RWfinalSm

RiverWalk Wall  88″ X 40′  Tampa, Florida

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The RiverWalk project is finally installed!  A year in process. There were construction delays and technical delays with the mural, so it’s a huge peasure to have it installed! The photos above are snapshots made on a rainy day; there is also the problem of the high gloss of the surfaces. I will post better photos shortly; I need a clear morning with the wall in full sun.

The Mural is a ‘quilt’ of 550 images of the Hillsborough River, printed in porcelain enamel on ten steel plates, each plate being 88″ X 48″. Porcelain enamel involves screening mineral pigments, in a matrix of glass, and then firing the plate to 1800 degrees. For the full color image seven separate firings were required. The process is proprietary to Winsor-Fireform of Seattle, who printed the project. It was a new process for me, and did not involve painting, except for the inclusion of many photo images of my paintings of the river, from over the years.

It began with a discussion with a group developing the RiverWalk Park, headed by Mr. Lee Hoffman of the City of Tampa. I had hundreds of photos I’d made over the years of the river and many photos of paintings I’d made of the river. I proposed the quilt of image ideas, and then found Winsor-Fireform who offered this process. I then proceeded to make additional photos, traveling the length of the River and, also doing night and aerial photos.

The photos were digitally edited and then were composed in a shareware Mosaic software program, ( http://www.andreaplanet.com/andreamosaic/ ), which allowed composing to an overall ‘master’  image. This served to provide some measure of order to the whole piece, as opposed to a random mix of images. The author of the software, Andrea Denzler, was immensely helpful in providing custom image sizes and technical assistance. He would write software ‘patches’ as soon as I requested them…often in the middle of the night!!

So; I first saw the whole composition together last saturday, when we completed the installation.  The contrast of the images, and the resolution, are both excellent! The mineral pigments, as opposed to CYMK inks, have produced some deviation from the color in the test proofs on paper. They were not visible in individual panels, but with the whole image up I see that the greens have lost some of their hue variation and some saturation. This occured even though I had a test plate made of four images, which was excellent, and which matches the color range of the final pieces. I think my test image lacked a full range of greens. I will include a full color test strip in any future projects.

The entire image is a trade off between the quality of the individual photos and the overall composition; for the sake of the composition many of the photos were purposely over or under exposed, and thus on an individual basis, are not of optimal exposure or contrast. This problem would have been solved if I had a database of  10,000 photos available. I would have also needed an additional year to produce and edit them! NOT likely.

So…there it is…I look forward to hearing responses from viewers…of all persuasions!