Old White Paint

white paintToday as I was painting more ‘old white’ paint on our brick chimney, I had many flashbacks and associations come to mind…one recurring dream since childhood: I dreamed that our house on Hampstead Place was on fire. I and my two brothers were upstairs and my mom gave us each a small square shallow crystal glass dish and said, “Don’t worry we’ll be fine. Go to your rooms and pack all of your things into your dish while I paint the stairs white. The white paint will keep the stairs from burning so you will have time to collect your things and run down the stairs to safety. I was amazed at how many things I could fit in my little dish and that everything happened just as my mom had said. Somewhere in the back of my head, in my anciently formed brain stem lies a belief that white paint can resist fire.

A few more strokes of paint on the chimney and my mind traveled to Senior year in high school when I was the publicity chairman for our senior play, Harvey. We decided to make a giant rabbit that would sit in the auditorium which had really high theater-like ceilings. So measurements were taken, plans were drawn, and supplies gathered to  make a 36 foot tall, 3 feet deep and 8 foot wide white rabbit. ‘Harvey’ would have a wide opening where we could put up a ticket table and distribute tickets from the rabbit. When people sold a certain number they would get their Harvey t-shirts to also publicize the play. Our great team of workers met out at our driveway in the country over the weekend to build a frame, cover it with chicken wire and roll corrugated cardboard over the top ears and all the way down the edges as well as underneath the rabbit. The final step was, of course, ‘white paint’. Having dreamt of the virtues of ‘white paint.’ I was sure that getting waterproof white paint would do the trick on the cardboard to make the whole rabbit waterproof! So we painted away, adding whiskers and a little pink inside the ears. Proudly, we loaded it on a flatbed trailer and pulled it behind the jeep all the way to the front of the high school! This was a Sunday afternoon, and though the sky was overcast, I assured everyone that the paint would ward off any water that might be attracted to our cardboard rabbit. When we reached the school, worries of rain dropped from our minds as we were presented with another more immediate problem: Harvey might fit in the auditorium, but how would we get him through the front door of the school itself?! A quick practical decision followed our new dilemma: we’ll mount it over the front door of the school on the outside and anchor his ears from the second story chemistry classroom? windows. This would give our play even MORE publicity!  Our industrious team got right to work using ship knots and slip knots to hold Harvey in place arched over the doorways to the school where everyone would pass Monday morning! Remembrance of any rain issues were long replaced by the satisfaction of solving our mis-measured mistake in such a brilliantly executed way! We each went our separate ways to hurriedly finish leftover homework before Monday morning. As I lay in bed that night hearing rain pattering on the roof, I found solace in remembering the waterproof white paint that would save Harvey’s skin and ours from the wet night that followed. White paint may solve our chimney/dark room problem, but one thing it didn’t do was to waterproof corrugated cardboard. Picture the next morning, the school principal standing in the doorway under an ominously slumping Harvey, trying to coach high school students through the shriveled archway to the inside of the school.
White waterproof paint MUST keep water out of something! but not 36 foot cardboard rabbits in the rain!  Somewhere in the back of my head in my anciently formed brain stem lies a belief that white paint can resist water.

And now, as I’ve almost finished painting the last few bricks, white paint is finally getting to shine. For finally the white paint is only asked to be white paint, just as it is…not to resist anything…just being white paint is enough. Though I have to admit that you do remind me so much of my very favorite ice cream: caribbean coconut!  even though I know you’re really not. Your only white paint.


Easing Back into Painting

chimney6It’s been awhile since I’ve painting so I’m starting with the bigger brushes! Before Christmas, decided we needed more light in our lives and after much deliberation and research, plunged into painting the dark brick chimney in the middle of our house with chalk paint! Quite a plunge that once started meant…stick with it and finish it! Alex and I were quite surprised with how fast it went and how much it has lightened up the middle of our house! We did it with a color called ‘old white’ that’s creamy and reminds me of my favorite ice cream, Talenti Carribean Coconut! Here are some of the pictures of the process!

Chimney1Chimney2Chimney3chimney4chimney5chimney6Truly, this is amazing paint, Anne Sloan Chalk Paint. It’s non-toxic, well…I wouldn’t eat it! (better to eat the coconut ice cream!) and it has no fumes or smell. It’s water-based, easy to clean and only took two coats. Drying time is incredibly fast, withing about 15 minutes. Many websites talk about using primers and multiple coats. I’m truly sold on this paint! If you go online, you can find small creative stores that carry it. I can’t wait to soruce up more things. But only AFTER I get back to my watercolors and finish helping Martha Julia Agnes Adele find her shoe!


I’m trying to find ways to support myself while I write. Here’s my thought process: I could sell some of my little paintings but I’d rather keep the originals until I find a good way to publish hard copies, at least of “What Makes a Jingle Ring.” So I took a break from the Hillock character development time to play around with some miniature paintings of pieces of some of my book illustrations. This is just a little frame I had, and I used pretty cheap paper, but I just wanted to see how it might work to make some small paintings. I’m open to any suggestions. FramedTwigs