Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Instillation,
 LA County Fire Department Mural Project and Workation Trip. 

From the Studios of Garin Baker
Carriage House Art Studios 
September 28th - 3rd 2012

Installing the Mural, Fire Station 150, Santa Clarita, CA
LA County Fire Department Mural.
Alkyd Enamels on Canvas, 10 ft. high x 28 ft. long 

Day One:
Started out early leaving my studio in New Windsor, NY at 2AM for the drive to Philadelphia to pick up my artist/assistant Bryan Guglielmi and on to the Airport for our 7AM flight to Los Angeles. 

Landing at LA X at 9:40 AM in Souther California. Picked up our rental Car and on to Santa Clarita, CA.
Nothing like driving north on the 405.  Ahhh yea...The LA Freeways,  I remember it well.

Brand New and still under construction, Fire Station 150.

Arranging for our materials on site and unrolling the previously shipped mural to acclimate it for it's new home and in general gaining our bearings to begin installing.
Checked into our hotel, a swim, dinner and sleep. 

Day Two:
Arriving on site early at 7:30 AM to meet the delivery of our (rolling tower) scaffolding, assembling and laying out the Mural sections on plastic face down.  We also begin masking off and covering the floor as well as the side walls to protect and keep the work space clean for easy cleanup when done.

Here's Bryan sweeping all the dust and debris off the back of the canvas on section 1.  We chose to work from right to left since the smallest section was on the far left fitted around an existing cabinet wall.  After applying heavy duty wall paper paste to the wall section and to the back of section 1 we fold up leaving the top portion of the back of the mural exposed with paste. Then we lift and carry carefully the section as not creese it unnecessarily. Then positioning it to a level line we had previously put along the top of the wall to make sure all hangs level. With water and plastic squeegees we apply the full section to the wall pushing gently all the air bubbles out.  If you've ever hung wall paper it very much like that. 
Simple and easy! 

Here's Bryan trimming the top and right side edges with a sharp blade. 

On to section 2. This hanging process is very quick.  A 28 ft. by 10 ft. high mural should go up in just a few hours if your prep is handled in an organized and workman like manner.

After hanging section 2 Bryan works expertly at cutting the French seem. A "French Cut" seem is achieved by over painting both edges basically repeating the image on each canvas edge by no less than 2 inches and no more than 6 inches. When hung over each other's edge you cut with a very sharp blade through both sections of the canvas. Then removing both cut portions revealing a perfect match.  Be careful when hanging to match up any horizontal lines or diagonal shapes as to avoid extensive touch up areas when things don't match up visual and pictorially. As you can see practice makes better since we've done this a few times before.

Hanging the last Section over the cabinetry.

Trimming and French Cutting the last section. As you can see minimal touch ups are needed. Sweet!
Looks like more vacation time is materializing for our trip!

Here's the Final Instillation all seemed and trimmed out. The following are some detailed images of the Mural, Close up.

A final protective coating of varnish and were all done here in Santa Clarita.
Install time 2.5 Days.

Now it's time for the some vacation and the fun portion of our trip. Yes!!

The only problem is Bryan wants to hang out with celebrities, drive porches and do the Beverly Hills and Hollywood scene as any 25-28 year old would.  It's all good.  So after dropping him off with friends in Beverly Hills, I was off for an adventure most 50 year old artist like myself finds more exciting.

The Getty Museum! Very cool!

Gustave Klimt Drawing Show

Images from the Getty Collection.
Detail, Alma Tadema Painting.

Views from the Getty.

An awesome place of architecture and art. One wealthy guy who knew what to do with his money. 
A must see for anyone traveling to LA. 

On to The Pasadena Museum of California Art
for a full retrospective on Edgar Payne.  Sweet!

Pasadena City Hall

Edgar Payne Exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

Detail, Edgar Payne.

I only got a few shots before being told "no photography", oh well 
I guess I'll have to buy the book. Fine! It fits just perfect in my carry on.

Thanks Tony Pro for the go to see tips of art goings on in LA during my trip. 
Much appreciated!

I spent the last couple of days visiting and enjoying the amazing beaches and play spots along the California Coast line, Malibu to Laguna Beach.  Great fun and awesome California people, meeting and watching!

Oh yeah, I picked up Bryan on my way back home.

What a great trip and can't wait to get out to California again.
So much to see and do! 
Next time I'm bringing my paints. 
Awesome place! 
I'l be "California Dreamin".

Garin Baker.