Category: Murals

Downtown Cats Mural: Two Cats Done, Two to Go!

Downtown Cats Mural
Mock-up Design for Downtown Cats Mural

I guess it is  time for an update on the development of the Downtown Cats Mural. It has been coming along, and we are now in the home stretch! Two of the cats have been painted, and much of the background work has been done. The other two cats should be completed in the next week or so.

When I first wrote about this mural commission, I was a bit nervous, as I had never done an artwork of this size and scale before. Now that it is nearing completion, I am feeling strong and thinking, “What’s the next big thing”?

The project has taken several months, partly because the funding came in stages and partly because I have worked on it alongside other projects. You can see the various stages of the mural’s development by viewing the slide show below.

In case you do not already know, the photos in the slide show of my window “supervisor” are of Brewskie Butt, my beloved feline and very active spokescat. Brewskie and my other three cats are featured in the mural.

The “Downtown Cats” mural will be placed on the building currently occupied by HEAP in Downtown Canton, OH towards the end of next month (July 2010).  it is my hope that we will have it up in time for the annual Football Hall of Fame festivities. The building at 201 5th St. NW is in the heart of the Canton Arts District next to the historic Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography.

I am very grateful to Tim Belden and the Timothy S. Belden Charitable Fund for commissioning the mural and for being such a solid supporter of the Canton Arts District. Tim is the genius behind the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography, which has brought world class photography to Canton. I am also very grateful to Robb Hankins of ArtsInStark, the County Arts Council, for his support in developing this project, and to the Canton Development Partnership for their support.

Stay tuned. There’s more to come!

Are you interested in commissioning a mural by BZTAT? Please contact me and let’s talk!

Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT

Back to the Business of Creating Schtuff

The last couple of weeks have been kind of crazy for me. I have been caught up in the Shorty Awards frenzy and I have been preoccupied with establishing the business side of BZTAT studios.

What a ride! Yes, I remain a finalist in the Shorty Awards, and I am trying to find a way to get to New York City on March 3 so that I can attend the ceremony. More about that later.

As fun and gratifying as it was to have my Twitter following support me so enthusiastically in the Shorties, I am glad to get back to the business of painting and creating things. I never stopped, but I am glad to have it as my primary focus again.

What have I been working on? Well…

I have recently completed two canine pet portraits, which I will detail in future posts here. I am working on another pet portrait of three West Highland Terriers (Westies) and I am about to begin a cat portrait as well.

And I have begun work on the ultimate grand pet portrait, the “Downtown Cats” mural. The mural depicts the most famous downtown cats in Canton, OH—my own Brewskie Butt, Who, Slick and Noah—and will eventually be mounted on the building currently occupied by HEAP in Downtown Canton, OH.

The mock up design that is seen above is what the mural will look like when it is finished.

Currently, it doesn’t look like much, but it has entailed quite bit of work. here are some photos of the beginning stages. Please excuse the photo quality, as the studio lighting is set for painting, not for photography.

Buying-boards
Purchasing the MDO boards

Medium Density Overlay (MDO) board is a wood panel that is often used in the sign painting industry. It is recommended for use for outdoor murals. I purchased the boards at a local lumber and hardware store.

 cutting-the-boards
Kevin Anderson cutting boards to shape of a window

I am not particularly handy with power tools, but my friend Kevin Anderson of Anderson Creative is a wiz with them. He cut the boards for me into the shape of windows, simulating the windows on the building across from the place where the mural will be hung.

Four-panels-in-studio
In the studio

Each panel was primed with white gesso and then painted with a dark blue background. All of my paintings begin with a dark layer of color. I follow a process of layering subsequent layers of colors over a dark background, allowing the initial layers to define shapes as later colors are applied.

wooden-panel
Masking off and drawing in background

I masked off the window pane shape with painter’s tape and drew a sketch of the background design for my painting reference.

Downtown-Cats-mural-WIP
Blocking in the background design

I then began blocking in the shapes of the cityscape design with paint.

Downtown-Cats-mural-WIP
Developing background design

At this stage there are 3-5 layers of color applied. many more layers will be applied before it is finished to create rich vibrant color and visual texture.

Downtown-Cats-mural-WIP
close-up of background design

All of the materials used in this mural are those that are recommended for exterior use. The paint, board and gesso are all materials designed for exterior use and weather resistance. The final work will be coated with a weather and UV protecting sealant to ensure the longevity of the piece.

The “Downtown Cats” mural is obviously a very large project that will take a long time to complete. Completion and hanging of the piece is slated for July of this year. I will periodically update my progress on the piece as it develops in various stages.

Thanks for following along with me on this adventure!

Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT

"Downtown Cats" mural in Downtown Canton


Illustration of “Downtown Cats” mural to be placed on
a building in Downtown Canton, OH

I am very excited to announce my largest commission ever: The “Downtown Cats” mural that will be placed on the building currently occupied by HEAP in Downtown Canton, OH. The building at 201 5th St. NW is in the heart of the Canton Arts District next to the historic Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography.

The mural depicts 4 cats sitting in windows shaped like those on surrounding buildings looking out onto a cityscape. Who are the 4 cats? The most famous downtown cats around, of course! Brewskie Butt, Art Adventures Studios official spokescat, and his housemates Noah, Slick and Who, will each be featured in one of the windows.

The mural will be painted in the studio on wood and then will be attached to the building. Each “window” will be approximately 4 ft. X 8 ft. Although I intend to blog about each step in the process, the formal unveiling of the mural is planned for July 2010.

I am very grateful to Tim Belden and the Timothy S. Belden Charitable Fund for commissioning the mural and for being such a solid supporter of the Canton Arts District. Tim is the genius behind the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography, which has brought world class photography to Canton. I am also very grateful to Robb Hankins of ArtsInStark, the County Arts Council, for his support in developing this project, and to the Canton Development Partnership for their support.

There are so many amazing things going on in the Canton Arts District, and I am thrilled to be a part of all the excitement! Canton’s downtown is being reinvented by the arts, and despite the economic difficulties facing the entire country of late, Downtown Canton continues to grow. As I post about the development of this project, I will also report on other great projects going on in the district.

Don’t you wish you were in Canton?

Life is an Adventure!
BZTAT

Follow works in progress by BZTAT on Twitter by searching #bztatptg.

Art Adventures Studios
Buy Artwork and Gifts by BZTAT
Art Adventures Studios, located in downtown Canton, OHnear Second April Galerie and the historic Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography.