Category Archives: Contemporary Art

Business Leadership Lessons from Peanuts Creator

Peanuts Business Leadership

The Museum of Science + Industry in Chicago had recently featured Charlie Brown & the Great Exhibit. The exhibit celebrated the legacy and genius of Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz. While many may think that the exhibit would be geared for children, it offered something for everyone. Just as his comic strip was drawn for adults, there are many business leadership lessons that were learned from the Great Exhibit.

Innovate and Evolve – Charles Schulz had changed how he drew the Peanuts characters numerous times during the nearly fifty years of drawing the comic strip. Every decade he reevaluated and refined until the final evolution of what Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang look today. Each of the Peanuts characters were highlighted in the Great Exhibit from when they were first introduced to the world along with interesting facts of their origin.

Businesses need to innovate and evolve in order to meet consumers’ needs. As leaders, it’s up to us to motivate others to improve processes, create solutions to problems and stay relevant in the ever changing world we live in.

Always be Learning – When Schulz created the A Charlie Brown Christmas TV special there were many things he had to learn about the animated process including drawing the Peanuts characters in 3D. With the Christmas show’s success nearly every holiday was later captured as an animated special. The Great Exhibit displayed Peanuts impact to all the major holidays in life-size Sunday edition comic strips and featured animated cels from the It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!, among other classics.

As leaders, growing and challenging yourself is the key to lifelong learning. Invest in self growth by learning new skills on the job, taking continuing education courses and reading new business topics.

Dream Big – Confucius said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” All Charles Schulz every wanted to do was to be a cartoonist. He continued to work towards that dream by being passionate and focused on what he wanted to do with his life. Schulz had said that he would have still drawn the comic strips even if he didn’t get paid, that’s living the dream.

Develop career goals with milestones of how you’re going to make your dream job a reality. If you hit any roadblocks along the way, take the time to reassess, re-plan and keep moving forward. You can accomplish anything with the right attitude, positivity, passion and determination.

To experience the creative genius for yourself, visit the Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit at MSI in Chicago through February 18 or anytime at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA.

What other business leadership lessons have you learned from Peanuts Creator, Charles Schulz?

Cynthia Gedemer is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Business Coach with over 15 years of experience in growing revenue with innovative marketing programs for Financial Services, Insurance, Retail, Telecommunications, and Healthcare industries. Cynthia is also a contemporary artist and enjoys Stand Up Paddle Surfing. Connect with Cynthia on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Seven New Uses for a Star Art Sculpture

Uses Star Art Sculpture

If you think about what you can do with an art sculpture, most people may say it’s primarily for display purposes, a focal point of a room or to enhance interior design. That would be the case for most sculptures. Here are seven new functional ways to use a star art sculpture:

1. Mobile Charging Station – The two flat surfaces make a great place to charge your mobile phone, tablet or other portable devices.

2. Door Greeter – Surprise and delight guests when they visit with the star sculpture waiting to greet them at your front entrance. It also could be used to hold small packages and mail deliveries.

3. End Table/Night Stand – Make a statement in your living room or bedroom with this unique piece. Place your favorite lamp and other accessories to complete the look.

4. Entry Table– Everyone needs a place to drop off their keys, wallet, and other miscellaneous items when they get home. The star art serves as a functional “catch all” table.

Uses Star Art Sculpture

5. Still Life Subject – The original design for the star sculpture started out as a sketched drawing. Now you can sketch your own drawings of the sculpture too.

6. Bench – Need to take a break then rest on one of the two flat surfaces. I’ve sat on the star sculpture as a bench when it was on public display.

7. Garden Gnome – Enhance your garden and landscaping with more creativity. Each sculpture is made of fiberglass and a clear varnish coat was applied to protect it from the weather.

What other ways could you use the star sculpture?

Over 50 originally designed star sculptures were featured in the Centennial Star Art public exhibit in Chicago’s North Shore area (Winnetka, IL). As part of the Centennial Anniversary closing celebration, the star sculptures will be auctioned on November 2, 2012. To participate in the Star Art Auction, visit the Winnetka Community House. The auction proceeds will go to a local non-profit organization.

