This city is huge and I'm just one person who came here with few contacts and a not-so-outgoing personality. For the past nine months or so I have spent many of my Saturdays volunteering -- something that really has been a saving grace for me. I've taken kids apple picking and to the aquarium and a few museums; I've delivered food to homebound seniors who have probably been living in their Manhattan apartments since before I was born; I've played bingo with seniors (a few of who almost started a fist fight over alleged cheating!); and today I ventured to East Harlem to paint murals at a public school. Turns out we were painting popular children's book covers onto canvas to be displayed throughout the halls of the school.
I'm not an artist at all. I can barely draw a stick figure. So for the most part this paint-by-numbers system (the images were penciled on the canvas beforehand) worked for me. There were quite a few already completed covers of classic books like Charlotte's Web, Madeline and Harry Potter. Here's the one I worked on:I worked on the title and author's name today and the girl's dress. I need to learn how to mix colors to paint their faces and arms. (You can tell I grew up writing poems and stories rather than drawing and painting.) This was a great project though -- very relaxing and cathartic. It makes me want to go buy a canvas and paint in my room now.
15 hours ago