By John A. Barry And Bill Carmel
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About this blog: John Barry is the creator of trAction Painting, a process/performance genre in which he applies paint to large surfaces with bicycles, roller skates, and other wheeled conveyances. With Bill Carmel and other associates, he has bro... (More)
About this blog: John Barry is the creator of trAction Painting, a process/performance genre in which he applies paint to large surfaces with bicycles, roller skates, and other wheeled conveyances. With Bill Carmel and other associates, he has brought trAction Painting events to local schools and summer camps. He also creates visual puns. His works are included in several private collections. John has authored/coauthored a dozen books, including Technobabble and Sunburst: The Ascent of Sun Microsystems. John can be contacted at [email protected]
Bill Carmel has 35 years' experience as a professional artist. His fine art paintings, sculptures, and designs are included in private, corporate, and public art collections in the United States, Europe, and Australia. After teaching at Humboldt State University and Southern Illinois University, he returned to the Bay Area, where he remains active in the arts by serving as a co-curator for the Lamorinda Arts Council's Orinda Gallery and by exhibiting throughout the Bay Area. Bill reviews exhibits at SFMOMA, the De Young and Palace of Fine Arts museums, and other Bay Area exhibition venues. Bill can be contacted at [email protected]
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This summer marks the third art camp event my associates and I have staged at Los Medanos Village in Pittsburg. The first year, the kids painted a 7 x 15–foot canvas by using skates, scooters, and bikes as their “brushes.” The second year, they created an underpainting, taped geometric shapes on top of it, painted over those, and then removed the tape to reveal the shapes. Once again they used wheeled vehicles, the tools of the trade for trAction Painting.
This summer, they painted t-shirts, but not with silk-screening. This and subsequent blogs represent a visual essay of the preparation, process, and results.
Day 1: Prep
I select a 9 x 12 canvas that has been used in previous projects as a pavement protector. The primed canvas is crisscrossed with lines and a few splotches resulting from those projects. I lay out the approximate placement of the t-shirts on the canvas.
Next I apply a light wash of white gesso over the “underpainting.”
Day 2: Placement
The canvas and t-shirts go to Pittsburg, where each camper chooses a shirt and tapes it onto the canvas.
Seventeen shirts taped and ready to paint. I have masked off an irregular rectangle on the front of each shirt. After the shirts are painted, the kids will have a mini “canvas” on which to draw, write (their name, a story…), or just doodle. Next day, we paint.