Cynthia Gedemer is a Chicago based contemporary artist who creates abstract and nature artworks from the inspirational travels to Australia, Hawaii and the Caribbean. Her most recent artwork is the Star Sculpture entitled “On the Shore” as seen in the above photos. When she’s not painting, Cynthia works as a Digital Marketing Strategist and Business Coach. Connect with Cynthia on Google+ and Twitter

The Star Art Project – The Finishing Details

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been painting the “On the Shore” Star Sculpture, only a few details remain. With the majority of cool colors in place, I finished the two-tone water by painting the darker blue shade that surrounded the turquoise base. To add some additional texture to the sculpture, I applied a natural sand acrylic medium with the same sand color found on one of my favorite beaches in Aruba.

After signing the front side of the Star, I added two hidden items that only could be viewed in person. The first is a slogan that celebrates the Centennial event and the second is the number that determined where the artwork will be installed during the outdoor public exhibit. After I dropped off the sculpture, a clear varnish coat was applied to protect it from the weather.

After working 62 hours over a 6 week period, preparing and painting a 40lb 12-sided star shaped fiberglass canvas – The Star Art Project was completed.  If you’re traveling to Chicago this summer, don’t miss this outdoor art exhibit featuring over 50 original artist designs.

Star Art Sculpture Finish Details

Star Art Sculpture Finish Details

This is the third of a three blog post series providing a behind the scenes look at the making of the Star Art Project. The Centennial Star Sculpture outdoor public exhibit runs from late May to end of August 2012 in Chicago’s North Shore area (Winnetka, IL). This is a no cost event open to the public. 

Thanks for reading this art post series. Comments? Let me know your thoughts about the finished sculpture design.

Part 1: The Star Art Project – It All Starts with the Title
Part 2: The Star Art Project – A Work in Progress

The Star Art Project – A Work in Progress

With the title, design and color palette in place, I was all set to create “On the Shore”.  When I received the fiberglass star sculpture it came with a coat of gesso acrylic medium already applied. As with any canvas the surface needed to be prepped in order to have the best surface for acrylic paint to adhere properly. The surface was a little rough so I lightly sanded the fiberglass and then applied a coat of outdoor primer to all 12 sides – it was now smooth enough to paint.

Depending on the subject I’m painting, I would either paint directly on the canvas or sketch out the design first. Since my sketch was to be used as a guide, I drew the entire design in pencil in order to make sure everything was to scale. As many of the design elements overlapped on multiple sides of the star, adjustments needed to be made. Now comes the fun part. With the drawing completed, I proceeded to paint the entire outline in black acrylic paint to give the piece more definition.

Star Art Sculpture Work Progress

Then with the paint swatches previously selected, the cool colors were applied in phases. The two-tone water occupied the top section of the sculpture so I painted the turquoise portion first and then added a variation of violet colors throughout sculpture to keep the drying time to a minimum.

While rotating the sculpture 360 degrees to cover all the star angles, I then painted the green color combinations. And finally the remaining two blue tones for the sea shells were painted. But the sculpture was still not complete, up next the finishing details.

This is the second of a three blog post series providing a behind the scenes look at the making of the Star Art Project. The Centennial Star Sculpture outdoor public exhibit runs from late May to end of August 2012 in Chicago’s North Shore area (Winnetka, IL). This is a no cost event open to the public. 

Part 1: The Star Art Project – It All Starts with the Title

The Star Art Project – It All Starts with the Title

When I found out I was selected to paint an original art design on a star-shape fiberglass sculpture for the Centennial Art Exhibit in the Chicago’s North Shore area, I felt honored to be part of the historic event. I began to think about what the design concept would represent. The idea of Community, a gathering place where people live and grow developed as the overall concept. As a result the star art title “On the Shore” emerged.  Artwork titles can be of any length but I usually go with something simple and could also have more than one meaning. The title also sets the tone for the entire composition.

With the title chosen, the rest of the concept came together. The color palette was cool vibrant colors to provide a calm and soothing environment. Various sea shells represented the North Shore community as a remembrance of where people have once been and where they currently live. Tone and texture of the sea life would be surrounded by sand to bring an engaging tactile presence while water symbolized movement towards endless possibilities.

I then sketched out the design to be used later as a color guide and placement of all the elements. I also mixed custom green, blue and violet acrylic paint swatches to preselect the best color combinations that work together. With the preparation in place, I’m ready to start painting.

Star Art Sculpture Start Title

This is the first of a three blog post series providing a behind the scenes look at the making of the Star Art Project. The Centennial Star Sculpture outdoor public exhibit runs from late May to end of August 2012 in Chicago’s North Shore area (Winnetka, IL). This is a no cost event open to the public.