by David Miller
LOVELAND, OHIO - When the Loveland Arts Council put out a call for artists to “Paint the Town” - Loveland resident, Alana Johnson took them seriously.The “Paint the Town” event is held yearly so artists can paint en plein air around Loveland. Artists put their favorite scenes, building, etc. on canvass and photo paper. Residents can watch the artists at work, and the art is gathered for a “Wet Paint Sale” at the end of the week. The art is also later displayed and on sale indoors when the paint dries, at Paxton’s Grill in historic downtown.
The event was over weeks ago, but Johnson’s art is a work in progress, and she says she won’t finish until the leaves fall off the trees. Her tree; in fact, or at least the one she adopted on West Loveland Avenue just caddy-corner to Paxton’s Grill along the Loveland Bike Trail.
Johnson said that when she heard about painting the town, she looked hard at a few downtown storefronts, but thought she might get arrested if she adopted one as her canvass. She also considered painting one of the cast-iron light poles in the downtown, but her better judgement kicked in when she spied her tree. Not a poor choice at that - considering the summer heat - her picking a shade tree and all.
She is painting its leaves blues, reds and whites, and hanging what she calls “tree earrings” from its branches. Her tree earrings are now filling with en plein air summer rain. She has placed a necklace around its trunk, and leaving blank canvasses nearby so the public can also contribute.
In this LOVELAND MAGAZINE VIDEO Alana talks about her en plein air public art project and her tree earrings. The video takes you from dawn to dusk, looking at, and through Alana’s art as the sky changes colors and the downtown night-lights take over.
Near the end of this video, Alana asks the public to help her project evolve into a community event by contributing their own artwork. She said, “I would love it if people joined me and added their own little bits of artwork.”
Johnson is a member of the National Woodcarvers Association. She has exhibited her work at the Cincinnati Art Club in Mt. Adams, the Public Library downtown and in Blue Ash, and now in Historic Downtown Loveland, Ohio. She has a studio at the Loveland Art Studio on Main.
The en plein air, video and still photos, were shot by David Miller.
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