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The yellow areas are highlighted a little bit before the next layer….

The “blue” layer…. helps me to sketch in where the black areas will be.

Painting in Progress

The images emerge like ghosts.

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The best part has begun. This will go rather quickly, so I’m glad that this is being documented (a first for me).

Today I finished the layout and drawing in pencil, and began painting the sky and mountains. It’s best to start at the top and work down!

China Steps mural prep

Again I was lucky to get the assistance of a burly man, this time my dad! We laid the frame down on the ground, put glue all over the top, and carefully placed the three pieces of primed plywood on top.

We then waited 24 hours to for it to dry, before putting in a few screws, slightly sunken.

The next step was caulking the cracks and the sunken screws.

Then my husband, my dad, and I lifted it to stand against the wall.

And finally, today I applied a final coat of primer! Yessss, now for the good part….
drawing and then painting!

Ready for painting...

Framing materials:

2 pieces 12′ 2×4

4 pieces 8′ 2×4

PL400 glue

4″ Deck (coated) screws

Thanks to my neighbour, who’s a carpenter, the frame for the mural came together in 30 minutes! He cut the  2 x 4 spruce into 11′ 10″ top and bottom, and 7′ 10″ sides, plus two cross-bars where the plywood sheets meet. this simple frame would have been crooked if I had attempted it, and it would have taken me hours!

I then primed the frame and cross-bars, two coats. Finally, I inserted the cross-bars and screwed them in, ready for the plywood sheets to be laid across, glued in place. But that’s next time…


China Steps Mural Prep

This is definitely the least exciting part of creating an archival outdoor art piece! But you need 2 coats of primer front and back! I can almost see them all together, ready for the FUN part!

Next is framing…

Starting now, I will be tracking the progress of the China Steps Mural, a project made possible through funding from the City of Nanaimo Temp. Public Art grant, the Nanaimo Heritage Commission, and the DNBIA.

The piece is an historic mural inspired by traditional Chinese art representing Nanaimo’s third Chinatown, framed by the coastal landscape. It is informed by photographs, footage, Chinese painting, and my­thology, with one animal for each direction: Black Tortoise (North), Azure Dragon (East), Vermil­lion Bird (South), and White Tiger (West). The September 1960 Fire is depicted by the red bird and residents shown with suitcases. The White Tiger and the buildings acknowledge the Chinese business community. The Street scene includes the “Pine & Hecate” street sign indicating the origi­nal location of Chinatown in Nanaimo, a lion dance, and a few onlookers, all from historic photos courtesy of Nanaimo Community Archives.

The presence of this mural will bring much-needed colour and heritage to a unique site of interest. The site was enhanced by Nadine when she painted a mandala mural in similar colours for the Thirsty Camel Café (photo) – on the wall behind the cob bench, which directly faces the site for the new mural.

The final size of the piece will be 8′ H x 12′ W, consisting of 3 pieces of professional sign board, with a hidden timber frame on the back. Right now it is being prepared for painting, getting 2 coats of white primer before being assembled for layout and painting.

The piece will be installed April 30, in time for Public Art Week May 1-7! Very exciting process – keep up with me as I post my progress!



Thirsty Camel Café Mural

Thanks to Ilan for all the delicious lunches and the added interest of the cob bench!

Self-employment journey

The vision for a cooperative, sustainable future must be held despite what is happening around us. I am able to hold onto that through art, design, community events, and connections with like-minded people, who become friends.

GaiaVision Design is my first real business venture, and I am excited to be self-employed. I considered doing so a few years ago, but got no farther than the initial idea. Then, in 2011, I was fortunate to stumble upon Business Works SE program. I qualified b/c of Mat leave in 2010. Here was the opportunity I needed to learn how to run a successful home-based business, while receiving coaching and financial support in the first year. I knew how to do what I was offering (art and design, marketing, publicity), yet was missing the financial knowledge. After an intense 10-day Business Plan Boot Camp Dec. 5-16, 2011, I entered Phase 1 of the program, did more research, was “adjudicated” and approved by a committee, and accepted into Phase 2 – “in business.”

The program is actually ending on March 31, as the contract is renewed, and a new employment company takes over. Unfortunately, there will no longer be a self-employment “program” such as Business Works offers; there will simply be self-employment services. So, I feel very lucky to have been in that last group of participants!