Day 2 Progress. It got a little windy this afternoon (didn't enjoy swaying in the wind), so I lost about an hour.
I've been sitting on this exciting news since September - so I'm thrilled to finally announce the exciting project I'll be working on the next 6 weeks or so...STARTING TODAY!!!
Back in June, the Academy of Fine Arts here in Lynchburg announced a mural design competition. I knew instantly that I not only had to enter this, but that I had to do everything I could to win.
I love murals and public art pieces. Lynchburg is a historic town with so much character, but as soon as I got here, I thought "Wow, this place could use some more murals". A public art piece can add life and excitement to the community - it's art that is shared with everyone who passes by. I love that about outdoor murals.
So it's been my dream to paint a gigantic wall for the past few years, but getting that first wall to paint can be quite difficult. I did a few smaller murals when I was teaching high school art, and worked with the students to do collaborative murals as well, and through studying murals and street art with them, I became obsessed. So when I saw this contest and the opportunity for the winning artist to actually paint the mural - I gave it my all.
And I won!
Since then, I've been working closely with the Academy to make this mural happen. A lot of things had to be worked out in order to paint this wall - funding, logistics, materials, weather, etc.
Funding - um, murals are not cheap to make happen. That's all I'll say about money.
Logistics - the wall is 131 feet long. On one side, it's 39 feet tall, but the building slopes down a hill, making the other side 51 feet tall. Yah, so it's more than 5500 square feet. It's huge. I will be painting on a lift 99% of the time, however, due the hill, a 60' lift would not reach - so for the first few days of painting, I'll be on an 85' lift (holy cow). Then I'll switch to the 60' lift for the remainder. (Don't worry, I'll be harnessed in at all times).
I'm going to work right to left, and using the gridding process, I'll be painting in 10 foot squared sections. I hope to get 2-3 sections done a day. Somedays I may get more done, somedays less.
The wall is very old and made of brick and the paint was flaking off everywhere, so a company came out and power washed and then primed the wall. Now it's ready for me!
Materials - This much paint costs a lot of money. But the amazing people at James T. Davis Paint here in Lynchburg have donated ALL OF IT. How cool is that? Of course, we need the obvious materials such as rollers, brushes, drop cloths, etc. No brainers. And, D.L. Bryant Paint Contractor is donating the use of his lifts. He's the best!
Weather - The winter months have kept us from doing anything - you can't paint when it's freezing, nor would I want to, so we've been planning a March start. March has been colder than expected though, and not only has it been cold, but it's been snowing. So we've pushed the start date back a little. Once I begin, I plan to paint every day it is not raining. I'm praying for some beautiful, warm sunny days and I'll just treat the rainy days as days off.
Community - Because this is a mural for the entire community to enjoy, we are enlisting the help of volunteers. Of course, we can't get a bunch of people up on the lift with me, but we will have groups coming to help with the bottom portions. It will be so great to work with these volunteers and I'm thankful for the people who are going to help!
I showed the design I entered on the blog way back in July, but it's changed some, and I think it will be more fun to post photos of it step by step. If you search back you can find the design - but I'm not going to post it again. You can just watch it unfold :)
Lastly - this is a huge project. HUGE. I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to do this, but I know that I cannot do this without the Lord. So I will daily be seeking His help and covet your prayers. It's going to be exhausting, but I'll be clinging to this verse:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". - Phil 4:13
I hope to give udpates on the blog as often as possible - but I'll surely be instagramming daily as well, so you can follow me there (@makewells).
Someday is Today! Let's do this...
I'll start by saying that my first winter was rough. Despite the excitement of snow, a wonderful day skiing with my hubby, and a few beautiful "warmer" (aka, 55 degrees) days, I did not like winter. And as I write this on the 5th day of spring, I currently have 6 inches of snow in my yard.
I'm very thankful for where God has Brent and I, and the ways He has provided for us, but despite all the blessings, I sank into the winter blues and had a hard time coming out of them. So this month was a big wakeup call - a huge reminder of how much I desperately need Jesus every single moment of every day.
A lot of things with Makewells were put on hold the past month because of the above confessions and because of an upcoming -and very soon to be announced - project. (I plan to share this in the next day or two). So I just stepped away from the blog for a bit to get things, and myself, in order.
There. Now you are caught up.
I did make a lot of art in March though - my Mixed Media Workshop class inspired me to start art journaling again, and working with a lot of different materials and techniques I hadn't touched for quite some time.
Here is a look at the messy creations:
The above painting I completed last week - it's 3' x 4' with all sorts of materials used. I decided to just go crazy with collage materials (maps, vintage stamps, lace papers, magazine clippings, Liberty of London patters, dress patterns, and even clippings from my sketchbook) for the background. It was so freeing to work so large and unplanned.
The quote, "Someday is Today" just popped into my head, but it really means a lot to me. I'll be starting this huge, soon-to-be-announced project and it just is a reminder that in order to achieve great things, you have to just DO them. God is giving me an opportunity to do something big and exciting - and the dream of "someday I will do this..." is now happening.
Someday is Today. Make the most of it.