Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday is a Pleasant Painting Day

Yesterday was a holiday here in Brazil- Dia de Finados, or Day of the Dead. It doesn't bear any resemblance to the Mexican Day of the Dead, but then again, not much of Brazilian culture resembles Mexican culture in any way. I had the day to myself, so I took advantage and went out painting.

Back in June or thereabouts I marked a wall to paint on in the neighborhood of Rio Vermelho, on a sidestreet that is an access route to a neat little beach called the Praia do Buracão. This is a pretty common practice here- for graffiteiros to mark a wall, sometimes with nothing more than their name and a straight line, so they can come back and paint it later. Amazingly, this is almost universally respected and the odds of having someone steal your spot are practically nonexistent. Sure enough, five months after 'claiming' my spot, it was exactly as I had left it. But what was really amazing is that most of the rest of the wall was still untouched.

Due to a nasty attack of insomnia on Sunday night I got a very late start, so I hustled down there to try to get something done before dark. I slopped on some suntan lotion in the car, but it turned out I didn't need it- the wall was completely shaded. Even better, I scored a parking space right in front of my spot, so I was able to listen to my sound system as I worked. I don't generally like to use headphones when I'm painting, they make me just a little too oblivious to what is going on around me. I started painting and I decided to paint quickly, and not be a perfectionist, and be relaxed and have fun and then be on my way. Which is exactly what I did.

Here's the result:

I found out last week that the wall I painted with the two cars got knocked down in the name of progress, so here are two of the critters from one of the cars, I think Salvador will be seeing more of them. And I had been wanting to combine the 'future contraptions' stuff I've been drawing and painting with the monsters, this was my first attempt at that. The painting is not perfect, but it's usually better for me to relax and not try for perfection: I never achieve it and I just get all stressed out.

It was a very pleasant and satisfying experience, and I finished the whole thing in about two hours. I had a few people hang out and watch me for quite a while. Being on the main route to the Buracão beach, lots of people walked by and generally responded favorably to what I was doing. Several people wanted me to let them try painting something, a tag or whatever, which was annoying. One guy went as far as to start grabbing at my cans to try them out and I had to tell him to cut it out. Another woman I discouraged simply by telling her that the cans cost 'a fortune,' which is true.

Wanting to finish off a can of paint so I didn't have to lug it home I painted these guys next to my larger painting:

I've been doing a number of these guys but I'm already getting kind of bored of them. They generally appear in sets of threes, and I call them interlopers.

Then, on my way home, I did my civic duty. I was going to write about it here, but it made the post take such a radical change in tone that I've decided to split off that part and publish it in a separate post.

So I'll leave you with this last picture and a final thought:

As you can see, I have effectively reserved another portion of the wall with my interlopers. And there's more blank wall below my painting. And you can't see it but there's more above it as well. I'm thinking I could just keep going with this, and end up with 50+ yards of wall, all painted by me. Which would be super cool, a real milestone. It doesn't even take that much paint to do these squiggly lines and skinny little monsters. I think I won't wait five months to go back to this spot.


Stephanie said...

Sounds like you had a good day! I hope you get to fill up that wall, it would be awesome to see!

markuza said...

he he- I'm scheming my next move... maybe this weekend...