A River Runs Through My Home

You haven't heard from me here in a while, and I wanted to let you know why. I have done a little work on Our Home including revising the second half of the text, and planning some new art to match the new text. I want to get to work on the book, but something else REALLY BIG took in my life over in the last few months.

Yampa River Mural Research.JPG

I was asked to create a mural for The Friends of the Yampa, a non-profit organization that supports the environmental integrity of the Yampa River. This river runs through my town, Steamboat Springs, Colorado and eventually meets up with the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument. So the river is the feature of the mural, and they want the whole river- which is 250 miles long!

Creating a drawing to figure out what to include and what to leave out was really hard. But it's been a wonderful challenge. The Yampa River is part of my home place. In Our Home, I'm trying to show that our home is not just our house, but also our community, the countryside around us, and reaching out farther and farther to include the whole Earth as our home. The concept behind The Friends of the Yampa wanting this mural was to use artwork to show that the river is not just the stretch flowing through Steamboat Springs, but it is also a high mountain stream, and a big muddy desert river- the whole thing is connected. Now do you see why I had to say yes to creating this mural?!

I want to share a bit about my progress here, but also let you know that most of the mural info will be on my other blog, Art on the Page. Soon I hope to be back to posting about book progress over here. 

The first sketch for this mural was done on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, but the next one was a scale drawing that was 70 inches long! The final painting will wrap around two sides of the second story of a building near the river and a walking path. The length of the painting will be 70 feet covering both sides. But my 70 inch drawing was a little too hard to manage- I couldn't see the whole thing at once. So I redrew and revised it with a 1/2 inch to 1 foot scale drawing. And I realized that this was a size I could actually carve as a linocut! So I did.

River drawing on block.JPG
Yampa linocut block.JPG
Steamboat Rock linocut block
Printing Yampa linocut.jpg
Painting Yampa linocut.JPG

And after a couple of months of work, here it is finished!

Yampa River linocut.jpg

Now I'm printing and painting more copies of the linocut to have some to help with fundraising for the mural. We still need a bit more to have enough to complete the mural, so if you are interested in donating, contact Friends of the Yampa.

Next I'll be going back to the 70 inch drawing and turning it into the official copy to project and turn into the large scale mural painting. I'm really still only at the beginning of this project, but it sure feels good having the print above as a guide and reference. And it also feels good having the support of so many people in the community! I've heard from lots of people  how excited they are about this project. I'm trying hard to create something neat for our community and for the beautiful Yampa River. So thanks for your support and follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Art on the Page for lots of updates!