Last Friday I received an emergency phone call from my daughter Joanna. Thankfully it was neither a medical, nor a life-and-death, emergency. Rather, Joanna is decor-challenged and was requesting me to visit on Sunday to help her decorate her new office. Jo is a supervisor in the Pre-Kindergarten Program at a Public School Board of Education a two-hour drive away from me. On Monday, training of new Early Childhood Education teachers was to begin and she wanted her drab, empty office, filled with mis-matched furniture to take on a more inspirational and professional look.
Why, oh why, did I not think to take a ‘before’ picture?????
Now, on the surface, this does not seem a big deal. However, during the course of the phone call, it was decided (by whom I am no longer sure) that I would do some art for above Jo’s desk. My planning wheels began turning but ground to an abrupt halt when she could not decide on a theme or inspirational quotes. Attempting to draw ideas was sullied because she and her partner were prepping for a big family gathering the next day – tents and all, so Jo’s office ideas were not flowing at that moment. Colour was an easy get. She loves purple “because it means power” and turquoise … just because.
However at 2:30 in the morning, ideas apparently were flowing. Deeply asleep, I could hear my iPhone humming in the distance saying a message had arrived. That didn’t really waken me, but a subsequent 6 or 7 texts did. Joanna was sending quotations for me to consider for the painting. I told her the quotes had to be meaningful to her, for the painting to be personal and representative. The first many ideas were inspirational quotations often seen by those who love such things (like moi), but they seemed too stuffy, too serious. Then – she sent one by Dr. Seuss and it seemed so Joanna. Not only that, the sentiment was perfect for an ECE supervisor who spends her professional life working with 4 year olds and their teachers.
Now I was wide awake and we were on a roll. Jo sent several more. Game on. Then, “g’nite”. Except, by this time, it was 4 A.M. and I could not fall back asleep. As a result, Saturday I slept in until 11:30 A.M. After a wake-up coffee, I drove to an art supply store in Barrie (a half hour each way) to buy a canvas so I could attempt to accomplish a finished panting by the end of the day. I had decided it would be a whimsical Zentangle painting. The driving time allowed me to think of a way to incorporate several quotations into one painting.
By dinner time, I was sketching my ideas in my Midori. About 7 pm I was drawing my plan with pencil on the 36″x24″ canvas.
Sunday, I arrived at my daughter’s home, visited awhile with my three teenage grandchildren, then Joanna and I were off to Home Sense to buy office accoutrements. Finally we arrived at her office, armed with shopping bags, a painting, hammer & nails and even varnish & brush to apply a second coat to the painting.
Following are the results:
Joanna at her desk
Dr. Seuss’s Garden