Developing the Seward Mural Design

I’ve been working on the Seward Mural design and am coming to some conclusions. The details need to be simple and the color scheme limited as well. The muralists will work from cans of premixed paint and I have been asked to designate all the colors needed well in advance. This is not how I work, my palette is mixed as I paint and the colors change constantly. But, to paint the mural in a day or two it has to be carefully planned, simple and organized.

So, I will simplify the design and limit the color palette. This should make the project go faster. As I work the composition using shapes of wildflowers I find that I am creating a 40’ long garden with every flower blooming at the same time. This does not happen in real life. This long garden is looking a little repetitious right now, so today I will incorporate some additional varieties of wildflowers to break up the monotony.

The painted plants will be about 7’ tall, so the plan to utilize a background of mountains is becoming secondary to the composition. At this point I’m considering having the subject matter be flowers only with blank white space as a backdrop. But, this is my thinking as of today, you can count on my thinking changing as I delve deeper into the design.

This is how my creative process works. Preconceived ideas are usually discarded as the composition develops. I am eager to begin today, the mural design is dominating my thoughts, I can’t focus on much else. I’m in the zone and will be until I’m satisfied. Everything else gets neglected while I’m creating. This is the best part of my art, being in the zone.

Gail Niebrugge, Alaska Artist

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