Friday, December 9, 2011

December 9th, Our 52nd Vero Beach Mural Painting Session

NOTE: The Vero Beach Mural Project is being Sponsored by the Vero Beach Art Club as a gift to the City.  The artist members of the Vero Beach Art Club who are volunteering their time and talents are Judy Burgarella (  Dawn Mill and Christine Thomas (   Examples of artists' work can also be found on The Mural consists of six stretched canvas panels, 36' long by 8' high, each panel 8' x 6'.  Created in and for the Community Center, in their "Florida Room."  Visitors are welcome to watch the artists paint between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays.

Today after setting up we spent a little time strategizing about the mural--assessing progress and projecting timelines, planning additional elements, and deciding what we could do without in order to expedite the process nearer to completion.  Christine soon arrived and we continued our discussions about strategy and timing.  We basked in the beauty of our accomplishment, noting that all canvases are finally covered. 

At this point the mural has taken on a life of its own.  It appears that we three have created our own little universe based on the highlights of Vero Beach.  It's such a treat to view the piece as a whole, and follow each panel as it transitions from Downtown Vero Beach into the pineforest, on over into the flats and western Vero and into the hammocks and farmland (the Sexton Ranch), down into the scrub habitat and through the cypress swamp, meandering on into the mangrove swamp to the Indian River Lagoon, and on into the island at the beach and dunes in back of the businesses on A1A, and finally into the cool deep of the Ocean Reef.

Transitioning from one panel to another proved tricky, but I believe we have accomplished the feat pretty cleverly.  We strived to create a beautiful work of art, one that the City will be proud of, but the viewer should keep in mind that the mission of this mural is to: 1) convey the habitats of Vero Beach; 2) represent current animal inhabitants and plantlife, featuring some endangered species; 3) produce a work of art to enhance the Community Center, and present it to the Town of Vero Beach in appreciation of their efforts on behalf of the Vero Beach Art Club. 

Because of the complexity of the mural, the transitioning artwork took much planning on our part, but even so it is not a perfect science in that some of the transitioning posed a bit of perspective and size-relationship challenges.  At times when we had to choose between the aesthetic and beauty of the peace and a perfect spacial relationship and perspective, the beauty thing won over.  Therefore, you may see the size of one animal in a certain position on any canvas, compared to another animal who may not be the right size compared to the animal on the adjoining canvas. All other elements are depicted as accurately as we could render, considering some of the scant references we had to go on, and the time it takes outside of the painting sessions to find research material.  In the 2001 mural, there was a researcher who did all of that legwork

So now for the pictures.  Below is Christine Thomas' Panel #6, wherein she worked on Mel Fisher, the famous treasure hunter whose museum in Sebastian still glitters with his found fortunes.  She also worked on the sea anemones and some other elements of the coral.  Way to go, Christine, you nailed that underwater paradise.

Christine Thomas' Panel #6

Panel #6 detail with Mel Fisher discovering treasure!
Dawn Mill worked on her Panel #3, refining some greenery and flowers in the foreground and the meandering shore, finally putting legs and feet on her poor heron.  She also painted in some lovely flowers and a butterfly.  This panel is alive with beautiful birds and animals, seems in perfect harmony.

Detail of Dawn Mill's Panel #3

 As for me, I was really cookin' today.  I concentrated on completing the scrub along the pathway, plants along its edges, creating little green runners and patches of grasses.  I had hoped there would be enough time to paint in some critters.  Can't wait to paint more animals, flowers and bugs.  But it's finally done.  And the next painting session will be Friday because of the room being rented out.
Judy Burgarella's Panel #2 transitioning into Dawn Mill's Panel #3
 Below is detail of Panel #2, finally completely covered and waiting for new animals to walk down that path!

Detail of Judy Burgarella's Panel #3
 We will not be painting on Monday due to the room being used by another organization, however we'll be back there again on Friday, perhaps the last painting session until after the New Year.  Didn't get to paint the baby skunks coming out of the log, but I'm determined to get it done next time.  Come-on back!

Judy Burgarella
Blogger for the Vero Beach Mural Project

1 comment:

  1. Your art is wonderful, very different and special. Just love it.

    beach art