I finished the pillars that are located by the 4th graders classrooms. Since school has started, it was really nice to have some interaction with the children when they had to change classrooms. With the pillars, I noticed I was getting a lot of positive feedback from the teachers and even the kids. The pillars took a lot longer than I thought it would. I have to believe it has something to do with the brick and how much it takes in the paint. When I finished painting all the words with different colors, I noticed that it didn’t stand out as much as I thought it would. So I went back and outlined the lettering in white which really helped it pop. What I really enjoyed about doing this was the words I was able to put on the pillars. I used inspirational words such as: hope, dream, believe, imagine, succeed. These type of words will be great daily reminders for the children and even the faculty and staff. I hope when they walk down that outside hall they are able to take it in and reflect. The only negative I would have to say about the pillars is the fact I was outside. The heat was incredibly brutal but I did make sure to keep myself hydrated. I will post images of the pillars on my next post.
I have been working outside on the pillars. It is so hot out! Needless to say, I have covered almost all of the pillars with words except two, which I will be finishing. I have attached images of the pillars. I really like how when you walk down the halls no matter which way you are coming from, the words are visible. Once I am done with all the words I am going to go back and outline them in white so it stands out a bit more. Yesterday was the first day back for the teachers and school starts this Monday for the little ones. I have never painted brick before, and what I have learned thus far is how much it soaks the paint. I also have to work with a rough surface that is hardly smooth or flat. When my day was over yesterday I headed back to the main office to drop off my supplies in my shopping cart. Sweaty and tired and not ready to head out to my corporate job; I noticed these two siblings having so much fun with my mural. The little boy touched the mural and would point out what the images were. “Book, basketball…” This brought me so much joy to see my work as an interactive piece. They kept jumping around the mural and picking up on the shapes. I asked the mother if I could take the picture of them interacting and just absolutely adore this shot.
I finished the mural in the main office. I am quite happy with the way it turned out. The response from the kids is what makes it really worth it. It is quite exciting to know as an artist I was able to positively contribute to a school and change the area just by adding colors to a white surface. The mural is filled with symbols for the kids, shapes and subjects. I tried my best to include as much as I could. I spent a lot of time in the main office and I created great relationships with the staff. When a parent would come in for a question, I’d sometime be able to answer it for them. For today, I have started working on the pillars outside, painting inspiring words on each one. There are 13 pillars and we have decided to put the words on both sides of the pillars so no matter which way you are coming from you will be able to see it. The weather seems questionable today, looks like it might rain but I will do as much as I can. School starts the 15th for the little ones. I wish I could be a fly on the wall to see their reactions. I will have pictures uploaded of the pillars when I get a little farther in the project. Also, I will take a picture today and share of the whole mural in the main office.
The main office floors were cleaned this week, so I spent most of my week working with Ericka and coming up with plans for the outside of the school. There are brick pillars that she has requested me to paint with inspirational words, such as: believe, achieve, hope, etc. I’ve decided to keep this simple and just have an eclectic style font in black and white, with a color background. We have also decided to have it facing on both sides of the pillar so no matter which side you are walking on you will see the words. I cant wait to see how that looks. Today I spent my morning working on the mural again. I am quite uneasy today about how its coming along. I find myself jumping around on ideas but know that I just need to stay focused and just keep painting. Next week I would like to have the mural finished so I can start and finish our other projects we have set up. I am excited for the end result but have to remember to enjoy the ride and make the best out of what I can. This weekend I plan on sketching ideas that maybe can work for the mural or just let it be, we will see by Monday. On a personal note, I am tired. Between my full time job and this, I return home exhausted. But I am grateful.
What a busy week I have had thus far, and it’s only Wednesday! I am quite proud of myself for balancing a full time job and then putting in my hours for Starke Elementary. I have started the mural in the main office this week. I decided to keep the outside of it simple with its organic forms, almost Matisse-an, adding the koalas in as well (their mascot.) In the center, I will fill in the circle with their school name, motto and other imagery that symbolizes the school. I have met the art teacher of the school. Her and I have been working together to liven up the main office. What I found super interesting is the working environment. As an artist, I am used to being in my own space; with myself and music and getting dirty with the paint. Here I have an audience to work with. The ladies who work at the office have given me much support along the way, but the feeling of having people behind you, potentially watching is still foreign. Since it is summer school, there are the occasional kids who come in with their parents or by themselves. I made a point to ask what they thought and get feedback as much as I can. Today there was a little boy who sat next to me while waiting. He watched and asked questions, such as “Why are you doing this?” ” Are you an artist?” I really enjoy the fact that I have been given such an opportunity to give back to the kids and their school. Tomorrow I work opening shift at my work, and then from their I go straight to the school. Long day ahead of me. But it has taught to be more balanced and organize the time I have. I will for sure pack my lunch tomorrow and get a good night’s sleep.
So this was my first blog from July 7th. Unfortunately I was not using the right page and was just writing directly on wordpress.
This is my first time “blogging.” I am new to this, and find it quite awkward but will move along and continue.
I have been honored an internship role through Stetson and now proudly hold the responsibilities of creating murals for an Elementary School in Deland, called Edith 1 Starke Elementary. I have been in contact with the teacher who organized this and have met her several times as well. Her name is Ericka, and she is a people person which I like a lot. When first seeing the school, I was kind of shocked at how bland and drab the school’s buildings are and have been. The main office is just sterile and white, and the outside is just brick. As an artist who usually works with a bright pallet, I was personally offended by the lack of color. Ericka has provided me a list of ideas, and sayings and locations, etc. They have given me artistic freedom but with the list, I do feel a little constrained in what I should. My initial sketches were inspired by Matisse’s later cut out works: shapes, repetition and bright color but now that there is some criteria I should meet: symbols, school mascot, etc. I have some tweaking to do on my sketches over the weekend. I am quite confident in what I am going to do for this school and know it will turn out great. Ericka and I have gone supply shopping already and this Monday I start in the main office. Now, in the main office, I want that mural to be the main piece and have the rest of the pieces I do around the school reflect from that mural, as if the pieces are all part of a set.
I will start updating my posts with pictures and plan on writing another post after my day at school Monday.