Paint Schoodic

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Why art?

Art brings you joy. It takes you to new and different worlds.

Almost finished.
Today's client is two, and she knows what she wants. “An orange cow! A barn!” Because I’m her grandmother, she’ll get them, even though I’ve never painted a mural before.

This is a limited-palette painting. I have red, yellow, blue and white latex eggshell-finish wall paints. All of them run on the warm side, and they can’t make a convincing green. It’s good that I’m painting over a green base.

This morning, I’ll extend the trees behind the barn. I’ll pop and model the foliage a little with some acrylic paint I bought at Michael's. Then it’s back to plain wall painting for me. There’s still a lot to do, and I'm keenly conscious of the ticking clock.

My son-in-law believes primer is a sufficient covering for the walls. I try to explain that wall paint is a lot like a pedicure: the color is just a bonus. What you’re really gaining is a harder, durable, more easily-cleaned surface. “What a waste of time and money!” he exclaims.

I used sidewalk chalk to make my sketch, such as it was.
Still, when I got to a hard part, he took the roller from me, and even did a credible job. Then he went back to the mysteries of connecting their electrical service to National Grid.

My daughter is a mechanical engineer. She went to a plumbing store in Albany to buy a fitting for their well pump. She had designed and installed the system herself. “If you don’t know which one you need, you should hire a contractor,” the clerk sneered. Mostly, sexism of the kind our grandmothers endured is gone in America, but once in a while, it shows back up.

My granddaughter is still very short, so all the action is at the bottom of the picture.
Thirty years ago, my husband and I also did the site work and systems for our first home, also a modular. Our children are far less excitable than we were. There's no blue cloud of swearing hanging in the air these days, even as they press against their final deadline.

I never painted a mural for my own kids. Like everyone else, I was scrambling to hold together a house, family, and job. This is one of the luxuries of grandparenting, and I’m enjoying it very much.

Last night, my granddaughter and I did a project review. She thinks her mural might need a black bear up on the hill. Her look of total absorption was the same as that of an adult contemplating a painting. It didn’t matter that my painting was done mostly with a two-inch wall brush and I don’t know what I’m doing. Her hillside farm transported her. That’s the whole point: painting should take us to new and different worlds.

Can I fob off a mere oil painting on her brother? I doubt it.
Meanwhile her three-year-old brother announced, “I want a farm, too!” I have a painting of a crane I did last spring at the boatyard; I hope I can fob him off with it.

3 comments:

Annette Koziol said...

Love this

Susan Herbst said...

A bear would be cute - Like Blueberries for Sal. :-)

Carol Douglas said...

She ended up getting a bear. Her mother was dressing her shortly thereafter and she yelled, "Ouch! The bear bit me!"

Kids are a lot of fun.