The Painting That Is The Dining Room Wall

The Dining Room Wall
The Dining Room Wall

The first time I thought about painting on a wall was after seeing the movie Carrington,  about painter Dora Carrington.  She painted murals on the walls of her house. I was moved by the paintings and the freedom she had to be able to paint whatever she wanted on the walls of her house. Because even though most of us have that freedom, we wouldn’t even consider doing such a thing.

So last weekend, when Jon suggested I do a painting on one of the walls of the dining room, I felt two things.  One, nervous and excited at the thought of it and two, that I  really, really married the right person.

When it comes to fixing up houses I still have a bit of the old voices running through my head.  The ones that say there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.  The right way being historically correct and perfect.  The wrong way being everything else. But with Jon’s suggestion of doing a painting on the wall, those old voices  vanished Poof ! and they were gone. Instead of hearing the voices,  I was seeing the ruined wall paintings of Pompeii, all the  crumbling frescos  I’ve seen in every Art History book.  And pretty soon, I knew what I wanted to do.  Not all of it, it’s not like I have it planned out, but some things were very clear to me and I trust the rest will come as easily.

So this is what I know.  First I want to clean the rest of the pieces of wallpaper off, get down to the different colors of paint and  patches of raw plaster.   I’ll wipe the wall down with warm water to clean it.  That will also get rid of the excess Durabond, that I used to fill the nail holes. Now the nail holes are bright white, and I’ll use them as points of reference.  Maybe painting them all one color and seeing where that takes me.

I have some wooden fabric stamps that I got at an antique shop a few months ago.  They have flower designs on them.   I don’t know if they’ll work on the wall, but I want to try and use them. I like the idea of having a repetitive recognizable image, reminiscent of a stencil, but not a stencil.

I find the wall already really interesting to look at.  That crack coming from the “cloud” in the upper left corner, exploding into a patch of off-white.  And those random splotches that look almost black in the photo but are really a khaki green.  To me they look beautiful next to the blue green of the old painted plaster.

I think to the right, just above the “explosion” I want to draw a tree, probably in pencil. Maybe with a shiny gloss finish over it.    I can see the tree  breaking out of a rectangular shape.  Inside the rectangle the branches are bare, out side they have leaves.

And then, I’m not sure.  I’m planning on  using  the paints I have.  A couple, lime green and aqua blue, that I got when I bought the fabric stamps and then the colors we have left over from painting the house when we first moved in.  And some yellow that we’re using to paint the other walls in the dining room.  If I find I need another color when I start painting, then I’ll get it.

That’s what I have to start with, and that’s mostly how I’m going to do this painting.  The same way I always work.  Taking what I have and adding on to it. Like making  a quilt where I start with one piece of fabric and one thing leads to another.  I hope to get started on Sunday.  I’ve never done anything quite like this before, but the nervousness is all gone.  I just can’t wait to get at it.

5 thoughts on “The Painting That Is The Dining Room Wall

  1. I loved the wall murals in Carrington! I just showed the movie to Mario recently (he’d never seen it) and when it’s a bit warmer I’m going to do the walls in our entryway, which has been waiting for something to happen to it since last spring, when I removed the wallpaper. I think maybe I’ll at least get a solid color coat on this weekend, and then embellish it when it’s warm enough to work out there. Thanks for kick in the pants, and have fun with that wall!

    1. Oh I can’t wait to see what You do Karen. I’m sure you’ll post it on your blog. I’m going to try and get Carrington and watch it with Jon.

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