I never really considered spray paint and its uses until seeing stenciled images pop-up in art-blog-land. Now, this versatile paint’s uses seem painfully obvious, uses going far beyond that of re-used garage sale signs and colorful rail car masterpieces.
Yes – for me, graffiti, or street art, IS art. On Venice Beach, you’ll be hard pressed to find a palm tree that hasn’t been covered seven feet high with colorful art or the city’s gray cover-all paint. There are even large, concrete slabs set up FOR the artists, who bring along milk crates of colors and spend the day creating.
There’s beauty to the chaos, to thick lines of paint layered by skilled hands. Street art isn’t easy – you can’t just pick up a can and become Van Gogh. Many plan out their designs on paper or even the computer, taking to the street only when they’ve mastered the design with paper and pen. But the preparation doesn’t end there. You need to learn how to hold the can in order to get the lines and coverage you need.
While I will never attempt anything as complicated as street art, there’s something to be learned from those that do. A lot of graffiti comes from experimentation – here are some things I’ve learned from my own little play beside the garage.