My Everest was this wall at 1001 1st Ave North in St. Petersburg, FL if climbing a mountain is like climbing up and down a ladder. 65 feet long by 18 feet tall was a lot of space to cover with Montana 94 and LOOP spray paint. Day one, December 19th, 10 am... I started the mural with my trusty daughter, Adeline, by my side for moral support. Day one had a couple, "oh crap," moments where the largeness of the canvas was realized. But by the end of the day... the wall and I had an understanding... it would be conquered--and I would have my way with it. The design for the wall was impromptu and unplanned. So when I ran into Thirst, a world class street artist, mid day on day two... I was open to his suggestion of a collaboration. He has been doing some hand painted technical patterns (meaning he hand spray paints without any kind of guide, stencil, projector--which is also the way I work--free hand) in his most recent work. He suggested adding some of his patterns to my designs and characters. We began working together and it seemed like a duo that was just meant to be. On day four... at the completion of the mural piece--we sat back and basked in the idea of doing this in other cities and other countries... in taking our show on the road. Thirst said, "This mural is something you would see in Europe or South America... not something you would see in St. Petersburg, FL. It's so original and unique for St. Pete." And I had to agree... in the moment, it was the best thing that either one of us had seen or been a part of, in a long time. It was a thrill to work on this piece of street art. I fought for the opportunity to paint this wall, I raised the money to do it through a Go Fund Me fundraiser, I chiseled the time out of my and my children's lives and I feel like it's a big accomplishment. I hope it sends the message that I am someone who CAN. And I want this piece to tell others that they also "CAN." Mostly I want people to look at it and to embrace the fact that they can be happy. And that positive, bright color and images have an effect on us. We need not be burdened down by the grotesque and the dark. My Gretchen rag doll characters are here for you--you are not alone.
If you are interested in a mural on your wall, give me a call. Thirst and I are interested in making your wall beautiful. 727-215-3605 and yes, we will travel.
I would like to thank everyone who made this mural possible! Thank you to: Chuck Sinon, Ruth Campisi, Amy Miller, Joe Kosharek, Andrew Lobpreis, Marilyn Miller, Wayne David Atherholt, Ann Ryan, Coralette Licorice Chalk Damme, Anonymous, Carol and Blake Sackman-White, Myron Hansen, William Evertson, Jaynemarie Lentlie, Robyn Alleman, John Collins, Chris Bloom, Robin Bloom, Jane Hsiaoching Wang, Christine Shaughnessy, Jonathan Stangroom, Mo Qrubini, Artissin, Jennifer Anne Holt, Johnny Vitale, Cheri Pugliese Tardif, Mim Golub Scalin, Martha O'Bryan, Jamison B. Breadhouse Bakes, Mara Hernandez, Britt Doughtie and Cherie Doughtie, Chad, Kathleen Huff Barry, Jennifer Petrini Lovelady, Susana Weymouth, Doug D'souza, Danielle Kelly Martinolich, Angel Shutt, Richard Wyatt, Soft Water Studios, Karen Pelletieri Koszyczarek, Alan Johnson, Audrie Cuddy Ranon, Curated Craft & Art Gallery, and classroom, Amy Marshall, Saori Murphy, Frank Edgar and Rachel Brown!!