Just kidding! This is not the mural’s progress today. Whoever said it takes 30 days to form a habit hasn’t met me. I FORGOT to photograph the mural when I finished painting! So, I’ll just tell you a bit about the day. The most memorable event was when a gust of wind blew the umbrella and 35+ lb. base off the bed of the truck, which is about 4-1/2 feet off the ground. It crashed onto the parking lot, and thankfully, no one was in its path. No one else saw its flight, but 2 broken ribs (on the umbrella, not on me) attest to the incident. Other than that, it was a normal day of painting and talking to people. Lots of people. Lots and lots of people!
Oooh, ooh, I think I might be 2/3 finished! My first guess at how long this would take was 60 days, and it may be that or even less. My hope is to have it look finished, and then have lots of time to dink around and improve and perfect and of course, hide a few things. Today the Mural Team was in town sealing murals with some magic stuff that is supposed to brighten the colors and slow down the UV damage. They had a very good lunch and invited me. This is the second time I have actually taken a lunch break – the first time was yesterday. Careful, a slothful pattern could be developing here!The lunch took place in front of my former studio. I sat on the brick step, because I paid for that thing, doggonit! My old studio was inside my favorite mural at the time – such a wonderful location. Today was the only day in 7 years that I felt a little sad about not being there anymore. It is now part of Rosemary & Thyme, a WONDERFUL store.Okay, isn’t this interesting? You can see 1/3 of the model painting (called a “maquette”) on the right. This is the first time I have seen it since handing it over to the Mural Team back in January. The colors seem more accurate to real life on the mural itself than in the maquette. It was very helpful to have it there today – got some weird shapes sorted out by looking at it instead of the complicated photographs.
I knew today would be good when a man from Verizon drove up, got out and handed me a cup of coffee! Thank you, Mr. Verizon!! That was really really nice! It was a very busy morning at the mural – a social event, to be sure. Then, Betsy came by and wondered if perhaps she could photograph Farewell Gap for a tee-shirt. This would have been fine, except that there wasn’t quite enough finished picture around Farewell Gap. So, I had a bit of a painting emergency – a get-‘er-dun situation for sure. I painted like a crazy woman (shush, those of you out there making the obvious smart remark), she showed up at 2 as she said and I simply said, “Go away”. She came back awhile later with some mocha-frappa-cina-latta-calorie wonderful treat, and we proceeded to photograph the mural. She needed more photos than just Farewell Gap, so we had to move IT because of the shadow IT was casting. Turns out the wheels were a bit mired in the dirt of their respective potholes because IT hasn’t been moved or used for several weeks now. Then my car was in the way of IT and I couldn’t find my keys. Betsy said, “Put it in neutral”, so I did, and she pushed while I Fred-Flintstoned. Phew. Got all the photos, and found my keys later when time wasn’t so crunchy. (just another day at the office?)If you would like a tee shirt with this design on the back, they will be available soon!Here is more of the full day’s work which included more detail in the White Chief bowl.Look – what is this?? Just another spot on the truck where the splinters will be glued down, this time in dark green. It is a result of one of those hurrieder-behinder situations that involved scooping up wet paint with both hands.
Now I can confidently say that I am half-way through. Today I realized that White Chief still needed some reshaping, and also concluded that it is much hotter on the truck than on the ground. Therefore, my new plan is to work on the truck in the a.m. and on the ground in the p.m. (Kenny M., if you are reading this, Mr. Stroben says “Hello!” Actually, he said it whether you are reading this or not.)
Today was a very pleasant day on THE WALL. I met the four Dumas brothers who chose Exeter as the destination for their annual reunion from several parts west. The lovely, gracious, and always accurate free lance reporter Lisa McEwen interviewed me for the Tulare County Lifestyle magazine (’twill be in the Visalia Times-Delta the second week in May). She learned how to climb up and down off the truck sans ladder and painted 2 trees (which I inadvertently and regrettably covered up this afternoon – I am sorry, Lisa!) And, after taking a short break at Larry Lee Photography (they have fine facilities, a Mac and a cat, I returned to the truck to find a cup of ice water, a bag of cookies and a brief note – “From Hometown Emporium for the painter” – WOW! Thanks, Hometown! What a day! Tomorrow I hope to finish this section all the way to the bottom of the mural, because I would like to drive the truck forward rather than in reverse this week!
