WW2 Aviation Mural


Like a lot of art/murals I do, I learned a lot from this one. Not only from the art aspect, but also from a historic point of view.

I learned what kind of planes were used during WW2 and which ones were considered “cool”, like the P51 Mustangs, some with big teeth painted on them. I learned about “nose art”.  I learned of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first and only unit of African/American pilots in that era. There were the Red Cross volunteers and the clothing of the war.  I’d learned of none of these important things in any history class I’d taken.  Hmmm.  Come to think of it, I probably learned more about WW2 from old Hogan’s Hero’s reruns than a history class. I once had a (good) history teacher who stated at the first of his class “I have to teach you out of this history book because that is what the powers that be say I must teach you. However this book was written from a rich white man’s point of view.  There is very little said of women, people of color, poor people or even the “average joe (or jane) who lived in these same eras. The people who “won” the conflicts we study will get to express their points of view. The losers are silenced.”

The other problem/learning opportunity I had with this mural was the request to use another artist’s work as inspiration. I don’t mind being inspired by other’s work. We all are.  But I had specific requests of scenes wanted. Here is the problem with that. It is 6th-hand information.  #1 is the scene in reality. #2 is the photo someone took of that scene and it’s distortions. #3 is the original artist’s interpretation of that photograph. #4 is the photo of that art and it’s distortions once again. #5 is that image printed with my printer with more distortion. Then #6 is my version of the original scene.  MISTAKES MISTAKES MISTAKES!  Color, details, proportion. etc etc etc.  Anyway, that’s where artistic skill comes in.  How to compensate for these errors? My own colors and knowledge of how colors interact with each other. If something is just not right, put something in front of it but still be wary of composition. Collect images from lots of sources but be careful about my light source. Can’t have 6 suns or other light sources in a daytime scene like this one.  On and on. Anyway, it seemed to work.

This mural is in Phoenix and took about 6 weeks to complete. Thanks to Kendra for letting me stay in your home while this was being done!  This first one is an image of the finished product.  You can tell by the switches and such how big it is. Scroll around on the image if your computer screen is as little as mine!

Here are some images of parts of the mural I particularly liked.  My fave parts are the motorcycle, the Mustang (up in the air with the red nose), the portrait of the person who commissioned this mural and the little dude in the distance riding the motorcycle into the scene.