I was very excited when Friends of the Yampa, a non-profit supporting the Yampa River, asked me to create a mural featuring the river. It was a huge task turning the landscape surrounding a 250 mile long river into a painting covering 850 square feet, but the process was also very rewarding. Starting in my comfort zone, I created a design for the mural as a 35 inch long linocut, which is a carved relief print. I then copied that style to paint a 70 inch long mock-up of the mural and that is what we copied for the full size painting.
I enjoyed researching the river and the different ecosystems it travels through. I also loved planning and creating the mural with people who are dedicated to the environmental and recreational integrity of the Yampa River. It was conceived as a commuity project, and it was wonderful having people from the Steamboat Springs area come to work with me on every stage of the mural. Approximately 120 people volunteered their time and energy into making it a success. Below you can see lots of process photos.
I was able to work with the community because we painted on Polytab, a strong paper that was applied to the building after the painting was complete. This allowed us to work inside on tables instead of painting directly on the building. The mural was finally completed and installed in July, 2019 after almost 2 years of work. It covers two sides of the second story of the Ambulance Building on Yampa Street in downtown Steamboat Springs and right next the the Yampa River.
Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this project! It’s been fantastic to create something with love for the Steamboat Springs community and honoring the Yampa River. There is a nice article about the mural installation in the Steamboat Pilot and Today.