Article submitted by Nina Blois
During the two weeks I was visiting California from Texas, I designed and painted the Open Sea mural for MSI. It is now being used as the Plankton Lab.
I was very excited when I initially heard about the project, but when I actually saw the blank nook I was supposed to paint (which is about 8′ tall and 16′ wide), I was, to be honest, a bit intimidated.
The first step, of course, was research and sketching. I decided to loosely base the mural on the Open Sea exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. For me, it is so beautiful and awe inspiring, and I wanted my mural to convey that feeling of wonder.
Planning was hard. I wanted to fit in every ocean creature that exists, but in the end, I had to narrow it down to a few favorites.
The next step was actually painting. I had never completed a project so large prior to this, and although it may seem obvious, I was still surprised at how long it took. One day I spent nearly 8 hours painting! There were many other challenges I faced while painting. Did I want the animals to be perfectly to scale? How exactly would light look in the open ocean? Figuring out each problem and progressing further really boosted my confidence.
It was so exciting to be a part of this amazing experience, from the first sketch to the last brushstroke. It taught me about patience, confidence, and how to plan and have a good work ethic. Everyone at MSI was so supportive, helpful and welcoming, and made my time there so much fun. Overall, it was an incredible experience that I will never forget.
Marine Science Institute would like to thank Nina, for submitting this article and helping to liven up our teaching areas!
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This article is featured in our BayLines Spring Edition 2015.
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