Monday, June 8, 2009

Painting Between the Lines

I finished painting the ceiling white between the beams on the rez-de-chaussee today. That's the ground or first floor to us Americans. It is just bare wood planks we have been staring at, the sub-flooring from upstairs, so it didn't reflect much light into the room.

It would have been a simple project if it had just been a normal ceiling. But with 10 katywampus beams to cut along and around, simple easily multiplied. A roller stroke down the middle, then all was up to the brush. I felt like I was back in grade school art class, practicing to draw between the lines. Except this time I didn't get to sit at a desk.

I could just barely reach the ceiling standing on the stepstool. But climbing up and down three steps without support, and paint jar in hand, made me feel like a hire wire act. Maybe diminishing balance is a sure sign of aging. So, I resorted to the big ladder, which created a fiasco moving furniture around and negotiating the ladder into tight spaces.

A few nights before we left Moab for France, we watched "Man on Wire" on DVD. It's the story of Phillipe Petit, the French high wire artist who crossed between the Twin Towers in NYC in 1974---a feat that has been referred to as "le coup". My standing on the step stool and feeling sheepishly uneasy at that height seems ridiculous in comparison, although he did have a 26' long 55# balancing pole. I merely had a paint brush and small can of very fluid paint.

An equally interesting subplot to Phillipe Petit's high wire walk at the WTC was the story behind his illegal entry into the building. On the scale of a major jewel heist, up to the last minute one never knew if Equipe Petit would pull it off. No subplots to my ceiling uplifting, interesting or otherwise. Except if one includes that moving all the furniture resulted in a thorough vacuuming of Fergus products.


Anonymous said...

I saw "Man on Wire" at a local theatre and thought it was FABULOUS! I'm afraid of falling...and getting a view of what he was looking at down on the ground gave my stomach a major case of "butterflies"!

It was so interesting as a personal story of one man's dream...and it was wonderful to me to see the towers in all their newly-built still saddens me terribly that they are gone...and it saddens me more to think of all those lost lives.

I think the movie won an Oscar for documentaries...and it was really deserving.

Also...the ceiling looks great! I'm glad you managed to keep your balance Nancy!

Take care. Luke

Peggy said...

Tony and I watched that movie last night and Tony could hardly sit still watching him parade around between the two buildings and sit down on the wire, etc. Phillippe crossed back and forth eight times before he finally stepped back on the building. I think he was enjoying playing cat and mouse with the police that were waiting on either end. Great movie.

Surely you were using all your concentration, too, Nance, to paint that ceiling.