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!