Thursday, August 20, 2015

Three New Murals


I just shipped off three murals that have been occupying quite a bit of my time in the studio this summer. They will end up being installed on outside walls of a high school in the small town of Alva, Oklahoma.

I've painted a lot of murals, but this particular method is a first for me. These were painted on a thin, non-woven polyester material that is principally used in the garment industry as interlining. A growing number of muralists use it because it allows large murals to be painted in the studio, then rolled for transport and installed on site. Very large murals are painted in sections, then attached to the walls with an acrylic gel in a method akin to applying wallpaper. Once installed and properly sealed, they are extremely durable indoors or out, and it is almost impossible to tell they were not painted on location. Preparing the material for painting is somewhat involved, requiring numerous layers of acrylic varnish. The prepared surface is quite smooth and very nice to paint on.

These murals are pretty small as murals go--each one is 5 by 9 feet. The subjects all deal with actual people and events in the school's history. The basketball mural depicts the Alva High School girls basketball team in 1924, the year they won the national championship. The football player is Alva alumnus Jack Ging, who went on to be a standout college player. Later, he went to Hollywood and became a motion picture and television actor. The third mural depicts Edna Donelly, who was national teacher of the year. That entailed a trip to The White House to shake hands with President Eisenhower.








4 comments:

Gary L. Everest said...

Hi Don,
Congratulations! The murals are great. And how interesting to learn about the new materials.
How in the world did folks from a small town in Oklahoma find you? Must've been thanks not only to your fame, but the Internet, too. I'm guessing you have a beautiful web presence and all they had to do was put in the search term, "muralists". Still, who'da thunk?
It's an amazing time to be a painter!
Stay well and again, congratulations!
Sincerely,
Gary.

Don Gray said...

Hi Gary--thanks! The mural world, like so many other parts of the art world, is pretty small. Another artist I knew had done some murals in Alva, and recommended me to them. That's often how it works--word of mouth tends to be the best advertising. And yes, if you have a website they can go to that helps a lot. Hope you guys are well and having a great summer.


Ruth Armitage said...

Congratulations on a beautiful new project, ready to impress the world :) Love hearing about your working process - encore!

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Ruth--very kind of you!