Painting a Public Sign and Gate

I am seriously behind with posting on this blog; however, that does not mean I haven’t been making art! On the contrary, I have been very productive.

I plan to write about some of my art today and more in the near future.

My life revolves around making art and travel.

Traveling means there are many opportunities to meet new people, draw and paint, commune and play; I am truly fortunate.

I always take basic drawing and painting supplies with me when I travel. I now have several sketch books with wonderful memories etched into my mind. This way I remember the sights MUCH more vividly.

drawing 7

Caribbean Island Cruise, 2015.


Now for an update on two recent public art experiences:

Project 1-Neighborhood Sign

My neighborhood is small. A quaint seaside location in the Northwest…just across the Puget Sound from Seattle. It is quiet, tranquil and charming; like a miniature Cape Cod setting. Most of the neighbors have lived here for quite some time and are native to this area; we, on the other hand, are newcomers. On any given day, no matter what the weather is…people walk. It is flat and scenic; perfect for a nice walk.  Part of the scenery is the lovely yards and gardens. A very thoughtful neighbor came up with the idea to acknowledge fellow neighbors for efforts put into creating such beauty for all of us to enjoy. Her idea was to present a sign to neighbors to thank them. This sign would be displayed in front of their property for two weeks. This neighbor would in-turn, pass it to another neighbor to continue the gratitude.

She asked me if I would be willing to paint the sign. I agreed, but I have to admit I was a bit hesitant as I have never painted a sign before; however, like most new adventures I was willing to “give it a go”.

It takes a village

We collaborated on the message content. Her husband painted the sandwich board sign (donated by another neighbor, Dave) a glorious shade of PURPLE; this color set the tone. I selected colors that would complement and stand out for all to notice.

I wanted the sign it to be special and yet not overdone…it is a sign…not fine art; none the less…I wanted to present a sign that was beautiful. It was a good challenge for me; one that I am delighted I took on.

I used acrylic paint. I learned that thinning it with (only) water is not the best for longevity. My research revealed that the best product to use is airbrush medium. It is very thin opposed to other acrylic mediums and it worked like a charm.

Watch this you tube VIDEO  to learn more about this.

Some of my paints are a bit old. It was difficult to thin them enough to paint fluidly. Once I learned how to properly thin the paint my efforts rapidly improved.

Progression:

First I drew several designs on paper. I chose the one I like best and drew it loosely on the wood sign with chalk pencil.

 

Side 2-Preparation

Side 2-Preparation

The design was filled in with a base coat of white and white mixed with yellow.

Side 1 Complete

Side 1 Complete

I added shadows under the petals and foliage which made them pop.

Side 2-Complete

Side 2-Complete

A few bumble bees and lady bugs are tucked within the grasses and foliage.

To top it off, another neighbor (Cheryl) drew a very nice Zen Tangle style card that is given to each recipient to commemorate the award.

What a nice idea, thanks to (Sandy) the neighbor who came up with the concept.

Positive affirmation at its best!


Project 2-Garden Gate

We have lived in our present home for 6 years now. This home is the first one that we decided to have landscaped; quite a switch for us as we usually DIY most projects. I designed the plan and my (diligent and talented) husband has painstakingly kept it up. We are very happy with it. Here in the North West the climate is perfect for growing many types of plants; no wonder it is called the Ever Green State.

The garden is partially fenced and has a hedge in front and back. It is for the most part, private. We left an opening in the hedge in the back to exit for easy access to the beach across the street. I’ve been thinking about adding a (decorative) gate at that open spot for quite some time.

Finally, after painting the sign I decided it was time for a nice gate. We ordered a manufactured gate (Amazon) which is highly weatherproof. My husband painted it the shade of “white” to match our house. The pristine surface was like a white canvas begging to be painted.

It was fun to paint and I am quite pleased with the results.

Gate-Street Side

Gate-Street Side

I decided to decorate the gate different for each side. On the street side I drew basic (zen tangle like) black lines to highlight the design of the gate.

Gate-Street side close up

Gate-Street side close up

On the inside (garden view) I decided to paint (fantasy) flowers.

Gate-Inside view

Gate-Inside view

Gate-Inside/Close up

Gate-Inside/Close up

Again, I used acrylic paint.

One plant in the hedge had to be removed; the gap will gradually fill around the posts. It is not for security! Rather, for fun…

PS. We are the current recipients of the neighborhood sign! How perfect.

I love to receive comments! Tell me what you think about these projects.

PPS. I highly recommend the video on painting with acrylic paints. There is no point to put effort into painting and eventually observe it is not sound. In this case I wanted the paint to hold up to the outdoor elements. The video will open your eyes to the vital importance of properly thinning the paint and preserve the quality of (the paint and) works of art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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