Mural Painting at the Vineyard Church

The Vineyard Church here in Springfield, MO wanted a mural for their children’s ministry, and I am always looking for ways to use my art as ministry since that is my gifting.

Josh, one of the pastors, wanted a tree with the fruit of the spirit. In the New Living Translation (NLT) Bible, Galatians 5:18-25 says “But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”

I was actually inspired from the Harry Potter movie series.

After looking at some pictures of the “Black Family Tree,” I sketched up this drawing.

I brought the mural painting supplies and kept them in a closet at the church while I worked. I used pencils, ruler, willow charcoal, eraser, paint brushes, Velspar house paint samples, acrylic paint (Winsor & Newton Galleria: Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Mars Black, Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue, and Pale Umber. Golden: Cadmium Red Medium Hue and Burnt Sienna. Liquitex Basics: Raw Sienna. Liquitex: Raw Umber. Grumbacher Academy: Titanium White and Burnt Sienna), brushes, soap, latex gloves, paper towels, palette knife, plastic cups, baking pans, palette paper, painters, Masters Hand Soap, a tarp, ladder, and diaper bag.

I drew up the top and bottom borders with a ruler and pencil.  The projector I use sometimes was too small to cover such a large area. So, I just freehanded the mural using willow charcoal.

   

I then printed out copies of the sketch and used inktense pencils to decide the color scheme for the mural.

I used Velspar house paint samples from Lowes to paint all of the mural except for the scenes with the people, which I used acrylic paint. It took three to five coats of the house paint for some colors to cover the wall.

A couple of my artsy/artist friends Kara, Lindsay, and Stashia came to help me paint while our kids had a playdate (now that’s multitasking at its finest). And of course M jumped in a bit to help paint as well.

E loved the scene depicting self-control. She kept pointing to the cupcake saying “cupcake” and then pretend eating it with her pincher fingers and making “mmm” noises.

M and our daughter E would go with me most days and sometimes my friend Lacy from Gallery Gal would also meet me because she was painting the Lord’s Prayer on another wall. It took me about three months to complete (going about three times a week for roughly one hour each session).



Hopefully this mural will not only make the space more fun and enjoyable for the kids, but it will also make it easy for them to learn the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

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Art Show at Midtown Carnegie Branch Library

When we first moved back to Springfield in June last year, I approached the reference librarian at Midtown Carnegie Branch Library, who also happened to book the art shows. I sent her the usual and appropriate materials via email and she liked what I sent. We booked a show for September 2017. I went and took pictures of the space to decide what show and sizes would work well.

I decided that the “Family Life Illustration” series at 11×14″ in 16×20″ frames would work well in this community space visually and conceptually. M helped me carry in all of the work and art hanging supplies. I set the pieces against the wall to decide on placement.

Gallery Gal showed up to help me hang the work.

We measured, hammered, and hung. When finished hanging, we leveled, placed the exhibition labels next to each piece, and put up the artist statement. I have a “The Process of Hanging an Art Show” post to reference of more specific show hanging details.



The “Family Life Illustrations” exhibit will be at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library through the end of November 2017.

 

Art Show at Bookmarx

In December 2016, I went into Bookmarx – this little locally owned bookstore on Walnut Street – with a friend. I noticed they had a gallery space in the back that was surprisingly large. I started talking with the owner Aubrey. She told me to send her an email with some samples of my work. I did send her some samples and she liked them. She said an artist had backed out for March, and I said that would be great to show then.

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I went by about a month before set up and measured the space. I like to know which pieces will fit in the space in advance. I drew up a diagram of the space and was able to fit almost the entire show in it.

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I took the unframed pieces to Gallery Gal. I really wanted the frames to match and knew they could get the job done! Matthew was able to match the exact wood (soft maple).

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In the meantime, I sent Aubrey info  (including a picture of the exhibition postcard, artist bio and the artist statement) for the Springfield Regional Arts Council promotional information for the First Friday Art Walk.

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As is always the case, time flew by and it was already time to go set up the show. M offered to take the paintings to Bookmarx for me and as he’s been pretty active at Royal Barbell these days, he had no problem loading and unloading all 13 pieces for me. Then after calling Gallery Gal for some help with hanging the artwork I put my show-hanging bag together and my work boots on and headed out.

This is my process of how I hang an art show:
#1 Once the paintings are in the space I organize them – leaning them against the wall. This way I can get a pretty good idea of how they will look in the space and with each other.

#2 I unload the contents of my show-hanging bag which includes: hammer, picture hangers (50 lbs), blue painters tape, white artist tape, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, art labels (in a recycled stationary box), notebook (with secret formula), tape measure, ruler, level, writing pen, and micron ink pens. It’s also practical to bring a step ladder to these kind of things.

