Friday, May 15, 2015


About three months ago, I was approached by a friend, wondering if I could help her out with a mural she was coordinating for her daughter's band teacher. I said I'd be happy to do it, then all but forgot about it while I waited for her to give me more specifics. When she finally gave me the dozens of pictures and ideas that she had for me to work from, I had about a week to make it happen. (!!) Lucky for her, I work pretty well under pressure...I was practically the queen of procrastination, growing up. ;)

I have to say, it was fun picking out art supplies for the project, setting up my own space, and carving out as much time as I could that week. I don't know why it's so hard for me to make creative time for myself, but this commission got me thinking that I really need to. 
I set up the dining room as my mock studio, since it was easy to work on and off in there, and there was plenty of natural light. Plus, we hardly ever use that room, so it didn't really disrupt our lives too much. Which is what got me thinking, why don't we just make this permanent?! So we'll make it our occasional dining room, with storage and everything I need for my studio. Something kind of like this:
Beautiful, right? I could definitely produce good stuff in a space like that. Plus, it looks "normal" enough to use as a dining room when needed. 
I did two big pieces for the band teacher- one 2'x2' mural of the band in marching formation.
And one 2'x4' mural of the memories and trips the band has taken over the past decade or so.
Besides a suggested general layout and source material, I pretty much had creative control over this project. Their school color is purple, the other colors- including the metallics, I chose.
I think they turned out pretty well. Not that I'd hang them in my house, but I think they work for their intended purpose- at school, over their teacher's desks. The students all added their signatures around the borders, which I think was a meaningful touch.
It was harder than I thought handing them off, mostly because it was such a rushed project. I really didn't have any time to sit and stew over it and change things. With all my new-found time, I felt like it was time to get moving on house projects. And I have! I've painted our foyer, the front door (on the inside), and bought a new rug and light with the money I earned. I started building a pair of stools to go under the console in the entry too, inspired by some pretty upholstered ones I saw on One King's Lane. I've also gotten to work painting our fireplace, the upstairs bathroom (which is still awaiting tile), and finalizing colors for the main living areas.

Paul must have noticed my new found zeal to get things done, because he gave me an air compressor and nail gun for Mother's day!! Now board and batten in the dining room (er, studio) can happen! And crown molding throughout the rest of the house!! I'm loving having something to work on (besides laundry and dishes) and having real progress to show for it. I'll have to post an update of the foyer once it's finished. Hooray for projects!

p.s. Thank you for all of your kind comments on my last post! I think it's a topic that I might have felt too taboo talking about a few years ago, but I'm coming to realize how healing it is to share these experiences. I'm grateful to have so many strong, supportive women in my life.


Liz said...

I love your mural. I love your talent! And I'm in awe of all your house projecting. You do stuff I'm scared to even attempt! Definitely keep posting pics of what you work on! Love ya.

Marc and Miriam Deru said...

Amazing! Love the band pictures-- the simple style of the people looks great-- and so impressed with your ability to do projects in your "newfound time". Tell more about how you structure your time! There are projects I think I can do by myself, I just wonder when!

Rachel Sorber said...

Way to go, Sarah! I'm so impressed. I wish I'd been able to see those in person--they look really great. As they should, I suppose, coming from a professional artist such as yourself. (why does that make me feel a bit guilty?)
I love how you inspire me. Always. Thanks for being you.

Becky Lowe said...

Those murals are really good, Sarah! I didn't know you could do that style of art. I am excited to entrust you with illustrating a book for me - if I ever get my act together! Very proud.