How I Created The Versailles Mural Project Artwork

Last fall, I was honored to be commissioned by Amy Streator from Ripley County Community Foundation (RCCF) to create an artwork featuring the murals in Versailles, Indiana.

The art was to be featured in the main wall of the entrance to the RCCF office.

The mural was a dedication to the Versailles Bicentennial Celebration in 2018. The unveiling was the start of the annual Pumpkin Show and was designed by native Hoosier artist Andrea Grimsley. Over 150 local residents helped her paint the mural making it a deep part of the Versailles experience and an iconic part of the town’s culture.

A lot of planning went into the idea for the photograph. Some good ideas had to be tossed due to weather and other considerations, but I had a vision of the art as something both real, and ethereal enough to evoke a sense of wonder when viewed. And my mentor, Donald Giannatti, always tell his mentees to always try to create something people have not seen before.

I began with a very clean shot of the murals from across the street. Of course I then had to clean up the road, the sidewalk, remove signs, cars, and other things a city wall accumulates over the years.

Once the image was cleaned up an idea popped into my head about using a vintage car parked in front of the murals to give the image a bit more romantic appeal. The idea may have come because of all the vintage car shows that happen in that part of town, but whatever inspired me I had to then find the right car.

Going through stock images I found a vintage Jaguar that looked really great against the wall and the murals. But something kept nagging me about it. The color was a green that matched the mural but there was something missing.

Vintage Jaguar by Karla Alexander (Unsplash)

My husband looked it over and said it should be an American vintage car. After careful consideration, I had to admit he was right and off I went to find an American vintage vehicle.

I found a perfect shot of a Mustang convertible, 1967 vintage. It was yellow. I researched the car colors available for 1967 Mustangs and found they came in pink that year as well. I knew the all-women staff of RCCF would love the pink Mustang, so the decision was made.

Vintage Jaguar by Cedric Brule (Unsplash)

I added the car, changed it to correct Mustang pink, and made a few artistic changes to the surrounding architecture and the photo was completed.

It is hanging on the wall today (36” x 48”) and everyone loves it. I will be open to making prints and note cards of this artwork soon. Be sure to follow me on my Facebook page to get updates on this. 

Photo courtesy of Ripley County Community Foundation.

Lastly, be sure to check out my book, “Ripley 200: A Bicentennial Project” in my Store. I have limited quantities left. 

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