Timeout for Art: Walk First (At a Turtle’s Pace)

Lisa, of Zeebra Designs and Destinations, posted a quote by Don Getz who said, “Learning to draw before you paint, is like learning to walk before you run.” How true! But, I am going at a turtle’s pace…slow and steady. My Casita de Tortugas needs some new turtle paintings, so I unpacked my paints and brushes for a new challenge.

Marvin and I designed a turtle out of my Pre-Columbian pottery shards and plastered it above the door of the casita last year.
IMG_1096When Marvin’s daughter, Lauren, came to visit, we opened a new box of permanent markers and drew turtles on the curtain, which hangs on the front door. I discovered that both Lauren and her father are very talented.
IMG_2585The finished entrance! What do you think?
IMG_2592Since we are moving the bedroom downstairs, and my new art studio will be upstairs, I am enjoying decorating the Casita de Tortugas. Yesterday, I started painting a turtle to hang on the bedroom wall.
IMG_3249Today, I finished the turtle…I think. I used a metallic copper paint to embellish some of the turtle scales, but it doesn’t show up in the picture. Hmm..maybe I’ll add just a few more highlights. So, Lisa…I have a question. Once it is done to my satisfaction..since I’m working at a turtle’s pace…what do I put over the paint to protect it? Or do I need to put a finish over it?
IMG_3252Next, we’re painting the casita walls a soft golden color. Ron’s creating shutters for the windows out of PVC pipes and I’m covering them with canvas. Of course, I’ll be painting some turtles on the canvas, too. I’m moving at a turtle’s pace, but, hey…I’m retired…no deadlines..no worries…and no stress. Life is good, retirement is better, living abroad is priceless.



13 thoughts on “Timeout for Art: Walk First (At a Turtle’s Pace)

  1. you are doing so well, and just think, i might get a sneak peek tonight on the magic carpet ride!

    how great that you are coaxing the natural talent of your friends as well. what a great experience you are giving them! the turtle with the concentric rings is really nice. reminds me of the petroglyphs in your area.

    i love the turtle over the door, and i love the painting as well! in costa rica, there is a product by SUR that i use on floors. it’s non-yellowing and very durable. since you’re working on canvas, it’s probably wise to put a coat on the front and back.. there is a similar product that i use for the hand-painted floors here. my friend sarah used a water-based sealer on the murals, and that should work as well for your art as long as it’s not used as a floor cloth!

    recently my friend luchy showed me an old painting of his (that’s lovely) but the canvas was rotting. i think that a non-yellowing sealer will work well.

    the ‘flying turtle’ and the front ‘runner’ in the bodega were painted on vinyl upholstery material, like one would use for an automobile seat cover! i rolled two coats of ‘agua stop’ on the ‘back side and then painted the designs. when finished, the design was glued to the floor with rubber cement. that was the most difficult part! there is probably a much-better product, but out where i live, that was all that the fereterrias used for gluing linoleum ‘rugs’ to the floor!

    there is also an option of painting on the concrete board that’s used for construction. it’s pretty hardy as long as it doesn’t jump off the walls! it’s heavy, however, so you need a sturdy frame.. i have painted four 4×8 sheets to go across one entire wall.. it was nice to paint them ‘flat’ and then install them.

    the sunflower paintings for sarah’s wash room were on a good grade of plywood. i also use mdf plywood, which has a great smooth surface. when the coats of white paint are rolled on the surface, it’s like having a huge sheet of watercolor paper! that product molds easily in the rainy season, so i think from now on i will apply a coat of non-yellowing finish on front and back.

    perdon for the very long post, but i hope that some of this helps you find the best products in your area… the sheet used for john and mary’s was plain ole ‘kraft’cardboard. that was all we could find in that little town!

    see you tonight.. does the monkey have a name?


    • Z thanks for all the wonderful information. I’ll have to see if we can find SUR on the mainland. Ron has a lot of pieces of drywall or plasterboard left, so I used that for the turtle painting. The canvas shutters will definitely need some weatherproofing on them. The only thing, I’d like to make them so that I can remove them to wash them. Not sure how to work that out, yet. I wish I could find scotch guard here. We can get very creative with limited supplies, right? 🙂
      Oh and by the way, the Howler monkey is a female and her name is Hope ( because I hope she isn’t really my vecina transforming into a monkey lady.)
      I’ll be watching for you tonight mi amiga. 🙂 Gotta go make brownies.

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