Saturday, December 14, 2013

Detail Images of My New Bonampak Mural

These photos allow you to see the texture and details of the mural.  I feel my mural truly captures the  fascinating mystery of the Mayan people and their eerie rituals.

My New Bonampak-Inspired Mural at the Aquarium of the Americas

This mural is approximately 8 1/2'T x 22'L.  I painted it across a series of Mondays through September and October.  It is for a new Mayan-inspired "underwater ruin" exhibit at the Aquarium of the Americas here in New Orleans.  It is based on photos they provided of actual ancient murals inside of a Mayan pyramid, which wrapped around the entire interior wall of the pyramid.  

One section of that mural, which is inside of the Bonampak pyramid, represented some sort of feast, or parade, for their underwater god.  There is a striking similarity to a Mardi Gras parade because the people are masked and costumed and there are several people playing horns.  Every New Orleanian who sees it is reminded of a second line parade.  Supposedly, our New Orleans tradition dates back to spring planting celebrations in Europe, which evolved into Mardi Gras celebrations in Paris hundreds of years ago, but there is no denying that masking, drumming and revelry are an innate part of human expression!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sportsman's Paradise: White-Tailed Deer Float

The first pic is kind of fun because you get to see what us float-painters have to deal with all too often.... cracking float cloth!  Imagine trying to paint any straight line on this broken surface.   This is why float-painters opt for brushes with long, soft bristles, ideally synthetic.  They hold up to our abuse fairly well yet also handle the lumps and bumps like a champ.  They replace the cloth in small panels on an "as needed" basis. Honestly, new cloth has its own obstacles.  They don't sand it after priming so it sucks in the paint while having the texture of sand-paper.

These deer are out frolicking in the sunset, and the light captures their fur in backlit warm tones for the most part.  I kept the trees in the background simple so as not to compete with the deer.  The photos have a warped look because it is only about 6-5' from the neighboring float.  We get to paint something that will be seen mostly from 10' to 500' away while only being able to view it ourselves at this narrow distance.  If I wait to take photos on the street or lined up in the Convention Center, it will have gold-leaf decoration and possibly paper flowers that will likely cover up the ability to truly appreciate  the work.

Monday, September 9, 2013

No Two Sides Ever Look Alike!

The funny thing about float-painting is that no matter how hard you may try, no two sides of a float will ever look the same.  Okay- I suppose you could get them to look alike, but no one will ever compare them against each other as it rolls down the parade route.  These two owls almost look like they could be different species.  I did not notice while I painted these, but laughed when I saw these photos, because neither has a single tail feather hanging down past the branch he sits on.  Well- those beads hooks attached below will be so laden with bling during the parade that I'm afraid it hardly matters! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sportsman's Paradise: Wild Turkeys

This year, one of the Mardi Gras krewes has chosen the theme of Sportsman's Paradise.  I just painted these birds for the Wild Turkey float.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Geaux Fish Exhibit: First mural section

This Spring, I painted several murals for the new Geaux Fish exhibit at the Aquarium.  Here is the first section of several I painted for that area.  This represents the open water of Lake Pontchartrain slowly turning into Lake Maurepas on its northen side.  From the corner on, the trees grow more dense.  The challenge they presented me was to paint it from a persepective where you could see all the top of every tree- not have them cropped out as they might be in a photograph.   There middle section of the shorter wall has brackets where a game monitor is now placed.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bait Shop Ice Chest Display

Ain't this exciting to look at?  This is actually faux ice and water, cast in the form of a try with a sunken monitor screen in the center.  I made the new tray as a refurbishment to an exhibit display in the Audubon Insecatrium's Beaudreaux's Bait Shop area.  I made it using faux plexi-glass cubes and a clear two-part epoxy.  It was a challenge, because the ice chest it drops into is an old one from the 1950's with a lot of dents in it, so I had to customize the shape after casting.