If you read the previous blog post, "It's Been A Minute! part 1", I graciously thank you!
Sean, the client who commissioned me to paint the "Los Angeles: Kobe Bryant" painting, also commissioned me to recreate this very unique 90's art print of all the prominent African American fraternities and sororities dancing at a party. It has a deep meaning for him as the print belonged to a friend of his who tragically passed away awhile ago.
We customized the painting by adding a couple of personalized touches to it, such as writing his friend's name and "Spring '92" on a man's red shirt and the names of Sean's and his fraternity brothers going down the sleeves of these red jackets in the little "Greek Shop" on the right side of the painting. The writing was so tiny and fine that I had to use white gel pens which worked out surprisingly well! This was acrylic on 20x30" canvas. It took me about about a month to complete. There were many challenges and I had some frustrations but with challenge and struggle, comes growth! I'm thankful for them. They are worth the lesson.
BUT ALSO, CHALK ART
One of the Mom's from Luke's school is an incredibly talented sidewalk chalk artist. She goes by the Instagram handle, @chalkgermytome. During lockdown, she would create these juicy saturated clean and LARGE inspiring images all over our neighborhood in Burbank. They are so fun to see on our walks. We caught her finishing one up right in front of the elementary school and I of course geeked out. "You're Jen! I've seen your chalk art on Facebook! You're facebook famous! Hi, I'm Cosette!" I spoke in exclamation points. Paul was with me and I felt his eye rolls to the back of his skull. So now, of course, I was inspired to draw on sidewalks too with some chalk. I ordered some on Amazon and once they came, I spent a day in the front of our house drawing a blue haired Luke (he has blue hair now) on one side and an "Aladdin Sane" on the other side.
Luke had just graduated from the 1st grade so I congratulated him with a fun little drawing which he was quite tickled by. Being a David Bowie fan, I thought the most iconic image of a rock God might have to be Aladdin Sane. To turn it into a cheeky reminder during this pandemic, I wrote "Stay Sane."
A couple of weeks after that, George Michael's "Faith" came on Alexa Music. It inspired my next chalk drawing. You've seen the iconic image of George Michael in that leather jacket, tight blue jeans, with guitar in hand, right? It's from the "Faith" music video.
It was an ambitious idea but I'm in love with how it came out. I started at 10:30am, got stung by a bee on my left butt cheek around 11am, took a couple of breaks to not pass out from heat stroke, and then finally finished at 5pm. It's gotten a lot of attention by neighbors and walkers. It's been nice to see people stop, look and take photos.
COSETTE'S TUDOR "BIRTHDAY" PORTRAIT
Paul's framed portrait was lonely up on the wall for a couple of weeks. I had a goal of finishing my 8x10" acrylic painted portrait by my birthday on May 31st. Just like the process with Paul's painting, I did the same. For some reason, this one was a lot less challenging and I completed it in no time. The frame from Amazon arrived in the mail and we had it hanging next to Paul's portrait before my birthday. I've never painted my likeness before. It almost felt narcissistic but also, I don't care. It's funny that these paintings exist now. We joke how in hundreds of years, someone will find these paintings and wonder if they have truly found museum grade art. Just kidding, I flatter myself.
Sidenote: this is now a service I offer as a commission. I'll paint you, your loved one, or both of you from any time period. Who wouldn't want such a portrait hanging in their corridor or parlor?
I'm grateful for all this mandated lockdown time which has allowed me to paint all of the above for people including for myself. To know I have made others happy because of my gift is the most abundant feeling of joy I could express. How could I NOT do this full time for a living? Oh yeah. Not sure if I mentioned, at the end of July, I am a free agent. I started going back to work at Felina, just 15 hours a week on June 2nd. I'll do two more months of that, painting in between when I can, and then I'm a full time artist. It's a scary bold move but it also has to be done so I can truly live my best life. A life with more purpose. With a few more commissioned pieces in the works, I have a lot to look forward to.
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