Until now, there was only one hand painted lamppost sign in a group of 500 homes. Now there are two.
Every home around here has a lamppost in front of the house, and each lamppost has a bar for hanging a sign. Typical signs show the first names of people who live there, their house number and some other ornament such as the logo of their favorite collegiate sports team. The signs also show an uncanny sameness, not surprising when one knows that the documentation package for a new home sale includes a coupon for the sign maker.
Here was a chance for me to paint something different, a sign derived from the folk art known in Buenos Aires as “Fileteado Porteño.” The artform has a long history that includes a rise in popularity during the middle of the last century, a tailing off due to many of the original artists passing away, a period when a totalitarian government tried to ban it, and a recent resurrection that has made is popular once again.
I’ve been enchanted by the style for years and what better chance to imitate it than to make our own sign. Full of acanthus leaves, scrolls, flowers, birds, and dragons, these signs are vibrant with bold multi-layered colors.
In his book “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell expresses the idea that it takes about 10,000 hours to achieve mastery. For sign painting, I still have something like 9,411 hours to go. This was a very enjoyable project and I’ve started picking up a new skill.
Minor details: the sign is 13″ by 18″ painted on aluminum material intended for traffic signs. The base coat is sprayed enamel. All of the other elements are hand painted with “1-Shot” sign painter’s enamel. It’s topped with a sprayed clearcoat.