Sunday, January 16, 2011

Debut of the Mural

One of the beauties of being a home owner is the fact that you can do anything you want to your house and walls. I decided to create a large mural for the end of the hallway. This was on my latest to-do list posts for the house. Thanks to the holiday season's gift of time off of work, I was able to get down to painting.

F and I thought it would be interesting and appropriate to paint a compound map in scale that takes into consideration the three geographical areas that make up our lives: 1) Towson in Baltimore county, USA: where I am from 2) Noventa Padovana in the province of Padua, Italy: where our house is located and 3) Venice, Italy: where F is from and where we met. They are layered over each other with a gold star corresponding to the exact location of these three places. As the areas overlap, the colors change. Brown: Baltimore County. Yellow: la Provincia di Padova. Blue: 2 Areas overlap. Violet: 3 Overlap.

Painting a large map system makes me think of the Gallery of Maps in the Vatican Museums. It includes the 40 topographical maps of the regions of Italy, that Gregory XIII commissioned between 1580-1583. They are one of the best displays of cartography of the country from the sixteenth century. I always love that part of the museum, as you make your way eventually to the Raphael Rooms and Sistine Chapel. It's a hidden gem of the Vatican.

During the process of completing the mural, I realized that the proportions were wrong for Venice. It was too big compared to the larger county and province, so I had to sand out some painting and draw it again, in better scale.

In the end, this mural has us reflect on just how tiny Venice is, despite its colossal fame. And as usual, we can see how big anything American is. Even a single county overwhelms anything else in size, according to European standards.

Here is the evolution of the mural:

Day 1: Paint in Baltimore county, USA, in brown. Plus gold star.

Day 2: Paint in yellow and blue

Day 3: Cancel out mistaken proportions of Venice, redraw

Day 4: Layer over more yellow, 3rd coat of paint. Cover mistaken areas of blue with brown and repaint the blue sections

Day 5: Gold Star, 2nd coat
Day 6: Violet sections painted in

The dog enjoying the paint throw as a temporary blanket in the hallway: much softer than tile

Completed mural: close, hallway shot, entryway shot


One thing to cross off the list!

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