Dimensions: 24” x 36”
Technique: Acrylic on canvas
After a weekend of makers attending a Central Oregon Maker’s Faire, Maker’s contributed how they expressed themselves through art. I captured the thoughts and excitement from the weekend in this work which has a similar look and feel to my book cover “Look At What’s Inside” where I invite people to tap into their creativity…whatever creativity may look like to them.
I attended a Maker’s Faire on Nov 12th and 13th 2022 at the Deschutes County Expo. I arrived on a cold (20 degree) snowy day, with the annual “Fill your pantry” event going on in the parking lot and another Home Country Christmas event happening right next door. I was the first to arrive in the morning as many set up the evening before. After the guard let me in, I drove my Honda Element right on the concrete to get set up. I found a spot next to the children’s art.
The annual event is titled “Maker’s Faire” and as you would expect, it was all about makers so I wanted to hear how the community expressed themselves through art. I set up a contribution canvas and had a great time connecting to people in the maker community. It was great seeing everyone contribute to the canvas from young and old alike. My mission is to make art approachable, interactive and understandable and I love seeing the community add their inspiration and draw on the art. I had a few young artists (probably under 3) contribute by drawing some lines down at the bottom. Breaking down the walls to start art, by adding a prompt and giving everyone a chance to contribute is one of the reasons why I do these canvases. I love seeing the kids playfully drawing or young and old alike spelling things “wrong” (as I say, with a smile and completely without judgment, “there is no spell check on the canvas.) EVERYTHING adds to the character of the final work. That is what this art is all about, getting everyone to contribute and every addition enhances the work.
Throughout the weekend, despite colder, snowier weather people were “in the arena.” They showed up on Saturday despite some snowy roads and then again on Sunday. I arrived early and had a chance to speak with Aaron and his wife Lisa, from DIY cave. They had an electrostatic ball on display showing how electricity works and as I held it for a number of seconds, my hair began to stand on end. The event is really a weekend the community can come together and experiment and play.
Later on Sunday, after standing “in the arena” for two days, the experience hit me from a whole new perspective. Instead of being in the stands watching, everyone was “in the arena” participating. It was such an aha moment. Everyone there was participating and not being entertained. There is a wonderful “Man in the arena” quote by Teddy Roosevelt truncating it here “…The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
I was catching up on painting after a very full first half of the year…when I start I never know exactly what the end product is going to look like though since so many people contributed, I decided having many of the guests’ thoughts peak through. With that decision made, I selected colors that I found more transparent or used paint that had more transparency in the pigment so what was underneath could show through.
As I was painting it, because it was so focused on art expressing itself, I selected several of the colors I used to paint the cover of my book “Look at What’s Inside.” I also focused on a similar message, I noticed the look of the painting, while different were very similar. Creativity is something that exists in all of us and it was really cool to see the many contributions underneath shine through as a beacon of each person’s contribution.
I competed the one treatment and as I wrapped up, I knew it was complete. One thing that I do after the painting is complete and I know it’s complete is that I go back and paint my “J” at the bottom. I sign many of my paintings with the “J” at the bottom right, because I painted this “J” on the same day I was finishing up a Collective Experience commissioned canvas where I paint my “J” on the bottom left.
Thanks to all who contributed and without further ado…enjoy “Art Expressed.”
Nov 12-13, 2022
June 22, 2023
Shawn Colvin – Sunny Came Home
Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men – One Sweet Day
Lifehouse – You And Me
Walk The Moon – Shut Up & Dance
Roxette – It Must Have Been Love
Shaggy & Rayvo – Angel
Lady Gaga – Just Dance
Aerosmith – I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
Nelly Furtado – I’m Like a Bird
Edwin McCain – I’ll Be
Florence & The Machine – Dog Days Are Over
TLC – No Scrubs
Sam Smith – Stay With Me
Wilson Phillips – Release Me
Kid Rock – All Summer Long
Selena Gomez & The Scene – Love You Like A Love Song
Toad The Wet Sprocket – All I Want
Spice Girls – Wannabe
Dido – White Flag
George Michael, Elton John – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On
Sugar Ray – Someday
Golden Fluid Acrylic: manganese Blue Hue
Golden Fluid Acrylic: Primary Yellow
Blickrylic: Chrome Yellow
Blickrylic: Bright Red
Golden Acrylics: Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold
Golden Acrylics: Ultramarine Blue
Golden Acrylics: Ultramarine Violet
Golden Acrylics: Sap Green Hue
Golden Acrylics: Light Green (Blue Shade)
Golden Acrylics: Vat Orange