Thursday, September 06, 2007

Mural Begins To Come To Life

Mural Begins To Come To Life
By Ben Antonius

Cathy McClelland, the master muralist for the new mural on Webster Street in Fairfield, works on the scenes of flora and fauna of Solano County that will make up the new work. (Photo by Mike McCoy)

FAIRFIELD - Bears, elk and coyotes will make their way into downtown Fairfield over the next few weeks as work progresses on the city's second mural project.

Work on the mural, led by artist Cathy McClelland, is in its second week. The mural is being painted on the western wall of Bugambilias Restaurant on Webster Street between Texas and Missouri streets.

Right now, the mural is mostly just a black-and-white sketch on the side of the building. McClelland is more or less working from the top down on the 20-foot wall, and the blue sky and green hills are the first to be completed.

The theme is "the flora and fauna of Fairfield," McClelland said.

The left side of the mural emulates the Green Valley and Twin Sisters area, blending into a lush depiction of the Green Valley Falls area in the center and the Suisun Marsh area at the right side of the mural.

The fauna includes ducks, egrets, badgers, river otters and a mountain lion.

"I have tried to put in as many animals as possible," she said. "As it gets painted, you'll see more of them and it will be like a little treasure hunt."

McClelland on Wednesday said that she hopes to have the project finished by the first week of October - in time for the annual downtown Candy Festival, which is Oct. 13.

She was painting Wednesday afternoon but said stifling heat has forced her to adjust her work schedule recently. She is trying to paint the higher part of the mural first but said she has been moving around to different parts of the large canvas.

The mural is about 20 feet tall and about 60 feet long.

"When you have something this big, you have to move around to watch it grow together," she said.

The Mural Project is a joint effort by the Rotary Club of Fairfield-Suisun, the Fairfield Downtown Business Association, the Fairfield Visual Arts Association and the city of Fairfield. The first mural, which was commissioned in 2005 and created by Lee Wilder-Snider, can be seen on the building on the southeast corner of Texas and Jackson streets by the comedy club Pepper Belly's.

Reach Ben Antonius at 427-6977 or

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