Getting stuff doneThis year's growing season has coincided with me really struggling to get out there. I've got into a habit of starting lots of jobs, both inside the house & out, & then not finishing any of them.
Jobs stall for lots of reasons, it seems: hitting a tricky problem; bad weather; busy social diary, lack of energy; biting off more than I can chew... & the blog has suffered as I prefer to cover multi-stage jobs in a single post.
One productivity technique I'm trying to apply is "Even a little is more that none" - if I chip away at something, then at least it's progressing. Moving slowly is better than not moving at all.
Big Orange HouseOne of the reasons we think this house was on the market for nearly 2 years was the colour. It's peddle-dashed all over & was painted orange. Bright orange. All of it.
It was meant to be terracotta, apparently - inspiration taken from the previous owners' love of Mediterranean holidays. However, it seems the local decorator struggled to match the colour. After the job was done, the owners were unhappy. So the painter tried again, knocking back the orange with what appears to have been a thin white wash. This turned the orange to a baby pink instead... Another row ensued & the painter stormed off site. & that's how it was when we moved in - orange, with a massive pink rectangle covering half a gable end. Distinctive, & an aide to navigation - you certainly know when you've arrived.
This Spring we went for a walk down the local woods. Looking back towards the village, we could see a shabby-looking 2-tone wall on the top of the hill... Yep, that's our house. Hubby was appalled & bought paint immediately - this job had rocketed to the top of his "Do that which pisses you off the most" list. I asked him to save me a wall.
Saturday 21 MayI had a whole weekend free so I made a start.
|The last orange wall on the Big Orange House|
The plan was to clear the bed, paint the wall, & then plant a fig.
As soon as we saw the house, we were talking about painting groovy things on the walls. There's just so much space, so many surfaces, that it just screams to be messed about with.
I'm a big fan of Op-artist Bridget Riley & I thought it'd be great to attempt to recreate one of her striking paintings. A quick Google, found this:
Sunday 22 May
I cleared the plants on day 1; day 2 was all about wall prep. There was quite a bit of loose render so all flaky bits were scrubbed/hacked off.
|The grey/white on the left was the original colour.|
Holes left by trellis fixings were filled.
Thankfully, the render over the whole house is in really good shape.
|Scaling up using the grid technique.|
It's a bit long-winded, but I'm not skilled enough to draw it freehand.
I thought about projecting it, but didn't have a projector...
|Starting to block in.|
|End of the weekend & the structure is mostly done.|
The top left was proving very fiddly,
but the design was working just as I hoped it would.
Tues 7 June
Took advantage of a beautiful long evening to get some orange on. I can now see why the house ended up orange in the 1st place - this is Sandtex's Terracota... No, I can't spot the difference either.
|Definition added to fiddly top left|
And this is how the swirly wall stayed for the rest of the Summer. I got out a few times to add 2nd coats, sort out edges & crisp up lines, but never long enough to get it finished.
It's right by the kitchen window, so I'd see it every night as I did the washing up, reminding me I hadn't finished it yet.
Hubby has spent the Summer photographing around it, & not telling people about it - not wanting to steal my thunder. A few visitors have had sneak peeks, & thankfully the neighbours approve (both of the house being white again, & of the swirly bit).
Sunday 11 Sept
Sticking the kettle on this morning, looking at the beautiful sunny day, it occurred - shit, it's getting into Autumn. There's going to be precious few days as glorious as this. Best get some work done on the damned wall!
|Spot the difference with the last pic.|
Yep, we're getting into the realm of stuff that bugs me
that no one else can see...
Is it finished?Well, that's tricky. Some of the lines could be smoother, some of the edges could be sharper. But my mind is flashing me warning images of Father Ted tapping the dent out of the raffle car... so I think I'll try & call that "Good enough".
The fig will go in when it arrives - it's a cutting from a friend. I hope it enjoys its glamorous new home.