my story about the miniature installation “imagine”

In lieu of doing a full-size installation at Art-Prize at the Harris Building (we will do one this year), I created a miniature replica. I asked the viewer to imagine that I created an installation in a much smaller universe than ours — perhaps one that would fit on the head of a pin. Below are photos of the finished miniature gallery in my studio and photos of my process.

View of “imagine” mini-installation in leveille studio — 12″ x 12″ box, mixed media box with video, white and clear plastic, acrylic paint, changing colored lighting. See interior detail shots below.
Making this mini installation required new tools – miniature table saw.
Cutting thin material.This is 1/8 in plywood. Thicker pieces are cut with larger saws.
Gluing, drilling and screwing to make the structure for the miniature walls
Using another cool mini tool with a turn any way blade to cut out the mini door openings.
Constructing the box.
There will be a base with the interior structure and the walls and ceiling will drop over the base.
Adding structure for wires and controller storage to the underside of the base.
Creating the wall to support the back lighting.
Creating the white plastic art that will be backlit with changing colored lighting.
Testing and getting materials ready for video and back lighting.
Making the wall to hold the white plastic art that will be backlit.
Painting the gallery floor and the backlit wall black – inserting the art to be backlit.
Interior view of clear plastic art and silver wall hanging. black paint interior, black textured paint and other colors on the exterior.
Interior miniature gallery view of clear plastic and back lit wall.
Interior miniature gallery view of clear plastic art and video.
Silver wall hangings on either side of the gallery doors.

my story about the flood series

These paintings are the result of a terrorizing experience a few years ago. Driving on country roads, I drove into a winter flash flood. I could not see. It was dark. There was no moon. There were no lights. I could NOT see! Ice and water slammed my windshield. That was at minimum a quarter mile that did not seem like I would ever reach the end of. If I let up on the accelerator, the car began to stall. Unknowingly, I had come upon a flooded creek. I had driven the same road a couple of hours earlier while the sun was shining, and it was clear. For months before this experience, I had been having dreams of driving and not being able to see! I have had only one of these dreams since.

driving into the flash flood – panic – ice splashing on my windshield
only able to see the lights reflecting from the water and ice on my windshield with the manic wiper blades  trying to let me see — but no lights, no moon, no horizon, no vision — terror
finally after what felt like forever I see some light on the horizon — the terror starts to subside and hope to survive emerges

This was an ordinary trip, taking my Mom to the doctor. I knew the road well. Perhaps this trip and the dreams were symbolic and foreshadows of the time to come — my Mom’s death, the fear, the helplessness, but gradually some light.

When life stops you in your tracks

detail of a 10ft x 12ft painting on the floor of leveille’s painting studio

On Dec 14 a debilitating  sciatic attack put me on my side for about a month. I couldn’t hardly stand, walk, or sit. I could only lay on my left side. What a journey! I am still unable to crawl around on my studio floor to paint. But I have the video below to remind me that I can do it. And, I will soon!!! And, in fact I have begun working on this painting again. It is 10 ft x 12 ft or 12 ft x 10 ft — I haven’t determined its orientation yet. It is one of the largest I have done in awhile. I can tell you that while I was recovering I was unable to do anything — working on the computer was so difficult. I did not leave my bedroom for a week and a half. It’s only been a month since I could lay on both sides and my back. When I did make it to my office, I did some small digital art — a part of my energy series.

video of painting before Dec14

My studio during 4th Fridays – here is a glimpse

I am constantly changing and experimenting with video, animation, materials and lighting. I’ve had a wide range of reactions from loving it to not getting it. It is so rewarding to touch someone’s life. I was so appreciative when a young man with dollar in hand wanted to “tip me” for all of this.  I graciously showed him where my donation jar was, and told him he was going to help me do a large installation in Michigan. When people are moved… that is my reward.