Summer Scenes and Mountain Mural

It sure has been a while since I last posted.  I’ve been wonderfully busy.  Here are some of the things I’ve seen and done since I last posted:

I took a twilight bike ride around the Asheville River Arts District with the boyfriend and discovered some great graffiti.

I helped my mom and her partner host their first dinner party at their new house (all the way up in Providence, RI).  Turkey cooked on the grill! I took a train from Providence to NYC to meet my dear friend who just moved to Brooklyn.

She looks natural in hew new environment, I think.

We had the divine luck to see Hoots and Hellmouth play in the city.  We’ve been wanting to see them together since she first got me into them but we’ve lived too far apart.  They played a last minute show that just happened to be the only night I was NY.  There was a photo booth.

I drove back to NC.

A day later, I went to the beach for a vacation with my Dad’s side of the family.  I got to see this every single day for a week:

and this

and this

the ‘kids’ even took a sunset sail and saw dolphins

We rounded out the trip with a few hours in Savannah before heading back to Asheville.

We found out about a very cool mural by Troy Wandzell and went to check it out.  34th and Habersham.

Speaking of murals… I started one as soon as I got back.  I used to nanny for a little girl named Madeline.  She’s a little over 2 years old now and I took care of her from the age of 3 months old until a little over a year and a half.  I still see her once a month or so.  Her family wanted me to paint a mountain mural in their teeny tiny bathroom off the kitchen.  They love hiking up at Craggy Gardens so I incorporated the view there into the design.  Here are some before shots.  I did the best I could to get good photos, but it’s such a small space with bad lighting.

It turns out that painting a realistic mountain scene that is 4″ from your face is harder than I thought it would be.  It took me almost 2 weeks.  I could only stand to work in the tiny space for about 2 hours after work so it was a lot of stopping and starting.  And mural paint dries incredibly fast.  I’ve been working in only oils for the last year and a half so that took some getting used to.  I painted mountains, then hated them and painted them again (repeat).  Turns out clouds are easy.  I’m really happy with how it turned out.  Again, hard to photograph.  The colors of the mural never really showed up right in the photos.  Either the sky was washed out and the mountains looked good, or the mountains looked dark and the sky was brilliant.

Madeline’s mom was worried she would not understand that painting on the walls is just something that certain people do, that babies should not attempt this.  I heard this a lot while I was painting:

Madeline: “What is Harper doing?”

Mom: “She is painting on the walls.  But only Harpers paint on walls.  Babies should not paint on the walls.”

Madeline: “Harpers paint on walls.”

Mom: “That’s right.”

After the mural was done I babysat her for a few hours and saw this:

That blur on the left is Madeline.  I think it’s pretty awesome that she even did it in mostly greens and blues like my mural.  The mom thought it was pretty cute, too, although I can tell she’s worried there might be a repeat performance.

The countdown to my show is: 15 days! I have been painting almost every day this week which has been a dream and also incredibly difficult.  One painting is almost complete- just a face and some hair to finish.  I’ll post it soon.

I’ve been mentally preparing to write an artist statement and trying to figure out the best way to publicize a show that is outside of town without an official opening.  Even if I sell no paintings at this upcoming show, I am hoping it will open some doors for me.






One Comment Add yours

  1. Jim says:

    Great post and love the Madeline story!

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