mural making

mural making

I’ve been wanting to post something on mural making for quite some time, started a post back in July but didn’t quite get to finishing, probably because I was out working on painting a mural instead of writing about it…Here is a re-cap of the last few BIG projects I’ve been commissioned to make.  I’ll post the Scotland painting photos in a separate blog post soon…they deserve their own special write up.

This has been a busy year for painting BIG.  Here is a mural I was commissioned to paint from the local grocery, C-Town, on a metal gate in Peekskill, NY.  The store was being robbed a few too many times and had to install one of these huge roll up suckers.  It was really ugly and they wanted art on it…the owner gave me a yogurt container with a farm on it as inspiration…I took it a little further and added a few ‘grocery’ style elements…chicken, milk, soap, bread, you get the idea…

Here is the gate with a coat of primer on it…the strange grey color on the bottom is because one of the trucks ran into it the third day it was installed and they had to replace two feet of metal.  Bet the driver was feeling pretty low that day…

And, a full winter later, we were able to paint the mural…temperature is an issue and the enamels need adequate dry time between layers.  Working on this scale is really challenging as the gate is not only 20′ high, but also one of the roll up types that presents certain problems in regards to application. This one required scaffold, compressors, spray guns, oodles blue tape, special oil based enamels and loads of hard work.

Megan Dorian and Jerimiah Lawerence worked hard with me on this mural.  I am grateful for their skill and knowledge in the realm of painting…I learned a few things from them along the way.

I make drawings for each mural before working, this way the client gets to see what they are getting and there are no surprises…and I have a map to work from making the painting process much easier.  The above drawing is for a mural for inside another grocery store (same owner).

The farm scene mural above was 26′ long and installed in the meat department.

Click on images to enlarge.

Bakery mural was 12′ long, obviously for the bakery.

and heading over to the fish department, we have the above mural with salmon, tilapia, etc.

These murals were painted in July, in Minnesota while I was ‘vacationing’ with my family and then installed in the grocery store in New Rochelle, NY using wall paper paste.  The end result was a success.

Me, working on the floor, at my Dad’s house on pre-primed canvas rolls.

The fish mural in progress…20′ long.

and wonderful help (my neice, Paige, and my Mom…always great assistants!)

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Another mural project that I haven’t posted yet was for Park Ave Furnishings in Long Island City, NY.  The owner wanted something in earth tones that would compliment his contemporary furniture store.  I made drawings and a digital mock up before starting on the actual wall. This was a big project and took much longer than I had anticipated due to the dry times of oil based paint and cold temperatures.

work in progress…ladders, scaffold, and a passerby.

Here is the crew working at night with the sprayer to get the job done.

And the final product…This mural is 12′ high and 35′ long.  We even painted a portrait of the family dog into the mural, upper right hand corner.  Hard to see here, but a funny little pup well loved by the owners.

I’d like to do more murals, but move into the fine art realm, not commercial.  Although these jobs are nice for paying the rent, they are back breaking hard work, even with help.

Which leads me to the Youth Mural Arts program I founded in Peekskill, NY and this years project…The Banner Project, currently underway.  We are working with the HVCCA to create a huge tapestry of fine art on a building downtown…the final project is going to be amazing, and this is only ONE of many.

The canvas banner is 6′ x 26′ – here is the material stretched out on the parking garage, where it will find a home along with 7 other banners..visit http://kellibickman.net/youth-mural-arts/ for more info.

Here we are working on the banner at the Peekskill Youth Bureau.

Kids of all ages worked on this…at left my daughter, Isabella, age 2 even joined in the fun.

Here is the banner stretched out on the fence in my yard for photographing.  This will be a stunner on the parking garage!

Here is our mural along with 4 others for the installation by

Jessica Fuentes (Green Point Academy Special Needs youth), Jo-Ann Brody (Peekskill Day Camp)

Andrew Kaminsky (Peekskill Salvation Army), and mine (Peekskill Youth Bureau)

Stay tuned for more on this project…final installion to take place the last week of October with the grand unveiling October 30.  Invitation coming soon!

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