Monday, February 14, 2011

10 things i learned painting a 12-foot finger

photo: jetheriot

1. If you sit on your bicycle and stare at a large blank wall in the parking lot of a jewelry store, you will arouse suspicion and the police will come to question you.

2. There are three methods for tracing a twelve-foot finger on a wall: stencil, transfer or projection. A well-cut stencil gives precise contours for tracing and – if sturdy enough – is reusable. Sturdy stencils, however, are too inflexible to be easily molded against corrugated surfaces. A stencil supple enough to sculpt ends up being so flimsy it is like trying to hang hot spaghetti, as I learned the last time I painted a big finger. You can also print the image onto long sheets of paper, back them with long sheets of transfer paper and then outline the image with a pencil, pressing a tracing of the finger onto the wall. This was the method I used for the second big finger I painted. It was easy and precise and the template will be reusable, but twelve feet by six feet is about as big as you can go. Or you can project the image. I’m going to try this method with the next finger.

3. Latex is acrylic.

4. The finger functions as a pointer when the image is small, on a road sign, for example. When it is twelve feet long, you want to look at the finger and not where it is pointing.

5. The name of the song is Kicker of Elves, not Kickeroo Bells.

6. Painting a black and white finger on a brown wall requires two colors of paint: black and white. Painting a black and white finger on a white wall requires one color of paint: black.

7. A motionless hand held in a grip – the left hand holding a heavy can of paint, for example – fatigues more easily than a constantly moving hand – the right hand dipping and brushing.

8. Painting is great exercise.

9. Painting the nail and the tip of the pointing finger is the most pleasurable part of the experience.

10. Jewelry stores are busy the weekend before Valentine’s Day.