This project was one of my greatest undertakings. I went full steam ahead and jumped as far into a challenge as possible with this painting. Sometimes, as an “artist”, you find that you just have to take huge jumps ahead in our work, that all the rules we have made for ourselves in past projects, seem almost old and out of touch to the current matters of our purpose as “artists”. Thus, you take a leap, and just do it. So I did it….
…and it was a blast.
Let me start with the meaning of finding such a prime wall.
It isn’t everyday you get the chance with share your art to eleven million people in such a short time. And it was daunting.
I needed a plan. I went to work right away on what to do to even start to fathom this wall. I had some head start because of my past experience with other walls, but this was 20 times bigger than any wall before. This was potentially a deadly job. That made me more motivated than ever. I think the danger of falling was exciting to me. I love adventure, and this contest most surely would bring it to me.
I had no interest in letting an opportunity like this wall pass me by because of epic life threatening scenarios. I was in love with a wall, and I didn’t care what the size ratio the brick Goliath (or the gravity involved) versus my pliable body equated to. I am going to climb this wall.
So I set to making drafts of ideas to paint really big. What would be familiar and easy to paint huge in such a short time. So I chose a horse. Because I know horses.
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I love painting these land beasts, and they remind me of the freedom of mind, body, and spirit within. Not only strength and grace in texture, but his animal would bring me the feeling of summer in the painting too. Always chasing the sun. Always seeking further greener lands. I hoped to capture that season in this part of the painting. I had the quest to paint the elements before, and now was the time to get the theme out of me onto a wall.
I knew I needed to come up with funds for a lift, paint, food, a truck, and a team. Above all, a Team. Without a good reliable crew to keep me focused and inspired, I was not going to be able to do this task. Not alone. So Samantha Kay, Joe K., Mike Grit, and Deanna Day focused on getting the people in Springfield, Illinois behind us….and it wasn’t an easy thing to do in a town of politically minded doubters. That is how they made Lincoln who he was, so I figured I should follow suit as he did, and try anyway.
I worked cartoons at fairs and found all those items through donations all summer, and the contest was drawing closer, but I was still lacking good funds for a successful trip, I turned to last ditch efforts of painting Lincolns as quick as I could and saved up every dime, dollar, and penny.
By the End of July, I had all the components and a crew set, bt I lacked the last most important item, a video camera. I spent the last on the budget on that camera, and it was worth every penny.
…then some drama started….
I was told (halfway through the project) by the owner of the building and my hosting venue, that there would be about two dozen new windows were being cut out. I had already started the mural and was close to completion.
I was a little frustrated to say the least. So….
I just kept painting. Waiting for the windows to go in so I could change the mural according to the new layout.
ArtPrize ended…. then it was Halloween, I stayed. Then Thanksgiving, and Christmas…. I was still there waiting. I lived in the empty building I was painting so it was pretty cold. I did not mind, in fact I enjoyed the experience of urban camping and exploring a new town without connection.It was a blast.
I was in three major films and met some of the nicest people I will ever know. They opened their homes and ideas, taught me and listened. I will never forget that trip.
Finally they put in the windows in January but the sub zero temps had gotten so bad, that I had to wait till spring…
…At which I discovered the mural was gone.
This did not upset me too much as that I saqw this wall as a huge challenge for learning. As a matter of fact, I am glad it is gone. Adds some hidden ArtPrize history that somebody might discover by chance, years from now.
I had quite the adventure….