Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Big Commission, 8' x 34' Mural for Beatles Blast

In early June I returned from a fabulous week in Spain with my husband Keith and said goodbye to our friends from Berlin Yvonne and Carlo.  It was my first time in Spain and everything about the country was worth a second visit.  But that's another story with loads of beautiful photos.  For now I want to share with you another adventure, this one of the artistic kind.
 A week after returning from Spain I received an e mail from  fellow Lakeside Legacy Arts Park resident artist Sara Barkley.  Sara was passing on a message that the owner of The Cottage Pub in Crystal Lake was looking for someone to paint a mural for his restaurant and install it in two weeks.  I contacted The Cottage and spoke to Paul Leech, the owner.  I met with him the following day, took measurements of the wall, after calculating the materials cost and time it would entail I came up with the price that we agreed upon. 

Here is some of the Backstory that makes this project interesting: 

The mural will be created in  less than 2 weeks in my studio located at the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park.  The owner of The Cottage Paul Leech is from Liverpool and I lived near Liverpool at one time and did post grad independent study at Liverpool University and my husband was a graduate teaching assistant.
The theme for the mural is  Matthew Street in Liverpool, location of the Cavern Club, where the Beatles performed in the early part of their careers.  I’ve been to England a number of times and visit Matthew Street when I am there.  The mural will be complete by Thursday June 18 and the installation at the Cottage will be on June 19. 
To better explain the painting process, installation and final event weekend I have put together an album with a few captions.  Needless to say I had a great time with this whole mural project from beginning to end.  The many years of had work in my studio, constantly refining my craft and never shy about taking on new challenges all came to together for the "Mathew Street Install".

 The Northwest Herald  featured the mural and weekend event at The Cottage in the Thursday entertainment section of the paper.

The Cottage in Crystal Lake, IL. This is the 8'x 34' wall that I will transform into Mathew St., Liverpool for the Beatles Blast weekend.
I measured the height and length of each wall section making room for the windows. I had to accommodate the step up to the deck and elevate the canvas off of the pavement to ensure a consistent look to the mural.  Each panel was hand cut, assembled and stretched.  Most people were unaware that the brick wall was actually a painting.
This is view 2, from the parking lot of The Cottage.
Time to begin stretching 272 square feet of acrylic primed canvas on heavy duty stretcher bars using copper coated steel tacks.  Before beginning I completely reconfigured one end of my studio to accommodate the many large canvases to be stretched and painted. 
After the under painting on each canvas using graphite pencil I made a grid with corresponding proportions to the grid drawn on the plastic sheet over the photographs used for reference.  The above panels measure 8' high 50" and 36" width and 2" depth.  This is the first day of sketching in charcoal on the panels.  The entire painting is acrylic
My daughter Michelle took the picture of me focused on the painting at hand and surrounded by the large canvases waiting to be transformed into bricks, sculptures, windows and signs.
This is my daughter Michelle Enerson, she spent two days working hard to paint some background and many of the bricks that you see on the final painting.  She as such a great assistant and did a super job. 
Here is one corner of my studio lined with brick painted canvases.

Here is the 8'x 50" panel featuring a painting of the sculpture featuring the "fab four" above the doorway of the Beatles gift shop. 

The Beatles sculpture as it appears above the door of the gift shop on Mathew St. in Liverpool.

Above and below you can see the paintings in my studio, they are almost ready for delivery and installation.
Above is the painting of the John Lennon bronze sculpture that is located on Mathew St,  I added the Everton and Liverpool Football Club posters on the window above to feature the local sports celebrated in Liverpool.

This is the photo reference that I used for the above painting of the John Lennon bronze sculpture, as it appears in front of The Cavern Pub in Liverpool

Here you will see Tom and his crew doing and outstanding job at installing the mural.
This is a view from the deck of The Cottage overlooking the mural.

Here is the installed mural with the entire length on view.
The photo above shows a view of Mathew St. in Liverpool.  Below are more views of the mural at The Cottage.
Above and can be seen Me and my daughter Michelle in front of the mural.  Michelle and her husband Matt visited The Cottage on Saturday to view and celebrate and the completed and installed mural

Here is American English Beatles tribute band performing on Sunday night at The Cottage for the Beatles British Blast.  It is very rewarding to see your work on view for so many happy people celebrating art,  and music to together.  If you missed seeing the mural this year it will be installed next June for the Beatles British Blast 2016.