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!)
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