Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com
Well you can see I've moved above water. I'm still not done with the underwater part....a few additions.....a little refinement.
I was anxious to take a break from it though and do something different. I've included both water lilies and lotus flowers here, because the client preferred the flowers be low to the water, but the lotus flower is part of the Southeast Asian theme of the property being built and the lotus does not sit on the water like the lily does, but stands up above the water sometimes up to six feet.....so I went for a compromise.
After I finish the flowers I am going to re-roll the canvas and start on the top and work down to the horizon line. I really need to have the sunrise in place before I can do anymore of the landscape.
Still working on this section.....I want to add some algae to the rocks and litter up the lake bottom a little with some decaying leaves etc.......add some more fish/critters too.
Rolled the canvas up a bit so I could get the very bottom started today. I did a lot of work on the plants (not shown here) and then rolled and began the bottom. Oh, I also added another Asian freshwater puffer fish, but one thats 'puffed' up....you can kind of see is belly at the top of this photo.
Now I need to concentrate on adding more fish(and other creatures) to the bottom and filling in the plant life, etc.

UPDATE

I think tomorrow I will focus on plants and the lake bottom before continuing to add more fish.

To catch up

No, I haven't been lounging poolside...lol.
So here's a series of pictures of the progress. I confess I've been spending as much time online looking for underwater pictures taken in fresh water as I have painting(resource pictures are always helpful), but it seems more people spend time diving or photographing in ocean waters than in fresh water, so its been a tedious process so far.
There's no rhyme or reason to how I'm doing this, I'm really just feeling my way around and experimenting. You can see that I jump from plants to water to fish and back again. This is a point that I always try to make with new artists....experiment and try new things without fear......or as they say......if you have fear?.....do it anyway.
There will be a lot more fish and a lot more plant life. Its a learning experience for me, and I love it. Let me also mention that the colors of the water are NOT showing 'true' in these pictures. The room I'm working in does not have as much natural light as I'd like.I spent most of today just working on the koi fish(still more to do), and I'm anxious to start the other fishes and underwater life.There is still three feet of canvas rolled at the bottom that will be the 'lake' bottom. Once I finish the underwater section I will move up to start the sunset sky and landscape (but I'll be spending a few more days on this part :-)

Friends are a good thing :-)

And today I'm waiting for one to get home from work so she can help me lift my roll of canvas up onto hooks that she generously allowed me to screw into her beautiful wall. Once the canvas is in place I can get started. You can see that I inserted a galvanized pipe through the canvas's cardboard tube, and it will just rest in the hooks at the top. I'm actually going to work this mural in sections from the bottom up, so as I continue to pull the canvas down to work my way up, I can just roll up the bottom.
Several months ago I was aimlessly surfing the web when I came across a website that lets you create free forums.....how cool I thought. So I played around with it and posted a few topics and then completely forgot about it until two days ago when someone actually posted a reply! What fun (I'm easily amused :-) Anyway its there if anyone would like to say or add something or suggest topics to talk about....or even see what its like to create your own forum.

Visited the project site today

I visited the project site today,
took some measurements....and my roll of canvas came today so I can begin the new elevator mural. Below is the sketch for the 'main' elevator mural. Its not done quite to scale, but just shows some of the elements requested by the client.......lotus flowers, fresh water fish, bamboo and palms, sunset sky fading into a night sky with recognizable constellations.
Tomorrow I'm also going to a restaurant (Hurricane Grill in Stuart, Fl.)where I had done some work a couple of years ago.

They've expanded to the building next door and want to carry the theme through.

Florida

I arrived at my friend Linda's house yesterday afternoon around 3pm, pretty good timing, its an 18 hr and change drive from Narberth, Pa.
I spent today decompressing from the drive by visiting some of my favorite thrift shops, and tomorrow I will go see the ocean front mansion and the job that brought me here. I need to take some measurements for the second mural that will go in the service elevator, and I'd also like to see the color of the wood thats in it. I'm going to be doing a tone on tone mural in this one and I want the tones in the mural to match those in the wood.
These are some pictures that I took in Linda's back yard.....OK.....I promise not to whine about anything during my stay here, at least not about where I'm staying :-)
Beyond the pool there's a dock, and this is a canal that is off the intracoastal waterway which is at the end of the walkway there.
This is one of the palm trees next to the dock......I've never seen so many coconuts on one tree.....ever!

