Walking On The Edge of the Mural…

28 07 2010

BalancingGot the top of Mt. Brenton added into Section 2 last night. As it is right at the top of the mural space, I have to perch on top of the scaffolding.  I sure don’t like working at the very top of that scaffolding (aprox 18′) with no rails!  Every gust of wind felt like it was going to lift me up and toss me to the ground.  Talk about vertigo (just don’t look down, just don’t look down!  Hopefully the line of Mt. Brenton isn’t too wiggly as a result – lol!

New photos are posted on Flickr!


Section Two Begins!

26 07 2010

Started the big section of the mural on Saturday, preparing the wall and painting with gesso.  Got a nice helping hand on the paint rolling from Dr. Karl Schutz – and a nice little sunburn from our beautiful weather.  Planning to start the actual colour painting after work Monday.  Hoping this will go faster than Section 1 did!

Section 2 Wall for Mural 41

The "Blank Canvas" for Section 2

Section One is Finished!

23 07 2010
Section 1 of Mural 41 is Finished!

Section 1 of Mural 41 is Finished!

It’s official – on Tuesday, July 20, 2010, a warm, sunny evening, I added my signature to the finished section one of Mural 41.  Dr. Karl Schutz, the founder of the Chemainus Murals project was there to document the moment with photos.  I’ve made some significant changes to the work over the past few weeks, modifying some background, adding a rocky path, putting in indigenous flowers and making changes to the main figures.  I had heard from a number of people who felt the little girl at the centre of the mural, Elizabet, wasn’t “quite right”.  A number of people expressed concern about the angle of her head and, truth be told, I wasn’t completely happy with where she was at.  I’ve since modified her face and all feels right with Elizabet’s world now.  I also made some changes to Dad’s head and legs, added highlights and shadows to all the figures and finished off various and sundry foliage.  The final result is a great lead-in to the big section that I’ll begin later today.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to root me on and all the visitors from around the world who stopped by – I really appreciate your support!

Mural 41 is Back!

12 06 2010

After a stop and start Spring, it looks like great weather has finally returned to Chemainus.  And Mural 41 is back on track!  Worked for a big chunk of the day last Sunday (June 6).  Saturday had been sunny and gorgeous after weeks of drizzly weather, but I was three weeks overdue to cut the grass (a 2 hour operation) as well as work on the garden, groceries, errands, etc.  By the time all that was done, it was too late to start painting.  I expected Sunday to be just a nice so imagine my chagrin to wake up to overcast, cool weather!  Determined, I went painting anyway and managed to fit in four solid hours before the rain started again.

Today, June 12, I got up early (with an assist by brainy cat, Frankie, who wanted a drink out of the faucet) and got a good start on the day – as sunny and gorgeous as anyone could ask for.  Which was great until about 2pm when my feet and face were radiating the warmth of a new sunburn.  Time for a lunch break and then back to work again around 6pm.  That should give me 2-3 hours of light – without the microwave effect.

Thanks to Dr. Karl Schutz for the loan of the mural artist sign (“look, take pics, but please do not disturb”), which seems to be working fairly well!  Many fewer interruptions which helps the work go much faster.  Did have a few visitors that Chemainus Seniors Drop-In Centre members handled.  Murray Schafer and Connie Falconer fielded questions and gave explanations while I painted away.  Connie’s folks came all the way from Melbourne, Australia.  G’Day, mates!

Looking forward to another beautiful and productive day tomorrow.  A Japanese TV show is coming on Monday afternoon to film for a travelogue show.  Should be interesting – will try and get details and pictures posted Monday night!

New pictures of progress posted today on Flicker: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mural41/sets/72157624261480980/

Busy Weekend With A “Speedbump”

27 09 2009

A hot, sunny weekend resulted in some really progress on Segment 1.  Unfortunately, that included a small step back for the 4 or 5 steps forward accomplished.  On Saturday, I managed to complete Dad’s face only to decide after 3.5 hours, that I didn’t like that sneaky leer he was sporting.  So I stopped and worked on Elizabet’s siblings, getting quite a bit finished.  Then Saturday night I thought about possible ways to improve Dad’s looks and all I concluded was, “Just start over!”

So, Sunday morning, bright and early, I painted over dad’s face.  Wah!  I always hate to erase a lot of work, but it’s important that the figures have welcoming expressions.  I decided to work on Mom today and leave Dad for the end.  Managed to finish most of mom’s face and laid the groundwork for dad.  Much happier with the results of today’s labours!  Photos are posted on our Flickr page and a new video will be ready by Tuesday.

One of the drawbacks of a sunny weekend like we’ve enjoyed is that there are a lot of interruptions during the working process.  Our friendly Chemainus visitors are so happy to talk with someone at work on a mural.  Everyone wants to know 1) How long will it take to finish, 2) Are you an artist, and 3) Tell me how much they enjoy Chemainus.  It’s impossible to not stop and chat with such nice visitors – but it doesn’t do much for my paintbrushes which keep drying out during these breaks.  It’s especially challenging when I’m working on a wet detail area and really can’t stop.  I’ve painted over a number of places so I can start over when this happens.  But it doesn’t matter – everyone has been so nice and so enthusiastic.

