Well, she’s all finished. I made the final edits today, signed my name, and packed up my things. I’m happy with how the paintings on this trip worked out. I didn’t have to rush things or cut any corners. I just kept my head down and kept working.
Tomorrow I’m off to DC to meet up with Misia and Meg. I forgot to pack anything but painting clothes. Oh well.
Thanks to all of you who watched the progress of these murals! Go Bucks!
I’m closing in on the home stretch of this mural. I had a lot of fun painting today. Since I spent yesterday placing the size of the image in grey paint, today was just an easy breezy, fun timey painting day. To have fun with the drawing of the image like this is why I like to do murals. And I really like it in this greyscale. It feels like I’m making an eight foot tall comic book.
The muscles in my fingers are sore. And my arms and back too. I stretch throughout the day, but I think I hold my body really rigid while I’m working, the way you do sometimes when you’re concentrating hard. But it’s a good sore. An honest sore. The soreness of farmers and field workers. And I’m part of that honest work, me with the naked bicyclist painting.
So today I started with the lady on the bike, affectionately named Wanda Chrome. The first thing I did was to clamp the boards onto two ladders. I began to sketch out the image with a pencil, but the lines were so hard to see on the red paint. Instead, I used tape to establish the angles and proportions of Wanda, and then I sketched the lines in paint. Sign painter’s paint is really unforgiving, so I had to be pretty sure of my lines. I used my Jedi mind force and forged ahead.
The second picture shows how I left things today. I’ll be doing this painting in greyscale, a fancy way of saying black and white. I don’t normally do something like this, but I thought it will only help me tomorrow when I continue. Plus, the grey paint acts as a first layer for the Wanda portion of the mural.
So in the next two days, I have to finish Wanda and add three words of text to the mural. And then it will be completo! I just hope all goes as planned, because screwing up sucks.
Today was all about the lettering, which takes a long time. I spent last night doing all the math to scale the letters to the size of the sign. I never thought I’d have to use algebraic principles past the tenth grade, but here I am, finding proportions as an aspect of my chosen career.
The first picture shows my prep for the letters. I rarely do this sort of thing, but this was a font I haven’t really ever painted. I needed to map out the proper width of each letter respective to the width of the wood. I used a draftsman tape as a guide. Then I drew out the letters, painted two coats of white lettering paint and then piped it in black.
Fun fact: I painted the letters upside down. Coming from the fine art spectrum of painting, it’s easier for me to see letters as shapes, rather than as letters. It helps me to look at them objectively, as symbols in relation to other symbols.
Tomorrow: naked chicks on bikes.
Today I moved my portable Milwaukee painting studio to The Trocadero. This week I will be making a new painting to replace the old exterior sign, pictured on the left. It’s been hanging up on the outside of the building for close to ten years, and the weather has been less than kind to her. So the best thing to do for an old gal is to give her a new coat of paint. Or in this case, replace her altogether.
I don’t have much to show for my work today, since my day consisted of cutting the wood and putting two coats of sign painter’s paint on the boards, but I thought a picture of the old mural will add to the wow factor come week’s end.
Fun fact about the old mural: it was actually the second such painting I did. In 2001 before the place opened, there was a burglary and thieves stole the first painting. It was clamped onto a huge easel I had constructed out of 2″x4″ ‘s, and it was the only thing stolen in a room filled with bar equipment and power tools. The next day, my friend ran an article in the paper with a picture of the painting with the huge headline: “STOLEN.” Not so surprisingly, the painting was returned on the back doorstep the next night. The rain ruined it, so I had to do another painting. To honor that event, I put a “#2″ on the frame of the bicycle. In the painting I’ll be doing this week, the bike will get a “#3″.
Well, I think I finished this one today. I hope to sneak a better photo later in the week to show a bit more detail, but for now this will have to do.
This was a tricky image to turn into a mural, but I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out. Tomorrow I move onto the next mural at The Trocadero, the place where I painted the brick to look like brick. Until then!
So at this point, I have all the surface area of the wall covered in paint. and I think the image is fairly well-defined. I am going to spend another full day adding highlights and colors to really try to make it pop.
Did I mention what this image is? It’s a Katakali Indian man applying face paint prior to a ceremonial performance. The more you know.
So here’s the mural after day two. It’s coming along pretty nicely, and I think I’ll be finished by Sunday evening. I’m happily tired and about to sit down with my pregnant married friends for lasagna and wine. We’re all in our pajamas. I’m pretty stoked.
No haiku today;
I can’t count to seventeen.
Oh wait, yes I can!
This is the first day of work on the mural at The Nomad. It’s a large space, around 12′x10′, and it’s a peculiar image. I’m working from a photo that the owner of the bar took in rural India of some sort of ceremony. I know the full story, but I’m pretty tired right now and can’t remember all of it. Anyway, I am approaching this painting like a really big, highly intricate paint-by-numbers painting. This is because I’m using sign painter’s paint, one that holds up to high-traffic areas but cannot be blended on the wall; meaning, each color has to be its own thing. If I want to show color gradation, I have to mix 10 or 12 separate colors. It’s slow and labor-intensive, but that’s my bag, man.
The contractors surprised me with a huge present: they know I’m not a big fan of heights or rickety scaffolding, so they built me the most luxurious plank scaffold ever. The thing is like it’s own room, complete with safety railings. I was beyond grateful. This is why it pays to share your Girl Scout cookies with a construction worker.
Now: bed. Sweet dreams.