An Eclectic plethora of media
On my creative journey I’ve explored many other media: murals, illuminari, carved ceramics, stained glass, mixed media sculpture, to name a few. Custom commission work assignments (such as portraits, murals, or ketubahs) are always an enjoyable stretch.
Illuminari – Sidewalk and Parking lot Chalk Painting
I represented several businesses including PlacerArts in more than a few illuminari festivals. This is the classic style of chalk painting. We use pastels, and never any water (unlike the more permanent chalk paints that are gaining popularity lately). I love the feel of the media. It is much like pastel painting on a good toothed paper, only you can’t layer too much chalk. If you add too much, it blows away. If it rains or someone drops a drink, it washes away. That’s part of the appeal to me. It is so fragile and temporary.
Also, it is physically challenging. Most of the pieces I’ve done were at least 10’x10′ and involved many hours either squatting or on my hands and knees on the cement. One time I painted an 11’x20′ illuminari with the assistance of 240 6th graders. Working with the children, I had be able to move fast, so I spent most of that day doing squats. I couldn’t sit down for a couple days.
One year I decided that I was going to custom paint teapots for my sisters for Christmas. As I was sketching on the first mold-poured greenware teapot with an automatic pencil, the tip scratched the surface. Oh, my! It opened up a whole new area of exploration: carving unfired clay. The first teapot became “The Sleeping Rhinoceros on the Road to Enlightenment.”
I decided I could use large commercial greenware vases as blank canvasses to carve and paint with underglazes. The lady at the greenware shop said that they were too delicate to carve. It became a challenge for me to see how much I could carve away, and paint with wet underglaze, without it just falling apart.