The Hali'imaile Community Garden had scored a big win, as the selected nonprofit for Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - also Valentine's Day!
Procrastination is one of those sneaky demons that I'm good friends with. The garden council asked if I wanted to make the banner, and it sounded fun, so I said yes, and that was back in late October. Flatbread wanted the completed banner, approximately 3 feet by 3 feet, in their hands by January 1st, so they could hang it up right away. A two month time frame.
I am so glad that Saundra, another volunteer from the garden, wanted to help with the banner project. Starting is half the battle. We met the Saturday before Thanksgiving, at the parking area for Upcountry Fine Art in Hali'imaile. It was close to the garden, and Pamela Neswald okayed our big painting project outside since she was creating a space for Saturday art projects inside. I was concerned about working at the garden, fearing the wind would knock over buckets of paint.
It would have been nice to buy the canvas, already primed, from Upcountry Fine Art - but we were on a budget. For the size we needed, it was close to $60. I had some old fabric at home and thought it would be worth recycling into a banner.
|Start with some canvas fabric. In this case, I had an old futon cover that had shrunk in the wash and was a bit worn out anyhow. The banner was an excuse to cut it up.|
We measured at least 3 x 3 feet, with plenty of extra inches on all sides to fold over to make a nice edge. Saundra was a great partner, and quickly cut the fabric. Fighting the Maui wind, we then slapped a lot of white primer on the fabric. Another artist friend said we could have used any light colored house paint, but since we had a can of primer free from Community Work Day's paint recycling, I thought we'd use that.
We got a good start on the banner, and after it dried, I folded it up and took it home. Saundra and I also made the mistake of dumping the dirty paint water on the parking lot, which would have stained the asphalt, so we spent a lot of time cleaning the parking lot.
Pamela Neswald was a great help because I could pick her brain about how to do the lettering on the canvas. One way is to use a good brush with nice clean edges and use the brush like a calligraphy pen. That was too risky with my bad penmanship. Another method is to transfer the design to the canvas. Pamela sells nifty transfer paper, which is great for artists. But the other tip she provided was a more bare bones and really messy method of rubbing the design with pencil onto the canvas, and it was cheap.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, and the impending rush of holiday madness, the banner became one of those projects that just lingered and pouted in the corner because I could not come up with a design! Saundra and I had talked about stapling seed packets to the banner, and painting gardener's hands as a border.
Perfectionism lurked around the banner project because I didn't want it to look too slapped together, and didn't know what to do.
One night, hanging out at Ambrosia's in Kihei, DH's idea, after staring at the lava lamp and a very bad colorless rendition of Avatar on the big screen, I started doodling with a pen and came up with a sketch.
Added some blue sky and clouds to the background, mixed the green and yellow to get a lighter shade of green. This was free paint from Community Work Day's paint recycling program. It's awkward to use in big cans, so transfer paint to glass bottles first.
|The finished banner. I broke down and added extra elements, despite Pam's warnings. I didn't add a pineapple or the seed packets, but felt a strong urge to stick a bird on the top and some taro leaves, seedlings and a |
The fundraising night is this Valentine's Day at Flatbread in Paia.
Bring a date or be prepared to flirt with other garden supporters.