Friday, November 30, 2007

The Land of Semi-Creepy Men

Today I went to buy supplies from the big home supply store. It was actually exciting - I really love hardware stores, I especially love tool sections, paint sections and door sections. So today I got to play in the paint section (yay!).

I probably spent 30 minutes just trying to decide on the colors. I am buying latex paint for the base colors, the ones that I'll use the most, because it's much cheaper. A quart is $10, whereas the same amount of acrylic paint is at least $25. I bought Behr colors: Cloudless (medium/light blue), Isle of Capri (medium/dark blue), Grape Green, Primrose Garden (bright pink), Amber Glow (orangey brown), Warm Earth (medium/dark brown), Wooden Cabin (dark brown). I also bought drop cloths - both cloth, and biodegradable paper, lots of brushes, two rollers, tape, and shoe protectors. I just bought these nice shoes and I don't want them covered in paint. I don't care about my jeans.

I think women in home supply stores are targets for semi-creepy to creepy men. I don't know what the scale would be for creepiness, though. For example, I'm standing in front of the Behr section, staring at paint, picking a bunch of samples and comparing them to my drawings. One of the employees of the store came over and started praising my sketches - hard core. It was nice, but he really wouldn't leave, he talked to me for probably ten or fifteen minutes about painting and whatever else. So, if he had just stayed for a minute, that wouldn't have been that creepy. Ten minutes.... It was pushing the scale, I think.

And then, when I was in line, another guy started talking to me about paint. Again, not that creepy, as my cart is full of painting supplies. But then the conversation was over and I was paying, and the guy starts talking to me again. There was a few minute break between when we had concluded our friendly waiting-in-line chat and this new, let-me-talk-to-you-while-you're-doing-something-else chat. So that moved him up a notch on the creepy scale. But also, while he was talking, he would stop and kind of stare at me. So he was definitely creepy to semi-creepy, to the point where I was really wondering if he was going to approach me in the parking lot to try to keep talking to me.

Large home supply stores = the land of semi-creepy men.

Sketches Done!

I know I post at a dizzying speed, but here are the rest of the sketches. I'll just put them all here, above the building they are supposed to represent. Let's see how well I did.

Bank of America

Goes here:

Williams Tower

Goes here:

St. Luke's

Goes here:

(it wraps around the whole column)

Gulf Building

Goes here:

Heritage Plaza

Goes here:


Thursday, November 29, 2007


Yay, 2/3 of the project is confirmed. We're ready to go for the columns. Still waiting to hear about the staff room wall and lettering.

Tonight I make a supply list, including brushes, colors of acrylic paint, and anything else. Tomorrow, I draw on the walls and pick up supplies.

A Good Idea

Here is a good sketch, YAY!

The warped and twisted building is the Bank of America Center:

I don't know if you can tell it's that building or not, but you can tell it is A Building, and probably if I do more than sketch it (like actually paint it on the wall), it will look cooler. Plus most of the "detail" work would be just me with a brush, painting fun swirlies, not following a specific pattern.

Other buildings I will be working on:

St. Luke's Hospital

William's Tower

Gulf Building

Heritage Plaza

I think I might need one more, although I'm not really sure there are that many interesting buildings here that are recognizable in general. There is another bank that looks kind of cool that you can see from one of the highways, but that's all that I can think of off the top of my head.

Also, if I paint one of the walls in the staff room, I'll probably paint this fountain (because I think it's cool anyway):

It's called the Gus S. Wortham Fountain, but everyone refers to it as the Dandelion Fountain.

Whew, a sigh of relief. At least I have a good, solid concept now, with enough subject matter. Now I just need confirmation of payment. JewishGuy says I should just go ahead with only a verbal agreement, but I don't know...

With Baited Breath

Today I am supposed to go and buy supplies in between or after my job interview and my volunteer orientation. It's part of my schedule and I don't like to get behind schedule.

However, I still have no written confirmation of this job and payment. I can't go and buy $500 worth of paint, brushes, and other supplies until I know that I'm going to get paid. I don't need to buy supplies today - it can wait a couple of days, as I may not actually start painting until Saturday. I just like to be prepared in advance so I don't have an emergency day where everything is as important as everything else and I feel like a maniac. I've also just potentially hired another person to help me work, but this person is another artist (she does origami and some serigraph, it's really really awesome), so I am going to probably ask her to come in later in the game to help as opposed to simply helping me lay down some foundation paint. It depends on the amount of work I need help with, because now I have 4 maybe 5 people who want to help, which is good but may be more than I can afford.

Yesterday I made a budget. It looks very clean and happy. I know exactly how much I can spend on the different aspects of this mural (supplies, equipment, assistance) and still make a little money. This job will help me pay for next semester's classes, so I don't have to dip into savings (too much) to take the psych courses that will help me get into graduate school.

So now I sit, still sketching, doing other stuff, and I wait. I refresh my gmail and wait wait wait.


I got totally frustrated with the sketching part of yesterday. I spent two hours researching images to use, and then another hour or two trying to sketch things that looked okay. I will skip most of the bad things and show you two decent sketches.

