Friday, March 24, 2017

Smitty's West Wall

This is the second of the three walls around Smitty's Car Wash.

Photographed on Feb. 14, 2017.  Click on any photo for a slide show of larger and sharper images.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Smitty's South Wall

Several photos have been posted to this blog of murals found at Smitty's Car Wash.  There is also a wall around three sides of the car wash and this, the South wall, is the first of the three.

Photographed on Feb. 14, 2017.  Click on any photo for a slide show of larger and sharper images.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Music murals around the house

This home has murals of musicians. It's at 1121 West Fresno Street; Google wouldn't let me search for the location.

By the front door is a guitar made of iron. I grabbed this fragment from one of the photos you'll see below: the man holding what looks like a slice of bread (a sandwich?) with a bite out of the top. The bread has the caption "Yours truly Jack Smith" that's mentioned below.
Mark Fleming has contributed a number of photos to this blog. He sent these on March 5th (which is the same day his camera data says he took them). He wrote:

On West Fresno Street between Grande and Westmoreland, [this is a] private home, [we got] owner's permission. The murals can be seen from the street.

We asked permission to post on [this blog]; he said yes, we offered our names he did not reciprocate. One of the murals reads "Yours truly Jack Smith."

He's an oil painter and only does murals on his own home.

Let's see that mural and the other four:

Thanks a lot, Mark, and welcome back to the blog!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Morrow Residence, a (very!) 3-D “mural”

This blog normally shows “flat” art, but we make exceptions every once in a while. These walls are nowhere near flat!

"Armed with Styrofoam, rebar, aluminum foil, stucco, chicken wire, railroad spikes, cactus skeletons and his imagination, Gary Morrow began creating his version of a desert scene, one that is gradually encircling their house and yard."  "It'll be done when I'm done being alive.", he said.
Source: Arizona Real Estate News
West Wall on N. Park Ave.
South Wall on E. Gifford St.
Entry Gate on West Wall
West Wall - looking thru a rebar fence at two aliens descending from a spaceship
South Wall Detail
Cliff dwellings with tiny ladders and saguaros.  
Behind the wall is the alien space ship with a Pterodactyl on top.
More South Wall Detail
Photographed on Feb. 8, 2017.
Click on any photo for larger and sharper images.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

Santa Theresa Tile Works re-revisited

Santa Theresa Tile Works has made a lot of public art in Tucson! Some of it is on this blog. More is on the public art page of their website. I'll post more here as time goes on.

I'm often around their building (at the corner of 6th & 6th), going to contemporary galleries in the area, so I see their tile work a lot. I missed this mural, but David Aber didn't. It's on the south side of the building.

He took the photo December 11, 2015.

Like much of their work, this mosaic has a lot of detail. You can click on the image for a much larger view. Unfortunately, Blogger's image viewer seems to squash tall photos to fit your window and doesn't let you scroll up and down to see detail much better. So I've added a version rotated to the left to help you click and see more detail:

Our previous entry Santa Theresa Tile Works revisited, has more…, as well as links to previous blog entries. The entry Wheat Scharf Associates shows a work nearby the one that David photographed (above).

P.S. Please let me know if you like this “sideways” trick by leaving a comment below. (You can remain anonymous.) If it's popular, I'll do more as time goes on.) Thanks.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Cycle Down to 5 Points Bikes

Five Points Bikes has had a mural for some years now. I cycled down 17th Street on May 14, 2016. On the southwest corner of 17th and Stone (on the north wall of their humble building) and found that bright but humble mural.

The mural has changed a bit since August 23, 2012. If you'd like to see, click there.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Main & University #3

The murals on this corner keep changing. (You can see the corner on our 2015 entries from February 23rd & February 26th.)

In the previous two blog entries, I showed only one mural. When I came back on May 14, 2016, there were four murals:

The mural closest to the corner has “LIVER” in it. I think this is the mural space that you saw in the previous two entries. I straightened it, and squashed it to look square, with my favorite free Photoshop-like editor The GIMP.

