I worked out the composition of the figures in a small-scale drawing over which I drew a grid. I then placed a corresponding grid in chalk lines on the wall. Only the figures were done in this manner. The rest of the mural was drawn completely freehand using a brush and diluted paint.
BELOW:
Full panel measures 15 feet by 8 feet.
Whitman College, located in Walla Walla, Washington (USA) commissioned me to create a 50 foot wide by 12 foot high mural in the Reid Campus Center's centrally located coffee house area. The mural is visible from multiple levels, as the wide and open staircase leading to it includes a room-size landing open to viewing the coffee house on the lower level. The wall surface is sheetrock and, since the building is new, it required minimal preparation.


NOTE: PHOTOS ON THIS PAGE WERE TAKEN WITH A DIGITAL CAMERA UNDER LOW INCANDESCANT LIGHTING. THIS GAVE A MORE YELLOWISH/REDDISH READING OF THE COLORS WHEN COMPARED TO THE ACTUAL COLORS. As soon as better photographs can be made available, they will be posted.


BELOW: The mural is located behind a moveable low stage platform and is divided into two parts by the brick column visible on the right in the photo below. Photo below is of the left half of the mural.
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BELOW: The other half of the mural to the right of the brick column.  The large square black panel on the wall (just in front of the dog's nose) and the black cabinet projecting from the wall are equipment necessary to the use of the stage and could not be moved or painted over. Tha same is true of the outlet panels and the equipment projecting from the wall at the top of the left side of the mural (see photo above.) The river canyon depicted at the far right is a view of the Grande Ronde River from above the community of Troy, Oregon. The dome-shaped mountain in the distance is Eagle Cap, located in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of Oregon.
BELOW: Another view of the mural to the right of the brick column. A gas fireplace is located on the wall adjacent to the right of this portion of the mural.
BELOW: The right side of the mural as it took shape. The existing wall color was white; I painted a brickish tone over the that and then began drawing in the primary areas of my composition using a diluted purple paint.
BELOW: The left side of the mural as it started to take shape in the diluted purple paint.
ABOVE RIGHT: The clock tower of the Memorial Building is the most recognizable structure on campus and is the image most frequently associated with the college.

I drew the tower with the perspective of it rising up and away from the viewer so that the image conveys the sensation of viewing the actual clock tower.

Pigeons are common on campus, but I also chose to represent them as metaphors for the freedom of thinking that one derives from an education.
The grouse are metaphors for the freedom of the spirit that one derives from living and learning in the company of one's peers and others.
BELOW:
A portion of the left side of the mural.

Notice the wall vent below the head of the guitar. I was able to paint this object and succeeded in making it disappear into the mural.
RIGHT: Figure being drawn in using diluted paint.
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RIGHT:
Pigeons and portion of the tree. The trees are a distinctive feature of the Whitman campus. Large and very old but healthy specimens dot the campus and invite contemplation in their shade.


BELOW:
Grouse populate the rural areas around the city of Walla Walla.
C.S. Poppenga  -  ARTiculations   P.O. Box 28, Lewistown,  Montana  59457   Email: poppengacarol@hotmail.com