Wanted: Painter, Must Have Car
*As per last weeks blog from Lizzie, wine was involved....
MERAKI [may-rah-kee]….a Greek word meaning doing something with soul, creativity or love, leaving a piece of yourself in the work…
I don’t remember where I discovered this word years ago , but I decided then and there it would be my first tattoo, I resonate with it strongly.... (tattoo still pending)
When I started working at Tumbleweed & Dandelion in 1998 I was not a painter…I took a few art classes in college…I had already tapped into my photographer self, dancer self, actor self, but the kind of painting Lizzie did, and needed, was special finishes on walls and furniture with, ya know, actual technique….I had none….but we had the client demand so Lizzie made a plan….
Enter Luis, a very talented painter friend of hers….He knew what he was doing and then some….but, he didn’t drive….(he scooted)….we had some big projects come up that would require at least two people, and a car….So, I became the driver and Luis’ painting assistant…A very experienced driver, very not experienced painter….
I know I was helpful to him, he mostly maintained patience [although I do recall one particularly innocent, yet apparently annoying, question that landed me, not him (the one with the technique) at the very top of a fully extended extension ladder on a 30-ish foot wall….if I had only known there was hazing involved!….]
I was a fast learner as it turned out, and by the time Luis had left, I took on the role of head painter and had assistants of my own along the way. I did actually develop a talent at doing finishes, especially aging. We had a lot of requests for it….You get enough people wanting their brand new custom built piece of furniture looking 100 years old, you get pretty good at figuring out ways to do it.
Tools: chisels, home made screw/hammer torcher chamber type thingy, hammers, heavy chains, brute force, lots of sandpaper, 100% girl power….
And then there’s the beautiful, sometimes mystical momentum involved in the process….when I lose myself in the creativity, the physicality, the sweat and sometimes tears of exhaustion…keeping the vision of what the piece or wall needs all the while…but there is an element that I can’t really explain to someone else: how do you actually make something not just look old but feel old?…..Meraki