With all three children enrolled in school for the 2018-2019 school year, Sarah Windingland had her first brush with free time in 16 years, and she began to show her colors.
Hailing from an artistic family, with a grandmother who taught art to people in prison, Windingland decided to try her hand at creating pieces to share with her family, friends and the Mahomet community.
One of her first projects was restoring a few old chairs.
Not knowing how to replace the pleather cushions and black paint on some chairs that were left in her family’s newly purchased home, Windingland went to Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for inspiration and instruction.
After spray painting the metal, the paint peeled off. With the help of online videos, she was able to figure out how to keep her finishing touches on the chair.
“That’s a valuable skill,” she said. “Now I know how to do that. It may not be valuable for everyone, but there has to be some instance where I can use that in the future.”
Windingland began adding color to the walls throughout herself and she used a hombre finish in her children’s bedrooms. Windingland put up chalkboard paint, repurposed tables and refinished dressers.
“Seeing something that looks old and tired, being turned around into something fresh and new is really cool,” she said.
With creative juices flowing, Windingland turned to acrylic pouring as another outlet.
The process reminded her of watching her oldest son manipulate PlayDoh when he was two-years-old.
“Instead of making things out of playdough, all he did was blend the playdough together to make other colors,” she said.
“ I love the textures and watching the acrylic paint mix together,” she said. “It’s just fascinating to me. I could do that all day.”
With a few projects under her belt, Windingland connected with the Busy Bulldogs Daycare owner, Maria Rasche, to discuss painting murals on the walls of the business located at 1204 E. Oak Street in Mahomet.
After a couple weeks of collaboration, Windingland began painting a graffiti-inspired mural, with intense colors on a background of black and white.
Windingland then used a 45’x9’ wall to paint a representation of Mahomet for the children. Included in the mural is Yo Yo’s, Hairpin, the Cornbelt Fire Station, Flora, IGA and a veterinarian clinic.
“Every day I was like ‘I get to go to this for hours!’”
Windingland said that she would love to continue to paint murals for residents and businesses throughout Mahomet. In fact, she already has a few new projects in the works.
But even if Windingland doesn’t have a commissioned job, she is not about to stop creating.
She has noticed that there is a rhythm to her creativity. Sometimes she feels propelled to create, and other times, she can go for weeks without making anything.
But, for Windingland, whatever comes her way, she is prepared to make sure that she remains hopeful and colorful.
“I don’t feel like you can fail at creativity,” she said.