An eight foot mural honoring Black Lives and the history of Alberta Street in Portland which began over a year ago, was completed this September. it’s the first mural i’ve painted in many years, and the first one done on site. here’s a funny photo of me holding the sketch taken by a passerby—one of many who wanted to take my picture while i painted. to me, the mural is what’s important, not my face!
this was a grand project, one that filled my heart and felt like a blessing as every week, more people of color are killed for no reason. in fact, many people are being killed for no reason, not just people of color. so this is my peaceful response to our violent times.
here’s a link to the commentary and explanation of the symbolism and imagery in this mandala.
many challenges provided learning opportunities for me during this project including: painting on a shaky scaffolding, materials, how to make a mandala spin so i didn’t have to paint faces upside-down, learning about collaboration, painting in public, answering questions by endless interested spectators, including one that i found as the most asked, but to me the most unlikely: “did you paint all of these?”. my mural is one of 6 on the facade of the building, each totally different in style. so it always surprised me when asked this question. i decided that it was a way for people to connect, and maybe they couldn’t think of any other question!
it was an amazing process, and yes, a blessing. i enjoyed finding tricks to save time, such as using templates for repeating patterns, such as these hands, where my own was the model. if you want to see more detail images, please let me know! i’ve documented the entire process with photos, and hope to make a little flip photo book showing the progression! enjoy!