Adventures in Painting!

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Blue faced rocks

The exhibit at Michi’s place, The West End Performing Art Center in Atlanta, GA, it was going to be push for me. I decided to push and make a whole new body of work, I wanted to work with and paint on found objects, strange surfaces and shapes. A few weeks before he called I was

Window and a bunch of rocks outside.

on vacation in Canada with the family. We where in a hotel room. It was a nice room but no city view, it was a big window that looked out on to the roof, a ton of small rocks and some potted plants/trees. It was nice and the window open up just enough to grab a rock. So I did and started drawing faces on them. I thought the kids and I could play with them, or i could put it back and other folks would be like ‘Why is that rock starring at me?’. Soon Everyone was drawing and making rock faces and soon we had a bunch. So the next step was to leave them around town. We did, our pockets filled with rocks some of the rocks had happy faces, others cute, gross, and weird. My oldest very excitedly asked me, “Is this Graffitti?” Lol. We put them in planters, next to crosswalk buttons, in the crooks of trees and while the family was engaged in mild acts of artistic expression. Michi called me.

Faces drawn on blue painted rocks
Rocks for the show. Here they are getting bubble wrap almost ready to transport to the show.

Michi invited me to put something together for a show. I was in the middle of hiding rocks in downtown and said yes. I told him I had a great (half baked) idea, ‘Rocks!’ Mr. Michi being Michi said, ‘Cool’ and that was that. I continued making rocks with an idea that I had to make a show out of this. I put my head down and started working on and hiding rocks all around the park, hotel and touristy spots we visited while thinking about all the art materials (trash) I could be collecting.

Blue block head, with a chance of rain. Hand painted Cardboard box by Alex Feliciano, 2019.

I found and made cardboard shapes. Sometimes spending hours cutting and gluing together random cardboard triangles, like a kid decoding the folds of a paper airplane.

Cardboard assemblage, and ply-cardboard (layers of paper cardboard and wood) cut into gem shapes.

As the show started to gel I settled on a pallet and theme. I picked a basic blue, a wanted to limit everything to keep myself from wondering or leaning on color. I spend time playing with lots of different colors, I always knew I wanted it to be limited to one or two colors, with a dark tone of that color and a white. I tried magenta and black ink, then grey and white paint pen, later I tried black ink cross hatching with a yellow oil crayon and finally settled on blue paint, dark blue ink and white paint pen.

During this time I had been collecting rocks (making a mess and getting the support of my family). Most of the rock where smooth but then I ran across some garnet filled granite that was ruff and not an idealistic working surface so I said “Yeah, I got to make this work”. I painted half of each rock blue creating a horizon line. Some of the early rocks had clouds on the back and that cloud with rain stayed with all the new work and the horizontal line created became the earth and sky durning a rain storm.

Hand painted basketballs, ‘Wonderful Rebound Machine’ and ‘Like a Globe But Different’ are two of the four basketballs painted for the show.

I also wanted to keep the materials going, but limited, I can go nuts and collect mountains of materials that would over whelm the scale and scope of the show. So grabbing my favorite material, cardboard, i stated to laminated a bunch of sheets together with wood sandwiched in and then cut simple geometric rocks out of them.

So this was some of the things that when into the show. More tomorrow.