Category: Kennebec Mural

Mother and children, Kennebec Mural

Detail from Kennebec Courthouse Mural, 2015

a Revolutionary period woman and her family, tending the garden and waiting for her husband to return from sea.

voyageur, detail, Kennebec Mural

No mural of the Kennebec river history could be complete without reference to the trappers who explored the river and hills.  I had drawn out the composition and the pose for this main figure in this panel, but I didn’t yet have a face I liked for him.  While at the courthouse working on the mural, this man, one of the building painters came by.  My wife Jen spotted him and said, “what about him?”  Perfect! He was a great model, getting right into the drama and quiet action of the scene.  Wonderful.  Thank you.

From that point on many people associated with the new Courthouse building became part of the mural…construction workers, attorneys, their kids, the architect, even a couple of the Justices.

wharf crowd, detail, circa 1890, Kennebec Mural

just another detail of my Kennebec mural in Augusta, Maine.  the mural is 14 x 40 feet, over 500 square feet with over 50 figures, ships, animls, period tools…a lot of life.  the brushwork is quick not laboring over each pore.  Love working big.

This section, the dark wharf overshadowed by the bows and rigging of many ships, I painted dark first and pulled the figures from the dark with muted midtones and a few punched highlights.

wharf-detail-boy-with box

Granite industry, detail, Kennebec mural

The granite industry was very important for this region Maine.  Stone cut from Hallowell hills was renowned for its clarity, lightness in color and its relative ease of carving.  The cut stone was shipped down river by sail or on the rail road.  The towers of the Brooklun bridge were build from Hallowell granite, as was the Faith statue in Plymouth and the New York Surrogate Court Hall of records building. (See more here)

surrogate court

crowded wharf, detail, Kennebec Mural

Here is a detail from my Kennebec mural.  This region was a bustling river highway back in the days fo sail and this panel portrays the crowded piers in the various towns and cities along the shores.  One historian wrote of Gardiner, Maine that some days the waterfront was so full of ships tied up to piers and rafted to each other that you could walk across teh river from deck to deck.

My cat, a wannabe wharf cat, made it into this section.


woman on pier, detail, Kennebec Mural

a detail from my Kennebec Courthouse mural…a woman waiting to get on the steamboat pier.

1607 Popham explorers, detail Kennebec Mural

This is a closeup of my mural panel of the Popham Colony explorers from 1607.  The built the first ship, the Virginia, and also explored up the Kennebec up to at least the site of the current Fort Western, in Augusta.  this is fairly loose paint, details blown out in the brigthness of the moring mist glare.  These figures are not big, compared to others onthe wall…only a couple of inches.  You can see the scale by evident weave of the canvas here.


Mural Plan for the Kennebec County Courthouse

The finished full color mural will be called “The River Road” and will be a journey through time and travel on the river.  It will be 14 x 30 feet, and will feature boats and people of the Kennebec.  For more information and the artist’s thoughts on this ongoing project, click here.