Friday, September 24, 2010

Birthday Brick!

My blogging friend, Andy, turned the big 3-0 last month and I wanted to get him something for this milestone *cough* traumatic *cough* event.

Time was limited so a painting was out of the question.

As a joke, I considered sending him a box of bricks for his birthday (Andy's job is working with masonry). That was just the inspiration I needed.

Wait, I thought. A brick. A painted brick!

And that's EXACTLY what I did!

The front side!

The backside!

Some side action!

Originally the plan was to keep it simple, priming and painting a backyard brick in a colorful yet basic abstract design.

Close-up detail

Splatters of acrylic paint gave extra interest but it was still missing something. So an added symbol turned into two, into twelve, into thirty!

Close-up detail

Before I knew it, the perfectionist in me got carried away and I spent waaaay more time on this gift than I intended to!

After adding a protective varnish, came the MOST important part.


Using a stencil from a computer printout of Andy's name, I carefully painted in each letter with glue then sprinkled a different colored glitter on top!

I know he didn't get this in the mail until last week but it's the thought that counts, right?...even if it was several weeks late!

Happy belated birthday, Andy!!


naturgesetz said...

Definitely worth waiting for.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dean,

That's a great birthday gift.

Thanks for confirming you POB number. I'll be very busy this coming week. I expect to be able to send you a letter the week after that. In the meantime let this framework percolate in your mind:

(1) Don't sell yourself short. If you do, you would also be selling your paintings short.

(2) Sell the sizzle, not the steak.

Caesar Augustus

Phunk Factor said...

Only you could think of something like this to make a person feel special!!! :D

Happy Belated B'day to Andy from me as well! Can I hav cake? ;)

Blakenetizen said...

it looks awesome!
I want a brick like this f my Bday lol!
And yes Dean, its the though that counts :D

Stephen Chapman said...

Who would have thought that a brick could be so interesting to look at!

Anonymous said...

That painted brick is a beautiful work of art. I hope your friend appreciated what he got. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Ken Riches said...

That was a great and unique idea that I am sure Andy really appreciated.

Mona Diane Conner said...

Wow, Dean, this is absolutely gorgeous! I love it!!!

Anonymous said...

wow, that is way cool.....but it must have cost a small fortune to mail, bday is in march, I love to cook...hint hint ;)


Randuwa2 said...

Awesome! Nifty! Delightful! You-rrific! Happy B-Day to Andy, and a priceless gift, Dean.

WOL said...

You and my girlfriend -- she used to find flat rocks and paint big grins on them with acrylic paint, find some public place to "booby trap" by leaving a couple where people could spot them if their eyes happened to fall across them. Those are fun too. Hope Andy liked his brick.

stanw said...


You may have gotten carried away but this is the best use of "getting carried away" that I have ever put my eyes on; I am sure Andy is tickled pink over this. Not a detail missed, so proud of you I am.

robertga99 said...

Happy Birthday, Andy
What a great present! You do such great work Dean :)

Tammy's Studio said...

This is the most awesome thing I've seen in a long time. I LOVE this. What a unique treasure. So heartfelt and thoughtful. You are truly an inspiration Dean and Andy is one lucky guy!

I absolutely adore this brick! Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the painted brick road!

Neurotic Workaholic said...

What a neat gift! I like gifts like the one you gave your friend because they have more thought and effort in them. And I think a gift like that definitely helps with milestone birthdays like the big 3-0, which I'll be having in just a few months! (eeps!)

laurentk said...

It looks like a hippies' brick! Anyway, you are right, birthday for 30th must be bright and original.
I remember, 5 years ago, a girl friend of mine got 30. Another crazy mad friend of mine used string of metal and paper to create a 2 foot giant dick. Shaped and colours were just so perfect! (his talent as an artist was truly recognized that way , love it!) The party was at my friend’s family house with her mother. She appreciated the effort too!?
Anyway, several years after, she still has this giant stuff at home. This is definitely one of our best Bday gift we organized ever.

Dean Grey said...


That's nice of you to say!


Caesar Augustus (Anonymous)!

Good tips! I'll try selling the sizzle!


Phunk Factor!

Let's all have cake!



Thanks for that, Sergio!



That was the whole idea behind it. To take a very regular object and turn it into a work of art!



Thanks for taking a look!!


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken)!

He thanked me profusely!






I knew the brick would be heavy so I sent it in a flat rate box, which unfortunately was still expensive! Ugh!

And thanks for the hints! LOL



I'm guessing you like it huh, Randy?