The dogs in all four murals are running toward the liver by the corner.

No matter what, I'd bet that these four are by Wesley Fawcett Creigh and Jenna Francine Tomasello.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Murals being made, part 45: Charity Glass & Tint

Just over a year ago — March 12, 2016 — I rolled west on Grant Road. I was almost to Country Club when I spotted a bright blue mural with an artist painting the east wall. As you can guess :), I pulled over.

I believe his name was Richard Taplin. I snapped a few photos, wrote down his contact info (which, unfortunately, I can't find), and planned to come back to see the front of the building. Then David Aber pointed out that he'd gotten a photo of the front of the building; it's in our December 26, 2016 entry.

Since then, I called a man who I guess is the owner of Charity Glass and Tint. (They have a unique business mode. Their "About Us" page tells more. They also support public murals!)

If you know how to get in touch with Richard, I'd be glad to add his contact info here. And I'll try to stop by the business to find out more about the artists.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Little-seen mural after six years of desert sun

Experienced Tucson muralists will tell you that west- and south-facing walls can be brutal on murals. Ceci Garcia, of Raices Taller 222 Gallery & Workshop, told me last month that priming a wall for the desert sun before painting it is really important to keep it in one piece. A few years ago, as he was repainting his faded mural on the south side of the La Pilita Museum, Martín Moreno told me how strong Tucson sun can wash out colors.

Last month, as I was looking through mural photos I'd neglected, I ran across some 2016 photos of a mural on the west-facing wall along a vacant lot. I'd last photographed them in May, 2010; if you'd like to see them, check out Hidden but worth the trip. Here are two closeups of the wall in March, 2016. First is the left half; the right half is second:

(The colors may be a bit different due to different photo editor settings. Also, as always, you can click on either photo for a larger view of both.)

I was surprised that the mural looked almost as good as it had six years ago. One homeowner had put up a shed that rose above the wall, and that shed was tagged, but the mural didn't look vandalized. I hope nothing's happened in the year since.

By the way, the left half of the wall has a rock (?) with SSA Broadway 2009-2010. I'm guessing that they were the artists and/or sponsors. Great job, folks!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Cavett continued

This faded mural — near the parking lot at Lillian Cavett Elementary — looks as if it may have been there since the other murals by the school entrance, created in 1998.

I'm afraid it may have weathered even more since I took the photo almost a year ago: March 9, 2016.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Wrapping around Los Portales

I'm cleaning out old messages from my almost-full mailbox. I came across photos that David Aber sent me on February 10, 2015. I don't think I ever posted them… until now. They're on south 6th across the street from Pico de Gallo.

Here's the whole mural:

Closer, from the left end to the right:

David wrote that these mariachis serenaded him as he took photos:

Thanks, and sorry for needing to wait a bit :), Dave!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Murals being made, part 44: Cyfi's first of 2017

You've seen a number of murals by Rock Martinez around Tucson. His best-known here in town is probably the huge one (more than 50 feet high) along Sixth Avenue near Stone; you can see it in progress last year in (Downtown) Murals being made, part 34: Rock Martinez.

Last spring, I met Rock (who also goes by Cyfi) at the Downtown Mural Project design open house. I always like to meet artists — especially because many artists don't sign their murals, but also to get a chance to talk with them and get to know them a bit. A lot of artists have seen this blog that I (and now David Aber) have done for more than ten years.

When I met Rock and mentioned my blog, he said something like “So you're the person who does that blog. I've gotten so much work from the blog that I'd like to paint you a mural!” It didn't take me long to say yes, but I thought a while. How about painting in a public area of my housing complex so everyone could enjoy it? After a while, though, I realized that the long white wall around my patio would look soooo good with one of Rock's murals on the inside. So my maintenance man scraped and painted with the sealer that Rock recommended: DryLok latex waterproofer. It contains Crystalline Silica, which helps mural paint grab the wall.

