Thursday, August 4, 2011

LA County Fire Dept. Mural In Progress, #1
From the Studios of Garin Baker
Carriage House Art Studios
August 4th 2011
Detail, LA County Fire Department Mural, 10 ft high X 25 ft Long, Artist, Garin Baker, 

With all the sketches and preliminary renderings approved,  I've been working in my studio on this large scale Mural, 10 ft. high by 25 ft. long, which will eventually be installed in a new Fire Station in Santa Clarita, California in 2012.  This project started back in 2009 when I was first contacted as a finalist by the LA County Arts Commission.   Invited to travel and spend a week with the firefighters and in general learn as much as I could about their heroism and daily activities.  Seeing first hand the amazing bravery and sacrifice having been commissioned to do several painting after the events of  9/11.   The painting below,  completed in 2002, entitled "September 12th", was used on the NYC Police and Fireman's Memorial web site, and several reproductions hang in fire stations and police precincts thru out NYC.

"September 12" oil on linen, 36" x 58" Garin Baker

So with exhilaration and excitement I went about returning to my studio to create renderings and sketches expressing the story of the cross trained LA firefighters, paramedics and rescue workers, who in relationship to "incidents", that they call huge fires, which can at times destroy thousands of acres, homes and people's lives in Southern California.

Blue print architectural layout of wall space available for mural.

Given the parameters of the project, which is funded by a percent for art program administered through the Arts Commission and tied to the construction of several newly needed fire stations in Southern California,  I wanted to create a heroic scene expressing and showing the rolling California landscape, dotted with perfect suburban homes on the left and to the middle and right of the composition, using the road as a fire break, the amazing firefighters and other heros who protect it from ranging winds that swirl down the canyons, sparking huge destructive fires, "sometimes" a natural occurrence.  This was described and witnessed by many a firefighters I spoke with during my visit.  The imagery and scene I invented from many different pieces of sketches and photo reference is shown in the approved renderings below.

Preliminary rough compositional study 

Scaled Rendering black & white charcoal on canson paper completed in studio,  38" x 89", 2010, Garin Baker.

Working on Large 12 ft. rolled canvas, I prime and hang in my studio using a rolling system to work from right to left.  My mural palette below is filled with alkyd enamels in coffee cups set in a large plywood surface that has been a useful simple tool and method I have used on many a project and shows the years of spill over and mixing surface I use with large chip brushes to block in my murals.  The paint stays wet so I can work in a similar fashion as I do when working from life and on smaller easel works. 

Mural Palette.

NY Studio/mural wall with LA Co Mural in progress July 2011.

Detail area 2, LA County Firefighters Mural in progress, Garin Baker, 2011

Over the next few weeks and months leading up to it's completion, I will post more progress images as well as our trip and full report and images, in early 2012 to Los Angeles,  for the install and unavailing.

"Goin back to Cali.... really think so. 

1 comment: