Back in June 2019, the Peninsula Community Collaborative, in partnership with the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District and Friends of the Dunes invited local Humboldt artists to propose mural designs for highly-visible concrete vaults on the Samoa Peninsula. These vaults were visual blights to the community and beach goers, frequently tagged with profane graffiti. Proposed murals were to cover the graffiti and liven the community aesthetic.
I was selected as an artist, and given a vault! It was a little bigger than I thought and at the time, my largest project ever.
The timeline I had been given was only two weeks to paint the beast, so it was many daily trips from Ferndale to Samoa with my backpack and buckets of supplies; A few layers of primer over the tags and then the real work could begin!
In my proposed design, I told the committee that I wanted to incorporate elements of earth, sky and sea in a very bright sort of way; a piece that could be seen driving from the roadway, a bright concrete gem hidden among the grassy dunes. I went to work with every manner of paint I could find... latex house paint, acrylic , glitter glue, spray ink and some pure pigments for ultra sparkle in the UV light. Outdoor murals only last so long under the best circumstances due to harsh elements, (especially ocean air) but I made sure the brands I used had superior outdoor ratings.
After layers and layers and layers of blues, grays and greens like the ocean behind me, I was ready to add plants and colorful craziness.
Round and round the tank the brushes and I went, growing flowers and plants and grasses from every direction and in every color, cascading glitter and ink until finally it was finished.
It's been clear coated with a graffiti resistant varnish that also protects the pigments from the sun, and sits happily near the Pacific Ocean in Samoa, waiting for you to come find it! It was a great project to take me out of my comfort zone with sheer size; I look forward to something equally as crazy in the future.