Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 29th, our 14th painting session

Well, I missed six painting sessions while I was away in California awaiting the birth of our first Grandchild, so catching up to Chris and Dawn is going to be hard to do.  Chris posted some of the painting sessions while I was away, so this blog is almost up-to-date.  Baby Salem was born July 11th, and here she is--the prettiest flower in my garden!
Baby Salem

Now back to the mural.  I was dazzled by Dawn's progress and the imaginative elements of her panel.  The closer you look the more you see.  The colors and wildlife in it are outstanding, and the landscape is just beautiful ... and very peaceful.  This is an excellent abbreviation of what are the the "jewels" of our portion of this paradise. 
Dawn's Panel
We three are becoming very inspired with this project and are trying our best to portray the attributes of this area.

Following is Chris's panel, and did she nail those manatees!!  She was having a ball painting in all those little fishies.  Chris puts a lot of effort into her research, which has paid off well in the beautiful and interesting elements of her panel.  She's a pro at painting marine life and other critters, and she also brings to the project years of experience with murals and excellent handling of the paints and equipment used in creating large works on a variety of surfaces.  And thanks again Chris for blogging for me!
Christine's Panel

Although by the end of today's session I was happy with the way my building was starting to "pop," I have lots to catch up on.  Missing 40 to 50 hours of painting leaves me trailing behind.  And next session (Monday August 1st) I can't avoid it any longer--I must tackle that darned Vero Furniture buiding facade architecture--eugh!  Such a complicated entryway!
Judy's Panel
And if you're looking for an orderly progression of this mural you won't find it here.  It is such a large project, and such a long day (usually 8-8:30 to 4 or 5), that in order to keep ourselves interested and inspired we tend to paint whichever part of the panel strikes our fancy, thereby keeping our "juices" flowing.  We are now really starting to see it come alive, and our inspiration for the project is reflected in the quality of the progress.  The day goes by so fast that we usually aren't ready to quit at quitting time.  However there is such a mess that we have to remember to save some energy for clean-up.  See the mess below?
Messy, messy, messy!
This is such an exciting project, I can't wait to see it finished and to share it with the Town of Vero Beach and surrounding communities.

Following is a picture of the Vero Beach Community Center on 14th Avenue, in case you've never been there.  The marquee out front lists some activities within and around town.  Locals and visitors should keep an eye on the marquee for interesting upcoming events.
Vero Beach Community Center
Community Center Marquee
Well, that's it for now ... I'm posting this on a Sunday evening, and tomorrow's already another painting session!  G'nite!
Judy Burgarella
Blogger for the Vero Beach Mural Project

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 11th & July 15th, Our 9th and 10th Mural Painting Sessions

Congrats to Judy and Bob who became new Grandparents on Monday, July 11th. We welcome their new granddaughter and anxiously await her photos!

I am combining our days here on our blog, they are starting to blend together like our paint and our canvases. All of our canvas panels need to flow into each other to keep continuity. It is a challenge going from one to another, but actually fun to come up with ways to create that flow.

The Community center summer campers were pretty quiet today, just a few little heads popping in every now and then. Dawn did have a couple of her students stop in, Bill Sweet and Joseph A. Gomez. They both said watching us paint was like getting a free lesson. Both great guys giving us wonderful encouragement.

Friday July 15th was a very quiet day, Dawn and I would have loved to have painted on for hours more, but our legs and backs let us know when it is time to clean our brushes, along with Rob Slezak, he always drops in to see how much more time we need, and generously gives us a little more, and a little more....then he carefully lifts our panels off to 'hide' them for the weekend. The Community Center has numerous activities going all the time, from our beloved campers, to dance classes and weddings etc, plus this weekend they are even hosting a 'garage sale'. Then on Monday our canvases appear again, no easy task being 8' high and 6' wide. It was definitely a comedy act when we first tried to move them ourselves.

 We are progressing nicely, Dawn adding 'creatures' while I am about finished with my manatee family. Now I am on to the lagoon fish, grasses, dolphins etc. We look forward to Judy's return...we miss you!

 I would like to thank Kathy Staiger for generously lending us her wealth of research material, and Lionel Ogilvie for sharing his knowledge of fish. I am learning which fish are in the Indian River Estuary and which are in the ocean. Keeping all the plants, animals and fish accurate to their location is no easy task, we a fortunate to have artists, friends and professionals in assorted fields assisting us.

