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Friday, August 22, 2014

Public Art V.


Yes, today was the day scheduled for installation of my Public Art piece for Detours Kings Beach 2014   Wouldn't you know, though I was hoping for a calm day, we woke to 15 mph winds blowing off the lake, white caps, cooler temps. This is problematic because the cool temps keep the canvas stiff and the wind blows everything all over the place making the installation effort just a bit more challenging.

I hired Duncan of D's Windowns ,a competent, ladder experienced man who does a fabulous job washing windows, to assist with attaching the painting to the tree.  He arrived with ladders, a big smile, and can do attitude.  That's Duncan.  Any anxiety I might have had about getting this painting up vanished in his presence.  

The view from the top of my ladder.

Once at the site, we realized it was going to take both of us climbing ladders to get the painting wrapped around the tree's trunk.  It's a good thing I am not too bothered by heights and teetery ladders, well, not too bothered.  There were just a couple little panic moments.

Adjusting the level of the painting, and yes, I climbed that ladder, almost to the top.

There was a bit of climbing up and down to get a visual so we could adjust the painting, where it would be placed on the tree and whether or not it was level.  The wind blew down one of the strips which started to whip in the breeze, crashing into my legs.  Ouch.

Looking up at the painting as I climbed up the ladder.

While I held the painting in place, Duncan adjusted, looped, and prepared the ratchet strap.  I also stared to remove the tape from the individual strips so they could cascade down along the trunk of the tree.  More whipping, crashing and ouch-ing.

Duncan completed the attachment by taping up the loose end of the ratchet strap, we removed the ladders, stepped back to take a look.  All in all a fairly simple installation.

Because the wind is blowing you cannot see all of the painting, some of the strips are flapping, that celebratory ribbon effect I was after.  I will go back on a calm day to take a few more photos to share.  Better yet, if you are in the area, stop by to take a look.  And while you're at it, look for the rest of the Detours Kings Beach Public Art. It will be exhibited through Sept 30.  Maps are scattered throughout Kings Beach.

Big thanks to Duncan of D's Windows     I could not have done this without you.  

Duncan Lee
D's Windows

D & Me

Just another view of the installed painting

Additional thanks to Village Interiors for their support and sponsorship of my installation and Public Art.

Detours Kings Beach 2014, a site specific, Public Art Exhibition.  August 23-September 30.  Maps can be seen by clicking HERE  DETOURS includes artists from the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee area, and two coming from Southern California. The site-specific art pieces will celebrate Lake Tahoe, with each piece telling a story that interprets the site on which it is located. Visitors will leave their cars to embark upon the free, family-friendly “art treasure hunt” with the help of free walking maps.Maps will also be available at the North Lake Tahoe Visitors’ Centers in Tahoe City and Kings Beach and near individual art installations.

To contact me click here
To visit my web site click here

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Public Art IV

More Work On Detours-Kings Beach
Public Art Project

Lake of the Sky
108" x 52"

Detours-Kings Beach-2014.  A site specific public art exhibition taking place August 22-Oct 1.  Twelve artists were invited to participate and if you follow this blog you already know I am one of them.  My site is a towering Jeffrey Pine Tree adjacent to the North Tahoe Event Center patio, just off the beach in Kings Beach.  The tree will be wrapped by one of my paintings which has been cut into strips.  The completed painting, seen above, was inspired by the location.  

Painted in a stylized, expressionistic manner, with loads of intense color and freedom of movement it is ready to be cut into the strips that will hang down around the trunk of the pine tree where it will be installed. 

 Detail of the bottom part of the painting.

 Detail of the top left corner of the painting.

One more step before the cutting, apply the foam piece to the back of the painting.  This was a requirement from CA State Parks to protect the bark of the tree.  In the photo above you see the foam strip after it was glued to the canvas.

This painting has a great deal of weight and body due to the layers of gesso and pigment applied to the canvas. Knowing it would be easier to cut it into strips if it was warm, I decided to lay the painting out in the sun where it was sizzling.  

The strips were cut with scissors after marking a path. The warmth of the sun made the slicing almost effortless.

This is a picture of the painting after the strips were cut.  I decided to leave the top together for ease of handling and hanging.  

When working on a painting of this size, a good sized brush is used and pigment applied quite liberally.  I spend quite a bit of time looking at the work from a distance, not really paying too much attention to detail, so it was interesting to be sitting on the painting, with scissors, cutting through, looking at the detail.

Once the painting is hung on the tree the strips will fall down along the trunk and as long as it is a calm day the strips will hang vertically.  But should the wind come up, the strips will ribbon.  Perhaps they will look something like the image below.

Final preparation of the painting prior to installation found me creating rolls of the strips which were taped in place. This makes moving and handling the work much easier than if the strips were loose.

 The next step in this process will be installation of the painting on the tree.  

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Public Art, Part III.

