Secret Places Art 70-80 for the #100dayproject

Here we are, here we are! Step right up folks! I started a big page spread in my huge watercolor journal on fun houses. I was so inspired by all the dark rides I have come to learn about, the dark rides I rode as a child, and the movie “The Funhouse.” My first art was the funhouse I own- the Weebles Haunted House!

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No. 70 “Belfry”
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No. 71 “Phosphorescent”

Then, with my ADD brain, I took a detour and did some drawings of places my kids like to hide in or look into.

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No. 72 “Hidey-Holes”

Then, I went down a rabbit-hole and started reading “Secret Chambers and Hiding Places” by Allen Fea (read it here on project Gutenberg). And had to copy some of the lovely real-life secret places in old English estates. I got this lovely dark, dark graphite color from an Art Graf Tailor Shape in black carbon. Lovely. Lovely.

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No. 73 “Fading Light”

Which led me to making art about the walls that hold our pocket doors. A place I hadn’t really ever looked into. However, I did write a short story several years ago about a young lady who finds an axe in-between the two walls that a pocket door is in.

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No. 74 “Between the Walls”

Here is the picture I took to work from. Please understand this cavity has probably never been cleaned! 113 years of dust plus a close-up photo! EWWWW!

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And here is the pocket door that belongs there! It’s usually in the wall, so cleaning it just never occurs to me!

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The next night I took pictures of our old playhouse. It used to be a chicken coop, but the original family changed it in the 80’s for their grandchildren to play in. We are working on restoring part of it. It looked creepy at night!

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No. 75 “Formaldehyde”

Then it was off to do more pictures of toys (is anybody surprised?). This is where the little people end up when you drop them through the trap door at the top of the castle. I did that picture for No. 11.

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No. 76 “Portcullis”

Our newel post- it’s hollow- most of them are! What could be in it? I don’t know because live electrical wires run through it.

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No. 77 “Torch”

A little tribute to one of my favorite books “Go to the Room of the Eyes” with lots of secret hiding places and a treasure hunt by Betty K. Erwin. The children in the book find a trap door on the roof that leads to a secret room on their third floor!

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No. 78 “Crept”

And lastly, this project. I spent over a week on this room. To be fair it’s huge- 1/3 of the size of the third floor. Big enough to put a ping-pong table in and still store all of our junk. When we bought our house 8 years ago, only one room of the 3 giant ones on the third floor was finished. After doing up just one of them I was done. Their huge size and the fact that you can only work Fall and Spring up here (there is no heat, and very little air) makes any project up here daunting. Since I wasn’t working during the Corona scare and we had perfect Spring weather I started the last room!

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No. 79-80 “Blighted”

This phase of the project was to finish bedding, taping, and skim-coating all the drywall joins. The previous owner had hired someone to put up the drywall. I briefly considered taking it all down because there is shiplap underneath it with wallpaper, but I changed my mind because I know there is water damage and I didn’t know how bad it actually was.

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Doing all this work was INCREDIBLY hard. I hurt my back pretty bad in the middle of all of it and it took so long to finish. I did not want to have any texture on the drywall so it would look like real plaster. This is very difficult to achieve. Suffice it to say I did a pretty good job, but it wasn’t perfect by any means. Of course, it also meant this took 3 times longer than if I was just going to texture over it.

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I don’t know if you can tell, but this big vent pipe had it’s top painted to match the original wallpaper up here. The whole thing was probably matching, but part was probably changed out at a later time. Why do I consider this part of my #100day project? Well, anything you do to make something look better involves some art!

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Here are some pics I found of what it looked like before! Miss Havisham would have loved it!

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More art coming soon including the finished room! Bye!

-Jaime

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