"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Story of a bookstore mural--II

14' x 8' mural for Burrowing Owl Books, Amarillo, after two -plus days' work
How do you paint something this big, I wondered, as I traveled to Amarillo on a mid-September Thursday? In watercolor, I think in terms of inches of paper size, not feet.
"The Back 40," Burrowing Owl Books, Amarillo
Daughter and son-in-law Dallas and Todd Bell have just opened Burrowing Owl Bookstores' second location, in Amarillo, and wanted a West Texas mural for the children's reading area. The store in a busy shopping center is twice the size of the Canyon store, which I believe is a work of art in itself.
My answers to my questions, always open to failure, are planning, and step-by-step attempts. 
Watercolor experience with paint helped, but at least I could cover up mistakes with new paint. 
This is what Burrowing Owl looked like in mid-September
People had asked if I had a projector for the sketch, and obviously I didn't. This meant the project would change as I went along, rather than being meticulously executed as the pros do it. 
In addition to using acrylic wall paint, when I arrived I discovered the wall was 14 feet wide and 10 feet tall.
That's a daunting big wall, and Lighthouse sketch.
First adjustment--Thursday afternoon the grid was expanded and  sketched with pencil.
Although most of the composition was made up, the main eye-catcher was not--it had to be a fairly accurate rendition of the iconic "lighthouse" formation in nearby Palo Duro canyon. I used my watercolor card as a guide. 
Then to look at the paint and supplies Dallas had purchased and get a few more.
Next post: step by step photos of two days "progress."

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