project: exterior wall mural

i’ve been given permission to paint a mural on the wall of an old gas station next to the listhus residency in olafsfjordur, iceland.


several things have to happen before the painting fun begins.  first, i have to prep the wall. i’ve already been out there scraping, enlarging those white marks you can see on the left hand panel of the wall.  the next step will be to get back out there with a scraper and a sanding block and do more. there is a lot to be scraped, as the surface is very uneven, with exposed nails.  it is plywood, and in pretty good shape for all its years of sitting in icelandic sun and rain.

when i’m done scraping, i need a base coat.  we went to akureyri yesterday and bought exterior white paint, and will be rounding up other useable paint from the studio shelves.  i’ll be locating all the tools i need, starting with several ladders.  it would be nice if i could rig scaffolding, but only one of the ladders is a fold out, and the other is a lean to, and that wouldn’t be a safe combination.

fortunately it’s dry today, so i will begin as soon as everyone else is up and won’t mind the ringing sound of the scraper in action.


this is the image i’m going to be putting up.  it’s a map of iceland, as you can see if you rotate it 90 degrees counterclockwise.  jim turned it into a troll face when i noticed the resemblance. it’s not exactly a correct realization of the island as a face, because the eye and ear should ideally match up with the glaciers, and they don’t.  but hey, the outline is correct.

and to get it correctly on the wall i’m going to have to grid my drawing, and grid the wall, and draw it in sections.   a very old technique, but it works.  plus, i couldn’t use a projector to put it up since it’s always light here…

the wall is 242 x 256 cm.  i have no idea how that translates to inches, give me a moment… 100 inches tall, 95 inches wide, so that’s 8’4″ x7’11” (i had to look that up too).

i’m going to be playing with the timelapse app on my phone to record the whole thing.

stay tuned.


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