Monday, June 26, 2017

Painting Fourth of July - An Endurance Marathon

(Image credit: M Burgess)

I had the privilege of painting for a local children's therapy group this week. Decorating for the Fourth is a new theme for my portfolio and catalog. The colors are the standard red, white, and blue. I added some of the fluorescent colors for firework effect. These paint colors weren't the only hot thing with this project. The temperature on my car dashboard read 122°F! Heat like this is deadly and measures must be taken to maintain safety and personal health.

(Image Credit: M Burgess)

The best thing a person can do for extreme heat is drink a lot of water and stay shaded. If one must go into sun exposure a good sunscreen is recommended. Wearing clothing made from a light material with long sleeves and long pant legs would be a good idea to further prevent sunburn, but who wants to wear all that fabric in hot weather?

(Image Credit: M Burgess)

Cool Foods

Carrying an ice chest with me proved to be a life saver. Inside this relief station I packed a dozen water bottles, assorted soda and sports drinks and a few goodies. The best treat on a hot day is cold fruit like cut watermelon or a chilled apple or orange. With the fruit on hand, a quick healthy snack can help cool the body down. The fruit also delivers much needed vitamins and sugars for energy. The sweet time out helped this artist complete a gruelling painting marathon. 5 businesses in two and a half days were decorated. This sets a record for me. I have now painted in both weather extremes.

(Image Credit: M Burgess)

Cool Memories

In the future, when called upon to paint in hot weather, I shall remember these tips above and think back to the night I tried to paint a gas station in the dead of winter.

The wind whipped through me and froze the paint as soon as I touched brush to glass. The material failed to stick and blew away with the heavy breeze.

I know now that painting in the late fall and winter are blessings to me. May I never utter another complaint about being cold while sharing my art. This summer thing was challenging in more ways than my health.

(Image Credit: M Burgess)

Heat and Equipment Challenges

Anytime a business hires me to paint I start by cleaning the window surface. I never paint unless I have a clean canvas to work with. I found that the hot glass dries almost instantly, so I had to use a sopping towel to moisten the surface down for the squeegee. The sponge with the squeegee didn't add enough water to the glass and the rubber blade just smeared soap across the area. The preclean helped cool me down a bit and the window cleaning was completed quickly using the towel.

(Image Credit: M Burgess)

A sketch of the design is done after the cleaning is performed. Drawing out images and adding lines for lettering helps balance out designs and lettering. It is helpful for complex image creation and making sure a phrase is spelled right. It also is useful in helping the casual passerby see what is happening. The window glass was so hot that my stabilo pencils melted almost instantly. I countered the effect by dropping them into a ziplock and stashing them in the ice chest to cool them down.

Paint thickens as it is heated and a few colors were the consistency of tomato paste from the extreme temperature. I make it a rule to pull all medium from my car at night so I do not lose product. Given a few drops of water, thick paint may still be usable.

(Image Credit: M Burgess)

Plastic has a tendency to melt or grow brittle in high heat and one of my fluorescent orange bottles blew out while in the course of this project. Thankfully, it was not a full container. I did have a green blow out and soak the entire tub of my materials once. There was green paint all over my equipment for days!

I am super thrilled to add this holiday theme to my portfolio and catalog. I learned a lot with these paintings and believe it helped me improve in several areas. Repeating a design is never easy, but my brushes lived up to the challenge.

(Image Credit: M Burgess)

Folks, stay cool. Stay shaded. Stay learning. If you ever end up outdoors working like I did, you know what to do!

One last thing. Keep your pets safe during the festivities. Animals tend to bolt and panic with the sound of fireworks. Shelters fill up quickly during this holiday so keep them inside!

(Image Credit: M Burgess)

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Cheery Summer Window Themes

The heat is coming and with that the adventures of sun, surf, and passing the uncomfortable hours until the temperatures dip to a more pleasant number.

Creating window painting themes that reflect and celebrate seasonal flair or occasions can get a bit detailed. They require a patient hand and an ordered process. My best organizing tip is to craft a mock up design or sketch ahead of time with ideas and creative interpretation of related activities or features.

I was recently contacted by a new client and she suggested a familiar scene with a twist. With these ideas, I was able to do a doodle sketch to aid my layout efforts and help organize an amusing painting.

(Right Summer Scene Section)

The painting flowed easily, however my energy was challenged by sun reflecting off the glass back into my face. This resulted in a rare, painful migraine later, but the final scene was worth the sacrifice.

(Sam Sheepdog and Cartoon Tulip in Progress)

We artists inert a bit of our spirit in everything we do. It takes me a week to recoup from a painting like this. Christmas marathon paintings takes me a month to bounce back. It's worth sharing this talent. The smiles it brings tells me something is right with what I do.

(Marilyn Ducky)

Painting in the Heat

The paint dried quickly and drip issues were minimal. The layering and image cell areas were filled with ease and the results were very similar to the idea I had scratched on paper by mechanical pencil. I dearly love creating a totally new set of characters when challenged by fresh ideas and input. My client was delighted with a view of only two layers. She didn't get to see the detail when she made her exit from her shop. I will be painting for her in future celebration, but for now we all have to make it through the dog days of summer.

Meet The Gang:

(Swimming Simon)

(Kitty Card Dealer)

(Red Foxxy)

(Scene 3)

(Sam Sheepdog and Cartoon Tulip)

(Petunia Poodle)

(Brutus Bulldog)

All images intellectual property of M Burgess. Please, do not copy or use without permission. Copyright 2017
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Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas Windows Are A Wash

The season has come to a close and images that were painstakingly painted are now on a removal campaign. I know a lot of artists do not do cleaning and that is fine. I offer the service for a few reasons. I am able to see what held up and I can take additional photos.

The candy canes in the image were washed out by rains. This property will require paintings to either be higher on the window, thicker in medium, or glazed with a protective coating. I may choose to use the acrylic method in the future. This method requires several time consuming steps.

The Tempera paints do pit and wash out if exposed to heavy water. This climate issue is low scale where I live, so I am able to work with this paint in a majority of my art. I prefer them because they are easy to work with and are non-toxic. Essentially, they are a green medium. Good for the environment is good for this artist.

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