There are so many great places to view art in southern California. I have been to museums, public art shows, and private artist galleries. Having lived in Long Beach for 10 years, I have been fortunate enough to see many paintings by classic and contemporary artists. In all those years however, I never knew that I lived in a city that was in the record books for an art related record. When driving in downtown Long Beach, you pass by the Long Beach arena. The arena is used for sporting events, trade shows, and other events. Though I’ve never been inside, it’s what’s on the outside that grabs me. The entire arena is painted as a continuous sea life mural. There are many kinds of fish, dolphins, whales, etc. adorning the arena. While it has a nice look to it, I never gave a second thought to the fact that the mural might be in the record books. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the mural is recognized as the largest painting in the world to have been painted by one artist. If you are familiar with contemporary artists who deal in marine life then you might guess the artist here. The clock is ticking…. Give up? The correct answer is ‘Wyland’. Wyland has multiple art galleries across America but he does a majority of his work in Laguna Beach which is about 15 miles south of Long Beach. I’ve visited his galleries in Laguna Beach and in San Diego and appreciate his love of the ocean and the environment. I had only just learned about him being the artist behind the mural last week when I decided to check out his website (Wyland’s Art Studio) which I got from his PBS show. It’s funny that things you see everyday that hold significance and you don’t give it a second thought. If you go to Google maps and check out Long Beach California, you will see that the top of the arena was also painted. The world’s largest painting of the earth is featured on the top of the arena. Again the artist is Wyland and his message is clear: protect the earth and its creatures. It’s a great way to communicate your message – through paintings.
Another interesting and fun fact I learned last week was Google has started the Google Art Project. The project is all about bringing the world’s museums to your home. This is not just a place to view photos of paintings. You can really zoom into a level of closeness that you couldn’t achieve if you were in the museum itself. In some cases, you can zoom in to see the individual brush strokes of the artist. You can see the cracks in the paint from the years of exposure too. This is a great entertaining site that could also hold some educational value for students of the arts. Check it out at Google Art Project.
As for my easel, I have been slowed this past week in my work on the pirate painting but none the less it is about 65% complete with about 2 weeks worth of work to go. I look forward to sharing it with you all. In the meantime I have been working on ideas for my next painting and I have narrowed it down to either a landscape or a portrait. Either way, I plan on completing both ideas before the year ends.
As mentioned in the previous post, the website will be undergoing a face lift in the coming weeks. I have been working on a new layout and color scheme and I think I am close to finalizing the changes. Look for the new improvements soon.
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Time for some more painting!