Messing about in boats

I have to say that this was one painting (or pair of paintings) executed under the most hostile of weathers.  No, not so much heat, but the desiccating wind.  I had to stop on the second morning and go back for a short session closer to dawn on the third day, and then it was a struggle.  The good news is that once I’d drawn up the letters, I could quickly go from one side to the other, painting layers, knowing full well that that my start point would be completely dry by the time I returned to it in about 25 minutes.  At the end of the second day I had to quit because the paint was drying on the brush.  The east side of the boat was too hot to work, and the west side, in the shade and wind, I was shivering.  And I still had to figure out how to spray with an acrylic glaze with the UV component – in a stiff breeze.

Nevertheless ‘Poseidon’ has its name on its sides and today will be test launched.  Eventually this boat will carry a solar powered pump which will pump water from the Salton Sea into the marina ‘fingers’ in Desert Shores, to maintain the water level and mitigate red agae.  Launch day is on Sunday.



Easter bunny.

Easter saw me not egg hunting, but preparing a nest.  Carter James is due to join us on earth in the next month or so, and his Mom wanted his name and initial painted on the wall of his nursery.  As the nursery is between my place and my other half’s place, the logistics figured out best if I went by on Easter morning.  That worked for the family too, it was a lazy morning and they relaxed downstairs while I inscribed on Carter’s wall.

nursery name mural

A big C for the little C on the way.

Come for the weather, stay for the art

There are indeed many many murals in the Coachella Valley.  (6 traffic boxes are mine!)  Here’s an invitation from the Palm Springs Life magazine to go looking for them.


Fixing a box #3.

Today was the first day of color underpainting.  I’m happy that I got through it all without running out of Cobalt, but I did have to run out for Cobalt and Cadmium Yellow later as I don’t have enough for the next coat.

Traffic signal box mural

Starting to look like a mural.

I was thinking when I was painting that I should have a few business cards in my pocket, just in case.  Indeed that was true as someone did ask me for one when he was stopped at the lights.  He just pulled round the corner and we exchanged info.  Tomorrow, business cards!  (Although the conversation was useful and might end up in something further.)

Crow on light pole

Distant admirer.

Fixing a box.

A few years ago I painted a mural on a traffic signal box for the City of Indio.  It’s on Monroe Avenue so I name it Marilyn’s Morning.

Traffic signal box mural

Marilyn’s Morning, traffic signal box painting for Indio, CA

I guess something in there needed a bit of an upgrade, and there was an addition to the box.  Monday and this morning I spent time working on bringing the addition up to match with the rest of the box.  My phone omitted to save the ‘before’ and ‘after first coat of undercoat’, but here it is after the second coat.  I’ll be putting the last undercoat layer on tomorrow morning when I’m on my way to set up for the art fair in Palm Springs.  The weather is still to warm to paint much beyond 10am, so I’ll be making the best use of passing not too far from the box each day.

February’s monthly newsletter

This month I’m reflecting on some Community Service that I have been engaged in.

Flying the flag.

US Flag on lattice breezeway wall

Entryway to American Dreams Real Estate office.

A couple months ago I was asked to look at a lattice breezeway wall and quote for painting a US flag on it.  If you don’t also get my newsletters, it ended up being a work in progress at the end of last month, as there were a number of miscalculations and reworks.  Anyway, yesterday I finished it!  The lattice-ness of the metal leaves the flag looking like it’s waving in the wind – and leaves spaces were stars should sometimes be, which made the placement of them… interesting.  I learned a lot on this project

  1. There are precise relative measurements for the dimensions of the US flag (I was happy to find that was true).
  2. Spray paint gives great coverage and an awesome, smooth finish.
  3. Lattices are really tough to block off areas because they’re so wiggly.
  4. You can’t work with spray paint if it’s the least little bit breezy.
  5. Pigments differ markedly between manufacturers (worse than I already knew).
  6. You need a very steady hand to draw stars freehand and get the edges straight.
  7. I do not have steady hands.
  8. I will learn how well these paints stand up to the desert heat and sun.
  9. I like working on metal – this is the third on-metal project I have done.

One thing that this perhaps will lead into is the possibility of my doing paintings on metal – specifically to be outdoor art.  I’ve been asked about that a couple of times recently, and have also had a colleague recommend a suitable source of metal panels on which to paint.  I think I will recommend a coat of the UV Resistant spray that I use on refractured watercolors that are on panel – perhaps that will help preserve the colors longer, without being too expensive.  There is a product I have used on the first signal box mural, that is anti-UV and graffiti resistant, but do not want to commit the building owner to the fact they may never be able to paint over it.