Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mural Progress - St. Joseph's Regional School

The summer has come and gone so quickly. Having a child and a business really does speed up life, even while I'm trying my best to focus on the now. The months of July and August have been very productive and full at TraillWorks from art lessons, commissions, creating my own artwork, and hosting events.

Several posts ago, I wrote about a big mural commission that I had taken on for a local private school. It is in progress, though it is not as progressed as I would have expected at this point. But, I'm thrilled with where it is going and I've needed the time. I've ended up working on about a window a week - the creation aspect is the hardest, not necessarily the execution of the mural. Some of the images are pulled directly from student drawings, but most are mine that were developed after working with the students, learning about their school, and then going to the drawing board in my studio. I've been in constant touch with a parent at the school and thus far she is thrilled with what I've done.

The mural is comprised of nine windows, coincidentally, just as many grades are in the school. The school desired the incorporation of Noah's Ark, the Resurrection and the Ascension. From there I worked with several of the students to spark other ideas about their school. The school's mission, academic subjects and the idea of God in all things drove the rest of the mural.

I decided to label the windows with numbers to symbolize each grade in the school. The overall composition is carried visually by a prop plane, drawn by one of the students, pulling a banner with the school's mission through the windows. The mural is somewhat narrative and chronological in that it begins in Kindergarten with the Flood and the animals embarking on New Jersey and ends in window 9, with the Ascension of Christ, handing over a mortar board to an 8th grader.

I'm reaching the finished state of the design and am striving to complete it before school begins in September. The next big step is determining how I will transfer these large drawings onto the exterior of the school. I believe I have two options: grid the entire drawing by hand, or use a projector at night. Any and all suggestions are welcome!









2 comments:

Erin Fickert-Rowland said...

What a special commission, Jennie! I love the sketches you have working, and can't wait to see how the final project turns out! My favorite sketch (though I love the whale) has to be the Art/Social studies window- love the Calder mobile at the top! Beautiful!

Jennie Traill Schaeffer said...

Thank you for your feedback, Erin. The whale was fun, but I really enjoyed doing that window featuring some of the new and old 7 wonders of the world and artwork - wonder why???!!!