Dedicated to the men and women whose labor helped build the community we enjoy today
The corner of High St. and W. Milwaukee St. In downtown Janesville, Wi. Had seen better days. This building was the Milwaukee Bar for many years. It now is a Mexican restaurant, The Laz Azteca. It needed a little paint. This building has since been sold and upgraded. The mural was damaged in the process but am fixing damage as it happens
The Neighborhood buildings are important structures in Janesville history. Some beautifully restored, some derelict. Hope that the mural is a tiny step in the right direction
Across from the Armory, and directly across the street from the mural, stands The Monterey Hotel.
When completed in 1930, at the start of the great depression, it was the jewel of the region. John Kennedy, Joe Lewis, The King of Siam, were a few of the notable guests of this grand Art Deco Building. Why would the King of Siam visit ? George S. Parker Started the Parker Pen Co. here in Janesville and was a early pioneer in civil aviation. He would fly people from around the globe in for business.
I am in fact a proud graduate of George S. Parker Sr. High. On another personal note, my mother Naomi Richter, was the first female Real Estate Broker, in Janesville. She had her first office in the corner of the Monterey. Have not lost faith in the hope that it will be restored.
This was the initial sketch for the project. A 24 x 36" acrylic painting on canvas.
With a 90 year history I decided to focus on one 5 year period of production. The late 1950's.
The phrase Iconic, is sometimes over used. These auto's have stood the test of time and do reflect a design period that has left these models some of the most collectible around. Famed designer Harley Earl had a part in most.
Mr. Clapper at Fagan was more than informative and made some suggestions. As you can tell he gave me complete freedom in final design and execution! That does not always happen
Because this was started in October, time was of the essence.The building itself was, and is still in need, of a little TLC. The mural site prep began with multiple power wash. Then primed with three coats of latex primer.
The paint used is from NOVA. A Los Angeles company that specializes in mural paint. Designed to last.
Here is the JATV you tube of my talk at Janesville Art League." The Art of Mural making". This was held at the beautiful Women's Club Building, just blocks from the mural site. I am a little long winded so I talked for a hour. You may want to "sample"...Also did a presentation at Fermenting Cellars Winery in Edgerton, WI. No video but here is photo of presentation area. Beautiful country facility.
The " Janesville Circuit " Mural
Photo courtesy of Pat Sparling Photography
It should be noted that "The Plant" was part of the "Arsenal of Democracy". During the war years (1941-1945) all civilian production was halted to produce a variety of military related items, including this Janesville made restored beauty...
Behind the '56 Bel Air you can see the grid I used to scale the cars. I had intended to project them for sake of speed and detail. However, the ambient light from street made that all but impossible.
I would like to acknowledge two talented artists that helped me on this project. Mr. Kurt Buggs of "Signworks" helped mostly with the graphic's end of things. Not easy to do lettering on a brick surface. Of course, Kurt likes to stay close to the ground! And that is where Mr. Luke Woodring comes in. At 20 years our junior, Luke commuted from home near Milwaukee and had no problems doing the ladder height in flip flops.
And then it snowed
The Janesville Armory, with it's poignant history, especially in the Bataan Death March in W.W. II, is a beautifully restored building. In the 1960's and 70's it served as a venue for live music on weekends. Early versions of Cheap Trick and every local band played there.
The epicenter of the "circuit".
The "Janesville Postcard" mural.
Because Janesville had always been a "G.M." town, it was natural to approach the local GM auto dealership first about sponsorship. Owner and President of Fagan Automotive, Bob Clapper, was very receptive to the project. Besides the obvious appreciation of our auto heritage, Bob shared a civic pride to help this little corner out.
Kinetic palette. 2001 Ford Focus
2018. As the redevelopment of Janesville's riverfront (ARISE) progressed, a group of local civic minded people took the challenge of spicing up a alley that was another eye sore. The Doty Mill Alley group did their part and put in lighting, landscape and commissioned me to do this mural.
keep looking up!
