Posted by: Beth | 2010/03/15

Artist Date #3 – Painting Quarter-Round

As I contemplated what to do for my artist date this week I went back and reread what Julia Cameron had to say about artist dates. 

Filling the well needn’t be all novelty….. The brain is reached through rhythm – through rhyme, not reason… Any regular, repetitive action primes the well… soothes and stimulates the artist within…. regular, repetitive actions that may tip us over from our logic brain into our more creative artist brain…. Our focused attention is critical to filling the well.

Okay, well, I had some painting I needed to do and I thought that I could combine the two to possibly fit the bill for my artist date this week.  We have been working on home renovations for over two years now.  It is going very slowly but we have rebuilt the front bathroom from the 2x4s up.  It’s really nice.  We have gotten wood flooring put down in the living room and hall.  Have rebuilt the laundry room.  But the front bedroom has been in stasis for awhile.  The ceiling had the popcorn scraped and repainted, the walls had been repainted, the wood floor was in.  I’d painted the new framing around the closet.  But after that it kind of went on hold.  I knew I really needed to get back to it.  Now that’s it’s going to be more than just a guest bedroom we are on more of a timeline.  So hubby got the baseboards and the quarter-round put in.  Then I started the decision process of whether I wanted the quarter round to stay wood to match the floor or paint it white to match the baseboards. 

I got out my mp3 player and set it to my favorite old classic Christian music.  No one was home and I could turn it as loud as I wanted.  I could sing along without worrying about anyone’s ears bleeding.  (I jest you not!)  I found I hadn’t listened to the music I enjoy in quite some time.  Probably since I was pressure-washing the driveway last summer!  So after experimenting with several different brushes I finally chose the one I thought would do the best job with this project.  One thing about oil painting, I have lots of brushes to choose from no matter what kind of painting I want to do!

I was glad I had made the decision to paint the quarter round once I started actually painting!  What a nightmare!  As I began this task I quickly became frustrated and at my wits end.  It was impossible to paint these baseboards without getting white paint on the teal walls.  It was impossible to paint that stupid quarter-round without getting paint all over the new wood floor!  I tried carefully angling the brush and that worked at the top of the baseboard but I couldn’t get all the way to the bottom of the quarter round with hitting the floor and making a mess.  I tried sliding paper under the quarter-round.  That didn’t work.  I tried butting a piece of hard cardboard up next to it to protect the floor and that didn’t work.  I tried wiping the paint off the floor with a wet paper towel and that smeared it around and wiped the paint off the bottom of the quarter-round too.  As frustration set in I asked myself how could this possibly be an artist date if I was finding it so frustrating.  Aren’t artist dates supposed to be fun???

But I guess the miracle of the artist date came to my rescue.  Not sure where the idea came from, maybe the bubbling up from the recesses of the brain that Julia talks about, but I actually figured out a solution to my problem.  I went and found my small angled sponge on a stick.  With a jar of water I was able to use the angled tip of my sponge to gently clean the paint from the floor without disturbing the paint on the quarter-around.  Once I moved the paint away from the quarter-around with my sponge it was much easier to wipe up with a wet paper towel.  Things began to move a little faster and I began to enjoy my task. 

I didn’t have a lot of room to work with as I worked my way around the room.  The bed is pushed to the middle of the room right now since it had to be reset up for a guest before we were ready for a guest.   There are still stacks of wood flooring planks to go into the other two bedrooms that we haven’t gotten to yet.  It was very close quarters to be trying to do such precise painting.  My knees and back were screaming at the indignities I was subjecting them too.  But I persevered.  I think I went though four hours worth of music on my mp3 player since it shut itself off before I was done.  A bit long for an artist date.  But once I got going I enjoyed the challenge of keeping the white paint off of the teal paint and getting the paint off the floor without messing up the quarter-round.

Should’ve seen hubby’s face when he came home and I was happily slapping paint on the baseboards and quarter-round without a thought of getting it on the floor!  I thought he was going to have a heart attack!  As he blustered and got upset I asked him if he saw any paint on the floor on the part I had finished.  He had to admit he did not.  So I told him to please go about his business and he could look at my project when I was done with it.  LOL! 

I was hoping one coat would be all that it would need.  But alas, that was not the case.  I had to come back the next day and do it all over again to get a second coat put on.  Luckily the second coat went much faster than the first.  I still have to paint the door framing and the new door and the new closet doors.  Hubby still has to put in the crown molding and then I’ll have to get that painted, which is not easy either, but at long last the end is in sight for completing this room.  It’s done enough now that I can at least put the furniture back as long as I cover it with plastic when I paint the crown molding.  Now I’m waiting for my body to quit screaming about the awkward positions it was forced into to get this project done.  🙂


  1. Beth, your writing is really starting to flow as a result of your work with THE ARTIST’S WAY. You always were an excellent writer. Your engagement with the process is at a hightened level. I hope more of the writers will join you and Randy in THE ARTIST’S WAY. I see lots of “sparks” in both your and Randy’s writing that is new and very exciting.

  2. Thank you for your kind words! I don’t see the change but in Chapter 4 Julia talks about other people seeing the changes that we ourselves cannot see. I would love it if other people would join us on this journey! It is very enlightening!

  3. Beth, I did not realize Chapter 4 comments on changes others see. That in itself is pretty amazing, don’t you think!! I see it in both you and Randy. xo

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