Brushing up on her art is all in a day’s work for Cim MacDonald.
The Chemainus Festival of Murals Society curator has enhanced an original water colour she painted in 1992 with the addition of more detail and turned it into the town’s newest mural. It’s located on the Mount Brenton Golf Club’s main clubhouse/restaurant/pro shop/administration building facing Henry Road.
The mural is a joint project between Mount Brenton Golf Club in advance of its 75th anniversary in 2023 and the Chemainus Festival of Murals Society that maintains all the murals.
This is the fifth mural MacDonald has painted for the society. A frame will be installed around it at a later date.
MacDonald worked on the majority of the piece at her home studio before it was installed at the club. She took it from there to put the finishing touches to it and was also filmed doing the work by the Still Standing crew in town working on a segment on Chemainus for the CBC television show.
“I’ve had a great time with the mural,” said MacDonald. “Got lots of comments. This is the first mural done outside for so long.”
She likes the interaction with people offering feedback or asking questions and there were plenty while she was at the club. That’s how the mural program originated with artists on scene painting in front of on-lookers.
MacDonald’s mural is made up of three panels of Crezon, measuring eight feet by four feet. That actually pales in comparison to the largest mural she’s ever done at the Blue Grouse Winery of 72 feet by 18 feet.
MacDonald went through some temperature extremes and other oddities during the project. The eight-foot panels are the same height as her ceiling at home, for starters.
“That was a challenge,” she conceded.
“I put some serious time on it there. I had to square the whole thing up.”
Then came the big heat wave.
“I started it when it was too hot,” MacDonald noted. “It was even too hot in the house.”
Once she began doing the touch-up work at the golf club with her acrylic paint, it was actually quite chilly at times being on the shaded side of the building and with two outdoor fan vents right in front of her, but the air temperature was still well above normal.
“Even in the shade here, the paint dried on my brush,” MacDonald pointed out.
She planned her work time accordingly based on the conditions.
“You don’t think this wall gets any sun, but it does.”
The busy road and the ramp coming down from the clubhouse made it difficult at times for MacDonald as well.
“After a few hours of that noise, it really made you tired,” MacDonald said, “and the other thing here was standing on a slope.”
The scene essentially shows the ninth green and the path and green space directly in front of the clubhouse toward the 10th tee and 18th green with a bordering pond. That’s where MacDonald added different details like wild irises around the pond that actually look different now from the spring.
“I took it from the balcony. I think the biggest trick because of the different times of the day I did it, it had to be in sync. If you look now, it’s something else. Obviously, you can tell the time of year.”
MacDonald had one more trick up her sleeve to make the mural complete that keen observers will notice while walking past it.
“If you look at the cart, it moves with you,” she noted. “It’s the way you do the pathway. It’s like the eyes that follow you.”
MacDonald is only taking a short break before getting to work on another mural that will be a joint project between the society and the Chemainus Rotary Club. The boards are in her house and the preliminary drawing done for a mural to go above the entrance to the Rotary Club’s bunker on Chemainus Road.