Angela Carlson is pleased to have joined the elite group of artists who’ve made contributions to the Chemainus mural project.
The Shawnigan Lake artist recently completed the Chemainus Fire Department 100th anniversary commemorative mural in her studio and put the finishing touches to it after it was put up on the wall at the back of the Chemainus post office.
Kris Friesen, a fellow Chemainus mural artist, led the installation process.
“They did a great job moving it around, so did I, of course,” chuckled Carlson.
That’s the time when careful manoeuvres must be made and you don’t want anything to go wrong.
“There were just a couple of rub marks,” noted Carlson that had to be touched up as well as some drill holes. Otherwise, the mural fell into place perfectly and looks immaculate as the new addition to the mural collection.
“It’s nice to see the whole thing upright, rather than that acute angle on my studio floor,” noted Carlson.
She had the option of going from 16 to 20 feet in width and is glad she opted for the latter.
“Let’s go big,” Carlson conceded and it worked out perfectly on that wall space.
The mural was painted in her studio on Crezon panels. There are five vertical sheets eight feet high by four feet wide that make up the full 20-foot wide distance when pieced together.
When you stand back just a few feet from the mural it is seamless and you don’t even notice the lines of the panels.
The mural has three distinct scenes: one from the early days of the department with the old fire hall and truck, a significant fire in 1961 at the Chemainus Hospital in the middle and a current day depiction of the department hall and a truck to the right.
Carlson wanted to bring out the hospital fire in a blaze of glory with the abundant colours that occurred from the smoke and flames.
“That was quite enjoyable to paint that actually,” she said. “The fire was dramatic and abstract.
“I really enjoyed painting the new fire truck,” she added. “The reflections in the window were a lot of fun. You step back, you see this whole forest scene.”
Doing the work itself was quite a process and challenging for Carlson at times.
“I had some really focused probably two weeks or so,” she pointed out. “After that, I took a step back for a couple of days. You have to step back and let the whole thing get in your mind. It helps to go back and look and refine it.”
The finished product is amazing and has been drawing rave reviews around the community.
The maquette Carlson did of the mural will be added to the Chemainus Valley Museum collection.
She’s hoping to do another project for the Chemainus Festival of Murals Society after this was such a positive experience working with Shannon Bellamy and others within the organization.
“Their website is really good,” Carlson indicated. “It lists and shows all the murals the society has been involved with.”