Dreamweaver mural located in the Clifton Art Alley of Clifton, Texas, is one of many beautiful contemporary murals seated in the popular local alley...home to The Cell Block hotel. The original idea was for local artists to paint contemporary murals all throughout the alley way (adjacent to Clifton's downtown main street) giving tourists and locals a cultural experience of art. I was honored and excited to be invited to paint a mural, and for the opportunity to share a bit of myself with the world.
This mural remains one of my favorites, mostly because it was my original design and it had tremendous meaning in my life at that time. I started painting in early 2014. The mural stands 18' tall and 30' wide, and took about 7 months to complete working on and off (that's in a Texas summer, while painting another large local mural at Lutheran Sunset Ministries).
The entire wall was painted using brushes, rollers and latex exterior paint. I don't use spray paint...though I imagine the longer I do these, I'll eventually incorporate it for time's sake. I primed the concrete wall, did a base coat in yellow, then went to town with the design. Upon completion, I applied a clear coat sealer.
The tricky thing with a mural of this size is not how to paint that big, but how to reach that far. For future large mural installations I hope to use a boom lift. For Dreamweaver I used a simple scaffold, stacked twice to reach the top. Also, I had access to the roof allowing me to paint down to complete the top portion. The scaffold was scary at times I must say, but it did the job and helped me work on my balance and patience (and conquering a fear of heights).
"So, what does it mean??" I get this question a lot. The design came from my sketchbook, drawn during a road trip I took with dad and sister through Arizona and Utah. We visited Antelope Canyon in Page, AZ, let by a Navajo guide. It was a profound experience to be in that slot canyon. Our guide explained how the canyon changes, and some of the meaning it holds for them. I could feel the spirit in that place, and the sacredness it holds to the Navajo. It was a special experience, and inspired me. I would document something each day that inspired me in my sketchbook, and that sketch came from that day.
This period of life in 2014 was a chapter of self-discovery and asking life what it wants from me. It was also a time of complete uncertainty. I had quit a career job outside of Austin and moved home to Clifton. I didn't know why but had to do it. It was hard, I went to college for Landscape Architecture, and I was working in that field. But I decided to step out and take some chances on my dreams, and believe in the possibility of those dreams coming true. And then one day there I was, painting a large mural just like I envisioned 2 years before in my journal. Dreams do come true. The challenge is to keep dreaming and stepping forward. Be intentional about life and follow the opportunities when the arise.
“Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You