Painting and building as big as life

At an art show I attended in early 1983 I was invited to paint a historical mural in the little town of Chemainus on Vancouver Island. Little did I know then just how much that project would change our lives and my career. We traveled there in the summer to paint the mural and moved there six month later to open our own art gallery. With the hundreds of thousands of visitors coming to see the murals it was a logical step that I was asked to travel to many of their towns to do one (or more) for them. Over the next years my career morphed from doing fine art and commercial art to doing historical murals. To date I've painted more than 120 of the larger than life works of art from one end of Canada to the other and across the USA as well.

Mural painting was somewhat of a seasonal business although we did travel far south in the winter months. Concurrent with the mural painting was the start of my theme work, starting with the buildings of Chemainus. Some we owned, and others were done for clients. These projects fulfilled my secret desire to play architect. The Disney influence certainly became apparent in these projects.

The murals helped me aquire a better sense of using color while the designing and building gave me skills that would prove to be valuable in my next career. Stay tuned for the continuing story...

-grampa dan 

Dan SawatzkyComment