For every season there is a mural
Aug 28, 2013 / 5:00 am
An outside wall of the Fripp Warehousing building in Kelowna’s North End industrial section is getting a makeover, and soon it will be able to speak for itself.
The process has already begun to turn the entire wall into a massive mural depicting Kelowna’s history and the various themes that make it a unique place to visit or live, no matter what time of year.
Eric Blais has been tasked with the responsibility and has already traced one portion of the mural and is in the process of putting down the background colour. He says the toughest part was completing the outline for such a large-scale project.
“Setting it up, making sure you get the proportions proper. You’re bringing it from small scale to big and that’s one of the tougher parts,” he says, joking that the first portion will be easier because the wall is concrete brick and already had a grid.
The ideas behind some of the themes came from Kelowna Minor Hockey, which held a contest asking for heritage ideas for Kelowna and traditions from the Central Okanagan.
“I know Kelowna used to be called the four season playground, so it’s going to be spring, summer, fall, winter and that’s the whole theme we’re working through,” explains Blais.
“We’ve got the fall harvest, winter is hockey and snowboarding, summer will have a lot of water sports, and then into the spring we’ll have the grizzly bear which is Kelowna’s name.”
The finished product will also feature part of the Kettle Valley railroad, the Kelowna sails and other recognizable images of the city and its landscape.
Blais began tracing the images in July and it took him almost one month to finalize his drawings to the point where he was satisfied. He says the first wall will be completed in solid colour sometime during the next week or two and then he will go back and fill in the details in order to bring the mural to life in a more 3D form.
This is not his first mural, having recently completed one for KMH, but this is definitely his biggest.
Set against a warehouse wall that stretches 200 feet long, by 24 or 32 feet high (depending on which part of the roof you measure from), it dwarves his previous accomplishment of a mural measuring 30 by 15.
While slightly intimidated at first, Blais says he is at ease now that the hard part is over.
“It was hard to start, you know. Where do I start? And then I started drawing, but I knew once I started getting paint on, that would be the fun part. That’s when I can sort of let it go and have some fun," says Blais.
“And I’m not the most fond of heights, so it took me about a week of going up and down the scissor lift to feel comfortable.”
Contest winners from KMH will also take part in some of the painting, but the final product will not be finished until sometime next year.
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