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Salmon mural is complete – Marlin Peterson
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Salmon mural is complete

180 feet wide and encompassing every life stage of the life of a salmon, this mural was a huge undertaking.  On the backside of the wall to the museum and facing downtown Wenatchee’s Centennial Park, this wall posed unique challenges.  It was a very rough wall that got tamed somewhat with the pressurewashing and heavy priming.  The wall stands 6 feet tall for most of it, but ascends to about 12 feet as the wall proceeds to the right.  I had a number of boxes to check:  specific and identifiable species of salmonids endemic to the Wenatchee watershed, clear divisions of their life stages, text describing it all…..and did I mention fit that into 6 feet x 180 feet?

I decided to use latex paint for much of it, as well as aerosol, (aka spray paint).  Aerosol was a great complementary medium for this project as I could establish and experiment with creating volume quickly and do something akin to sketching.

I opted to render many of the fish in difficult poses, swimming toward or away from the viewer.  I started with silhouettes that I would incrementally modify with color and by cutting around with the base paint.  It really came to life when I spent an arduous amount of time brushpainting in all of the tails and fins after the bodies were established.

I hope it lasts a long time and I find the time to add several more very cool features and subjects….it really isn’t quite done yet!

Here you can see a before and afterfrom early and late stages.   Enjoy!




columbia, life, marlin, mural, peterson, river, salmon, salmonid, stage, watershed, wenatchee, wide

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