About the Mural:
My first trip to Sacramento led me to downtown, and I remember being in awe of the tall buildings and light rail passing through the cobblestone. When I started painting in my kitchen six years ago, I had no clue this would advance to the point of making public art in locations I visited as a tourist! This mural fills me with disbelief because I was limited to painting canvases that fit in my car for five years. Finally, people are noticing my art despite never being accepted into galleries or museums.
The inspiration behind this mural comes from observing birds with my grandma. You'll find fledglings descending from the nest, flocks of birds, regurgitation stations, and one bird going to the bathroom on everyone down below. Although more enormous than a bus, the colors of the mural transition gracefully to depict dawn, dusk, and night. The organization of the birds creates an intense rainbow with the illusion of sparkles. In short, those are complex painting techniques acquired by a mastermind.
The Darling Aviary
Downtown Sacramento, CA.
21x10 feet; 10x32 feet
Behind the Scenes:
Painting during business hours meant I had to climb a two-story fire escape ladder to gain roof access where the scaffold was. I painted during the day because if I took a severe fall, the chances of being discovered promptly were higher. However, it was 103-degree weather! It made the metal ladders heat up like blistering frying pans. So, I began wearing thick black gloves purchased from the hardware store to climb. I felt like a spy because I was going up and down with my tools in bags. Apartment dwellers were observing in astonishment.
When designing the mural, I calculated the size of each wood panel by converting pixels to feet and then multiplying by a factor of 31.89 to bring it to scale. My greatest fear was painting the birds and realizing I'd made an inaccurate calculation on installation day. Yet, everything worked out despite never being taught how to do these things! It is the art of solving one problem at a time.