Friday, August 15, 2008

Mural, Skateboarding, and School

Toyota recently won a community involvement award for the Winnie the Pooh mural I helped with at the community center in Covington, and that reminded me of how much I enjoyed that and got me to thinking about better ways to do a mural. It took maybe eight people a whole day to do the first mural, but I think it could be expedited greatly. The biggest issue was that the person coordinating the project had projected the details up onto the wall, and we had to paint the base colors carefully around the detail lines so that we didn’t loose them. A much faster way would be to project the outline onto the wall, and paint the base colors while the projector is on. Allow that to dry, then project the details overtop the base colors, and do those with fine lines. Im guessing that two people with a projector each could accomplish a similar amount of painting as eight people did with the other method.

So with this in mind, I volunteered to do another mural at a community center, and they gave me discretion over what I can paint. Subjects immediately began swirling around in my head; I was trying to think of something that would be recognizable and endearing to children, inspiration, and symbolic of the time we live in. After some thought, I decided on the following:

I'm going to do a parody of the School of Athens (by Raphael) with Sesame Street characters, a computer, a model of a DNA helix, a steam engine, an artist, and a poet.

My reason for doing this, basically, is that the Greeks in the painting are pushing the frontier of knowledge with their new discoveries and passions, and they are represented using the tools of their field. I figure I'll bring in some of the modern tools that are pushing the frontiers of knowledge and put the sesame street characters in poses similar to some of the figures on the original painting (just as a pun). The objects I mentioned below are just the first things that came to mind, there may be better ones. Oscar the Grouch will be Diogenes, by the way.

The idea is that though six year olds won’t really recognize the objects or symbolism, some spark of interest may stick with them as they get older and are exposed to the ideas. Plus maybe someone will get the allusion to the more famous painting and be as amused as I am about it.

On another front:

I've been skating once a week at the skate park near here (Ollie’s), and I’ve been having a ton of fun and making tangible progress. I've gotten to the point where I can Ollie up on stuff, 180 (on the ground), pop-shove it, 50-50 grind, drop into a 4 foot half pipe and rock-the-fakie, and I've been working on building momentum in the 20ft half pipe (starting from the bottom). Soon, I will be cool. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to do difficult and dangerous tricks. I also bought a helmet, another thing for me to paint.

I also turned in my grad school application, at last. Note to people applying for things: get letters of recommendation early! I’m excited to begin studying seriously again, and I’m eager to begin studying in a focused manner. Now that I’ve found a real and achievable purpose to focus my studying towards, I think the engagueingness of study will be multiplied many-fold.

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