Friday, October 3, 2008

out of the bag, onto the wall...

so, it's out of the bag... i'm painting on walls again.

look familiar?

well, the mural "that never was" is now the mural that IS.
(except, it'll be the mirror image version).

after all the hubbub and hooplah, crying and complaining, the mural that never was found its new home... a happy home... a home that genuinely WANTS it.

starting yesterday morning, the wall on the side of the home at 539 E. 21st street, became the official home of the mural entitled "our roots, our community". the wall is over 50 feet wide and over 30 feet tall. and that's REALLY tall. trust me.. i have pictures to prove it.

the process will be a relatively slow one--- since the wall is so big and made of some sort of incredibly flakey, crumbly non-brick brick, the primer (which you see here) is very crucial... and is being absorbed by the devil-brick at record pace. it took me about 4 hours yesterday to protect the lower half of the wall with butcher paper and drop cloths and to mask off the corners (no one likes a messy mural), and then to apply primer to the bottom 3 levels of the two right side panels. 4 hours later, i had blisters on both hands and a raging need, well, i'd consumed a lot of water.

today, i got the left side panel primed (a slightly harder task, due to the super bumpy nature of that side of the wall, the spiky sawgrass plant that wants to cover me in tiny cuts... and was successful... and the fact that the scaffolding ends about two feet too soon... looks like i'll be doing a lot of stretching on this one!). the weather is PERFECT for painting. i'm hoping it holds. sadly, i had to cut short today's painting love, because Edison drove over a nail at some point and his back right tire has been leaking air for, oh, weeks. So, today was the day we took advantage of his warranty and got him some new rolling shoes.

anyway, back to the mural...

it's very exciting to have this opportunity. i felt/ feel so strongly about this image and was so sad to hear it wouldn't have a wall to live on. But, as i believe and as so many of you shared, everything really DOES happen for a reason. And i think in this case, the reason is the beautiful community of the Greenmount/Boone Avenue on E. 21st. EVERY single person i met yesterday was so sweet, so kind, so gracious--- so enthusiastic and supportive. It's the first mural i've ever worked on where from day one you could literally see people coming out to embrace THEIR art. And that's why i love doing this--- art for others.

Now, i'd be remiss (and i'd be withholding information from you) if i didn't share this with you...

I'm scared to death of the top top top of the scaffolding.



it doesn't SEEM that high, and really, its not all that high. I mean, it's less than 6 of me tall, right? but before i left yesterday, i climbed up there just to do it once and sort of "conquer" it. well, im not sure conquering is what happened. i mean, i came back down, which, really, is job one. But i was knock-kneed and shivery the whole time, barely looked around and could hardly imagine actually PAINTING up there. Alas... i have not much of a choice. I have to look at the design now that i have actual measurements for the wall, but i'm thinking the top level of scaffolding will only cover the tree area, which should make things easier (theoretically "less work" in just painting foliage). I'm also thinking i should go ahead and start at the top. I dont usually, but...

it's only going to get colder and windier and i think i'm thinking getting it "over with" would be a smart way to go. plus, you tend to get tired the longer you work on a mural and i think that in a month when i'm trying to finish this up, i'd rather be tired on the first or 2nd level of scaffolding than on the 6th, yeah?

this is the view from up there. ok, maybe that doesn't quite show it.
how about this?

i can see the city... and the top of the roof! i could SIT on the roof (except there's a good 18" between the wall and the scaffold, and that's too much for me).

wish me luck.
wish me balance!!!

I should be painting every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday for the next few weeks. If you happen to be in the area, stop by and say hi!~
xo, danamarie


sarah said...

*sigh* I wish I had a big wall...

Hyperchondriac said...

oh sweetie! I am soooo happy for you! i was so sad when I learnt that beautiful mural was going to lose its home! i love the message in the painting and really hope that at some point, you'll consider having prints made as well!!!

Caitlin said...

Yay! :D Congrats!

bridget marie said...

Merlot and I are SO proud of you!
Go get em, girl!

Dolcepuku said...

Oh I'm so happy you got your wall. This painting is so worth being out there for the world to see. I am still willing to buy a print if you do that too but otherwise I am going back to Baltimore when you are done so I can take a picture. Awesome Job and Congrats!

sugarcreekstuff said...

I'm not a heights girl and the thought is freaking me out. YOU NEED TO GET SOME SORT OF HARNESS! No matter how great your mural turns out, you don't need it to represent your last work.