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Caravan Mural for Camouflage

I was asked to paint a forest on a caravan

 

The owner was building a verandah on one side and he wanted to be discreet, to hide the caravan in the woods.
Bright white and gleaming it shone out and could be seen from a distance, even at night, car headlights picking it out.

Perched on the edge of a steep bank it looked impossible for me to do. Having started to add his extension, the owner did not want to move it to a more convenient location, so he built a platform for me to work from. Planks were cut to length with a chainsaw and the platform took shape in no time.

Outdoor Paint for the project

With easy access the painting could be started. However, we were in France and I had only brought watercolours. I needed selection of colours in oil paints that would stand up to all weathers and keep their colour.

I found some oil based decorating paints in a nearby town but I needed some good strong colours to mix with them. A hunt for art shops ensued – we were miles from anywhere. A 60km drive brought us to Pamiers and asking everyone we could eventually led to a small shop that sold oil paints for artists. A few careful choices would give me the range I needed.

Soon I was painting. The sun blazed down and I needed to work quickly. I used big decorating brushes.

Painting Disaster Dodged

One day I was left alone while the family went off for supplies. I stepped backwards to see how to continue and I fell off the platform! Oh dear, It took ages to get back up and I was a bit grazed.
I daren’t admit my folly and luckily no-one noticed the bruises. I thought they might stop me from finishing it.

I was jolly glad though when a friend’s son, a young boy of about twelve I think, came for the day and wanted to join in so I ‘let’ him paint the orangy crest of the hill. He did very well, making it streaky as instructed. When the painting was finished he was so proud, and I was so pleased to have the help!

The photo is taken from the bottom of the bank, so it’s shown against the sky and the effect is lost. We had to test it from the road and from nearby fields. We all piled in to the owner’s truck and drove along the road, trying to see the caravan. We couldn’t find it easily at all, even knowing where it was.

Mission accomplished, the caravan was outasight!

This all happened Some years ago, but I believe the caravan may still be there, I wonder…

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