The Burlington mural is complete!
We painted in Burlington for the better part of a week. Since we couldn't bring the truck, we had a little camp set up with our paints etc in the storage room of the Battery Street Jeans thrift shop (the yellow door on the left). This whole chunk of buildings had one landlord, who was totally into the project and said we could paint wherever we wanted - we were pretty much only limited by time and what we could reach. We used the fire escape as much as we could!
All the pictures of any quality here were taken by one of our hosts, Arielle, who's absolutely awesome. If you live in the Burlington area, she is a great event photographer.
Sarah did ALL the neon lettering. These pictures don't do the glow justice - these have quite a realistic effect in person.
We forgot the fluorescent paint in the truck (we didn't forget many things, but the couple things we did forget were VITAL) (of course) (ugh) so we supplemented with overpriced Montana spray ($9 for a half can???) and some much cheaper hardware fluorescent spray.
The local art store carried some acrylic fluorescent colors, but they were about $100/quart (hahahaha). Also we didn't feel like supporting the jerk-face owner of this store, who decided he needed to tell us about what REAL professional traveling muralists did (inflection included). No thanks.
We ended up being able to paint 24 people! Out of the 150+ that were submitted, that's not many, and I wish I could have painted 50 more and covered the whole alley. I'll be sharing pictures of the individual ladies on Instagram, in order to feature them each and share a quote from the person who submitted their picture to the project. Example:
Hurry up and Wait - our return to Glens Falls
So that was that about that! We wrapped up, said goodbye, and jumped back in the car. Kaitlyn and Jenni, our wonderful host in Burlington and her friend hosting us in Glens Falls, did one last round of chauffeuring, handing us off in between the two towns at a little roadside grill. The idea was that we'd leave late on Wednesday, spend one more night in Glens Falls, then pick up the truck first thing in the morning.
-- BUT OF COURSE, as soon as we were ready to leave Burlington, I get news from the garage that the part has STILL not arrived. But it will be there first thing in the morning! ... We decide to continue as planned. First thing in the morning on Thursday, we hear that the supplier actually hadn't picked up the part like they said, and it would not be at the garage until that afternoon at the very earliest. With 6 hours of labor estimated for the repair, that put us solidly into a Friday departure. We waited nervously, rearranging plans again so that we could stay an additional night. In the afternoon, I checked in again.... and was told they were now expecting it first thing FRIDAY morning.
I cracked. Wouldn't you? We immediately put our Escape Plan into action and got the HELL outta dodge. One exorbitantly priced rental car and 9 hours of non-stop driving later, we rolled into Richmond at 5AM. Home at last.
One thing to be said for Glens Falls - each time we got stuck there (first our breakdown, and second our waiting day) we got breakfast and commiserated and put together a plan. Both times, when we went to pay, someone had already paid for our meals without ever talking to us. Hmm.
Well, the tour is technically over, but the project is far from done. Of course, I have to go get the truck once the repairs are finished.
For the moment, I am hiding out with my family at the beach, recuperating and reflecting. A big part of me would love to just sit back and sink into regular day-to-day stuff, but In the same way that there was MONThs of pre-work that went into this three-week trip, I know there's still work to be done to wrap up in a good way.
Besides, I fully intend to keep the momentum going for the murals and drawings that are the heart of this! I have a few walls waiting for me in Richmond to paint ladies on, and a TON of pictures still to draw.
Speaking of which, Burlingtonians: I got many many more pictures submitted than it was possible for me to use for this mural. To anyone who submitted a picture, please keep a lookout on the @girlsgirlsgirlstour Instagram account, because I'm still planning on doing as many drawings as I can from the pictures you submitted and posting them there!
And of course, the big background looming secret purpose of this trip was to do a TEST RUN for a MUCH BIGGER trip in the future....! These three weeks were awesome, all trials and tribulations included, and definitely served as proof to me that a more open-ended 3 month? 6 month? trip would be an EXCELLENT adventure! I got a lot of confidence about making things up as I go, and got a much better feel for what I need to plan for beforehand. Plus, by the time I'm ready to do that trip, I'll probably have replaced so much of the truck that it'll be an entirely new vehicle....
This next trip won't be anytime soon though - I'm in Richmond for the next year, for sure. I've travelled a lot over the last year, and I'm ready to nest a little. Also, one of the main things I learned was to allow myself more planning time, so next fall seems pretty soon already!
One last huge THANK YOU to everyone who has followed along, supported the tour financially and spiritually and practically, and all of my friends and family who have continual patience for my workaholic lifestyle.
We operated under the wing of Studio Two Three, as our fiscal sponsor for this project. Thank you!