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Art Show: Flower of the Month: Daisies

SOLD - Pavement Series #5 - Flower Child 1968

by Shawn Marie Hardy

Banner for Flower of the Month: Daisies art show

Art: SOLD - Pavement Series #5 - Flower Child 1968 by Artist Shawn Marie Hardy
In sticking with the theme of pavement I went with weathered bitumen this time. I put myself back into my childhood and imagined being my daughter's age again coloring outside with chalk - and what it might look like all these years later, aged and littered with remnants of time gone by. Of course the art would have disappeared at the first rain or the scuffing of footsteps but the imagination can make anything possible.

I like the contrast between bright pastel chalk and the deep dark asphalt. The black matte finish is perfect for such a medium - the images just pop right out at the viewer. And children's art is so carefree and honest. My intention with this piece is not to represent the place or time in which I lived, but rather the child I could have been.

I got going on this and realized that I had turned it into a very personal item. I wanted to do a piece that represented childhood in general with sidewalk art as the focus. I had it all finished at one time but realized that I couldn’t feel anything for it. My soul wasn't there. I began to rework it. It took a different shape and has become autobiographical. It has turned into a dedication to myself – to a childhood that I’m thankful is gone and to my inner self who has emerged into the person I have always wanted to be. The ideas for this piece come from a place that most people I know are unfamiliar with. Please excuse the lengthy statement - it is the only way I could convey the meaning.

My parents had just divorced when I was seven. My mother was politically active as chairperson for a group of semi-radical individuals who were against the war in Vietnam. She ended up marrying the co-chairman and I was thrust into a lifestyle that I didn't understand. Things were not simple, nor were they fun or safe. We went to San Francisco and my stepfather and a friend helped organize a commune. Many college-aged and young 20-somethings joined us in a huge 5-story warehouse. We erected walls, put up doors, and furnished our “spaces.” Ours was a one-room open space with mattresses on the floor, a dining room table, a fridge, and a hot plate to cook on. We shared a community sink and every floor had it’s own bathroom. Some good things happened there and many bad. When I was ten I saw a boy my age tripping on acid. Drugs and alcohol were rampant and we were in a place where sexuality and free love was the way. I saw a lot of things I shouldn't have had to see.

There were about ten children and outsiders called us “The Flower Children of Project One." It meant nothing to me, but apparantly the outside world thought it was important enough to do a newspaper article on. As I got older I hated that label. We were different. I could never have friends over because the place was not approved as a dwelling and the health inspecters would have shut us down. Basically, I was a prisoner who got to go to public school but who couldn't be a child.

It took many years to shed a lot of the pain I held on to from those days. There is much that I can't even talk about here because it's just too deep and I don't want it out there for viewing. I suffered but overcame it and because of that experience there are a lot of interesting stories to tell. I suppose the best thing that came out of it is wisdom. At least I can pass that onto my daughter.

This piece was done using artist-quality Golden and Windsor-Newton acrylic paints on 3/4" plywood. I started with layers of thin paint, laying the lighter colors down first. Over those I applied heavier, darker layers of grays and black that I mixed using Mars black, Titanium white and different blues and ochres. When those were completely dry I sanded areas to give it a weathered look. The 3-D looking stones are painted on. I added highlights and shadows using pastel and charcoal. I have collaged pieces of my own original art from that time in my life, bits of candy wrappers, photo images of dais


Detail Images


Detail Image for art SOLD - Pavement Series #5 - Flower Child 1968

Chalk Face Detail

Detail Image for art SOLD - Pavement Series #5 - Flower Child 1968

Doll Detail

Detail Image for art SOLD - Pavement Series #5 - Flower Child 1968

Snapshot Detail

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