#3 I measure the space between the wall edges and the paintings, so that they are all even.

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#4 I work out the eye level for each piece by using the secret formula. Because the whole reason I have made this blog was to share with you my artist process, I am going to share the secret formula! Make sure to include the frame for all measurements. Also, if you are getting numbers like “.185” just round up to quarters (.25, .5, .75).

THE SECRET FORMULA FOR HANGING ART
Measure the Length (up and down) and divide it by 2 = x
Measure the Length (up and down) from the highest point of the picture hanger (when pulling up on it) and the top of the painting = y
Subtract x from y and add 56. x-y+56=z (The standard eye level is 56-58, but I’m a bit on the short side, so I favor the 56.)
Place the tape measure on the floor in the center of the painting and pull up all the way to whatever number z was and mark a dot in pencil on the wall. That is where you will put your picture hanger.
Example: 50.5 ÷ 2 = 25.25 (x)10.5 (y) + 56 = 70.75 (z)

#5 Hang work and use the level tool (a level is a tool to make sure the painting is not hanging crooked). Place piece of painters tape or artist tape on the back of the art labels and place next to the piece wherever it looks good – usually on the bottom right about an inch or so from the artwork. I also use tape to mount my artist statement, which I have printed on large, shiny foam board.


 

The art opening was the next day. The art opening is typically when the artist is present at their show. It may be a time for them to meet and maybe make some fans too.


 

There was a pretty good turnout – a lot of my friends came out. Thanks friends!


15 Illustrations: The Damsels in Distress Cakewalk

I am working with Inktense pencils, Micron ink pens, and Canson Illustration 11×14″ 150lb art pad to create 15 illustrations (that is how many pieces of paper are in the art pad) of my current family life and inspirations.

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This work is narrative in content and uses color in a monochromatic way accentuating one part of each drawing. These fun and quirky illustrations are a reflection of the current joy and activities I have been experiencing.

“The Damsels in Distress Cakewalk” is a piece based on an event that happened a couple of months ago. Our friend Mr. C invited us – The Damsels in Distress – to be one of the opening bands for Chris Staples who was stopping through Springfield on his “Golden Age” album release tour on a Monday evening Labor Day.

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We were sitting in the kitchen and talking about what our set list would be when M asked me, “what would get you out on a Monday night to see a band play?” I immediately said that I would go somewhere if there was free food and if there was a chance for me to win a prize. And then I said, “like a cakewalk.” Then we both looked at each other and nodded vigorously. We would do a cakewalk! So, I made up some flyers.

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We taped numbers on the floor and had a volunteer roll dice after each song. Whoever was standing on the number that was rolled won a cake from HyVee or coffee from the Coffee Ethic or the Mudhouse. It was a fun time. I drew this picture of what it looked like when I imagined it, and used Inktense pencils Iris Blue and Mauve blended together.

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Some of my favorite parts of this drawing are the people walking in a circle,

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this guy’s stubble and this girl’s crown,

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this girl’s braids, this guy’s party blower, and this girl’s Lularoe bicycle dress,

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The Damsels in Distress playing the guitar and accordion,

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our baby and friend who carried her during our show (thanks Gallery Gal!),

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the fun party decorations,

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and all of the delicious looking cakes!

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15 Illustrations: Key of G

I am working with Inktense pencils, Micron ink pens, and Canson Illustration 11×14″ 150lb art pad to create 15 illustrations (that is how many pieces of paper are in the art pad) of my current family life and inspirations.

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This work is narrative in content and uses color in a monochromatic way accentuating one part of each drawing. These fun and quirky illustrations are a reflection of the current joy and activities I have been experiencing.

“Key of G” is a musical family portrait in the playroom. G was the first note our baby played on her Casio keyboard. I liked this drawing so much that I made it into E’s first birthday party invitations and thank you notes. It’s super fun with all of the patterns, shapes, and there is that party pink color again. I used Inktense Carmine Pink and Fuchsia blended. I never thought I would be a little girl pink promoter, but goodness there are so many cool things in pink!

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Some of my favorite details of this drawing are the thread in a jar, the piano, the piano bench cushion pattern, M’s fun socks (completely made up), the rug pattern inspired by The Land of Nod,

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the play kitchen with the triangles on the wall (which the pink triangle decals are from the Land of Nod and placed by Gallery Gal), our fun family musical portrait,

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me playing accordion, E playing the maracas, Ein playing the jingle bells,

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the fun pendant (that I designed and embroidered), table cloth triangle pattern, and flowers in the kitchen, M playing the concertina (Grandpa and Grandma Sugar gave us the concertina – thanks!),

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and the musical alphabet banner I made.

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The inspiration for this drawing (wall done by Gallery Gal in Springfield, MO):

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The embroidery pendant I made:

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