Mural at Birds of Prey Center 2012
This was my first ever commission. It was created at the Alberta Society for Injured Birds of Prey, Birds of Prey Center located just east of Edmonton, AB at the Strathcona Raptor Shelter. I have been a volunteer at this place since 2007 and even worked here for a summer during 2009. When I was offered to create this mural in the lobby area of the main building I was a little hesitant at first since I had never created something so large before. I knew I would also be painting something based off someone else's idea, something that I never done before. I didn't think I would be painting Osprey anytime soon until Karl and Eva Grantmyre told me that's what they wanted on the wall. They also wanted me to add Banana trees in the mural since they have two artificial Banana trees they wanted to put on either side of the mural to frame it once it was complete. Osprey are one of the few birds of prey that are found throughout much of the world and do inhabit areas where Banana trees grow wild. So I took their basic idea, brought in my own opinions and ideas of how to compose it, and got to work. I worked on this mural from May-July 2012 coming in to work on my time off from my road construction job due to rain days to finish it. This mural was a learning experience for me in a way that I was able to go way outside of the box and paint something so large. I created it usually how I create my bigger fine art pieces except this time I had so much room I could be freer with my brush. I really learned to be fearless of my work from creating this mural. I think that is something all artists struggle with, being afraid of their own work. I still struggle with that problem and fight it all the time and as I continue to grow as an artist I find that the less and less fearful I am of my work, the better pieces I can create. I know now that whether I am painting a mural or a painting if I don't like the way something is coming along in the piece, I don't have to leave it and say it's good enough. I CAN fix it, a little extra work won't hurt and it is well worth the effort. I send sincere thank you to Karl and Eva Grantmyre who run the shelter for giving me this great opportunity, and for teaching me so much about birds of prey since I started as a volunteer there when I was 17 years old.
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