This past weekend I had the pleasure of participating in Northlands Music & Arts Festival in Swanzey, NH. It was a challenging and fun experience that I had a lot of fun working on.
The Giant 3D Mural
Leading up to the weekend I worked on painting 8-foot tall letters that spelled out EARTH (above). The team at Northlands requested that I paint the E and H in blues and greens to represent planet Earth. I decided to go with a semi-simplified version of my abstract art…somewhere between that and my minimalist-ish Magic Spills. They also desired that ART be in all the other colors, and in a different style. I opted for my custom art style and incorporated an animal representing different disciplines of creativity on each letter. Trevor Cutter of Cutter Construction, and Tyler King constructed the letters for this monster mural!
On the front, the A depicts a great dane working at a potters wheel. This represents sculpture and craft. The R shows a squid yielding a typewriter, glasses, quill and ink, book, pencil and eraser (literary arts). Finally, a cute, paint-covered monkey is brandishing a banjo to represent music.
On the back, The T features a flying bird lifting a paintbrush dripping with paint (visual arts). The paint swirls to the back to cover the banjo playing monkey. A fun group consisting of a ballerina lizard, a wiggling snake, and a stoic snail represent performance arts on the R. Finally, a triangle spider is banging on some rudimentary percussion instruments on the rear of the A. Music gets two letters since we were at a music festival after all.
I’m really happy with how the final product came out. The most challenging aspects were painting in the tight spots on the sides and dealing with curves. Coping with a foot injury in the midst of it all was another layer of pain.
During the festival I was tasked with painting two murals too. On day one I wanted to do a spontaneous abstract piece using left over paint from the EARTH mural. Even though a storm was looming, the weather held out, and I was able to get that one done. The performances guided the shapes, lines and colors chosen throughout the day.
The second day did not work out at all due to constant rain. The wood became too saturated. I tried to paint during dry spells, but any applications I added just dripped off. Painting an animal to tie it into the EARTH mural would have been cool, but I forgot to bring references. However, a live model, in the form of a grasshopper, was hanging out on my panel. The leaves were going to be part of flowers. The texture the rain created on partially dried areas is kind of cool though. Who knows, maybe I’ll get invited back to finish it!