I have made a few murals, but nothing compares to doing them outside. It’s a whole new game for me. I’ve been lucky these past few days – no rain, nice weather, shade. I can’t complain. This mural is being completed in a beautiful backyard in Washington, D.C. Of course it features the water bodies that surround DC and run through it – the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, as well as Rock Creek. This mural will also feature many landmarks and symbols that are important to the people who live here. Here’s a little bit of my process, I can’t wait to show you the finished piece!
Come see new work at the Workhouse Arts Center. I’m really proud of this body of work. 18 new pieces on wood. 18 rivers of the world represented. When I started creating these works my goal was to experiment with the textures of the wood. How would the washes lay on top of the grain? What if I treated the wood before I applied the paint? What if I let the paint soak into the grain? Although the rivers come from areas across the globe, the common theme is movement and texture… and flow.
I finally started working on a series of new pieces on wood. I’m really liking the random textures I’m getting from the sealed and unsealed pieces. I have never worked with wood before (I know, shocker.), but I’m trying to experiment with the grain. I like how it creates a pattern and is already there before I even paint. Some of the pieces have been sealed before, so the paint lays differently on the surface. Other ones I’ve left heavier brush marks of left the wood untouched so the color seeps into the porous surface. I’m liking the different reactions I’m getting.
I decided to choose 20 major rivers around the world. I also decided to draw the river from the mouth (the end point). It’s really interesting to follow these lengthy rivers on a map to find out where the origin is, and how most of these rivers run along borders of neighboring countries. Almost all of these rivers actually run through several countries, making them hugely important to many cultures who build lives along the banks of these water bodies. I think it’s one of the reasons why I choose rivers. All civilizations start along water bodies, cultures grow up alongside of these important places and create their own systems of living. Even though I’ve lived in many different places, I’ve always lived very close to rivers. Sometimes even blocks away. There is something rich and interesting about waterways. Symbolic and purposeful.