Each and every piece of my artwork tells a story – it’s personal and this surf board art is no exception. My son Liam turned 18 this month. It is hard to believe that time can go so fast. I remember being a new mother and seasoned parents would tell me that “it goes in a blink – enjoy it all while you can”. I sort of believed them and I sort of didn’t. Those first few months sometimes felt like a lifetime and then life just gets rolling with your little boy and before you know it – there is a beautiful man standing before you. It went by in a blink. Now I am the seasoned parent telling new mothers to enjoy it because it all goes fast. sigh.
I call this art piece “It Takes a Village” because it was a collaboration with people that love Liam. Each birthday I try to create something meaningful that he will take into his future. He is a passionate surfer and I thought surfboard art would be the way to go. I could see it decorating his room now and then his own apartment in the future. Our dear friend and fellow surfer, Ed Mallen, donated an old surfboard for our canvas – it was no longer sea worthy so it would be up-cycled into wall art. Bill (Dad) spent the day prepping the board and removing years of wax and grime and managed to glue the broken skeg back on to the board. I enlisted the help of Liam’s artist friends to work on the board with me.
This is what the board looked like after Bill managed to clean the wax and repair the skeg. It’s almost ready for it’s close up …
The glamorous life that I lead … here I am in my pjs in my little studio with a 7 foot board trying to gesso the board so it is ready to become art. I’m sneaking around so Liam doesn’t know what I’m up to. Let me tell you it’s difficult to hide a 7 foot piece of art in a smallish open plan house.
It is equally difficult to hide four gorgeous girl artists in a smallish open plan house but we managed. Here are my fellow collaborators. Juliana, Ellie, Brenna and Conley. We are coming up with our plan and working out our color scheme.
We decided to take it outside for the spray painting and so we could get away from being found out.
After we painted the middle of the board – we used gel medium to transfer random pages from surf magazines and the local paper on to the board. Here I am the next day after spending way too much time rubbing off the paper from the board. You will notice that the ink from the pages is all that is left behind and it is phenomenal. It looks faded, worn and awesome. Like amazing graffiti.
All of his friends wrote messages on the back of his board with acrylic paint pens. Here you will see Liam, his board and the artists. It’s a gift that he will have for a lifetime and one that I loved creating because I got to work with some incredible people.
This is “it takes a village” and it is number 41 of the 50:fifty project. It was made with love and with a group of wonderful people.
“it takes a village”: surf board art; mixed media on 7 foot surfboard
(number 41 of the 50:fifty project – a collaboration)
Happy Birthday to my 6’3″ baby,
Ellen aka Mom