They're... all right. But they're out of proportion, because the actual columns are a lot thinner than that, and super super boring. So basically, I have to start over with the sketching. But I have another idea for what the columns can look like while still remaining within the guidelines I've been given.

My original idea for sketches was just to make a bunch of sketches and then either project them onto the wall or just draw on the wall based off of the sketches, but not trying to stick too literally to sketching for the column. And, as the projector seems to be something that is more difficult to get than I thought, I may end up just drawing directly onto the columns.

What I'm thinking now is making very tall, very skinny building, but warping the buildings so they twist and curl around the columns. I kind of feel like this is the only way to deal with such a tall, skinny space and not completely lose my mind. It can also be much simpler, with a lot less of the "painterly" aspect that will take me forever to accomplish evenly throughout the store.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

No Need for a Primer

Well, I talked to some of the construction crew today (I didn't tell the people who hired me I was going by, I hope this isn't a problem) to find out what the deal is with the concrete and my schedule.

--[ By the way, I realized I wasn't clear in previous posts - I am painting the columns in the middle of the store, not an actual wall. I may be painting walls in the staff room. ]--

One great thing I found out today is that the columns are primed and sealed and ready to be painted. Hooray! This means Phase 2, which was originally me rushing around like a maniac on Thursday trying to prime the columns before and between other appointments has now been pared down to simply me buying supplies at home supply stores and art stores and finding a projector if JewishGuy can't get one. This means I have more time today to sketch and make lunch for myself and make phone calls that need to be made.

I did admit to the construction guy that I don't really know anything about painting on concrete, and he said, "Please don't say things like that." I think he was half-joking. But I really don't know. Although... I vaguely remember using concrete in some project I did in college, and perhaps I painted it. I don't remember much of what happened in "3D Fundamentals." I think I created concrete bricks, experimenting with mixing concrete with paint while still wet vs. painting it once it's dry, and then I carved some of the softer bricks into faces and stacked them together.

Now, on to the sketching. Or maybe lunch.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

There is a Plan! (???)

As many people know, probably everyone, I have never painted a mural before.

Okay, that isn't 100% true, I did help some teens paint a small mural this summer. It was fun, and a lot of work. We (7 teenagers and I) got it done in about 3 1/2 days. It was four pieces of masonite, lots and lots of latex paint and plastic drop cloths. It was a simple Spring scene: a field, a tree, some mountains and sky. Ahhh....... :)

This isn't like my current project at all, pretty much.

From the pictures, you can kind of see that I'll be painting directly onto concrete, which is kind of cool but also kind of difficult. And not just directly onto concrete, but very high up, and over shelving and other things that can't get paint on them (besides the floor, which is already protected).

Here's my plan for now, let's see how well it goes:

Just kidding.

Phase 1: Make sketches. Um. So this basically has to be done tomorrow or Thursday. Eep!

Phase 2: Thursday, I have about 3 free hours in the middle of the day. The three hours are between a job interview and an orientation/health screening for volunteering at the hospital. So on Thursday, I am going to go and set up, tape things off, and prime the concrete and also - hopefully - the other two wall spaces they want me to paint if they haven't been primed already. I want as much as possible to be ready for Friday. I have a sneaking suspicion the additional rooms have already been painted, or the one wall where I'm only doing lettering should be [already painted].

SO. In the meanwhile, JewishGuy (also known as JewishGal's boyfriend) is going to try and procure a projector for me from his university. I'm only going to have it for a day at the most, so I'm going to have to work quickly on this next step.

Phase 3: Sketching onto the wall. This requires the projector. I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to get it to project on the highest parts, although maybe that isn't as important. So this phase is fairly obvious - project my sketches onto the wall, trace the sketches, and voila - ready to paint.

Phase 4: Paint. Paint. Paint. Bring in people to help and paint some more!

So that's fairly straightforward. I'm pretty confident that with the help of some volunteers and paid sub-contractors, I should be able to get this done in time without completely going nuts. I know I'm going to go nuts, but maybe I can not go as nutty as possible. Mmmm... nuts.

Bare Minimum

What the space looks like now:

Front of Middle Column (MC) - yes that's a mirror.

Left side, MC

Right side, MC

Front, Back Column (BC)

Left side, BC

Back, BC

Left side, Front Column (FC)

Front, FC

Right side, FC

Back, FC

Back, MC

As you can see, it's going to be a challenge. A lot of me climbing up on high things. Luckily there will be a construction crew there so in case I need something from the floor... - Have I mentioned how I hate getting up and down from bunk beds? I'm not afraid of heights, once I'm up there, I just don't like coming down!

An update: I got another phone call from someone at the store and they may need me to do more work - like some lettering and painting in one of the staff rooms. This means I need to hire subcontractors (ha!) to help me. I've sent out a plea and now have 2 helpers (plus my fantastic boyfriend) for Sunday afternoon to lay down some base colors.

Mural Project

I was just commissioned to do a bunch of wall paintings and lettering for a new store in my city, and since it's my first big work I am making a blog of it and sharing it with people. This project will last about 9 days, and will be pretty intense, including me hiring my friends to help me get everything done.
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