Well, here we are at the end of our 10th session, weighted down by the accoutrements of our trade, we have turned into the Bag Ladies of the Arts, otherwise known as BLA....yeah I know bla, bla, bla. :)

Christine Thomas, BLA Blogger

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 8th, Our 8th Mural Painting Session

Hi, Christine Thomas signing in to the 'mural blog'. I am filling in for Judy Burgarella while she and Bob are in California awaiting the arrival of their first grandchild. As of Sat. baby yet!

Above are the photos from our session on Friday. Mary Powell, Sr. Administrative Assistant at the Community Center admires Dawn's panel. Rob Slezak the Director of Vero Recreation looks on. This project got underway thanks to the urging of Rob. We thank you Rob! We are having a ball. (Sorry for the weird spacing, haven't figured the settings out yet :).

Above, Jackie Schembri stopped in for a visit, Jackie is a fellow artist and a student of Dawn's.
Followed by Laurie Lee, Community Center Coordinator and Gaby Dwyer, Recreation Tennis Superivisor who are checking out the manatees I am painting on the Indian River Lagoon panel.

We love having artists, friends and the public visit to view the progress of our work.

Even with all of the visitors Dawn and I got busy with our panels, grateful that we were going to have a very productive day. We thought it was going to be a quiet day since my grandson headed back to North Carolina on Thurs., though we did miss his silly slimey sludge, humor and paintings, and the help he gave us putting everything away at the end of the day. (Thanks Noah!)

Quiet it wasn't....the atmosphere and energy at the Vero Beach Community Center suddenly changed, the summer 'campers' had arrived, full of energy and song. This was Karaoke day! We were serenaded by the music of Lady Gaga, Katie Perry and Justin Beeber, "Baby, Baby, Oh Baby"(hey Judy, I think they were thinking of you). Some of the campers stopped in to see our progress. They are always so enthusiastic about our work and ask plenty of questions. It is wonderful to share with them and hopefully encourage them to paint or create their own works of art. The only problem, I can't get Baby, Baby, Oh Baby out of my head!

Well, this is my first blog posting, I will be back after Monday's session...Hurry back Judy, this is harder than it looks.


Christine Thomas

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July 1st - Our Seventh Painting Session

Today was a fun and productive day for all of us. We finally are getting to the enjoyable process of painting details, although none of us are totally sketched into all of our panels. We decided it was time to have fun and enjoy the process of wielding our brushes into something recognizable.

We found out last night that the mural project had been featured in the Arts section of Vero Beach 32963, with a two-page spread. Yay!

Pictured are the three of us (Judy Burgarella, foreground, Dawn Mill, middle, and Christine Thomas, background) working on our murals. In my haste to get to the fun stuff (it takes 3/4 hour to set up), forgot to put on my painter's apron so went home with paint on my jeans-oops

This is my panel at the end of the day, doesn't seem like much progress but I'll catch up.

Dawn I believe made the most progress today, blocking in and fine-painting the cypress trees and shoreline of her part of the lagoon. During the week she created a dynamite sketch of her next panel, which depicts activities on the barrier island along A1A, and will be presented on this blog soon.

This mural is really coming together, and we're confident it will be something the town of Vero, the Vero Beach Art Club, and of course the artists, will be very proud of.

Pictured is Dawn's panel as of 4:00 pm today. Looks like the water could be rolling right onto the floor, so realistic. And she's got lots more to do on it yet. I can't wait to figure out how to join hers with my hardwood and pine forest. Should be quite a challenge.

Pictured is Christine's panel as of the end of the day. She was really getting into those manatees! You can see above where Dawn's peninsula segueys into Chris's panel, a perfect match!

The coordinating of elements of each panel is for aesthetic appeal only, and is used as a way to join them without disturbing the theme of the painting. At times the geography from one to the other may be totally wrong, but it is appealing to the eye and gets the point across.

Today Christine brought her grandson, Noah, along to spend the day with "Grandma." Noah was a delight, he asked a lot of questions, tried his hand at painting, made himself a fort with the chairs and a bed under the curtains with the exercize pads. He, like his grandma, is constantly creating.

Noah, being a normal active boy, eventually got bored with all this "creativity," and so took out his "Sludge." Something new to me, not having any little children in my life (but a granddaughter coming now any minute!). "Sludge" is a slimey, gooey elusive glob of morphing black goo. Fascinating stuff--should be something we could make out of it. So Noah and I made a quick pass with it, when all of a sudden he threw it up in the air ... and whammo! It disappeared!

This was Noah when it happened . . .

This is Noah now.

Well folks, that's it for now. Christine will be posting for the next couple of weeks, as I welcome a new grandbaby. They may not be working again until Friday, due to the 4th of July. You can stop in any time we're working and take a peek.

Judy Burgarella