Friday, April 4, 2014

My Grandma would like this.

Ok, this is the craziest: I’m on a business trip! For my business I made! For doing this thing that is my #1 favorite art thing to do for other people, but people will also trade me real money for, that I can buy real things with!  That’s the craziest to me. Is this real life? This job is huge for me for a couple of reasons: #1, I’m making more money/hr. than I ever have or probably ever will again, which is awesome because money, but also #2, this means that someone (who is not friends or family) is telling me they find what I’m doing valuable and will treat me as a real professional. Which I guess is what I am. That feels good.  

I drove up here to Walla Walla, WA (GORGEOUS drive through the Columbia river gorge) yesterday after working a half day at my “real” job (also in love with that), and settled into my guest room at a retirement community here. The next morning, I had breakfast with the owner, and we took a tour of the building’s murals (they are everywhere and amazing). The muralist before me sadly died of cancer not too long ago, so here I am, the replacement. They built a brand new memory care unit right next door to this community, and that’s the building that I’ll be filling with murals. So after the morning meeting, this is what I made:
garden mural, white fence garden mural, portland oregon muralist

garden mural, white fence garden mural, portland oregon muralist

I’m happy with it, especially for a one-day project. The texture of the walls is PERFECT, and my instructions are to paint “impressionistic” with relatively low detail. Which is totally my jam.

While I was painting, I kept picking up brushes that had either, “Florie Gussis” or “FG” written on the handles in sharpie. My grandma labeled all of her art supplies with her name. I inherited these after she passed away, and now, I use both her brushes and her really nice acrylic paints (I only use those on canvas though, not walls). My grandma had Dementia. Now I’m using her brushes to paint a mural in a memory care facility for residents to enjoy, who have what she had. Something just feels so “full circle” about that. I know she would be proud of me right now and I miss being able to call her and my Grandpa to tell them about these exciting life moments. But I’m happy to have inherited her creative genes - she is with me always. 

Stay tuned for more... I’ll be here mural-ing all week. ;)


  1. Corie this might be your best blog post ever! So thoughtful and emotional. I cried when I read it. And i will re-read it many times. Your first mural in WW is absolutely fantastic. Your style is exactly what they want and you should feel very validated. Your grandparents are smiling down at you and always were so proud os your accomplishments. Living the DREAM!!!

    1. Thanks Dad. Love you!!! Also, I know Grandma Norma would be proud too, as she also gave me artsy genes....through you... :)