Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pastels on Concrete

The Providence Community Library sponsored a square in the Rotary Club's Annual Street Painting Festival in downtown Providence. I was asked to help find an artist who might do a mural for PCL. I decided it would be easier to do it myself than to talk someone else into doing it, plus I love PCL. The murals would be judged in a contest with cash prizes. My intention was to make something simple, just to accomplish it, and then get back to my own work.

When I arrived in the morning, I had no clear idea of what I wanted make. I've never done a sidewalk painting before. I decided on sunset clouds and the Atlantic Mills towers, (those icons of Olneyville!) I had no visual reference materials, so I worked from my imagination and I made it up as I went along. My beginning was a little tentative, but the longer I worked, the more I wanted to do this street painting to the best of my abilities.
I was there from 11 AM until 6 PM (but not working the entire time.) Parts of my fingerprints are now gone, abraded from rubbing the concrete while blending colors. I stayed until the very end because I thought I might possibly win something, but was disappointed when I didn't win anything (especially because so many prizes were given out.) My expectations had been elevated both by peoples' positive responses, and by how I perceived my work in relation to the other entries that I witnessed. I guess it just didn't feel fair to do a whole day's work and get nothing material from it-- except the rest of the box of used pastels-- particularly because sometimes I feel like I don't get monetarily compensated for most of the work that I do. I don't have to make a lot of money, but I do have to treat myself fairly. I'm glad that the Rotary Club is raising money for good causes, but they still could have done that without me. Right now I can't afford to be doing work for free, but I became engrossed in the street painting, and I allowed myself to because I thought I could be a contender. I don't even know if I would have had to give all the money to PCL because they paid the $25 entry fee for the square, but I'd have been proud to have to figure that out. Later I learned that there was only one judge for the adult category!

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1 comment:

What does your voice sound like?