364 Days

24 Apr

Exactly one year ago, I somehow convinced a good friend to help me turn a blank wall into something better.

Last night, we finished it.  And it is glorious.  11 feet tall, 13 feet wide, and guaranteed to make the leasing office feel really guilty for having to paint over it if I ever move out.  What more could you ask for in a wall mural?

A photographic progression of the wall over the last 12 months, you say?  Well, you are in luck!  I happen to have just that ready for you today.

April 2013

April 24, 2013. It begins with a blank wall and a stick of chalk.

April 24, 2013. It begins with a blank wall.

The outline is drawn with chalk.

The outline is drawn with chalk.

The twilight sky is painted. The chosen time of day will make more sense later.

The twilight sky is painted. The chosen time of day will make more sense later on.

The mountains appear, along with the first layer of grass.

The mountains appear, along with the first layer of grass.

The first of two stencils goes up. This one is of Hogwarts Castle, because if I can't go to Harry Potter World, it's going to come to me.

The first of two stencils goes up. This one is of Hogwarts Castle, because if I can’t go to Harry Potter World, it’s going to come to me. This is the first of many references to books that changed my life as a kid (which is the theme of the mural).

The end of Day One of painting. The mountains are up, Hogwarts is up, and there are two disembodied light fixtures.

The end of Day One of painting. The mountains are up, Hogwarts is up, and there are two disembodied light fixtures.

May 2013

 

The mountains get redrawn. This isn't the last time we'll do this, either.

May 22, 2013. The mountains get redrawn. This isn’t the last time we’ll do this, either.

The second stencil goes up.  This one is a dragon, as a homage to the Dragonriders of Pern book series.

The second stencil goes up. This one is a dragon, as a homage to the Dragonriders of Pern book series.

The dragon is up, and the mountains are repainted.

End of Day Two of painting. The dragon is up and the mountains are repainted.

July 2013

July 29, 2013. Day Three of painting starts with the beginnings of Wall.

July 29, 2013. Day Three of painting starts with the beginnings of Wall.  This is a reference to Stardust.  I told you there were lots of book references.

The stones in Wall were drawn with chalk (by me! One of my few actual painting contributions.)

The stones in Wall were drawn with chalk (by me! One of my few actual painting contributions.)

Wall is mostly finished.  It will be touched up before the end, but I totally helped paint the right side.

Wall is mostly finished. It will be touched up before the end, but I totally helped paint the right side (which is why it will be touched up.)  The path of Brandywine River from The Lord of the Rings is also painted in, but not by me.

October 2013

Day Four of painting. The Brandywine River gets filled in, and the lampposts from The Chronicles of Narnia appear!

October 23, 2013. Day Four of painting. The Brandywine River gets filled in, and the lampposts from The Chronicles of Narnia appear! These also help delineate the real world from the fantasy world in the mural.  Everything magical is on the opposite side of Wall, while our side is the “real” world.

December 2013

December 1, 2013. I get bored and hang Christmas lights on the lampposts. This is also partly due to the fact that I have no room for a Christmas tree in the apartment.

December 1, 2013. I get bored and hang Christmas lights on the lampposts. This is also partly due to the fact that I have no room for a Christmas tree in the apartment.

February 2014

I completely fall down on my one job, and don't get a picture of the edging as it goes up. Luckily, I take really bad pictures of the rabbit, so I have one detail shot.

I completely fall down on my one job, and don’t get a picture of the edging as it goes up on Day Five of painting. Luckily, I take a lot of really bad pictures of the rabbit, so I have one detail shot.

March 2014

Still falling down on my one job, I do manage to take a picture of the wall after rearranging the furniture.  Didn't add anything new since the February painting session, but the cracks and edging are finished in this shot.

Still falling down on my one job, I do manage to take a picture of the wall after rearranging the furniture. Didn’t add anything new since the February painting session, but the edging is finished in this shot, along with the first of the drywall cracking effects

April 2014

April 23, 2014. Day Six of painting. We manage to get a very tall ladder from maintenance, and the cracks in the wall get bigger.

April 23, 2014. Day Six of painting. I convince maintenance to loan me a very tall ladder, and the cracks in the wall get bigger.

More cracking added. We finally figure out that darker is better for these, to really give the look of crumbling drywall.

More cracking added. We finally figured out that darker is better for these, to really give the look of crumbling drywall.  We also chalked in the stars from Peter Pan (see? I told you the time of day would make sense later on.)

We pull away all the furniture to reveal the full finished product.

We pulled away all the furniture to reveal the full finished product.  Then we just stared at it for a while.

364 days later, my living room is complete.

364 days later, my living room is complete. And it is glorious.

To Recap:

April 24, 2013. It begins with a blank wall and a stick of chalk.

We went from this on April 24, 2013…

to this on April 23, 2014. I definitely got something better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The amazing artist who helped me paint this mural (and let’s be totally honest- there’s no way I could have done it without her. I was just here to provide the key to the apartment and the cookies.) is Kim Ramey.  Besides seeing her in the pictures above, you can check out her blog: Front Door Studios or her Etsy site: Kim The Painter, or if you’re like me, you can do both.

Go ahead, click away on those links.  I’m off to figure out a way to climb into my wall. Hogwarts, Pern, Middle Earth, Narnia, Neverland, and Stormhold await, after all!

 

 

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