It's Not Easy to Work Outside When It Is Raining

Or when you are called for jury duty.  Squeezing in time to take a huge canvas outside to sketch in the composition and then apply the paint when there are continuous, almost daily thunder storms and showers has been a challenge, but do-able.  

Here's the palette for the painting

You recall this is a long, unstretched canvas that will be painted, cut into strips, and then hung around an old, towering pine tree. It's a public art installation for Detours Kings Beach-2014, a site specific, public art installation that will run from August 22-September 30.

The Process

The painting is almost complete.  Cutting it into strips will be the next step, but it would be nice to have sunshine to warm the canvas making it easier to slice.   Maybe tomorrow.

Top corner of the painting

That is if I don't have to report for jury duty tomorrow.  That will be revealed later today when the court makes it's selection.  

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mah Jongg Chatter.

Pamela Hunt Lee
Deep Shadows

While mixing the mah jongg tiles at today's game, another painter mentioned she was thinking of re-working one of her paintings.  Apparently the painting is hanging in her home, she sees it every day, and some part of it is bothering her. As serendipitous as it sounds, just today I took down off my easel a painting I re-worked.  This is not something I do frequently, in fact I never do this, or at least rarely....maybe only twice.  

I mentioned to this other painter, let's call her Pauline,  that a few years ago I completed, thought I had, this painting but was never satisfied with the lower 1/3 of the work.  You can see the original at my web site Click Here A few weeks ago I realized exactly what was amiss, so I gessoed out the lower section and repainted.  It worked!  

Pauline announced she will now do the same.  Do you suppose when you see the dates for an art work that span several years it means the artist re-worked the piece? Perhaps.  In this case it certainly does.

Good things happen at mah jongg games!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Studio Time.

Never A Dull Moment

That is for sure.  Never ever a dull moment in the studio for me.  While working towards the creation, completion and installation of the Detours art work I have spent time at my jewelry table, at the easel, staged a home with several paintings, and spent the few moments it takes to change out the painting that hangs outside my front door.  From July's patriotic, flag inspired painting to this:

Kayaking Into The Rocks

A summer visual treat 'Kayaking Into The Rocks' was inspired by the massive granite boulders off the Crystal Bay Point.  And yes, my kayak is purple!  When not busy in the studio you might see me kayaking into the rocks.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Public Art II

Detours-Kings Beach 2014

As one of the eleven artists invited to participate in Detours-Kings Beach 2014, I was tasked with selecting a location for my installation.  I chose a towering pine tree located adjacent to The North Tahoe Event Center and because the tree grows on California State Park land I have worked through the permission process with that entity.  There were a few hoops, successfully jumped, which included a CEQA process, meeting with the state park manager and their environmental scientist, agreements and restrictions about the installation. Deciding to wrap one tree instead of two. Then the paperwork.  Done done done.  All done and ready to go.  

I keep returning to the installation site to measure, meet with my team that will do the installation, and I find I am having different thoughts about the painting.  Originally I thought I would paint a representation of sky and Tahoe boulders including an underwater view which is so typical of my Tahoe paintings.  But after numerous visits I am thinking of using a painting created a few years ago that hung in my home which includes sky, a view across Tahoe, and a towering pine tree with branches and cones.  It's actually perfect for this location.  Though this is not the painting, it is very similar.  What do you think?

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Public Art

Art Exhibited in a Public Space

Any art exhibited in a public space including publicly accessible buildings is Public Art.  It involves site specificity and the community within which it is placed.  The relationship between the content and the audience, what the art is saying, is as important as its physical location. In recent years, public art has increasingly begun to expand in scope and application engaging the community where it is placed. 

A couple years ago when I was asked to sit on a committee which would work to bring Public Art to Tahoe, I gladly accepted.  I believe in Public Art and what it can do for a community to create a sense of place, how it can enhance the visual appeal of a community, and how it can bring a community together.  

The first exhibition of Public Art in Kings Beach, one of the communities under the umbrella of Tahoe Public Art, Tahoe Public Art is a temporary, site specific installation, named DETOURS.  Designed as a self guided walking tour, Detours will feature eleven very different works of art in a variety of mediums.  Take away maps will be scattered throughout the community.  Eleven artists have been invited to create and display a work of art inspired by their assigned location.  I am one of the invited artists and my location is a towering pine tree adjacent to The North Tahoe Events Center.    

Pictured here are the drawings of my work which will be installed August 22nd and remain on location until September 1st.  

Inspired by the majesty, power, and clarity of Lake Tahoe, as viewed from this location and nearby lake areas, I will paint a 12' canvas which will then be striped and applied around the tree creating a skirt of sorts.  When the air is calm the strips will hang vertically, hugging the trunk of the tree.  The ability of the canvas pieces to 'ribbon' in the wind is inspired by the events and celebrations held on the patio at the North Tahoe Event Center.

During the next month I will be creating the painting and will take you through the steps, so check back to see how this painting comes to life.

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE