This hallway used to be white. Today I gave it some pizazz. Now the walk from the front to back room shouldn't seem quite as dull with columns, planters, climbing vines, a fountain, and a sailboat. Thanks to Momma for the suggestion of the arched columns and Mediterranean ocean view!
This mural spans two walls and across a corner. You may notice several faces in the keystones of the arches. Instead of the gnomish faces that classical columns usually sport, I found several eager volunteers. Oddly enough, one senior had joked from day one that he wanted his face painted on the wall. Today, when I called him over and told him he'd have his chance, he burst out laughing; he took the reference photo very seriously, however, barely smiling and squaring his shoulders. Tony, the cook, came over later in the day and said, "You know, I've been thinking. I kind of want my face on the wall too. Right over on that one since my office is by there." Done. The third face is Sammy the custodian's; I gave him no choice in the matter. Since he's been more than helpful to me, he ought to have some reward. I plan on tightening the faces (not quite done), so I'll post a close up shot of the final product tomorrow.
Rounding the corner...
Halfway done with mural, a man came up to me and said, "God bless you. If I had a church I'd let you Sistine Chapel it." This was awesome for two reasons: 1) this is the first and only offer I've had to paint a hypothetical church 2) he used Sistine Chapel as verb... making art sound gangster cool.
Today's highlights included dancing the Macarena in the middle of the first room (the seniors found this amusing) and the photo taken by the NY Daily News photographers. They wanted a shot of me with the seniors in front of a mural, but the seniors were hesitant to enter the lime light. "Please don't leave me alone!" I said finally. "Oh baby, I won't leave you alone," one woman said. She came bravely to the front and put her arm around me. "My baby!" she said. "You done good." This made me superbly happy. People followed her lead and filled in all around me. One woman buzzed up in her wheel chair too! What an amazing group of seniors; I am lucky to have found Henry Street!