The amount of goodwill for this mural project is really astounding. I could write a novel on my experience with this so far, and it’s only been a week. For now, I’ll just share a few random observations. First, if you ever want feedback on what you do, try moving your office outdoors. It’s like an open invitation for people whom you would never encounter otherwise to come up and start talking. I actually love this. Although I am technically an introvert, I really love social engagement. And art generally doesn’t allow for this, since it usually entails long hours spent in the studio creating in isolation.
One really enjoyable part is being able to talk to people from all walks of life. Normally, society encourages us to interact with those most similar to us in our day-to-day activities (whether through work, school, neighbors, etc.). And most people stay in these safe parameters. But I find life to be so much more enriching when interaction can happen with a wide variety of people. Life becomes so much fuller and more expansive. So, this mural is allowing for that to happen in spades.
Creating outdoors is a tremendous amount of energy and work. It is physically demanding (up and down a ladder, dragging the ladder around, working in the sun, etc.). Painting on stucco is also a challenge. I really like clean, precise lines. Those are impossible to get on stucco. So, I’m letting go of my precision a bit. However, my precise eye is coming in handy since I am creating this design freehand. Both sides of the design will be symmetrical. Symmetry is a challenge to do just by eyeballing it, so, the eye for precision is a useful tool.
That’s a bit of an update as of week one. Daily progress is in the works.
For those of you who haven’t heard, I am starting to paint my own mural on the wall of this appliance store not far from where I live. It’s the first mural I am doing on my own, so, it’s a big challenge for sure! Here are some shots of the blank wall and me starting, to give you an idea:
The wall before priming it:
After priming it:
Life is process-based. To think otherwise is at best a disservice, and at worst a deception.
I think a key is learning to be at peace within process. But our culture seems to applaud thinking in black and white terms, ideas that embrace either/or mindsets and can be easily rallied around (either this, or that), and prefers to bypass process for immediacy and a results orientation.
It is a more truthful picture of reality (and coincidentally a more peaceful place) to walk both with what is and also what someday will be, to hold them together at the same time and not place inordinate value on one over the other.
“Everything is energy. Ideas are simply organized energy, a sort of mold into which more solidified energy can be poured. A book begins as an idea. So does a social movement. So does a building. We cast our dreams and desires ahead of us, and as we move toward them, their content takes on solidity. We co-create our lives.”
–Julia Cameron, Walking in This World