walldog 3– the writing on the walls

This is the last of three posts celebrating my recent visit to Pontiac, Illinois, home of the International Walldog Mural and Sign Art Museum, and also of the 18 murals painted by the Walldogs Group in 2009.  I plan to return some sunny day, not just to revisit the museum and see the additions to what they plan as a rapidly growing collection, but to photograph all the murals in decent light with a better lens for the job than the trusty 35mm Macro Limited.  (A good excuse for buying a mild wide angle perhaps?)

For now, I will leave you with two nifty hand lettered signs from the Museum:

(Who would have thought that you could do decent, much less beautiful, lettering  with a Sharpie on unsealed chipboard?  And note the Rat Fink lurking in the background.  Plus, I just discovered that the “Swing Stage” sign was painted by Brad “The Bandit” Bandow, who dripped me a comment below.  Thanks, Bandit.  Your letter forms rock.)

And the one mural I managed to capture:walldog3-mural1I love a lot about this mural, from the circle inset background to the gorgeous reversed lettering, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why the designer put a boy in blue jeans on a blue bike.  I so would have engineered a pop by putting the boy in khakis.  (The other alternative would have been to change the color of the ring border and the collar and make the bike red; either way. But maybe a pop is too obvious?)  But of course, the dog totally makes up for it.  The dog in this mural is my favorite of all the dog images I’ve seen this year:walldogs3-mural deatail That is one serene, Buddhalike dog. Note also how the ring border crosses the tire of the bike, and how most of the forms are built up without dark holding lines. Seeing all these murals makes me want to work large in the worst way.  Every cartoonist probably has a muralist buried somewhere deep inside …

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6 Responses to walldog 3– the writing on the walls

  1. Rick Santman says:

    Heh, you’re right, that’s one beatific dog there. It may not be running at all, but floating along on the power of pure doggish serenity. It DOES have sort of an “Up, up and away!” pose

  2. Pam Bliss says:

    You’re right– that would be a great pose for a superdog.

  3. Jane Diaz says:

    It’s great that you picked that mural because that mural was designed and painted by Nancy Bennett from Centerville Iowa. We walldogs consider her our “Queen Walldog” as she was the one who started the Walldog movement in 1993 in Allerton Iowa. She is a fascinating lady!!

  4. Pam Bliss says:

    All hail the Queen Walldog! She pretty much would have to be fascinating– drawing and designing like that and choosing walls as her medium. I would love to know where she got the dog in this mural– is it a dog she knows, or just a compelling image she found somewhere?

    I am looking forward to seeing and photographing the rest of the Pontiac murals, as well as any other Walldog art I come across. The photos here are opportunistic– I shot the mural when I met it with the lens I was using for the interior shots. My plan is to come back with a good mild wide angle, and hopefully some sun to give me better light.

  5. HA! I was pleasantly surprised to see the “Swing Stage” sign that I lettered at the Diaz’s annual meet. I also painted (not shown) the “Where are you from” sign that hangs by the map in the Museum. I LOVE Pontiac & actually had relatives there.

  6. Pam Bliss says:

    Thanks, Brad– I’ll edit the post to give you a credit. I admire the letter forms on this sign tremendously and also the unconventional color choice. I remember your other sign too, but failed to get a good clear shot of it. Next time, I hope.

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