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Story behind the painting “On Becoming and Artist”

Over the course of this month, we will be sharing some of the stories behind the paintings and songs in the Becoming series.
You can purchase prints of this piece here.
And, you can listen to the song, Eventually, here.

ON BECOMING AN ARTIST
24X18 mixed media on canvas
Companion Song: Eventually
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I grew up in a very artistic family. My mother is an amazing artist and she dedicated many hours of our homeschooling to magical projects with artistic bents. But I never considered myself an artist. My older sister was always the one who could draw elaborate characters and scenes from her head. I was the kid that was good at math and science. It wasn’t until H.S. – when my sister went off to private ballet school in Canada – and I took my first structured art classes, that I even considered that I was good at art as well.

Little River H.S. is a tiny rural school in Kansas only accessible by dirt country roads. There were 32 kids in my graduating class. The year below me had 12. Beth Myers is the art teacher there and she has this amazing little “attic” art department that smells like wax and sunshine. It is the only room on the second story and had a door to the rooftop. She let me set up my own work table under a window in the corner where I could leave my scattered in-progress works out. It was this glorious little world all in its own. It was the first time I started to see my self as an artist separate from my sister.

In college, I was majoring in the sciences – computer programing and biology (believe it or not), but would still take art classes for fun. The art rooms were always where I wanted to be. Walking in felt like home. I was working several jobs – scooping ice cream and delivering papers and I hated it. But I was teaching little art workshops for my friends. Then, in the classified ads I saw an advertisement for a M.S. Art teacher. I applied, and through uncharacteristic boldness and luck, I got the job.

And slowly, I realized that the thing I loved most, and the space I loved most was creating. Sitting in a sunshine filled place with a steaming mug of coffee, tools of making in my hands, excavating beauty from the stories that make up our lives.

To me this piece is about the pull. About how all these little tidbits and disconnected themes in your life have direction and movement. You may not see the image they are forming until you reach the destination. But, your passions, your curiosities, your dreams – they all are leading somewhere.

 IMG_2109 IMG_2115 On becoming an artist_web

EVENTUALLY lyrics by Tim Coons
My hourglass, my calloused hands

My furrowed brow in all my plans

I’ll come into my own, I’ll come into my own

The distance I have traveled

The wool that I have gathered

I’ll come into my own, I’ll come into my own

Heaven’s ship sails low

All the while, it’s ever close

You know you know…

You’ll never have that time you need

You strike the rock but nothing bleeds

You’ll come into your own

eventually

the distance you have wandered
The fabric torn asunder

You’ll come into your own, you’ll come into your own

Heaven’s ship sails slow

Give it time, it’ll show

before you go, before you go

you know, you know, oh

‘Middle C’ Mural in Greeley is Finished


I actually finished this mural at the end of last month, but I didn’t want to miss out on sharing some of the behind the scenes process pictures here. And actually, this morning I went and put the finishing piece on – the Middle C note right in the middle of the musical staff and finally signed the wall, so I suppose it wasn’t actually complete until today. This is the second large scale mural of I have painted for the city of Greeley – here is a picture of the first –
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Doing these pieces as silhouette worlds has been so enjoyable. (By the way, that is baby Beatrice in my tummy.)

My newest mural is part of the City of Greeley’s Art in Public places alleyway project. City officials hope to see the alley — which serves as a connection between walkways from the 8th and 9th street plazas — covered with music themed artwork. Their plan is to take an eye-sore and turn it into a public gallery of sorts. Isn’t that a lovely idea?
You can read more about the city of Greeley’s plans for the alleyway and the scope of the project here.

Here is the my alley way Wall BEFORE:
Dealing with those pipes and utility boxes was the biggest challenge…

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com

And in progress pictures (scroll all the way through to see the finished wall)

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com
Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com
Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com


Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com


And FINISHED! (This is a composite photo, the narrowness of the alley makes it tricky to get the whole wall in one photo)

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural www.giantsandpilgrims.com

 

Betony Coons downtown Greeley Mural

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