I have been waiting for 1,900,800 seconds to show you this before and after I worked on in conjunction with Sherwin-Williams National Painting Week.
That’s 31,680 minutes.
Or 528 hours.
Or a really, really, really long time.
It all started with a request. We have a brand new cancer center going up in our town. My sister is a local artist and she was asked to create an mixed-media art installation with a group of cancer survivors. It’s a giant tree with leaf after leaf after leaf created from the pages of each of the survivor’s journals.
Words transformed into art transformed into inspiration…
….with hope written in every line.
They needed a place to work on the pieces for the installation.
They needed a place to draw and sketch and paint and create.
They needed a place to tell their stories.
Enter this loft space in the second story of my sister’s storefront downtown.
It was large and incredible and historic with giant windows that let in natural light and it was perfect for the project.
It looked like it just might work.
Except it had walls that looked like this.
And floors that look like this.
It looked hopeless.
It looked overwhelming.
It looked like it would take the entire population of a small country to get the room ready.
But I knew what it could be. I knew what the space could eventually look like. So we scrubbed and mopped and patched and repaired and primed and painted gallons and gallons and gallons of amazing, wonderful, incredible Sherwin-Williams paint.
The room looks like this.
Can you do me a favor? Will you go back and look at that before one more time? Just once more. Look at the before picture again and then come back and look at the after.
Now–can we clap and raise our hands and scream and shout together….
….CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT?
Here’s a vertical picture so you can see more of the space.
We patched the holes and caulked the cracks and painted the walls Alabaster SW 7008.
And then we striped the back wall with Mindful Gray SW 7016.
The doorway led to another space, so we up-cycled the existing door which was off its hinges into a barn door.
We primed it and painted Mariner SW 6766 to add a pop of color in the room.
Then the vintage door was hung on barn door hardware in the back of the room.
This table was donated for the project and I painted it SW 6766 Mariner, too.
I placed it against the wall and created another place for an artist’s workstation.
There are brushes and paint and canvases and a vintage easel just waiting to be used.
We added a giant over-sized work table and these vintage stools painted Daffodil SW 6901.
The space is ready.
It was finished just in time because the project has already started.
Here are the rough sketches used as inspiration for the art piece.
Each giant leaf created on a large wood canvas will visually represent a part of the survivor’s journey.
And the will to fight.
That amazing, incredible, awe-inspiring will to fight.
To fight on in the face of the journey ahead.
To fight on the face of adversity.
To fight on in the face of pain and despair and hopelessness and anger and sadness and to reach down and grab cancer with both fists and fight this terrible disease that has claimed so many…
…and to beat to the odds.
And to win.
Maybe that’s why I knew this room was perfect.
It’s a fighter, too.
It’s outlook was bleak.
It’s future looked dark and full of gray skies and storm clouds and the journey ahead to recovery looked overwhelming.
It’s come through the fire brighter and better and stronger.
It’s full of hope and color and strength and happiness and the promise of a brilliant tomorrow.
A tomorrow full of decades and weeks and days and hours and minutes and a zillion, trillion, billion seconds.
And I know it will embrace every one. 🙂
PS Just in case you have a space that needs some paintspiration–here’s a coupon for 30% off paints and stains from Sherwin-Williams.
disclaimer: A giant shout out to Sherwin-Williams for partnering with me and sponsoring this post.
I cannot thank you enough for the honor of working for a company who truly puts others first.
My opinions are completely my own.
Please see my disclosure page for more information.