August 19, 2013

Artist with a brush -- and scraper?

Artist with a brush -- and scraper?
By John R. Greenwood

I've always strived to be one of those self sufficient people who possess the ability to make any and all repairs  around their home and property. Whether it's putting a new roof on the garage or laying a tile floor, I have always viewed those individuals as skilled craftsmen. The cost of professional tradespeople is high and understandably so. When your hot water is not hot and your drains are not draining, the value of experience skyrockets. If you make a monthly mortgage payment these skills are indispensable. I place my skill level at home repairs at an intermediate level. I get by with basic homeowner skills like painting or replacing a screen in the backdoor. I learned many of those skills from my father and grandfather. My best teacher these days is a thing called the internet. There is always a video or website where you can find the information you need to complete even the most detailed repair. 

Today's post is not about an intricate electrical, plumbing or remodeling job it's about painting. My skills as a watercolor artist or illustrator are nonexistent, but I do love wielding a good old 3" wooden paint brush. The downside to painting a big old garage is the preparation. Scraping peeling paint is painful for me; not physically but mentally. I find it difficult to quell my impatient nature. I want to see the finished product. It was no different when I was a young boy building model cars. I hated waiting for the glue to dry. This usually resulted in a missing or broken part. I couldn't wait to get to the painting. On this particular weekend I dug deep into the ambition locker and decided to paint the front of our garage. It was looking rather unkept. It's a good old garage and it deserved some attention. I filled a white pail with scrapers and wire brushes and began my weekend adventure. 

The weather cooperated and by Sunday night 75% of the job was complete. The front of the garage had a coat of primer and one coat of paint. During the week I added another coat. One more Saturday gave me a chance to add new trim boards and a new set of lights. She cleaned up nice. It's not an original painting or a commissioned piece of art but I did take pride in the end result. It gave me blog material by providing a photogenic participant and a simple theme. Life is more than one street. It's about good days, bad days, blue ribbons, and ripped pants. There are many ways to enjoy life. 

I extract the most out of life when I am able to inject artistry into it. Lately I seem to crave it like an addict. I am driven to exercise my creative muscles anyway possible. That is the essence of Raining Iguanas. If you don't have an identifiable talent but you are filled with a creative engine you must find a way to fuel it. Your life depends on it. 

As I assembled my before and after shots I snapped this profile of my reflection in the window of the garage. 

It seemed as though it was urging me to continue down this path. It was telling me not to sit still and settle. It was prodding me to keep painting, writing, and taking pictures. After all, what good are blooming flowers and bright lights if they don't have a nice place to stay. 


  1. Great new look. Always amazed at what some paint and trim can do for a building.
    Good post ~~ barbara

  2. Your style of writing along with the photos is delightful. I try to check in each day.
    Thank you for sharing your gift.

  3. The after photos look like a page out of Country Living magazine! Beautiful - now you have permission to take a motorcycle ride :)