Painting the cities

TEXARKANA – Even though life is easy and the sizzle of summer is upon us, that doesn’t mean local muralists are taking a vacation from their creative work.

Darlene Taylor, Jes Weiner, and David Freeman are three muralists whose collective artistic touch has beautified Texarkana over the past two years, and all three have projects that keep them busy with the brush, whether for public murals or landscapes of similar colors.

For Taylor, much of her summer was spent traveling to De Queen, Arkansas, where she worked on several mural projects after completing a “Welcome to De Queen” mural this spring.

This mural by Darlene Taylor in De Queen, Arkansas, was designed after a friend of hers.

Photo by Aaron Brand / Texarkana Gazette.

Taylor’s De Queen projects include a mall wall near a Chinese buffet, images including everything from koi fish to butterflies, umbrellas to hearts, a chair and a wreath with stylized “DQ” lettering. There is also a leopard for a town where it is the high school mascot.

Taylor painted much of an alleyway near downtown De Queen Medical Equipment – “seven murals on this wall,” she said.

Darlene Taylor painted a number of murals in De Queen, Arkansas.

Photo by Aaron Brand / Texarkana Gazette.

As is the case with many Taylor murals, the alleyway images have personal meaning, as well as a chance to be interactive, like a girl in the tub with bubbles. A large magnolia flower blooms, while next to it is a pin-up girl with an umbrella (friend’s style).

“Of course, in all of my murals there is something hidden,” Taylor said. Look inside the pink drain coming out of the wall for an arachnid invader. “It’s like ‘it’s a little spider that has come up the stream of water,’” Taylor said.

A bakery and cafe are painted nearby in the alley, each referring to her friends, such as Cathy Brown Smith (aka Baker Baby Granny) and Taylor’s friend Jennifer Tanner, whose daughter wants a coffee when she is. big. Cats and dogs are modeled after the pets of friends, like a puppy named Biscuit.

“If you get close to these murals, there are so many details,” Taylor said, adding: Look inside the windows to find out more.

In De Queen, Ark., Darlene Taylor’s mural features renderings of animals belonging to friends.

Photo by Aaron Brand / Texarkana Gazette.

One apartment pictured is called “Chez Léopards”, another reference to the school’s mascot. A garden hose, butterflies, ladybugs, snails and more make wall appearances. Features such as cracks already present in the wall are somehow incorporated. Then there is a large rainbow butterfly, his favorite.

“Each of these murals are approximately 20 to 30 feet long and 50 feet high,” Taylor said.

Other wall projects include the city pool, the interior of a grilled chicken restaurant (Pollo Asados ​​Queretanos), and an exterior side wall at the Ranch House Cafe. She has been busy painting the city, and her positivity and smile have even graced radio and television.

Jes Weiner poses with one of his recent works.

Jes Weiner’s most recent public mural here in Texarkana was the interactive balloon mural “Texarkana” on the side of The Beauty Barr near the Perot Theater, and also near his other massive and colorful mural with the “TXK” logo. . But recently she painted some residential murals.

“I got a little more into residential murals,” Weiner said. Some have gone to Kansas City, where she shares her time, but also here.

“I made a Van Gogh-inspired mural for a client’s front door. It’s inspired by ‘The Starry Night’,” Weiner said. His famous “Chambre à Arles” is another inspiration with its representation of wood grain.

“I’m trying to imitate that a bit,” she explained. “It’s a really neat little entry. It’s a little whimsical.”

This Van Gogh-inspired residential mural is the work of artist Jes Weiner.

Another client also likes Van Gogh, but she wants something like the sunflowers that the artist is famous for painting for.

“We kind of combined that blue sky and the whirlpool you see in ‘Starry Night,’ but it’s clear blue clouds and then big sunflowers. They’re fun and whimsical,” Weiner said. Emulating the great Dutch post-impressionist painter is fun.

One client is local potter Chris Thomas and the other is Kimberly Flint, the muralist’s mother. All she has to do is please one person, the customer, with residential murals.

“What’s different is that I have a little more freedom in residential murals,” Weiner said.

But she enjoys working on her public projects. “I ride that high for the rest of the week. I’m having so much fun with them,” Weiner said. Visitors to the city center can also find two of his murals in the Kress Gap. She has a small one in Bringle Lake, and she’s thrilled to see the murals growing here in Texarkana, bringing value to the city.

“The people who live here are worth seeing beautiful things on the streets,” she said. “I love the murals because there is no admission fee.”

This project is a work in progress for artist David Freeman. It gives a truck and trailer matching the Alamo Express logos and a genuinely vintage and antique appearance.

Freeman’s mural can be found right in the heart of downtown Texarkana, on the side of TLC Burgers and Fries, among other local locations. It is the fresco of Dr Pepper. He also enjoys stylized vintage paint projects, such as the automotive art project he recently worked on with a 1947 Fruehauf trailer and a 1950s Mack truck.

For the Fruehauf, built by a pioneering truck trailer company, it repaints the large original Alamo Express logo with silver letters and black shadows. The lettering will look old, as if it is peeling off, but also like an original part of the trailer.

“It’s done artistically to create an authentic look of natural patina and rust,” Freeman explained.

The Mack truck is repainted to have matching Alamo Express logos on both doors, also with a vintage look. The truck will also have a rusty and old look, just like the trailer.

He used primers, surface rust, and faux painting techniques to achieve this style. To create this transformation, he coated the chrome and all that glitters, the windshield, the wheels and more. They spent time creating the look, letting it evolve organically with texture and a stressed-out look, Freeman said.

“Basically the owner has been in the trucking industry for a long time, decades,” Freeman said of the inspiration for the project.

With the trailer and the truck together, it looks like a whole unit, the artist said. “It’s pretty,” said Freeman, who has done similar projects before, such as finishing furniture that makes it look older and vintage. He enjoys this aspect of artistic creation, in addition to traditional wall work.

David Freeman gives a matching truck and trailer with Alamo Express logos and a genuinely vintage and antique appearance.

Photo by photo submitted

“It’s an art form,” he said of creating something different with that antique look. This is the challenge.

“Then do it in a way that feels natural,” Freeman said. He’s booked much of the year with projects in multiple cities, but another potential project could also be happening in Texarkana, involving multiple artists.

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About Bernice D. Brewer

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