adolescent children. This residential treatment facility is the home of as many as 45 young people whose support system has let them down. In dialog with these residents we will create 5-7 panels that will be installed in their living areas to remind them that the world can be hopeful. The date is not set, but we will convene in my newly appointed studio and give it a good christening..... I can't imagine a more fitting beginning to the studio than to create beauty for people sorely need it.

I am doing more murals than ever. I will be teaching a short class in two point perspective at our next SALI ( ) meeting here in Austin. It will be a taste of what I taught in New Orleans, which was actually my first class ever.

I just got back from Santa Fe where I experimented with a new process of wall finishing. It resembles some Clay products, but it will not rub off after it cures. Its perhaps not quite as 'green' but it is very low voc and as yet will have the durability that a modern home requires.

Here is the trick.... take regular setting type Joint Compound, otherwise known as 90 minute mud, a gypsum product. Rather than mixing it with water, mix it with a mix of half concrete bonding additive and half water, and some pigment. Use a drill mixer to whip it into a consistancy of whipped butter. I used Raw Sienna an some Hansa Yellow and a bit of Red Oxide to get the color shown in the picture..... I also added a cup of small grit Mica (American Clay pigment product) to give it sparkle.

Aside from a bit of soreness from staying up til two to get the job done before I left SF..... it looks GORGEOUS and it doesn't wipe off the wall on the first day!

I think I found a new favorite! Inexpensive, beautiful, durable, and won't harm the environment.... nice!