Tuesday, August 29, 2006

making memories part 2

Well, I got to the mural job around 7:00 am through the lovely late summer PA fog up a mountain. This lead foot never slows down, so I was passing off trucks on a winding road straight up, filled with anticipation and a trunkful of paint cans, brushes, stuff-everything I could possibly have needed to do the job and alot more. Everything was sliding back and forth as I hurried on my way. I had time to wait until my contact came and opening the house. The rain was falling on the leaves of trees that totally surrounded the home. It reminded me of what the candy house in Hansel and Gretel might have looked like, a pale yellow with white timber trim and lots of windows. The woman and came let me in, and I sort of threw all my supplies into the garage and ran up into the room. She finally left me alone to get to it.

I have to admit, a freshly painted, totally empty room is rather intimidating. It's basically a multidimensional canvas. I started off with just ideas in my head and from a baby's quilt. I began to mix colors and sketch on the first wall, and then decided this was really too slow and dipped into some suede brown for the tree. The trunk leaned to the right, then to the left, then slowly began to straighten out. It seemed like what should have been really, really simple for an old pro such as myself began to get really complicated. I swear the wall was eating my paint. So I thought I really needed to get bolder, and was doing windmill strokes with the green foliage. I tried putting in accents, and they kept disappearing. Pretty soon I was working back and forth on the whole wall, throwing painted clouds on, going back to the tree, then to the clouds, up and down this little step ladder. Things began to take shape after around three hours, lots of spilled paint, spots on the brand-new cream carpet, newspaper sticking to my shoes and constant mixing and fixing.

Fast forward to hour 5. I'm sitting there, sweat running down my back, wondering why in the world I told the woman I'd be done in a day. My shoulders ached, my back ached, I was so hot...and then I chanced to look out the huge picture window. A doe crept carefully over the lawn and began to nibbled grass. She kept looking around, and moved forward until two spotted fawn followed, eating grass and tree leaves. The picture of it was so stunning. Somehow the idea of a whole next wall wasn't too bad. And I did do it. But by the end of the day every trip to the bathroom to rinse my brushes made my brain scream in protest. Finally I painted the last animal. I was sitting in a corner surrounded by paint cans, dreading to reach for one a foot away. I sort of leaned into it and flopped the brush over the can. Discouraging words were being heard from the range when my patterning began to drip. I wanted to cry...shoot, I wanted to drive home right then, but I fixed the drips, cleaned the room and drove slowly home.

I don't know what the baby will think about striped cows and plaid cats, but somehow I felt a deep sense of accomplishment finishing the job. It was a stretch and I usually don't accept mural jobs. But this one I felt very led to accept, and I think it may be something that I'll do in the future, possibly even a business. But for now, it was one of those days that I felt I had done exactly what I was called to do, and that was more than satisfying. I have my own memories of the day to take me forward into whatever the future holds and God allows.


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