A 116 foot long mural representing diligence and prayer to commemorate 100 years of camp.

This project was amazing to work on. The outside wall of the gym at Gull Lake Centre is 116 feet long and 14-18 feet tall. The ground slopes down away from the wall and down quite steep at one end. While the terrain introduced challenges, I sure enjoyed the process. 

For this piece I used Benjamin Moore Aura paint purchased at Days Painting Supplies in Edmonton. The team there was great to work with and the paint covers so well. The wall is well sheltered and only gets morning sunshine and should last a very long time.

The project was intended to be a show piece to commemorate the 100 year celebration of the camp. This side of the mural has an abstract depiction of the framing for the chapel house being put together. The overall design of the mural is intended to represent the concept of the prayer and diligence that has been poured into the camp over the years.

The seagulls in the piece are intended to represent the birds of the area as well as the many campers who come to Gull Lake Centre to find themselves taking flight together. Across the bottom of the mural is a graphic depiction of the top line of the old cabins that have since been replaced – another nod to the history of the camp. 

Mural Process

Mural creation is one of my favourite creative endeavours. I haven’t met a mural yet that didn’t push me in some way. 

  1. Consultation/contracts/scouting – Murals are collaborative by nature. They require a public space to work on. Whether it be some old utility trailers, a wall in an office or school, or a large cinderblock wall on the side of a building – each one of these spaces comes with the start of a collaboration between the client and the artist. The initial stages of a mural project include a lot of communication, visits to the space, discussion of surface preparation and contracts that meet the needs of both parties including considerations for safety. 
  2. Artistic Direction – Before a concept is built, the direction must be set. This can be a dialogue or it can be set by the artist. It depends on the client and their level of interest in the creative direction of the work. More often than not they are hiring the muralist based on their body of work, so it’s likely they would be creating something similar to their existing work.
  3. Sketches and Mockups – The great thing about modern day creative endeavours is that you can easily mockup mural concept and display them in the context of the location through photoshop or another photo editing software. 
  4. Art Transfer – Ttransfering the sketch to the final surface can be done in a few ways. A projector can be used and the image traced, a loose doodle grid can be used or a program like Mural Maker from Da Vinci Eye.  
  5. Paint it up! – One does not just simply paint a mural. It may require a variety of tools and equipment to complete a mural. Lifts, sprayers, scaffolding, brushes and lots of water. (If you’re working in +30 degree weather.)
  6.  Seal it – It’s always a good idea to seal a mural in an anti-graffiti coating or sealer of some kind depending on the application and location.