Completed Spa Murals

If you're ever near Norriton, Pa make sure you visit Munashe Hair Design and Spa (329 W Johnson Hwy. 610-277-foxy)...great people.
Some final before and afters:
BEFORE
AFTER
BEFORE
AFTERBEFOREAFTER

Today?.......packing, oil change, clean out frig, stop mail............

Couple more hours

I'll be finished with this tomorrow.....just a couple more hours, a few touches here and there.
The clients decided on no cars and just a couple of people. They wanted the sky to have more color and I'm still working on that. Then I'll add a few pigeons and a couple other little things and then?.............its off to Florida on Sunday......ROAD TRIP!!
Closing in on the final touches. I'm waiting for input from the client regarding adding cars and/or people to the scene. Also have to do the signage.Looking forward to winding this one up and heading down to So Florida for the next job.

End of day five

OK .... first thing I notice, I made some of the lamps larger and notice I've got too much of a curve on their tops.....again, quick fix...and......I'm thinking my chairs might be a bit too small. I'm hoping to get this side finished and the other side started tomorrow.

Darn it......

Its amazing how photos of your work help you to see it more clearly.......I need to lower where the trees start to branch, just the second one back I think. See how funny it looks next to the lamp post....way off......quick fix though :-)

Today will be spent working on a sketch for a second mural for the Florida job, while also looking for more reference photos for the spa mural. I'd like to find some close up photos of the 'Arc' so my detail work is more accurate and I'd also like to find some photos that pay more attention to the architecture of the buildings along the Champs Elysees....the rooftops and iron work especially.
I spent just a few hours on the spa mural yesterday realizing I wanted to get better reference pictures before continuing.
I'm also going to study up a bit on perspective. I'm looking at the long blue 'sign' that I've attached to the building on the right and can see that it is 'off'. Because it protrudes from the building, it is going to have a different vanishing point. I could just continue to adjust it by eye until it feels right, but I suspect it would be a lot quicker and more accurate if I knew where its VP was. Obviously I don't have enough wall space to plot this out, but I do remember seeing instruction on how to do it in a situation like this......just gotta remember where.

Tedious details

The progress may appear slow, but the day goes so fast when I do this sort of detail work. Its been decided that 'these' cars will go.
The clients want some action in this mural and would like some blurry images of moving cars. We'll attempt that later ;-)
For anyone who's been fortunate enough to have visited Paris and the Champs Elysees, you'll notice that I've narrowed the sidewalk. I did this because in this case the street (for its fast moving cars) and the buildings with their signage will be the focal points of this mural, a wider sidewalk would have pushed the buildings back (and smaller) and made the signs insignificant.
Here's the shot of whats behind me as I work, and how the mural will most often be viewed.
Its Saturday, but I'll be working today. I leave at the end of the week for So Florida. This is the property my next work will be going in.

Oiy Vey

Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike doing perspective work? OK, its not really that bad, but I seem to be doing scenes lately that involve having to tweak the perspective to make it work from different viewpoints. I started a street scene today, and the situation is this......its another tight spot where you either walk by it, or............you see it reflected in a mirror.
Behind me as I take this photo is a mirror that goes the length of the wall and hair styling chairs. I'll take a picture of that tomorrow. So I'm thinking that this mural is really being seen from a sitting position more than a standing one but not exclusively, so I'm trying to tweak some of the perspective to make it work in both situations...........challenging. I'm working with a lot of different inspiration pictures that show the same scene but from different perspectives. Wish I had enough room to use my projector :-( The space is only about 8' wide.
I had to prime out that center area to cover a mural that had been started by someone else.
I want to start painting tomorrow, things seem to develop easier for me when I'm painting.