Monday, October 25, 2021

Victorian mural, woman, palms, flowers and egrets


Approximately 10 by 11 feet, located above the walkway cabinets across from 
the kitchen in a beautiful home.

(Sorry for the glare on the image, but there was no way to get a good capture.) 


This image has less glare


Finished this today! What a challenging project this was.  Totally out of my comfort zone, in subject matter, style, and the level of danger!  Really stretched me.
I got the wall primed in late August, and then got sick with COVID the next day.  It was 3 weeks before I got the first lay in started, and I wasn't handling the after affects very well at all.  Scroll down for the in-progress images...


I had to climb up onto the counter top and then climb up on top of the cabinet via the opened door and bottom shelf on the far right.  There was about 10 inches to stand on to reach up, so there was very little space for moving around.  Standing on a small ledge and reaching up was quite exhausting, especially since I was easily tired and still week from being so sick.

 I used a roller to prime it, and trimmed it with large brushes, but it was too difficult to use the roller to get the blending of the colors, so I used large brushes for that.  I had a couple of scary moments with trying to climb up or down: my hand slipped in the small space between the cabinet and the wall (my fingers just fit enough to pull my self up) on the top right side. Thought I was going to have to leave early to change my pants.


I searched rental shops and online for some kind of split scaffold.  I lost sleep over trying to figure out how to build something to make things safer.  I even asked the Good LORD to help me put something together.  This small scaffold idea came to me after I prayed about it! 
 I used clamps to make it easy to move and take apart, but still keep it sturdy.  Climbing up and down was still dangerous, and my body ached in more places than I could have imagined. I expected some soreness in my shoulders, hands, wrists, knees, and legs, but I did not know your ribs in your back had muscles that could get sore! Even my bottom hurt.  (I had already been achy in my joints from COVID, so I wasn't sure how much was from the awkward positions and how much was from the after affects.) Needless to say, I only put in a couple of hours at a time the first week, and I didn't go every day.


In the image below you can get a better look at the way I put two 1 x 4 boards together for each leg to stabilize it, and I made a bracer bar on the top and the bottom of the legs. I screwed that whole base part together. I made the top brace equal to the length of the plywood so I could clamp the base to the platform. I could slide the whole thing down as I moved to the right of the mural.

You can also see that I found an extension ladder that was perfect for this project - I was so excited about that!  So much safer.
I did put drop cloths on the whole length of the counter and the floor, which was a good thing when my bucket of dirty water went over board!  Oh, and my phone bit the dust on another day, cracked the screen protector.

Once I got to feeling stronger, I stayed for longer periods of time and started making good progress.  Staying for 4 to 5 hours each session sped the process up.  It was a total of five and a half weeks from when I actually started painting, but just over two months if you count the time I was quarantined.  

I am so proud of myself for sticking with it and finishing it up!  There were some serious doubts! 

Let me know what you think!