In my mission to post about a backlog of projects, today I'm sharing a very Northwest-y mural. This project came about when I was asked to paint something on the walls of an apartment building's lobby. This building is located in Northwest Portland, close to Forest Park - a lush backdrop of forest covered hills over the city's west side. The name of the apartments - Forestry Court - and it's proximity to actual forest, inspired a pretty obvious choice for the mural's imagery. The lobby is fairly dim, with little natural light, so I knew that I wanted to infuse a bit of "daylight" into the mural. A whole lot of Indian Yellow helped me create an illusion of that magic "golden hour" feel. It's that time of day when the sun is getting ready to start setting, and there are long shadows on the ground, and everything turns, well, golden. We knew we wanted to cover all of the available walls in the room, which was one large and prominent wall, plus two tall and narrow walls to the sides. Though there were hallways cutting through between the walls, I wanted them all to work together to create one cohesive piece. Then, the viewer's imagination could then fill the empty spaces between.
I always enjoy the challenge of making it look like light is shining through the leaves on a tree. That almost-neon green that is formed by a back-lit leaf is so juicy and bright to look at in the natural world. Hard to capture in a painting, but worth trying.
Once the main walls were done, I waited for a warmer day to paint some areas in the outside entryway. I figured just some greenery would help beautify the empty spaces in the tiling, and serve as a preview to what you'll see when you enter the building.
I remember painting this in such a "flow" state - almost a trance. Nature is something I'm pretty darn used to painting by now, so it doesn't require a whole lot of thought - at least not conscious thought. When painting this kind of subject matter, what it really requires of me, is to turn off my conscious thought process, and just let my hands do their thing. It's projects like this, when I will listen to podcasts and audiobooks, to keep my mind occupied while my hands do the work. More complicated projects require more thinking (architectural or geometric work is like this). Does this make sense? It's just one of those things I've come to learn and nurture about the way my brain works.
This project totally inspired me to paint something like this in my home. I want a forest wall! Or door, or garage door, or kitchen. My house only has one mural so far - another project on the list to share. More to come!
Hope you enjoy the pictures and video of this fun forest-y mural!