Thursday, June 16, 2011

Garin Baker talks about his methods

Garin Baker has provided photos and some explanation of the mural process. The following is in his words. This is part one in a two part series of photos and some commentary on the project

The original wall as we found it which was constructed to carry freight and passenger trains in the 1860's

The following are explanations of Mural procedure and some "how to" photos
Specifically, "Archways" the Trestle Mural Project, Newburgh, NY 22 ft high X 220 ft long.
Completed in 2007 by myself and a team of 7-10 artist in a 5-6 month time frame not including presentation approvals and fundraising which added another 3 years to the project
done by a Not for Profit organization named Trestle Inc.

Be that as it may I'm prefacing everything I'm about to reveal with the most important fact that every Exterior Mural project is unique.
Site conditions, Climate, Wall surface, building or retaining wall, stucco, concrete or brick, height from the ground, ability to use lift equipment or scaffolding. I could go on and on.
Lets use the Trestle Mural as an example. Which I consider a huge failure as a permanent exterior Mural which basically should have a life span of about 25- 30 years if all the prep work was done correctly which it was not on this project by a long shot.
A moisture ridden retaining wall which needed a thick parged coating of a moisture barrier material applied consistently and primed before we started painting the mural.
It was only after we started painting the mural did we realize the City of Newburgh hired a contractor who owed back taxes to do the job and as he worked from left to right he skimped and cheated all who loved the project and now see it presently, a beautiful work of art that should have lasted. I'm sorry to inform all who are interested that the Murals present condition is irreparable and large sections need to be removed.
Anyway here's how we did it.

The presentation of the design for approval and fundraising purposes.

The Fundraising: Corporate sponsorships, private donation for commemorative bricks laid on site and a NYS Coastal waters Grant, Oh yes, wall prep provided by the City Of Newburgh.

Mural Painting work begins on site, Scaffolding is erected, The art shed ( below) is strategically placed and all the artist working get paid and have health insurance. Yippee!

Our palettes are constructed on site using 4 x 8 sheet of plywood cut in half. Then cutting 12 holes around the top perimeter in order to allow for chinese soup take out dishes with lids to
be dropped into so that they don't fall through.
The paint I used on this project was a Benjamin Moore product called Impervo, Oil Based Alkyd Enamels , Very durable with light fast colors with a polyurethane binder, gloss finish. in a wide range of mixable colors.
This paint is used commonly by exterior sign painters also sometimes applied to US Navy ships and industrial machinery.
The colors I choose range from black to white and cools to warms similar to an impressionist plein air painters palette from light to dark and warm to cool.
Also I like using the primary colors or as close as I can get them since I can basically mix anything else freehand simulating the illusions of light with color
No pre mixed colors for me bro! Cheep Home depot Turpentine as thinner and big fat chip brushes. We go through allot of them.
Long flat Bristle brushes for the figures and some finish work but I stress to the apprentices and other artist working if I see you in any one spot noodling details too long your
climbing high up on the scaffolding to clean brushes one at a time. Fast and loose is how I paint catching the lights, shadows and right details with one stroke. Sargent and Sorolla baby!
I used to render when I was younger, Don't have the patience anymore. Too many walls and paintings I want to do.


billspaintingmn said...

Garin! I was signpainting since the mid 70's so I respect your ability to do these large scale pieces.

I painted the billboards in the outfield at the St. Paul Saints home town ball park.(now it's all digital imageing,blaa)

My spellink is bad, but I can make a pounce pattern and paint on location.
I'll use fitches, cheep bristle brushes, (and a mop if I had to)

City regulations have changed alot, not much square footage for the customer.

I've painted photographic gackdrops
as big as 10'x 20'; 6'x8': 12'x 30'

Most this work has dried up. I new gilding and it saved me, sort of.

this puts wind in my sales to see what done!

makes me want to try this on some mdo board.
Thanks again for shareing!

billspaintingmn said...

Like I said, my spelling is bad.

.photographic backdrops
.MDO board

My webster wasn't handy, it's the words I think I can spell that get me in trouble :)

Brady said...

Good info! The next time I need to paint a wall I guess I at least have some place to start. :) said...

It is always in the prep work, isn't it? The Sistine Chapel was done correctly and the Last Supper was done badly.

Great wall, great project..sad story.

They believe 1 million paintings were painted during the Dutch Golden age. How few survived. It's the art that survives that we will be known by.

Lucy said...

Great post and an interesting story! I hope we will see lots of photos of the mural.

Amy said...

WOW! I want to be on his team.

Mary Byrom said...

Never mind just painting huge, the entire project is huge! I've worked on 3 year art projects and wrote grants to pay for them... but never got a chance to paint BIG! Love your work and big thinking Garin! Thanks Stapleton for having Garin as a guest.

As I See It - Art said...

Murals are incredibly physical work - & maintaining scale & color shifts must require crazy detail in the layout; keeping paint the right consistency in changing temperatures; & rough concrete eats brushes quick! Beautiful results! I love that he shared the type of paint he uses. I met Robert Daffrod's crew when they were working in Maysville & talked a bit. They do murals on floodwalls. I asked what they paint and was surprised when they told me pool paint! ( if you haven't seen his work yet.)

alotter said...

I watched the video too. Am I correct in concluding that the images are projected onto the wall at first? I see that smaller images are tacked to the wall near the spot where the artist is to reproduce it, for the sake of detail.

Stapleton Kearns said...

billspaintingmn ;
Can you do one stroke showcard lettering, bill?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Watch out for moisture behind that wall!

Stapleton Kearns said...;
Prep work is always time well spent.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Lucy ;
More tonight.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Me too!I want to learn how to paint that stonework.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Mary Byrom;
Really big at that!

Stapleton Kearns said...

As I See It - Art;
Some more explanation tonight.

Stapleton Kearns said...

alotter ;
Yes, see tonight's post about that.

Gerald Schwartz said...

Fantastic.. Great painting and equally great read about it all...