Friday, September 13, 2013

Foothill Roots Farm Mural Update 5: Pause on work.

Well, just a quick update.
Here's what the mural looks like right now:

It's happening!

Also, there's still time to get your name in the mural as a supporter if you donate $25 or more before the mural is done! A number of lovelies have donated and it really helps a lot!

Here's some close-ups:

I'll post more when I get back! Yay!!! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Foothill Roots Farm Mural Update 4: Get your name in it!

One thing I've learned in taking on this project: It's expensive to paint a mural!!! Over the last few months I've spent about $450 just on supplies.  

The majority of this amount ($410) is primer, paint and varnish. The rest is things like brushes (the rolly kind and the brushy kind), photocopies, pencils, cleaner, things like that. My mom and some friends lent or gave me a bunch of supplies so I didn't have to buy those: grid paper, a tape measure, sanders (which I ended up not needing), facemasks, a long handled roller holder thing, paint pans, etc. And Diane and Pat borrowed a pressure washer, which was awesome, so I could blast the moss off the surface. That was super fun. But anyway, I was talking about money.

I've been so excited to have the opportunity to paint a mural that I've been happy to spend my own money on this. I feel like it's giving me awesome experience and exposure as an artist. I get pretty much complete creative freedom. I get encouragement from Pat and Diane when I start to get nervous and have doubts about this or that. I get to support their farm, which I just think is so wonderful. I had this idea that after the mural was painted I would fundraise to make some or all of the money back. Because people would see it and love it and want to give me money, or something. Not sure what exactly I was thinking. It has occurred to me that that's kind of silly. If I start fundraising now, people who donate money can have their names in the mural!

So here's the deal: if you donate $25 or more to the Foothill Roots Farm Mural fund before the mural is finished (this is a moving deadline here), you can have your name in the mural as a supporter. 

If 18 people donate $25 each, that will cover the cost of supplies!!! If more people donate, it can start to cover my gas costs! Yes! If even more people donate, well, gee, maybe I can afford to keep painting murals! Maybe I'll paint one for you! That would be such a dream for me. 

How to donate:
  • In person: come by the farm! 
  • Mail: cash or check made out to Diana Caplan, 2314 Estes Rd., Chico, CA 95928 (if you are excited about getting your name in the mural, this is not the best option).
  • Paypal: you can send money via paypal to my email address, which is simply my name with no spaces at gmail dot com.

I quit my full time job a few months ago so I could dedicate myself to art and music for a year. By donating to support the mural, you are supporting me as an artist and you are supporting the Foothill Roots Farm and Pat and Diane as farmers. You are also supporting similar awesome endeavors that may take place in the future. I'd love to be able to paint more murals to support more causes. 

Thanks so much for reading!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Foothill Roots Farm Mural: Part 3


The loud thud and subtle earth shudder woke me this morning.
"What are Diane and Pat doing down there?" I wondered from my bed in my tent on the hill across the creek. I assumed it was another shipment of woodchips. Real heavy ones.

Wrong. It was this:

"Start the harvest day off with some excitement, hey?" Pat shouted to me from where he and Diane were already collecting lettuce heads, even while I was still stumbling sleepily from the hill. No kidding!

Yesterday rained and thundered on and off all day. Pat blamed it on me, claiming I brought the storms. Not one to be pushed around, I cleverly retorted, "Me?? No."

I took advantage of the rainy day to finish the design for the mural on my little scale grid paper. So the schedule has shifted, and that's okay. After spending so much time outside in rain and lightning with students for so many years, I thoroughly enjoyed being in Pat and Diane's dry home, drinking tea and drawing coyotes.

On Sunday, before the rain kicked in, I did manage to prime the shipping container, Diane helped me cut away the blackberries in the work space, making it friendly for open-toed shoes. Today I'll be marking the grid up on the surface, so I know where to draw things. Then I'll draw things.

At some point today, my partner will arrive and I'll get to show him this wonderful farm that Pat and Diane have built. Tuesdays they harvest a bunch of things, wash them, bundle and box them to give out to their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture - it's like a weekly veggie subscription) customers. Last time I was out here I got to help them in this process, it was a lot of fun work. "This is so much fun!!" I kept saying, and, "I wouldn't want to work this hard all the time, but I'm sure having fun now!!" Perhaps today, while I draw things on the blank slate that is the future mural, my partner can have fun helping Pat and Diane.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Foothill Roots Mural Part 2

A few people have been asking how the mural is going and I'm happy to report I'm finally back on the farm and ready to start flinging paint around! Here's a rough schedule of when I'll be working on what for the next week or so. I've also included notes for potential helpers on when you can help and with what:

  • Sunday, September 1: Priming, letting it dry. Hoping it doesn't rain. I'd love help with priming but realize this is very short notice.
  • Monday, September 2: Gridding, penciling in the mural design. Would love some help with gridding. I'll be doing the penciling myself though.
  • Tuesday, September 3 to Friday, September 6: Color painting. This is the part that seems to sound like the most fun to people and that everyone wants to help with. Please feel free to drop by and check out how things are going, but it's unlikely I'll have much for you to do if you are looking to help. Thursday 3-7 is the farm stand, so if you come that day you can also buy some produce!
  • Saturday, September 7: no mural work (my friend's wedding).
  • Sunday, September 8 and Monday, September 9: Color painting.
  • Tuesday, September 10: Either Varnishing the finished mural, or just packing up to leave for my next adventure (if it's not finished yet).

This whole schedule is of course subject to change based on the weather. If any of the fancy beautiful paints or primers wash off in rain I will be so sad!!! It seems ambitious to me to try to paint the whole thing in a week, but since my dear sweet partner has agreed to come out on Tuesday and help with stuff for the rest of the week, it seems more doable. Yay for supportive partners!!

One more important date:

Saturday, September 28: Foothill Roots Farm Harvest Festival
Starting at 4pm, Diane and Pat are having their Harvest Festival. Check out for more info. It's under events and Diane is making a post about it as I type. I wish I could be here for that! 

Diane, making a post. Note the hair. Oh yes.

Between my last post and this one, I did make it out here to pressure wash the shipping container, which was really fun.

Apparently I like pressure blasting moss off of sheet metal. Who knew.

 I've also spent a significant amount of time drawing, erasing, sketching, drawing, starting over, enjoying and agonizing over the actual mural design.

For example, these coyotes?

Not even in the design anymore.

These little planty vegetables however, are definitely still in. And in real life they're not even upside down.

Feel free to contact me if you want to come and help. I'll be checking my email and comments sections. Or call me if you have my number. My intention is to post more as things progress, but I've said that before and not followed through, so no promises.

It's time for breakfast and then painting stuff, hopefully. Thanks for reading.