Tuesday, 18 September 2007

work doesn't suck

I installed a job in July, a four-foot by one-and-a-half mural with the name of the house on it, for a driveway wall.

It was a great job, one of those where the customer says "I love you! Here's half my worldly worth and one leg as downpayment, just let me know how much I have for you after installation!"

So I did a lovely piece, which I was totally happy with. I installed it, just before going on vacation. A few minor hitches, as expected, but it was fine.

The customer was so thrilled, signed over her other leg etc, and then asked if I could make it, oh say, twice as big.
"no problem" I said "but you'll have to wait till September before I even start. I don't work holidays."

Well that was fine. So here I am. September. And I am attempting to extend a piece which is full of palm leaves, (oh those straight lines!) orchids, and other fun things all around the edges! They will all have to line up, and of course the existing piece is ON A WALL on the road.

So FIRST I took a 4 by 1 1/2 piece of tracing paper, and stuck it to the piece on the wall, and traced around the edges of the design. Sounds easy? Try ON a ladder, IN blistering hot sun, with... And this is the best part... WIND blowing! My tracing paper took off over the wall, down the road, wherever the whim went. But! I still managed to get a pretty good image/idea to work with.

Okay. My next step was to go running to my brother. I went to his office and said "Jimbo! Since you have nothing else to do..." when the laughter had died down and his guys had picked themselves up off the floor, I explained my predicament. He kicked a guy off a couple of screens, and we selected a couple of really finicky bits (those straight LINES! Tiny bee orchids!) to blow up to actual size, and print out. So I can see what I am doing. Now I have a sort of collage of tracings and printouts (ALMOST actual size!) surrounded by 6 foot by 2 1/2 foot in 6 inch tiles. This takes up my entire workbench, leaving my worthy and excellent assistant, Hazel, one square inch of workspace directly under a boiling hot halogen lamp. To work on.

Meanwhile, I cannot finish any Christmas orders till this thing is cleared off. Or start any, come to think of it! My dear customer is concerned that her job might take long to complete. Man, that job will be done and installed in record time. It has to be.

Having said all that, I am so enjoying the challenge of extending my borders. I also work best under pressure! So I still love my job, and will not be going to work in the bank just yet. I will remain an artist! Wish me luck!

My Aunt Carole, an artist herself, once met a surgeon lady at a cocktail party. The surgeon lady said "oh, you are so lucky! One day I'd like to take a year off and do some sculpting, maybe have an exhibition!" my Aunt said, straight-faced, "what a coincidence! I was planning on taking a year off sculpting, to do some surgery!"

I love it.

1 comment:

Victoria said...

Sounds like a great peice! You've got to post pictures for those of us who can't just drive over to see!