Monday, November 24, 2008
Here's what I did Saturday ~ I painted clouds on the ceiling of what will be the Carnegie Community Art Center, which was the old library, and before that, the old (1926) Somerset Post Office.
Eight years ago I went on the Pulaski County Library Board, mainly to help get a new library built. My main responsibility was to be the looks of the new building, or aesthetics in other words, but library board members have more to do than you might think. When we went to the community to raise funds for the new building, a lot of informal promises to preserve and protect the old post office were extracted from us, and even though that is a bit of an extension of our duties as a library, we've taken it seriously. At a certain point in the process of building the new library we realized that something must be done with the old one. I suggested a community center, and as a result, I was put in charge of getting that done too.
The building was overdue for a makeover, so I picked out paint colors that I thought would compliment the wonderful architecture; dark and light gold for the walls and trim, bright white for the federalist style columns, with sky blue ceilings as a bit of whimsy. Once the painting started, our board president asked me if I'd paint clouds on the ceiling of the foyer. At first I thought that would be a bit much, but after my initial reservation I decided he was right.
The problem was finding time to do it. The center is planning to open December 4th & there's a lot to do before it is ready. Saturday my sister Phyllis was here, so she could stay with my mom, and I asked my nephew Dave to drive down and be my assistant for a day. One day was literally the only opening that I could get! I wasn't sure if it was possible, even, to paint all 5 ceiling panels in a single day. It was, but it was quite a job. I couldn't have done it without Dave.
Clouds, unless they are done with a light touch, can be very oppressive hanging overhead. Clouds of spun sugar are fun for awhile, but become cloying. Grand clouds, like Michelangelo's, cannot be equalled, but they are not the right feeling for a wedding reception, for instance. So to do these I called on my years of cloud gazing (it's true, I've studied clouds for years!) and made the lightest kind I could. This photo shows 3 of the 5 panels, awaiting the Empire style crystal chandeliers that will illuminate them.