Sunday, June 7, 2009
These photographs are of a mural I painted along with Suelin Low Chew Tung, in St. George's Grenada. Suelin was the mastermind behind the project, working for over a year to get permission from the Government of Grenada to paint the wall, preparing the tile work around the border, procuring donations for our art supplies, and then in composing the mural layout.
Suelin asked me to assist her by painting the people in various spots on the wall - according to her desires (what poses, location, etc). After that, I continued to assist her by painting animals, figures, waterfall and foliage.
The experience of painting the mural was great!
In the beginning we met in the early morning hours and painted until the sun got too hot to continue (usually 7 am to 10:30 am). Then we would break for a few hours and return around 4 pm. Our painting began as a weekend committment, which quickly changed to weekday evenings after work.
The challenge in painting on weekday evenings was the heavy traffic! Lowther's lane is a very smoothly paved road, that serves as an effective by-pass to the town of St. George's. As a result there are a lot of trucks and commuters that use the route during rush hour.
Sure, we had our little orange cones out there, but we only had four, and the wall was long so we often found vehicles weaving in and out of them! The other challenge for our evening painting was that the wall took a direct hit by the afternoon sun, which meant that as we got closer to the summer months, the wall was so hot the paint literally baked onto the wall as we applied it! Not good!
Then, when the sun was setting, we got eaten by mosquitos.
By the time night fall came, the traffic died down, we'd be well into our creations...so we found ourselves painting in the dark quite often. You probably don't have to be an artist to appreciate how difficult it is to paint in the dark! It's impossible to see your colours right!
I found a headlamp I'd purchased at Moutain Equipment Co-op in Canada years earlier...so I scraped off the battery heads, put in new batteries and found myself much more comfortable painting in the modest beam of light the headlamp provided. Suelin continued to rough it in the dark.
My mother and husband came out on more than one occaison to assist us with painting and that was a lot of fun. It's really nice to share a project like this with your loved ones.
Suelin and I hope to paint more murals around Grenada when the dry season returns - so we can depict more of Grenada's history, while beautifying the city. We hope that next time, we'll be able to raise enough money in sponsorship that we don't have to make it another volunteer effort like it was this time.
Quite honestly though - even if we didn't earn a cent of money for all the long hours and hard work we put into it - the joy of creation was worth it.