|The only picture I have of me painting. Someone came up to me and asked if they could take my picture so I pulled out my camera and asked him to take one for me as well. See my wonderful straw hat?|
So, the original plan was 30 days to paint 820 square feet. Well, it’s been a week and I’m sort of done. It’s hard to believe, 7 1/2 days, 70+ hours.
What a wonderful week it has been. The weather was beautiful and the mural just progressed right along, faster than I ever thought. The farther it got the more people stopped to talk to me or compliment my work. I even met Pennsylvania’s 21st district Senator, Mary Jo White. She came up to me when Mary treated me to dinner next door and told me about what a great job I was doing and how good it would be for the community. I can’t really remember what she said because I was trying to comprehend that I was talking to a senator, she was too sweet to be a politician and why was she talking to me? People told me about Oil City and what a great contribution this would be for the community and I began to realize that I was becoming part of this place by leaving my art here. All the days have run together. Every part of daylight is spent in front of that wall. As I was coming to the end I was so grateful that this could come from me, that I could be a part of this whole process. I know I’m a good artist. As arrogant as that sounds there’s things that I know how to create and draw and I see how happy I can make people. With this mural I didn’t have the certainty that I have with my watercolors and little illustrations. This mural is just so much bigger than me -literally – and I suppose that if I can do little things well it should translate over to bigger things but I wasn’t certain that it would work out that way. Instead, it was more like I was along for the ride. I watched myself paint and at times how well it was coming together was in itself overwhelming.
Friday for me was the true full circle of things. I had gotten lost about why I do art, what this project is about, and I was feeling pretty sad. The weather was dreary and drizzly to match. I spent most of the day inside waiting for the interval drizzle to stop. I journal-ed and drew designs. The nice thing is that the wall stayed dry and I was able to paint between the rain drizzles. I was also interviewed by the local newspaper and in telling my life story and talking about my dreams it brought my purpose back to me. I was renewed and everything came together to make sense. Everything is so connected. The weather was dreary with my melancholy, the tree that I had used to shade my paints had bloomed as I began my mural and now the blossoms are all falling off and landing in my paints. This project is wrapping up.
Also on Friday, Mary called me over. “Roadster, there’s someone that wants to meet you.” (We go by our trail names from the Appalachian Trail where we met in 2004) So I came into the cafe and saw this kid there, for a split second I was wondering why he’d want to meet me but then I recognized him from the picture on the license that I found by the sidewalk when I was on my way to work one morning. It might have been the same morning that it looked like someone had rolled down the sidewalk/hill and lost all their clothes on the way. I had tried to find this kid on Facebook to send him a message about his license but I had no luck and mailed it instead. I think he was with his dad, they were both very grateful and insisted I take 50 cents to pay for the postage. This afternoon we crossed paths on the same hill that I had found his license on.
There’s other exciting things as well. Since I’ll be done so soon I realized I could leave earlier than I had planned. Dad has decided to delay his sailing trip for another year so I won’t be going up to Erie to meet him BUT now I can be done before July 4 and Jason and his family are going down to Florida where a bunch of Antarctica people will be meeting up. So I’ll be flying from Pennsylvania to Florida. There’s just one small catch. Mary still wants me to paint the store front of Art on Elm. When I got here I found out that it’s a brick front and it would be a pain to try to put up the my original design I am much more excited about the design that I worked out on my rainy day. All right, I’ll quit talking. Look at pretty pictures.
|I found my original sketch that I drew up after talking to Mary and piecing together photos I found on the internet.|
|As I began the town. This was the most exact work I had to do so this is the only spot that I drew out the grid. I should have started at the church and worked from there but I tried to do it from the river, just like I when I was making the design.|
|Adding in the green. This was a lot of fun. I just used 4 colors, cobalt, yellow, black, and white and intermixed them all in various ratios. Whenever I got a neat green I picked out where to put it.|
|Does this look familiar? I was trying to replicate my parents’ house but I know I got the top left wrong. For the life of me I couldn’t remember how the roof goes. I couldn’t find any pictures on facebook either.|
|The cook next door suggested this as a tourist map. I liked it.|
|I love this pic. A reflection from across the street of the parking lot that I am working in. You can also see that I have a view of the steeples. I looked at them for references.|
|Here’s the next project. The front of the gallery. The idea was to have the design wrap around but how to paint on the brick and with a ladder when you’re on the sidewalk?|
|My original design and color study but I didn’t like it at all. I like the design but too many straight lines and long things to line up. I don’t like the colors. I’m only using the selected Victorian colors here.|
|On my rainy day I worked out how to paint this the fastest and what colors to use. I have my own paint-by-numbers now. Drawn on the MCAD grid that my hubby did for me 😀|
|outlined front. Can you see that I moved the circle out of the way of the light? Also, I drew this without my design in hand so it’s a little different.|
I just need one good sunny day to finish the front. Can you believe that? After thinking these two walls would take me a month, now I think I can paint one whole wall in a day. Ha. Wish me luck.