Monday, December 12, 2011

Milk Bar Beer Garden Mural

It had been a while since I went to the Social Chameleon. The inside of the place has been changed drastically with a large bar added. It is now an extension of the Milk Bar. I ordered a beer to sip while I worked.The front room was expanded into what used to be the kitchen. Harmonious Universe owners, Todd Morgan and Rodney McPherson, were out back getting paint ready and setting up. This wasn't the first time the mural had been worked on, it was already covered with images. Laura and Todd Morgan were just recently married and I let her know that Terry and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary. She asked advice on how to make it last, and the only thing that popped into my head was "compromise." I'm a man of few words when I'm sketching.

Artist Frankie Messina shook my hand and I later saw Pam Treadwell. I didn't notice them working on the mural. High on the mural were some roses which I believe had been painted by Libby Rosenthal.

Artists slowly trickled in during the night. A photographer had his digital camera set up to take a shot every five seconds to create a time lapse view of the murals progress. A couple sat at the table I was seated at. Trevor and Nikki Divine told me that on New Year's eve they plan to have a painting party with 60 artists in attendance. I definitely need to sketch that. They both recently had given up full time corporate jobs to peruse their art. At one artist's gathering, Trevor was told he was more expressive and painted better when he used his fingers. Now he is strictly a finger painter. It turns out I had sketched Trevor and Nikki once before at the Cameo. I need to find that sketch and post it.

When a spot opened up on the wall, Trevor and Nikki painted side by side. Trevor painted a Buddha-like face and Nikki a delicate spiraling symbol. With so many artists looking to add their mark, there is the possibility that their contribution might get covered up as the mural evolves. A young woman arrived with a tall ladder. She braced it against the wall and moved some pebbles to give it a sure footing. With a bold magic marker she drew a robotic looking face and torso of a beautiful woman with her inner tubes and pistons exposed. Her boyfriend held the ladder like a gentleman. She worked with quick deliberateness. Then just as quickly as she had appeared, she was gone.

Later as I was packing up to go home, Rodney looked at the sketch and said, "I'm glad you caught her. She came out of nowhere, like Bat Girl!" We laughed. "She had some mad skills" he added.

Post script:
The artist scaling the ladder was Morgan Wilson. I had seen her work one other time when Sam Flax was having artists paint murals on the side of the new store. The mural depicted here was later white washed when new owners bought the building.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


L. Morgan said...

I really love your work. You have an amazing ability to truly capture moments with both your colorful sketches AND words!

Thor said...