Thursday, September 18, 2008


The mural was installed at Macrina's new headquarters yesterday! The building is huge and the front cafe has been beautifully designed to emphasize the historic warehouse architecture and materials. They will open for business tomorrow so today is my last chance to touch up the painting. There is a very tall ladder propped against the wall this morning waiting for me climb up and do the do my best Michelangelo impersonation. A little scary with everyone watching me...I like being in the building though, with the hustle and bustle of last minute activity. It has the feeling of a play about to open. The baristas are huddled by the espresso machine for intensive training. The electicians and carpenters rush around with hard hats and tool belts. The architect pops in and out looking worried. The owners linger in corners having important conversations. And all the while I can see the bakery staff through large glass windows making magical tempting smells with enormous mixing bowls of raisins, chocolate and spices. The production area of the building has already opened.

I got a call last night from the carpenter who is installing the mural telling me that one of the panels didn't fit and they were forced to take a slice off one side and glue it to the other side. This should give me pause...but he seems like a careful and skilled person so I am sure it is not as drastic as it sounds. I will just have to deal with it today. I have also asked him to put screws through the face of the mural to secure it to the wall really really well. We get earthquakes around here. He seemed reluctant to damage the painting but I know that I can camouflage the results. Looks like a busy day ahead of me.

I painted some chickadees in the branches of the tree in honor of the chickadee family that nested on my front porch this summer. There is a parent feeding a fledgling but everyone thinks they are kissing. Kind of nice, I guess.

Several people asked if I would include a weasel in the mural so I have signed my name in the lower right hand corner with one. This picture shows how the grain of the plywood tempers the shininess of the aluminum leaf. I was worried that the mural would glare as it reflects a lot of light but now I can see that it is ok.


  1. Wow Jean, that is just amazing!!!!

    I especially like the bird feeding it's fledgling, that's a beautiful touch.

    I only wish I could see it in real life. One day.


  2. How gorgeous Jean!
    We want to see it up close and basking in the glow--we will some day!

  3. Oh it's so beautiful! Congratulations on a project completed. I think I would have fainted or else gotten hysterial if I'd received a call saying they'd sliced off a piece of my painting and stuck it to the other side! We are planning an excursion to go see it in person.

  4. What supportive comments. Zoe you are always welcome here. Wouldn't it be fun! Bonnie, how nice to hear from you from so far away. Wenches, the potato bread is my favorite to have with homemade soup and the rosemary raisin buns are also fab (only available on weekends) Yum.

  5. Hi Jean!
    How exciting! The installation does sound like the opening of a play. I loved how you described it. I can just picture it.

    The mural is spectacular in completion, and it is a real pleasure to have seen your process. I love that there were personal elements that emerged at completion such as the chikadees and the weasel.
    What is so great is that so many people will have a chance to see this over many years to come. I can imagine musing on this while enjoying coffee, or providing a special atmosphere for people who meet with family and friends.

    In a way that goes beyond the silver leaf, this mural just glows.

  6. Hi Jean!
    How exciting!
    The installation sounded very much like backstage before the opening of a play.
    It has been a pleasure to see your process in this work.
    This will be enjoyed by so many people in the years to come.
    I loved that personal totems or friends such as the chikadee or weasel said they needed to be included at completion.
    In a way that goes beyond the topical background of silver leaf, this mural glows.
    Thanks Jean for sharing this. It has been inspiring.

  7. Hi Jean, I am a local Artist in Seattle as well, I have been given a commish in one of the buildings near your Mural and the owner wanted me to see what you had done before I started brainstorming, I loved your MURAL! So I looked you up, It seem's we both graduated from Art school in 85. Anyway I thought I would drop you a note.

    you can see my work at

    time to go watch a debate...

    Take care

    Steve Klinkel

  8. Jean, the work is magnificent! The depth and subject matter are like some of the better Japanese masters, something I often reflect on in your work. It is simply gorgeous. Well done, indeed.

  9. I can't wait to see this in person! I'm truly impressed by you.