Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22nd, Our 21st Painting Session

Vero Beach Mural Project Sponsored by the Vero Beach Art Club.  Created by Artist Volunteers Judy Burgarella, Dawn Mill and Christine Thomas.  Stretched canvas panels, 36' long by 8' high, each panel 8' x 6'.  Created in and for the Community Center.  Visitors welcome to watch the artists paint between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays.

Today we were rarin’ to go.  Christine got started on her scuba diver, Dawn on her
Ocean Drive, and I on my people, which is my favorite part, albeit mighty slow-going.  As usual, there was discussion about ideas, additions, changes and images.  Although ideas flow all day, they come fast and easy first thing in the morning.  We have all made contributions to each others’ panels with new ideas and techniques. 

We usually have a few visitors each painting session, and today we had a visitor whom I found out later was the exterminator for the building.  He reminded me that he had stopped by last month to see the mural and was inspired by it, and that I had encouraged him to take classes to get jump-started, as he expressed the desire to learn how to paint.  Well he brought his Ipod in to show me photos of three paintings he had completed at his first classes, and wow—all that talent was just waiting to come out!  Another benefit of doing this mural is to see someone’s inner artist get turned on by it.  Children are especially inspired by the mural and really connect with the critters on the canvases.

A reporter from the Hometown News came in today to gather information about the mural for a special piece she’s writing.  Friday a photographer will come and take pictures.  That is if weather permits.  There was much talk today of “Irene,” a tornado that seems to be coming our way.  By 4:00 o’clock Rob Slezak (Recreation Dir.) told us it was a Cat #3 already—way bad.  Having very little experience with hurricanes, I listened to everything and took Irene seriously enough to start planning for it when I got home.  In the six years I’ve lived here the stories we’ve heard about Andrew-Charlie-Jean-Francis would curl your hair, the utter devastation and helplessness people felt in the wake of such fury.

Sue Dinenno (pictured below), former president of the Vero Beach Art Club, stopped by to check out the mural, kibbitz and crank us all up.  She will be working on an outdoor mural for the City in the fall when the weather turns cooler.  Sue is a tireless supporter of the Club, and the arts in general … and happens to be in the same gallery as Dawn and I, the Artists Guild Gallery in Vero (  Christine is a former member, and we all miss her there.

From left, Christine Thomas, Dawn Mill and Sue Dinenno

Below is my Panel #1 again, now with Mayor Jay Kramer and renowned local personality Alma Lee Loy in there, standing next to Highwayman Ray McLendon and Judge Stikeleather.  Stikeleather will soon be sporting his hand-made Seminole Indian Robe, which is awaiting a pattern to be painted on it.  More tweaking yet to come here.

Panel #1 by Judy Burgarella

Panel #4 by Christine Thomas

  Christina’s snorkeler (which she actually painted as herself) is coming to life on Panel #4.  She looks fascinated by the manatees in front of her, and has positioned her body in the manner that snorkelers and skindivers do to remain as motionless as possible so as not to disturb or frighten the nearby critters away.

And of course Dawn’s Panel (#5) of Ocean Drive/Beach is shaping up really fast.  We discussed her ideas for the different elements she will be putting into it, and it’s just going to be fabulous.  The mural seems to be taking on a life of its own, almost taking control of our minds and our brushes, growing ideas and providing the inspiration to continue this very time-consuming project. 

Panel #5 by Dawn Mill
 If Hurricane Irene comes by these parts this week, we will not be painting on Friday, so no postings.  However, if this weather system blows over and there is no rain, be sure to come Downtown here and enjoy the 3D District's (Downtown Dine & Design) Summer Sizzler Stroll.  Galleries will be open for your viewing (and nibbling) pleasure, and many businesses along 14th Avenue and beyond will be welcoming visitors and new customers with special events and offers.  Come soak up the sights, sounds and aromas of fine food wafting out from the wonderful downtown restaurants.  Hopefully, the next Downtown Stroll will include a visit to the Mural Project for the "Strollers."

So buckle down, just in case!

Judy Burgarella
Blogger for the Vero Beach Mural Project

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