The Start of the Rainbow Portrait Project

It has been surreal watching as the world broke down. It started with my friends in Florida, face and body artists that watched as event after event was canceled and a whole “season” was just coming down in shambles back towards the end of March and beginning of April.

Then it started hitting the rest of the country in the United States. Everything was canceled from small to big, to do the best they could to be responsible and caring for the general populace in keeping the virus that was going around, COVID-19, from getting out of hand before there was medical infrastructure to handle it.

I watched a lot of heartache happen.

As I sat, I wondered what I could possibly do to help. What I decided to do is a little mental journey.

At least once a week or sometimes more often, I practice doing rhythmic face lines to draw the face. I started this years ago when I discovered the Reilly Method of drawing the face in an effort to make myself put the face down quicker. I regularly do a simple exercise to keep it fresh and retain muscle memory. It has worked SO well. I can now put down a basic sketch in about 20 minutes where it used to take me 3-4 hours, often with a lot of frustration.

I generally do these exercises in ballpoint pen, a love of mine from since I was a kid. I don’t think I’ll ever NOT have a blue ballpoint pen somewhere near to use.

I decided to raid my digital photos that I keep of “draw someday” and drew a friend named Joann.

Joann Ballpoint Sketch

She shocked me with how much she liked it. It was just a small sketch, nothing worked SUPER hard on, how is this something enjoyed? She bought it.

I then thought, what would I enjoy doing even further? I wanted to do a rainbow inspired thing, partly inspired by a book that Dolly Parton wrote for kids called “I Am a Rainbow“. My favorite phrase from it:

So be a rainbow –
Shine above
And filter all your glow
Through love.

This really touches me. The book is about emotions being colors and how we go through so many things. It talks about having emotions is not bad, but what we do with them matters.

I had seen an artist called Bao Pham do drawings with a “rainbow lead” colored pencil. I didn’t feel like spending the money so I just pulled out some rainbow colors and played with the skin tones.

Be Present
Be Present


Joann was the first again and she purchased it. I thought that if something that I had a lot of fun with could bring some joy to people’s lives, then that’s what I’ll do. I made a bowl of names and every week I pull one.


Public Art- 1st Try

I have been looking at RFQ/RFPs (Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposals) of public art for YEARS. I have even been a small part of committees tasked with choosing artists and works to be installed as public works. I have been part of budgets, planning, advertising- but never done it myself. I have been too daunted at the task or felt like my skills just don’t justify giving me a bunch of money to do something that I would absolutely LOVE doing. Public art can be the ultimate challenge to the every day and mundane, depending of course on viewpoint.

I never thought I could do it. Though I would see things and be like- I could’ve done that! Why didn’t I try?

Until now! <cue infomercial announcer> With my new slightly more confident, less self-loathing self! It only took 10 years to finish my bachelors’, now I can due anything! /announcer

I thought I’d share what I’ve done and the sites that helped me in particular, if anyone else might be struggling with the idea or just curious as to what it is. A place that really helped me jump start again for myself was info from the Boise City Department of Arts & History on public art. They talk about all scales of public art in a general way, but with good information.

I found the call for artists on the Idaho Commission of Arts website. Since I used to live in Idaho, I frequent it. There was a call for artists for the city of Eagle for some Traffic Box Art.

city of eagle call for art

I’ve seen this before, where either the box is painted by the artist(s) or wrapped in a vinyl. For once, I had a bit of time to get things together (hooray for deadline not being the next day) and I felt like since it was basically my creating a piece that would then be fabricated to be put on the item, my colored pencil would work well, and that’s my strong suit. I looked up other cities that have done this same call, found some others in the Boise, Idaho area. I looked up artists, found a range of styles and media, and thought I had a good chance.

The materials themselves were pretty easy. Getting images together was super easy for myself (SO MUCH ART!). I chose 10 that I felt would be pretty indicative of my style and would go along with my stating what I would make in my letter of intent. It was great too that they included pictures of the boxes on the call’s website, which I used to create mock ups of what my art work would look like on site.

Yeah yeah. You’d notice these.

My resume just needed to be updated a bit (yay for updating it every year!) and then the last thing that held me up- the letter of intent. I knew this was the equivalent of the cover letter for the job. It started everything, possibly even before they’d decide to look at my images. I stared at a blank screen for awhile then researched what others say to do. I tend to overthink my writing, so I needed some simplicity.

The succinct information on the Creative Capital blog helped me a lot.  I also found an article written by an executive director about how she views entries and one thing she liked is when she could feel that the artist was on the edge of something, when they were honest, and vulnerable.

I did my best. Curious? —–>Letter of Intent-City of Eagle

After that was done, I decided to add one thing- an image list. This explains the images I had sent- details about size, year created, media. Curious? ——> Carmichael-Image List

The very last thing I did before printing out was proofing again. I also made sure to change all files names with my last name attached to it- all images, documents, the name of the USB drive. I also resized each picture to be relatively the same dimensions for ease of looking. Not only did I print out my letter of intent, resume, and image list- I added them to the usb drive as documents, just in case something happened.

Its in the mail today. I’m proud to get my first one done. I’m already looking at my next one, a call for muralists.



Brand New Site, Same Ol’ Artist

I’ve debated about having a blog again.

I certainly didn’t do much with it the first time.

But- I figure with purpose, comes action?

I want to help other artists as much as I can, so I will be posting particulars about artwork, ideas, legal, and call for art.

I will be focusing a lot on the Wyoming area, since that is where I currently reside.

Thanks for following me!