I waited the better part of a year for Rock to have time to paint my little mural. He'd texted me while he was painting Murals being made, part 41: Cyfi’s Día de los Muertos and invited me over to watch. By that time, I had a good idea of the style and subject matter I'd like. His much older mural Angelic mural on Santa Barbara had a beautiful view of the Catalinas on a cloudy day. I told him I'd like something not too abstract, but that otherwise he should just do what he wanted to. He stopped by to take a few photos of the empty wall with his phone.

We normally don't show murals in private homes, places the public has to pay to enter, and so on. But this mural was special enough, and I had such a close-up view, that Rock agreed I could take photos as long as I showed him as he painted, not full-face. (Also, if you happen to know where this mural is, please respect my privacy and don't spread the word! Thanks.)

On January 10, he had time to paint. He came over with a few cans of spray paint from the big collection he'd brought in his car and started experimenting to find the right palette.
After some experimenting, he came up with every color (except the saguaro he added at the very end). You can see them below, in shade and sun:

(The mural is on north- and east-facing walls, so parts of it often are in shade.)

On the 11th, he came over for a day of painting. He'd sprayed a bit of the orange color from the can onto a piece of cardboard, then took it to a paint store for them to make a gallon of color-matched wall paint. At 9:30, he'd sketched out the skyline from a design Photoshopped onto a photograph of the blank wall. Here's a photo I took while he was comparing:

(I've masked out a personal item that was just below the lowest "valley" between Rock and the saguaro sculpture. A bit of his original line was lost, sorry.)

I think I remember that, while Rock was painting one of his earlier murals, he — unlike some other artists who project the mural onto the wall at nighttime, or who "scale up" a sketch onto the wall — he doesn't draw much on the wall before he starts painting big areas of color, referencing his digitally-created version for guidance (but not the final word).

Twenty minutes later, he'd finished the skyline and spray-painted the sky. Next, Rock rolled the rest of the white wall with orange paint. In another half hour, around 10:20 (by the way, I'm getting these times from my camera; I didn't use a stopwatch :) he was feathering the edge between the sky and mountains with spray paint. After the photos below, he realized that spraying a slightly different shade of blue at the top of the mountains would make the mountains stand out from the sky, and I saw right away that it was true:

As he worked, he'd hold up his postcard-sized Photoshopped mock-up of the wall and paint the shady valleys in blue — with, as you'll see later, some deeper blue areas. So the orange parts stood out as sunny. In the first photo below is the mural an hour and a half later, just after noon. You can see that, after adding some yellow highlights to the orange, he's working on adding details of the lighter blue around 2:20:

When I stood close to the mural, it still looked pretty abstract to me. Unless I stood back in the corner where I took the previous photo, it looked mostly like blobs of color to me. Rock fixed that the next day. Actually, it was Friday the 13th (which really was my lucky day!).

At 10 am, he showed me his computer tablet with a photo he'd incorporated into his sketch. Here he could see a lot of detail that didn't show up well in a 4x6" print:

The sky looked plain. He decided to add some diaphanous clouds (thin clouds made of ice) in a color I didn't expect — until I saw it was just right:

A bit later, he was starting to wrap up. But I think something nagged at him that had also bothered me: The mountains still didn't feel “solid” enough; they felt a bit abstract, with long bands of orange at the bottom. Rock thought of adding saguaro, and that was perfect. (He had to leave to buy the perfect shade of green.) Around 12:15, he was adding saguaro:

Unfortunately, I put that big object of mine in front of the mural before I snapped a final photo that I can show you. (Actually, Rock arranged the patio, and a potted prickly pear as well as the simple holiday Saguaro (minus its strings of lights), to make the whole patio feel balanced. Here's the right end before Rock moved the steel saguaro closer to the camera:

And, around 12:45, that was it!

In the sunshine, the whole place just glows.

As Rock worked, I'd been sick. A few days later, he called to ask how I was feeling. He also sent me a list of the colors he'd used in case I ever need the mural repaired. What a great artist — and a gentleman! I usually wouldn't “pitch” an artist here on the blog, but I've always liked his work and I'm honored to have some of it to admire every day.