Besides teaching the art workshop, part of my Peru mission was to create a mural at the Yantaló school. Between time constrains, missing paint and enormous, fume-loving flying ants, this was no easy task!

The paint had to be acquired in Lima, before my arrival, by a rep from the Yantaló Peru Foundation, and not everything was available. We scoured the hospital construction site for a primer, walking away with several cans of what turned out to be completely solidified, hard acrylic lumps. This was one candidate, but turned out to be filler. You can understand my momentary confusion, yes?

At the school, we rummaged through leftover paint from another project in search of primer, only to find it a separated, sticky goop.

Exhausting my options, I decided to slightly alter the mural’s color scheme and used one of the main colors to prime the wall.

Annah helped prime and entertained bystanders with phone games.

A couple of days later, once the base was dry, I sketched the mural before a workshop.

Just one day remained to paint!

I began at 6:30AM. Even with all the help, the project stretched until the sun set at 7.

I tend to be hyper-meticulous when it comes to my work, so having to rush and to relinquish control to folks most of whom had never painted before was a significant challenge.

It helped get the job done in the nick of time, though, and was well worth it.

When the sun began to set, we had to stop. Light was fading and by that point I could no longer hold a brush without my hand shaking and cramping up.

It was difficult to walk away without taking an additional three hours for touch-ups, but between the darkness and my physical exhaustion, I had to stop. I asked my assistants to sign the wall, we toasted with a beer which materialized on the scene seemingly out of nowhere, and that was that!

I also left some paint behind, hoping someone will undertake the task of filling in the characters’ skin, but I’m not holding my breath – just know that the kids were not intended to be ghostly mint.

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