Your girlfriend sounds awesome.

Little did she know that she was taking part in guerilla art, where you leave bits of art in public spaces for others to see and take!






How nice of you, Bob!




If the Yellow Brick Road led to Oz, where would the Painted Brick Road lead?


Neurotic Workaholic!

Exactly! I wanted to give Andy a really unique gift to mark his transition into his 30's!



A two-foot, giant dick?! Impressive! I wouldn't even know what to do with it! LOL


Everyone's enthusiastic comments are greatly appreciated!


Bill said...

I'm not telling you how much I like this. You're going to get a big head. And if I ever find a painted brick road, I'm following it wherever it goes.

AndyDrewby said...

I love love love love lovelove love your gift! Thanks to all who wished me a Happy Birthday. The only problem I have is that I am afraid to touch my birthday present and ruin it. Dean, how hard was it to paint this brick, older brick tend to be really thirsty and absorb a lot of water, did you have to work fast, I mean when making the symbols and other designs? Once again thanks Dean and thanks to all of the rest of you. Andy

R. Burnett Baker said...

Fanfreakintastic! Beautiful, fun, and a PERFECT gift!!


bK said...

That is a wicked piece of brick! You really like your glitter!

False said...

they look like sea creatures! I was thinking about this before i mean i looked at this before a few times but really into blocks of man made structure bullshit. especially making them obsolete. somewhere a fridge in a landfill is crying for you/ not just me.

MartininBroda said...

Sorry, just another boring enthusiastic comment :-)

because it looks so lovely, for different reasons.

Eto said...

It looks great... That looks heavy though, hate to think of the postage!

david said...

what an inspired gift...
i prolly would taken the easy way out and bought him some legos....

- cheers.... david

jason said...

Very cool!
What a wonderful world if every brick was as beautiful! :)

Dean Grey said...


I'd follow a Painted Brick Road too, Bill!



Glad you like it!

To answer your questions.....

The brick was cleaned off several times with the backyard hose, so when I painted the primer coat the brick was already damp (the primer prevented additional paint from absorbing too quickly).

After that, layers of different colors were added on top of one another (the symbols are sitting on top of those layers).

The whole thing was varnished several times so don't worry about the paint rubbing off. Only some of the glitter on your name might come off if you touch the letters too much.







I like my glitter, Brody!



They actually had about a dozen painted refrigerators along Michigan Avenue this summer as part of some energy conservation/art program!



I appreciate your boring, enthusiastic comment!



It was heavy and the postage was pretty high!



Legos rule!





Thanks to all of you for your feedback on this!


Fábio Cembranelli said...'s a treasure, unique gift...! Dean..everything you write or paint..or draw..or creat is interesting. Love your blog.

Dean Grey said...


I appreciate that!


Ces Adorio said...

The painted brick is so awesome. OMG! I love it! What a great and original idea!

Carrie Waller Watercolors said...

That's awesome!! So clever and creative:)

Dean Grey said...


Glad you think so!



Thanks Carrie!!


It's wonderful having you two stop by!


dan said...

great colors!!! what detail on the glitter ha. fun

RAD said...

VERY cool! I like it!

Doomed But Cheerful! said...

Gorgeous. I want one for my next decade ... don't worry - I will nudge you in good time!

G =]

Dean Grey said...


Glitter is synonymous with fun!





Doomed But Cheerful!

You better make sure to remind me!


Thanks to the three of you!


Joey said...

I love what you did with the brick. I would put it on my desk. Didn't it make you happy ??

Dean Grey said...


Yes, painting the brick was fun to do!


Kathleen Rietz said...

Beautiful, unique and thoughtful...I would actually love a gift like this and forever cherish it!

Dean Grey said...


That's quite a compliment!


Unknown said...

awe some paintings, is are they made by hand or photographed, really liked it, would like to make a site with the same finish, dean keep it up, johnny

Rad Life. said...

That's awesome! haha I love the colors; I usually use bright colors in almost anything i paint.

Dean Grey said...


It's acrylic paint on brick!


Rad Life.!

Bright colors rule!


I appreciate you both stopping by!


Carol Nelson said...

Next time I'm stumped for a gift, I will consider painting a brick. Brilliant!

Dean Grey said...


They make great gifts when painted! LOL


Anonymous said...

Ah! SO PRETTY! OMO I can't believe how gorgeous that is! Beautiful, wonderful!

Dean Grey said...

She Who Shall Not Be Named!

Thank you!


Unknown said...

Damn - that's creative.

Dean Grey said...