Today I was greatly and ably assisted by Betsy, my “boss” from the Mural Team. Wow, it certainly does help to have help. It is difficult for me to determine what my helpers can do because I am not always certain of the next step. Or, sometimes the next step is actually a week or two away! Have a look at the detailing that I was able to complete today (around the “postcards”) because Betsy attended to other tasks for me. As time passes, I will continue to add to these parts, much as I keep adding detail to the “postcards”. This scribbly and wrong-colored stuff was my buddy Shane using up the leftover paint on my palette at the end of the day. I could just let it all dry overnight in the palette, but it gave Shane a new experience and seemed better than just wasting the paint. It will get hidden under layers of the right paint and detail as I make my way down the wall. Here is some of Betsy’s base coat, along with Ellen’s work from Friday! Thank you, friends!
Today my dear sweet thoughtful capable friend Ellen helped me! She really really helped me! She declined any publicity photos, so instead you can see the tremendous progress we made together. She did the base coating that has been haunting me. Yes, I know this is sort of weird and not lined up, but lookylooky! I began second coating the bottom parts, adding detail, and as is my preference, working from left to right. The overwhelming need for completion somewhere on this wall is causing me to revisit the left end (thank you, dear Ellen for the common sense suggestion and for the help!) I’m not yet doing that odd brownish hill, because it would mean the projection signers would be covered up. As per instructions from Mr. Mural Team President, that won’t happen until the very end. (Aren’t I a good girl?)
Today my friend Sandi called. She asked what I was doing, and I said i was wiping up blue paint from the bed of the truck. You know how paint glues the lids on the containers? Well, all you have to do is WHAP the lid smartly against a hard surface and it knocks it loose, just like that! (unless it splits the lid and paint flies everywhere).Nice color. If I sit on that exact spot, I won’t get any splinters. (There’s always a bright side!)Today the truck went forward about 8 feet and I began rebuilding Farewell Gap. The sloppy projection is still exacting its toll from my arse, literally. I had to just sit and study this thing and the photos and try to get it right. (Sitting on the truck means splinters.) It looks right now. S brought me a Dr. Pepper, oh joy, that is my guilty pleasure, Thank You, S! And I mixed the most perfect shade of gurple, which, as you may guess, is green + purple. (Former drawing student Robert and I decided that sounded better than “preen”, which was already taken anyway.) The trees in the distance are definitely gurple in color.
MARTA, THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL LUNCH! THE SANDWICH WAS PERFECT, MUY FABULOSO!! Today I had beautiful wonderful perfect new brushes to use! Now Cabin Group Two is completed, and tomorrow I will move the truck forward and paint Farewell Gap! (Lord willing and the creek, etc.) Wow, lots of exclamation marks going on – must have been a great day!Compare this view to the first day on this picture (Day Twenty). Further, I HID TWO ITEMS in the mural today. You’ll have to come see for yourself, and that’s all I’m gonna say about that! 😎
Today my yarn shop called about some yarn I wanted – having no paper or pencil, I wrote the amount on the wall! Just doing what I can to keep the economy ticking along.Here is the day’s progress – detail in the a.m. and broader stuff in the afternoon. Betsy brought an umbrella, and as the shadows lengthened throughout the afternoon, the umbrella became more and more effective. That seam in the wall is the half-way point! (I know, I keep telling you that, but it helps me to repeat it like a little kid saying “I won, I won” until you just want to smack him.) The details are getting better and better, doncha think?? 😎 It took great discipline to stop fiddling with it when the wall heated up. Tomorrow I will buy some new brushes so the ones that are all splayed can be used for less precise tasks. Oh, today a most thoughtful gentleman inquired if I would like a cup of coffee. He then returned with black decaf, exactly to my specifications! Thank you, Chester!