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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Greg Mural Update and Answers!

Thanks for such wonderful comments on Greg's chalk mural -- I'll make sure he sees them!

Several of you asked some questions about the process and while I usually reply personally to those questions, so many were the same (and some had "no-reply" addresses) that I thought I'd answer them here.


(That also makes a little sense somewhat selfishly as part of my computer has been transferred to the new one, so I don't want to upload photos till the new one is back! Hence, a couple of posts will have to wait!)

Is this really chalk? So, in terms of the mural, yes -- this one is all chalk. He works with various sizes of chalk -- some like a pencil for the thin lines, some much thicker. (Chalk isn't Greg's only media, but it's one of his favorites. Longtime readers of Marmelade Gypsy will remember his Faberge Eggs at Art Prize, which I wrote about HERE. And this link has some closer shots.


How do you prevent it from smearing when working on it? Always a challenge but he has invented a little mechanism that can help keep his hand elevated somewhat from the surface so he doesn't smear when working on it.



The big question went something like this: "Aren't you worried about it smearing (or being defaced) and how do you protect that?"

That's the one element not yet done because he will have to do it on a weekend when no one is present in the building for a couple of days. It involves using a certain kind of spray that protects it. In essence, it's like when you spray a watercolor with a fixatif -- but on a much larger scale!

(Some of his other murals and chalk pieces are showing behind plexiglass or some clear surface. An example of this would be a big bar-board he did at a local pub, shown below. The fellow on the right is Coach Dantonio, MSU's football coach and if you've seen him, you can certainly get the resemblance!)


Some local and regional people asked "Where can I see it?" 

The mural is located in a tech business called "New Horizons." (They offer tech classes and have space that can be rented for events.) If you are in the Lansing, MI area, it is located on North Washington Avenue in the part of the city known as REO Town. Since they are a private business, I'm not sure if they welcome walk-ins or not -- they might! But they have very large windows on the street and if nothing else one can get a broad look there. (I always say "why not try?"!) When we've been it, it has been after hours when Greg has been working.



How long did it take him? I can't begin to tell you how many hours have gone into this (apart from the concepts and such, just time on the wall). He's been working on it for months, but that said, there has been time out for visits to his girlfriend in Boston, mom up north, Christmas, the business of life -- you get the idea. And, biomechanically, you just can't work an eight-hour day doing this. So it has taken a very long time, some well-planned, some less so.

What other kinds of things has he done? Since he's graduated from art school, he's focused mostly on chalk. He's done signage (he started out making chalk boards for Zingermann's deli in Ann Arbor!)...

 

...murals in bars and restaurants and done some gallery work (here's a link to one in Chicago.)



Here's a wide shot of how these two came together (It was for an Asian restaurant).


Here's one from a pizza restaurant near Detroit.



Finally, "Where does he go from here?" 

We all want to know the answer to that question! Right now he's working on something for a new local specialty foods market. There are other irons in the fire but at least one of those -- a large mural -- requires getting the funding first, which takes time.

Greg is a terrific artist and he is fighting hard not to undercut his costs and be able to actually earn a living from it. (Those of you doing your art for a living understand that -- just looking at the "hourly" can be enough to make one with lesser resolve throw up their hands and head for the hills!)

That said, a fellow has to eat. And funding for such an expansive project is not easy to come by. The New Horizons mural was probably underquoted or underpaid, given the complexity of it and hours involved. But it is a wonderful showpiece and one that we hope will get some attention.


Thanks again for your interest and if you know of places with a good budget looking for a unique and talented artist to quote a project, let me know and I'll pass on the info!

(Most of these pix are mine but I took a couple off of Greg's Facebook page, so thanks to that anonymous photographer!)

21 comments:

~*~Patty S said...

Such exquisite talent...
I feel excited for this young artists' future!
Thank you for sharing Jeanie...I know you could not be more proud of him.
oxo

Jennifer Richardson said...

a-MAZ-ing man and his heart and his work! So much to love there:)

And THANK you, friend, for the beautiful birthday card (sooooo much love for the mixed media design, dear creative one:))

Made my heart grin so wide that you thought of me, Jeanie;
big yummy thanks,
Jennifer

Relyn Lawson said...

WOW!! He has so much talent!!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

WOW! He is gifted!! The murals just draw me in and keep my attention. I hope he can find a way to eat and practice his art.

Tracy said...

Thanks for the behind-the-scenes, Jeanie! You answered all the good, big questions! Greg's mural art is just stunning! I think because chalk seems like such an ephemeral medium (although with fixatives, they can last a looong time, chalks do!) it makes what he does all the more fascinating! Wishing him all the best and beyond... can't wait to see what he creates next! :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Beate said...

Wow, Jeanie, this is absolutely amazing! I'm speechless and I can't stop looking at the pictures. I love art so much and Greg has some serious talent here. Thank you so much for sharing this with us - and for answering all those questions. I'm going to have a closer look at all of them again. So beautiful! :)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

All I can say is that it takes a focused, strong-willed and WONDERFUL person to go out and put this much detail into the world. Fascinating and FABULOUS, JEANIE! Anita

Victoria Zigler said...

I did wonder about the answers to some of those questions myself, but didn't want to ask in case I was just missing something by not being able to see the pictures. Anyway, thanks for the behind the scenes look. He seems like a very talented artist; I wish I was able to see just how talented for myself, but since I'm not I'll judge by the comments of others.

gigihawaii said...

How wonderful! There are no chalk drawings here in Hawaii.
Maybe he can sell prints (photos) of his work?

Joanne Huffman said...

Very good explanation. He's very talented and it's cool to see such great examples of his work and understand a little more about what he does. I really hope he can get a good living out of his hard work.

Quiltmoose - Dagmar said...

Wow, these murals are amazing! Thanks for the explanations! This is very fascinating :) Greg is so talented!!

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Wow this is fascinating! Thanks for sharing it!

Marilyn said...

Greg is so talented and I wish him well for much success. I hadn't realized his art was mainly chalk, what a challenge. Thanks for sharing his art with us.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow, he is so talented. I can't even imagine the amount of time that went into those works of art. I hope that others recognize his talent and pay him what he's worth for more art work in the future. Thanks for sharing his work with us!!

Barb said...

His heart is in his art - you can see that in the images. I'm always amazed when I encounter such talent. I hope he can make a living doing what he loves.

shoreacres said...

Bless your heart! Thanks for taking the time to explain all this. I was sure there were fixatives involved, but I hadn't thought of putting them behind plexiglass. Of course.

You reminded me when you mentioned the "hourly" that I cleared 85 cents an hour for my labor on my first interior boat job. Learning how to estimate time and materials was far more difficult than learning how to varnish. Greg surely has his art well-honed. Let's hope it can make him a good living, too! (If I had a wall that needed to become a focal point, I'd surely hire him!)

Bella Rum said...

Marketing your work and estimating your fee is very hard. He is so talented. I hope he can find a way to make a strong living with this great gift. It's been so interesting to see and hear about it.

Jenny Woolf said...

My goodness, he is talented, I had not realised the extent of it! Fantastic!

paris parfait said...

Greg is incredibly talented! I really hope numerous opportunities arise that are worthy of his talents. He deserves wider recognition for his beautiful work.

Retired English Teacher said...

His work is just amazing. I'd love to see these murals in person. Thanks for sharing the details.

susieq512.com said...

Thank you for the background info! He really is amazingly talented. I applaud his trying to make a living out of his art. So few people are able to do that.

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