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Hotchkiss, Colorado
"Song of the Red-Winged Blackbird"

     In the spring of 2021 I found myself in Hotchkiss, Colorado painting a mural for the owners of Third Bowl Ice Cream who had recently bought a building in this small agricultural town, where they would be producing their delicious, small batch ice cream. The owners, Matt and Kendall wanted the mural to reflect the local produce which supplies ingredients for the ice cream.  

     The anchor for the mural was inspired by the enormous, cottonwood tree stump, as old as the town,  standing at the edge of the parking lot beside the building. This tree struck me as being magical, having the capability of growing an array of fruit and protecting a multitude of different creatures, flora and fauna. So, I painted newts, salamanders,  a barn owl, snakes, lady bugs, butterflies, sweet peas, and more, including Gertie and Billie (Matt and Kendall's dogs) to create a glorious, vivid, whimsical scene complete with strategically placed ice cream!

     This project was daunting, measuring 60 x 16 feet in scale, and east facing, which would mean bright sun during the morning hours and hot in the afternoon. With a canopy constructed utilizing the scaffolding for shade, the painting progressed!  

     I was very pleased with the completion of the mural, but also sad being at the end of an exciting and demanding commission. I love being completely consumed by a creative process. It is what feeds me, literally and spiritually.

Lorenzo's House
Crested Butte, Colorado

For years Lorenzo, who built this house for himself, had a vision of bringing the outdoors into his living space, creating some sort of whimsical landscape. To reflect his vision I proposed creating a landscape representing the surrounding mountains, with the sunrise to the east, highlighting Crested Butte mountain with spring aspens at its base, transitioning into summer and fall on the north wall, and rounding out the seasons with Whetstone mountain in winter on the west wall.

As with any project there are certain elements that have to be incorporated into the design. The main room had a resident deer mount and two fixed antler sconce lights that had to become part of the mural. With Lorenzo's help the deer mount was rotated to look into the room rather than the side, then the shoulder of the deer was sculpted out of drywall mud. Meanwhile the sconce lights became radiant (and buxomous) Tree Nymphs."

To the south of the main room, evening storm clouds fill the hallway ceiling introducing a night sky mural in the cosmic room.

Lorenzo's Mural continues into the bedroom featuring the cosmos. Utilizing black light paint and spherical styrofoam balls, the mural took on a three dimensional stellar night scape, complete with the zodiac constellations, the Little Prince's planet, Asteroid B-612, a Unicorn abduction by a UFO, and an astronaut floating in space.

The Bug Bus
Mountain Express, Crested Butte, CO  2019
Wildflower Bus
Mountain Express, Crested Butte, CO  2018
Lian Canty wildflower bus - photo by Lydia Stern - LStern Media-2_edited.jpg

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