I was so busy battling headaches when I got home from vacation this summer, I completely forgot to post my pictures from the trip — including the ones I took of the mural I traveled to Tucumcari to paint in one of the garages at the Blue Swallow Motel.
I’ll remedy that with some photos of the mural in progress on this Make-It Monday.
This was the most challenging mural I’ve painted up to this point. Portraits are always tricky, but in this case, I was painting a portrait of two old friends, one of whom was an artist whose work influenced my style.
The first old friend is the late Bob Waldmire, the artist behind the wheel of the VW Westfalia. The second old friend is the Westfalia herself. She had almost as much personality as Bob did, and I adored her for it.
My fondness for Bob and my respect for him and his work made it imperative that I get a good likeness, and it took either four or five tries (I eventually lost count) before I was finally satisfied with it.
Getting the Westfalia right was a matter of proportion and symmetry, which are difficult to render at that scale. Compounding the challenge was the fact I’d tried to set things up relative to the ground, which — as you can see — is gravel and not really level itself.
I wound up repainting several parts of the Westfalia, and they still didn’t end up perfectly symmetrical, although both Ron and Kevin, the Blue Swallow’s owner, were quick to note that old Volkswagens are rarely 100 percent symmetrical, either.
It has its flaws, but I think it looks like Bob, and I really like the way the headlights and reflectors on the Westfalia turned out.