By the end of July,
I was pretty much spent creatively. I wanted to take a break and I
needed a diversion . What better way to do it then do African World
Festival? I set up for the weekend and did some on-the-spot portraits. I
was able to work with Ammar, a fellow artist and muralist and,
later, with Tia, a young, beautiful sista who just happens to
be an immensely talented artist. See AFRICA WORLD
African World Festival proved to be both fun and
challenging -- the world of on-the-spot artistry can be as grueling as any professional
sport. Drawing face after face all day can be exhausting. But it's also
the kind of training you can't get anywhere else.
After the break, it was back to the
mural. I started fine-tooling the first
part and adding some text. I go with Broadway typeface to represent Harlem,
circa 1925. I also started to anticipate the two lighted indents in my wall space.
In these areas, I will showcase some people and their figures, with my portraiture skills
freshly honed at the festival over the weekend.
Borders and W. E. B. Dubois was added.
|Day 7: Writers Zora Neale Hurston and Countee
|Day 8: First panel finished; Marcus Garvey
(right) and a profile of Langston Hughes frame portraits of Dubois, Hurston and
I concentrated on finishing, in at least a preliminary
stage, the first part of the mural. I added some cool lighting affects in
the clouds directly over the ghost faces to make them pop out and seem more
three dimensional. The first stage is a little design heavy but, in the
middle part, I decided to let it flow more. This area is a popular
spot with bench seats and a clear view of the cafeteria. Basically, I wanted to keep basically
the same color palette, yet make it jump out with a little more color
and more a contemporary style.
With my student and protégée Tyrone
seemingly also on a break, or enjoying the rest of his summer, I called
in a favor from a fellow artist buddy, Daryl Harris. Well, the favor
was more like, "Dude I got a hundred bucks if you would prime these walls
and give me
a little jumpstart." The deadline to school starting was at the
end of August, and we were already a week into the month. I needed an experienced
painter to help me prime the next walls for the mural. Like Ammar,
Daryl is an exceptional artist and one of the best African American
painters I know. We have a good time fellowshipping about
art and talking about the things artists talk about.
With the priming done, I was looking
at keeping the same brown and gold vibe, but I kept seeing this
lime green in there. So I added it, and it seemed to amplify the yellows
and browns. I thought to myself, "That looks cool but I might need to soften
the effect a little later." ...