Theatre Thursday


Once again I was hired to paint a backdrop for my friend who teaches at Howard Street Middle School in Salem.

I always starts like this…. stuff in a hallway and inspiration on the walls.

I had kids help me paint all the flats white.  I always start with a clean slate.

We started by blending colors to create a giant rainbow canvas.  This was a little tricky because three of us were working on the set and each of us had out own style of “scrumbling”.  Eventually, we were able to get the colors to blend nicely.  The other issue was that I was trying to use old paint.  However, to get the desired effect I did need to buy a couple colors.  Not everything was the same type of paint so it was a challenge to blend them well.

I was inspired by a few pieces of art I found in my research that had black silhouette trees against a colored background.

We started by painting the ground black and adding “curly” grass.  As per my tradition, I made the “grass” spell the names of the people that helped work on the set.

Then we added trees.  We spelled the title of the play in the branches of the center tree.

… and we added birds, owls, and even a cat.

I had some great helpers: Hannah, Lillian and Claire.

It took us 4 days of work to complete the backdrop.

I carted the flats to Salem after letting them dry for 3 days.  Sadly, I didn’t give them enough time to dry and some of the paint stuck together causing some of the paint to peal.  I was bummed.  The set was complete with 2 free standing doors, also painted black.  I was on my way to the school to make some repairs when my car broke down and stranded me so I never did get a full picture of the complete look.  However, these pictures kind of give you the idea, right?

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