In preparation for painting my first mural commission, I painted a practice mural with imagery I have been using in my print-based collages. Technically, this is the first mural of my own personal work that I have ever designed and executed all on my own. I learned a lot during the process. This mural was painted over the span of three weeks in January of 2022.
I painted this in preparation for the 40 x 30′ mural I will be painting for the affordable housing complex in East Los Angeles. I needed to fully understand my daily physical capacity, the length of time, and the amount of paint it would require to complete a painting of this scale. Previously, the largest painting I had ever completed was 10′ long and it took eight years to produce. It took 8 years because it felt daunting and discouraging to make such slow progress during very narrow windows of time when I could begin and finish smaller works within a shorter time frame.
I also wanted to visualize first-hand how the collages or works on paper would translate through the use of acrylic paint. I was able to mimic the visual language and textures of ink on paper by using the dry brush method and honoring the quirky imperfections within the shapes and lines which are a typical result of carving an image with a knife.
I also learned that Muralism is a commitment of body and mind. I have a newfound respect for muralists and sign painters who work in and with the natural elements. There were days I was committed to staying on the scaffold despite the heat only to have the sunburn my feet intensely. There were nights I wore five layers of clothing, scarves, and knit hats, to realize this dream. Painting this mural was one of the most affirming experiences I have ever had, and I look forward to realizing what else I can do.