Monday, June 13, 2016

(Downtown) Murals being made, part 31: Niki Glen

Starting with an introductory meeting on April 28, the Downtown Murals Project brightened downtown with eight new murals. This entry and the next seven will show the murals from start to finish.

In this first entry, we'll see artist Niki Glen's mural being made. It's at the corner of 5th & Toole Avenues. Here's a part of a Tucson 12 video on the Downtown Murals Project showing an interview with Niki, and she and her friends working on the mural. Click on the video to view it fullscreen:

Tucson Mural Program (you can click there to view the whole video fullscreen) from City of Tucson on Vimeo.

Niki's mural is special because it wraps around a box-like airshaft to something underground (parking, maybe?). Let's look at photos. The mural started the same way that all of the others did: a white primer coat applied (and supplied) by Graffiti Protective Coatings. Here are the south side, then the north side, on May 1st:

The south side has a jog in the middle; the north side has a pole at its middle.

As you'll see in the next blog entries, different artists worked at different paces. Fast-forward a week to May 8th. The north side has the design sketched on the left (east) end of the wall:

The south side was partly blocked by porta-potties at the right (east) end — probably for an event that weekend — but the design at the left end was really taking shape. Here are an overview and a closeup showing the middle of the left half:

I drove by on May 10th and saw artists at work. Naturally, I pulled over in a hurry :) and introduced myself. Niki and another artist, Judy Van Naerssen, had some nice shade set up (which most of the other artists didn't). Here are Judy sketching with charcoal and Niki applying paint to the design:

May 14th, there was lots of color on the south side (where you saw Niki painting, above), an outline on the east side, and some color on the north:

(As always, you can click on a photo for a larger view.)

Near sunset on May 19th, the mural looked almost finished. Here's the north side, left (east) and right (west) ends:

In the next photo, you can see that the east end isn't painted yet; the rest of the photo shows the right (north) side:

The last views of May 19th are of the south side — first the west (left) end and then the east:

May 30th: Right on schedule, I think we're done! (I didn't ask Niki, but the mural looks complete to me.) I'll start with a view from the southeast:

(The nice illumination and color balance are thanks to the great RAW mode in my Panasonic Lumix “point-and-shoot” camera and the compensation I can do in the free Silkypix Developer Studio 4.4 SE editing software.)

Next, from the southwest corner, looking east:

(Here's another photo-geek note. The shade/sun balance in this photo is thanks to the Lumix HDR mode — which lots of digital cameras have these days. I used the free GIMP editor to juice up the saturation, which made the mural look more like it actually did to me.)

Last, the north side of the mural: left (east), then right (west). I took one photo, but I'll split it into two pieces so you can see more detail:

I can't wait to show you the other seven murals! Stay tuned these coming four weeks.

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