Lee-Anne Chisholm and her husband Aaron Harder are painting (and sculpting) a mural on the side of Rink 2, near the West Fraser Centre.
The mural spans approximately 1,400 square feet and will be a combination of paint and metal work.
It will feature the rolling mountains of the Cariboo in the background with a figure skater mid-performance and the metal form of a hockey player next to her. There will also be a puck sweeping along the bottom of the mural.
While Chisholm does the painting, Harder, a sculptor, is doing the metal work.
It isn’t the first time the couple have painted a mural for the city. They also did the mural inside the West Fraser Centre, by the rink. It was their first time collaborating on an art project together, although Chisholm says they frequently help each other with ideas and inspiration on individual projects.
“It’s the best job, being creative and being outside, too,” she says.
The blues and greens of the mural are also meant to be reflective of the new Quesnel logo.
Chisholm started painting the mural on June 20, but she’s hoping to have it done before Billy Barker Days. She’s says it’s difficult to predict exactly when a big, outdoor mural will be completed, as she’s reliant on good weather.
She can’t paint in the rain, and even wind can cost her an afternoon of work. Chisholm uses a paint sprayer to give the mural a softer, more blended look, so when it gets windy it becomes difficult to control the spray of the paint.
Chisholm is visibly excited whenever she speaks about the mural. It’s a big undertaking, the largest mural she has worked on yet. “I love it,” she says. “It’s huge.”
Painting something so large comes with its own unique set of challenges. Chisholm has to use a scissor lift to reach much of the painting, although she says using the lift is much more efficient than a scaffolding, which she usually uses.
Even with the convenience of being able to adjust her position without climbing off the lift, she still has to frequently get down and step back, so she can see if the details she thinks are interesting up close remain interesting from a distance.
Directly across the parking lot on the wall of the curling rink, Chisholm and Harder will be painting another mural before the end of the summer. That one will feature a curler, and have a similar look with soft paints and strong metal work.
The curling mural will be even larger, at 1,700 square feet.
Chisholm says she hopes she and her husband can keep the combination of paint and sculpture as their style. “It’s really neat, as a team for us to do that.”