Friendly Bavarian Visitors

Friendly Bavarian Visitors

Saturday morning our first visitors were a lovely German-Bavarian couple who were pleased that I could remember a bit of my German.  We chatted briefly about the mural and their home and my childhood in Germany.  The told me their name for our murals – which is a Bavarian dialect word – was Luftlmalerei (with an umlaut over the first ‘u’).  A subsequent conversation with our inimitable Dr. Karl revealed that they are more properly called Wandgemalte (with the umlaut over the last ‘a’).  Whatever the word, Chemainus murals are well loved and much admired!


Also, a special hello to all the horse-drawn carriage tours and our very own train tour driver – love sending a cheery wave to those happy tourists!

I’ll be back to work tomorrow afternoon trying to finish up as much as I can before the Tour de Rock Breakfast on Tuesday morning.  Wish me luck!

A Gorgeous Day…and some sunburn!

25 09 2009

Friday, September 25 epitomized Indian Summer here in Chemainus.  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day – weather-wise – to work on the mural.  I worked on the mural for a couple hours after work Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, but was so tired that I didn’t have the juice to post photos or a blog entry – my apologies.

But today was a great day to work and I vowed to get new video and photos for the websites.  And I did!  Though I got an early start today, I knew I would only be able to work until 2pm, as I do volunteer work in nearby Nanaimo on Friday afternoons and was really looking forward to seeing the kids today.  Plus, it seemed like visitors from the whole wide world were stopping by to say hello and ask questions.  I talked with folks from Amsterdam, Japan, Australia and various parts of Canada today.  The most common questions is, “When do you expect to be finished?”  It always requires a bit of explanation as the finish date depends on which segment we’re discussing!

I am eager to get as much accomplished on Segment 1 as I can this coming weekend, as Tuesday morning the senior’s centre is hosting the Tour de Rock Breakfast.  The event generally includes a gathering in the parking lot where Segment 1 is located, so I’d like to have as much done as I can so there is a nice backdrop for the event.

This past week saw some really nice press coverage of the mural from a story by our local paper editor, Warren Goulding, special to the Victoria Times-Colonist (Sun, Sept 20 edition, page A12) to a nice story in the Ladysmith Chronicle about our survey contest to name the little girl in Segment 1.  As mentioned in our previous blog postings, Elizabet was our big winner, so the survey contest is closed.  However, it was a popular feature so stay tuned for more opportunities to contribute your votes to various aspects of the mural as it is developed.

Also, check out our Flickr page (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mural41/) and our YouTube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/chemainusmural41) for the newest visuals on the mural’s progress.

Back at Work in the BC Sunshine!

20 09 2009

Happily, I am back from my travels, and what a return!  A great article by Warren Goulding for the Sunday Victoria Times-Colonist (page A12) that sent droves of visitors to stop by and chat while I worked on the mural today.  Plus, gorgeous, gorgeous sunshine!  Unfortunately, with all the visitor traffic I spent more time stopped and answering questions than working on Segment 1.  But I did get some more accomplished and a photo of today’s work is already posted on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mural41/3939212285/.

I hear the rest of the week is supposed to be equally sunny so I look forward to making some real tracks on Segment 1 this week.  The pressure’s on, as the Tour de Rock reception and breakfast at the Chemainus Seniors Drop-In Centre is planned for Sept 29 and I’d like to finish as much as I can before then so we have a nice backdrop for the rider’s visit.

Today is also the day we post the results from the “Name the Little Girl” survey.  After tallying the votes the results are an overwhelming lead for “Elizabet”.  Other names that rated well were Pheobe, Inez, Caroline, Janice, Susan, Connie, Annie, and Julie.  Sadie, Sarah and Mary were suggested, but did not receive any votes.  Therefore we have now settled on Elizabet as the name for the little girl in Segment 1.  Thank you to everyone for your suggestions and participation.  We’ll run more surveys about the mural as the work progresses, so stay tuned!

On The Road – A Painting Pause

11 09 2009

A short pause in the work on Segment 1 is required as I travel for business.  Hope the good weather hangs in there…Should be back at work on Sep 20 – stay tuned!

Defying the Rain

7 09 2009

Got a bit more done today in spite of the variable weather.  The day started off cloudy and then got sunny just before noon.  I took a chance and brought my sun shade canopy with me just in case things really heated up, though the temps were cooler (I even wore socks under my sandals).  After getting to work  the sun did, in fact, come out and start cooking me again.  I set up the sun shade canopy and within 10 minutes a big storm cloud swooped in and it began to pour rain in earnest.  Thankfully, the deep overhang on that part of the building, as well as the shelter from the canopy, kept me pretty dry.  Though there was quite a “creek” of water gushing through the parking lot!

Managed to finish the little girls arms and her dad’s hand, his trousers and started mom’s skirt.  Hopefully I can get some more done after work this week – rain clouds permitting!  New pictures of progress posted at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mural41/3898419651/in/set-72157622259878570/

Official Survey – Name That Girl!

6 09 2009

Take our official survey to name the little girl from Segment 1.  Thanks, SurveyMonkey!