Public Projects

“1953” Utility Box Project for the City of Dublin

Corner of Scarlett Drive and Dublin Boulevard, In Progress

The inspiration: this small photo of my Dad, John Billstrom, during his Army days in 1953.

I have inserted a slideshow showing the progression of the box from prepping the base, laying out the blocks of color, adding clouds, then hills and mountains, and finally sketching in my Dad, his car, and the gas station.

Working with such a small photo is both liberating and frustrating. I am not trying to recreate the photo exactly, and feel free to add color, tone, movement that may not be there. However, I struggle with create my father in such a way he would be instantly recognizable. Finally, I realize I needed a smaller brush and more images to consult.

Not enough info and too big a brush (size 6).

I expect to finish in the next three weeks; the first week of July. Feel free to come by and look. I usually work in the morning.

“Kite Day” Utility Box Project for the City of Dublin

Corner of Glynnis Rose and Dublin Boulevard, Completed 2018

“Kite Day” flowed from my mind from stopping by a Kite Festival at Fallon Middle School, in Dublin, CA. There is such fun and freedom in kite flying. From small tots flying small, simple diamond-shaped kites to massive, extravagant kites with yards of tails. So fun to paint!

To be honest, I find Dublin a bit of a drab and dreary landscape to paint at times. It is the residents that add interest and color, not so much the burnt out hills, plowed fields, acres of new housing, or miles of stores. Dublin can look vibrant after a rain or at dusk or dawn, but I decided to show the landscape at its bleakest; bright midday. I think this shows off the brilliant colors of the kites and attire of the figures.

What you may not know about the Utility Box, is that all the people painted on the box I have seen in Dublin. This includes my husband and my three sons, depicted separately from each other in the art. Can you find them?

I also put a special surprise on the top of the box. Taller folks can step on the base to look over the top. It is something seen in Dublin and quite fitting for the theme of the box.

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