Creativity Corner: Shinedown Word Art

So. I’m hoping to create more this year (don’t I say that every year??), but so far, so good for the month!

I did doodle a bit in my sketchbook for the first time in ages, but I wanted to do something a bit more substantial, so I decided to do some word art for B. We’ve been talking about painting random song lyrics for the longest time, so I finally said, “screw it!” and asked him for some Shinedown lyrics and then a color theme.

This is the result:

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I only apparently had large canvases around (that I could find at the time, at least). He wanted warm colors, so I did a loose play on a sunset/sunrise. I added a metallic Shinedown logo (sort of visible in the dead center) and then washed over it to make it super subtle. Finally, the lyrics from “How Did You Love” that B texted me.

I still need to get a lot better with painting words/doing word art, but he’s super happy with the end result, so I’ll take it!

On Washed Ashore

The Denver Zoo recently had a traveling exhibit called “Washed Ashore – Art to Save the Sea.” I had seen the banners for it while driving and we finally got the chance to go about three days before it ended its residency.

From their website: “Washed Ashore builds and exhibits aesthetically powerful art to educate a global audience about plastic pollution in oceans and waterways and spark positive changes in consumer habits.”

The pieces? Are stunning. I took photos of almost every piece at the zoo (missed one behind glass) and I’ve included my favorites here.

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I adore this marlin.

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The jellyfish in the background is almost all entirely water bottles. Insane.

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Gorgeous parrotfish.

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Close-up. The artistry that went into these is amazing.

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Shark close-up.

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Turtle out of cans.

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American sea star. In USA colors to bring attention to firework debris.

As I said, the exhibit is no longer in Denver, but they currently also have pieces in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (which might be permanent?). They are also coming soon to the Science Museum of Virginia (Richmond, Va.), Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (Tacoma, Wash.), and Reiman Gardens (Ames, Ia.).

Creativity Corner: Word Art Painting

(Yeah, titles for these posts are a work in progress …)

In my last post, I mentioned that I painted for the first time in a long time in late December. As what I painted goes along very well with my goal for 2015, I figured I’d share it here.

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“embrace FEAR and dream BIG” (acrylics on canvas)

The saying is based off a quote I kept posted on the sticky note function on my laptop – “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”

I had the canvas already started in that weird purply color (no idea what I was doing; probably using up mixed paint colors). I took some glitter paint, brushed it over and then did the words. I’m not quite there when it comes to hand-painted typography (maybe some day?), but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. It’s on the wall across from my side of the bed, so it is the first thing I see every morning.

On The Neon Boneyard Park

One thing that I read about when researching Las Vegas was the Neon Boneyard Park (also found as the Neon Museum). I love the aesthetics of neon and own a neon light myself (custom made Avs logo – 16th birthday present) so when I found out about this place, I decided we had to go.

They do both day and night tours, but unfortunately, our schedule didn’t allow for a night tour. Pity; just means we’ll have to come back and do the tour again at night. And again during the day for better lighting. Tours are $18/adult during the day, and $25 at night. You can also do a package bundle with the Mob Museum (something Brandon wants to go see, so for next time) as long as you visit the two places within a week of each other.

You see the signs only via a guided tour. The tour lasts about an hour long and is awesome in that you not only learn about the signs, but about Las Vegas history, too. For the history nerd in both of us, that alone made the tour worth it.

Obviously I took photos – over 70 of them – and narrowed it down to the 18 you see here. Enjoy, and decide to go next time you’re in Las Vegas (place is located on Las Vegas Blvd., north of the strip by a few miles).

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City Center Motel. Sign designed by the same woman who did the Welcome to Las Vegas sign (Betty Willis).

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Neon cactus!

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Pieces of the Desert Rose sign. This is their next restoration project.

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Brandon under one of the Binion’s horseshoes.

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Visitor Center – the lobby of the old La Concha.

Chihuly at the Denver Botanic Gardens

I’ve known about glass artist Dale Chihuly for a little while – mainly because of his work at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Awesome stuff.

So, when an exhibition of his came to the Denver Botanic Gardens, I knew I had to go. It started in June, but I heard they were doing night tours (now sold out) starting in October, so I decided to wait until then to go.

I am SO glad I went – very, very cool time. If you’re in Denver, go before it’s gone; if you’re not, and an exhibit of his comes to town, go. You will not regret it.

Here is a small sampling of all the photos I took when I went.

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This boat did not work as well at night.

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A friend described this as Chihuly meets Walter White.

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Another exhibit that didn’t work quite as well at night.

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Workshop display.

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These were awesome during the day, too, but the sunset behind them was too good to pass up.

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Same deal with this one.

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This worked a lot better at night with the reflection.

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Shadow play on this one looked awesome at night. During the day, fairly unremarkable, comparatively.

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Awesomeness of these came out at night.

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Denver Chalk Art Festival

Earlier this month, Denver held its annual Chalk Art Festival. I’ve known about it for years and have always wanted to go. This year, Brandon was home and I decided you know what? We’re going. I had a race that morning in Louisville; we came home, I showered and we headed downtown.

We almost didn’t go – traffic/construction downtown was JUST. THAT. BAD. – but we finally gave up, found a garage, parked and walked to Larimer Square where the festival was being held.

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There were a ton of artists featured – many still working on their creations. Most of the artwork was reproductions of famous pieces; some, representing a company (I believe their sponsor? Not 100% sure …). It was really crowded and hard to get a good look at everything, but I was able to get a few pictures of my favorite pieces.

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Beautiful Art Deco piece.

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Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?”.

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Hokkusai recreation.

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Hungry Hungry Hippos. (Brandon loved this one.)

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Blue horse of death from DIA.

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I believe a Colorado twist on Serendipity.

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Not sure the original artist/inspiration, but love the black and white.

I would say I would definitely go to this again, but the crowds made it really difficult to say. We went on the third day (of three). I would say I’d prefer to go on day one, Friday, but I don’t think many if at all of the pieces would be completed … seeing as we went midday on day three and some pieces still weren’t finished.

If you DON’T mind crowds and heat and whatnot, go, definitely go, as the artwork is outstanding.