CHESTNUT STREET MURAL
The underpass has had a mural painted in it for many many years: the piece that was there before my mural covered a previous mural. This community has a lot of love and fond memories of both of those murals so there was a little pressure to make something that everyone could love. It's also often used as a landmark.
I considered several themes but kept coming back to a core idea: this mural needs to be colorful and have a clear theme that everyone can relate to. It should be fun and inviting for people to enjoy as they move through it but also invite the viewer to want to take pictures of it as well as take pictures that include themselves and their friends & family (especially in this age of social media).
The next challenge was to address that this location counts as a single mural but has 2 large walls. I kept coming back to the theme of nature which led me to the idea of a day/night theme. In the end I designed a 2000 square foot mural on 2 opposing walls featuring images of a day on one side and night on the other so titled it "Sol/Luna". The compositions mirror each other featuring bold colors to show the sun, moon, and clouds. I took some minor liberties with creative expression and added some shadows to the objects on the wall to imply they're like flat shapes floating in front of the actual concrete walls.
It's important to understand that an underpass is a very inhospitable location to paint anything. Due to its construction, an underpass will destroy anything painted on it within about 10 years. This means that my mural will be replaced with a new piece of art and so will that one. What's not to love about a location that is perpetually fostering new forms of public art and expression? I hope to have the opportunity to paint a new mural in this location in the future. After all, public art is one great way to show that this town is cared about and thought of with intention along with being a unique/special place to spend your time.
I live and work in a former cigar factory in Souderton PA with my wife Heather (a glass & jewelry artist) and our dog Crusher. We took it from a rough dirty shell and turned it into a warm inviting space full of art. Most of my work is done in oil pastels: messy, rich, and a unique blend of drawing & painting. I also paint in oils and draw in ink. Stop in to check out my studio and lots of paintings of skies, trees, rolling fields, barns, and industrial sites. I like to focus on the everyday scene that might go overlooked but is totally worth acknowledging as a painting.
Oil pastels are a perfect choice for me. They are like a lush waxy crayon allowing me to create a piece of art that feels like a painting but is applied like a drawing. The brand I use was originally manufactured for Picasso and they remain the same today.
My work is known for dark outlines, unique views of the world around me, and great mark-making within strong compositions. I also make my frames and try to handle as much of the process of creating & presenting my work as possible. When I'm not painting, I enjoy my fish tank (the best studio mates!), being involved in Souderton's revitalization on multiple non-profits, and working on our factory building.
You're invited to join us in exploring the public art of Souderton.