Also on first day of priming, around the corner came a group supporting a "Heart Walk". Talk about a good omen! Karma?
Courtesy of Pat Sparling Photography
Original sketch. Rough idea's about uniquely Janesville subject matter. To the right I had a beardless Abe Lincoln. In the time Abe stayed here at the Tallman home he was beardless. As I got to painting, I used my artistic license and used a more recognizable image. Also helped with right side composition to make larger. Also included is Rock Aqua Jays. The Plant, of course. Rotary Gardens. The "I" in Janesville is a Parker Pen. And the Lincoln Tallman Home
2 0 2 0
Disappointed in not receiving one of 5 commissioned local murals (in a pandemic year), I set up a system similar to the Janesville Circuit mural. Meaning I had to secure site, set up a go fund me page. The overwhelming community support came thru and I secured a three story building canvas! Disappointed at first but determined to...
Keep Looking Up!
The original design for the "art infusion" project was for a tall vertical building. Only issue was they had the wrong building and that never existed. This building has a fire escape. So I had my trusty artistic license with me again and changed the layout. Like adding Elvis. The rusted steal security bars reminded me of Jailhouse rock so painted in bright rainbow colors
Another building that needed some help. First day of double priming, as brick was in rough shape. Alleys always used lower grade brick.
Will add many more images of this in progress...Many great selfies also.
In February of 2021 I received a e mail from the Boys and Girls Club of Janesville to discuss a mural on the side of their club in downtown Janesville. Finally began on July 1st. What an honor and privilege to work with such a great group of people, supporting such a meaningful part of our community.
Final gouache sketch. The grid represents 5 x 5 ' area's put on 20 x 60' wall.
2 0 2 1
Had visitors everyday. This group from Kandu made my day. Although I spend more time talking then painting?
Front page news from Janesville Gazette. Back to back years! I appreciate. Drone on my dome.
The alley redevelopment was behind schedule so I started late in October. Lots of obstructions so no lifts or scaffolding could be used. The snow ended work on site. Came back in Spring and touched up some. Still needs another Spring touch. 2023!
IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Contributed their skills in stringing the lights for dramatic night alley effects.
So much has happened to this little corner in the last 6 years. The Mighty Monterey has been going through a $20 million dollar restoration. This 1929 Art Deco beauty will be higher end Apartment complex.
Many more image's to be added from this mural. A true honor to do
The Doty Mill Alley mural
Image curtesy of Pat Sparling Photography
Jefferson City Hall
Image courtesy of Pat Sparling Photography
Image courtesy of Pat Sparling Photography
Image courtesy of Blue Tree Photography
Proud to have this spot used as a popular selfie location. Soon to have a spot for all the selfies taken in my 4 murals downtown!
Having been involved with the Jefferson Plein Air painting Event the past two years, I was made aware that the City was planning on doing a mural on their City Hall Building. I expressed my interest and became involved in the process. They put out a RFP (request for proposal) and I put in my proposal and after a period of time and interviews was accepted.
Brought new ownership to my mural site. Much needed work done to exterior and complete interior restoration! Unfortunately damage was done to mural. On left you can see door filled in for instance. Have fixed by adding another vehicle. In night photo below left, you can see I added a front end view of 1956 Bel Air to fix brick work.
Photo courtesy of Pat Sparling Photography
Janesville Gazette did a up date on the work. Always nice.
First rough draft. A little too busy so after many talks decided on 'Bright Futures"
Alleyway makes for a great backdrop for Farmers Market
While on tour from Tennessee, "The Smoky Nights Band" stopped by while work in progress. In yellow shit I joined the band playing the brush!
Spectatular drone image by Bert Webb Photography
Photo Courtesy of Pat Sparling Photography.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Corkhill Photography
Master stained glass artist Richard Synder and assistant Jim Crittenden assisting me with his scaffolding for repair work. You can see car added in left to fix brick work. Rick specializes in very old church repair on stained glass and wood. Amazing and one of very few who can do!