Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Final Act


Installation day for the mural finally arrived! The panels were taken off the studio wall the day before, varnished with Liquitex Soluvar, then wrapped in plastic for transport.





I have a tonneau cover over the bed of my truck, which made a nice "tabletop" for the oversize panels. The smaller center panel fit inside the truck bed, then the larger ones were laid on top of the cover, with blanket padding in between. A grommeted tarp was thrown over the whole thing and secured down with bungie cords. (I love bungie cords.)

By the way, I was assisted through this entire install process by a friend who unwisely volunteered to help. He took all these photos, so it makes it look like I did it all myself. The truth is, he was a lot of help and I'm beholden...thanks, Jim.





To "frame" the mural I began by painting a strip around the wall that was related to but slightly darker than the wainscoting color. Here I've installed the first French cleat for the center panel on the wall and am measuring to place the second one.





The center panel gave us fits. The wall over the doorway bowed out just enough to make it hard to get the panel to slide down into place properly. We put it up and took it down numerous times, quietly muttering endearments. By the time we got it right it was late afternoon, so we called it a day. This photo was taken the next morning, as I installed the cleats for the left panel.





The other panels slid into place much more smoothly. Here, I'm securing small angle braces at the top and bottom of each panel, which helped keep the panels flat and insured they wouldn't be accidentally bumped out of alignment, or too easily lifted off the cleats. I painted the braces the wall color, so they pretty much disappeared visually.





TA DA! You can see behind me the arched doorway depicted in the painting. I'm titling the mural "Welcome to EOU".

16 comments:

Becky McS said...

I knew it would be wonderful! I'm sure you're glad it's up and done. If you ever need help with "endearments," just give me a call. As Dad would have said, "It's a 4-beer job." I'll be sure to stop in next time I'm in LG. Nice work, but I expect nothing less.

rahina q.h. said...

a brilliant post Don and very impressive installation of the wonderful mural. It made me realise that there are practical sides to being a painter and it takes your kind of versatility to complete the job. thanks again r.

Susan Roux said...

It looks great! Must be a relief to finally see it up and out of your studio. Certainly a job well done! So what's next? A few quick 6x6's? How about 48 of them connected together to make a big mural!!!

Have a good day.

Laurel Daniel said...

Don, This mural is amazing. I just went back to your first posts about the project in June and studied at the whole process from start to finish. Incredible!!! Thanks for sharing the journey. What a treasure for the university!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Don Gray said...

Hi Becky--thanks! Yes you're right, I'm glad it's done and I've got my studio painting wall back. Now I just have to get re-motivated to paint something. (I'm kind of slacking right now.)

Don Gray said...

I so appreciate that, Rahina--thank you for your encouragement.

Don Gray said...

So nice of you to say, Susan--thanks! Next is doing my OWN thing with paint for awhile...just need to figure out what that thing will be. Right now I'm on a little hiatus.

Don Gray said...

Laurel, that means a lot--thank you so much! Great of you to scroll back and follow this project through the months.

Sheila Vaughan said...

Don - it looks great. What an achievement! I love the "portal through a portal" idea too. I'm sure it will give much pleasure to past, present and future staff and students alike.

Don Gray said...

Thank you, Sheila. Yes, I hope it will be meaningful to those at the school. I've been getting some good feedback, which is gratifying.

Sarah Sedwick Studio said...

WOW! So impressed! Really incredible. You must be proud, and your clients at the college must be SO happy!

Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

What a fantastic accomplishment and how fun to see you strike a smiling "Ta-daaaaahhhh" pose. Congratulations, Don!!

chris said...

congratulation for your work

ist looks good, perfect

Don Gray said...

Great of you to say that, Sarah--thank you!

Don Gray said...

Much appreciated, Diane! Love your recent paintings.

Gary L. Everest said...

Hi Don,
Congratulations on a superb effort-- both painting and hanging! It looks fabulous and you should be very proud of this spectacular work of art.
It has been a great pleasure to witness the creation of this mural. Thanks for sharing it with us, Don.
Sincerely,
Gary.