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  • Molly Keen

Portland and my largest mural yet

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

It is with pleasure I present to you, Portland Perspective, a playful interpretation of the Portland cityscape through iconic buildings and locations throughout the city. Here, imagination is boundless through the whimsical style, while the viewer can also identify all of their favorite places unique to Portland in one painting.

Portland Perspective celebrates the larger city of Portland with a playful and more detailed depiction of the home of the mural, the Hollywood neighborhood.

The mural brings together local businesses and people of diverse backgrounds together in one place.

Local businesses can point to the mural and say:

  • “I know that place!

  • I walk by there every day to go to work”.

  • I want neighbors and viewers to see themselves in the mural and feel a sense of familiarity and belonging.

Check out the mural before I painted it...

The wall before...Before the wall had over 20 different tags and was maroon, the owner was constantly painting the wall. Murals brighten communities and help residents find a connection to their neighborhood.

Again, I had to create a time lapse for your viewing pleasure

I love creating time lapses to show the process, I set up my gopro and take a photo every 5 seconds. I love the fisheye feature of gopro as it can capture a huge wall like this. Additionally, I have learned that moving the go pro to different angles during the time lapse can make the piece more interesting, and you can get zoomed in detail of various parts of the painting, making it more eye catching. I also love to add in real time video!

The mural is significant in scale and colorfully represent the geographic landscape of Portland.

The painting is a result of weeks of research to ensure iconic locations, art organizations, nonprofits, tall buildings, smaller structures, parks, and neighborhoods that make Portland weird were all represented in the mural. With the help of architectural software Sketchup, I built a 3-dimensional Portland cityscape to get an accurate perspective of the City in its relation to the Hollywood Neighborhood. 

It features local neighborhoods, iconic bridges, cyclists, characters, farmers market gatherings, parks, bustling cars and buses, the MAX train and more. The right hand side of the mural showcases the Hollywood District, and I wanted to make sure all the businesses were included.

For a complete list of specific locations in the Hollywood Neighborhood keep reading!

Here are some of the Hollywood locations featured, but not limited to...

  • Mountain Shop

  • Shandong Restaurant

  • Hollywood Theatre

  • The Magnolia

  • Columbia River Brewing Company

  • Northeast Community Center

  • The Whole Bowl, Food Truck

  • Library Hollywood

  • Whole Foods

  • Antique Alley: Portland Past times

  • My mural is within the mural! Sacred Waters at Popina Swimwear

  • Ritual Arts

  • Grant High School

  • MAX Hollywood station

  • Trader Joes

  • Bluefin Sushi Bar

  • Grocery Outlet 

  • Hollywood East Apartments 

  • Tiger Lily Tattoo

  • Miller Paint Co.

  • Refuge Barber Shop

  • Fleur de Lis bakery and cafe

  • Just for kids/ Nectar Cafe 

  • Aunt Tillies Deli and Pub

  • Sam’s Hollywood Billards

  • Hollywood Dance

  • Trimet Portland Street Car

  • Spark Arts Center

  • The Human Bean

  • The Moon and Sixpence

  • Grant Park 

  • Whillshite Park 

  • Rose City Cemetery 

  • Bluefin Sushi Bar

  • Hollywood District Community Center

How long did it take?

The piece took almost 2 weeks of painting and over 8 months of planning.

What and how much paint did you use?

I used my favorite Sherwin Williams brand of paint.

It is exterior, acrylic, and has a semi-gloss. We used the Mural Shield at the end, 4 gallons. Because the mural shield has a gloss that is why I decided to go with the semi finish. Even with a wall this big, I still decided to use quart sized paint for many of the colors that I used throughout the piece.

Because I digitally rendered the mural beforehand, it made it possible to know how much square footage I covered with what color. So I knew exactly how much paint I would need (well nothing is exact but roughly)

The whole painting took about...

  • 8 gallons of paint

  • 2 cups of coffee a day

  • 15 quarts of paint

  • A celebration beer at the end of each day

  • 10 paintbrushes under 3 inches in size

  • One bag of salt and vinegar chips a day

  • 10 rollers

  • Daily check in from Perkins, a local handyman

  • Lots of support and love from the Hollywood Neighborhood.

Thank you's!

Thank you to Paul Clark with 42nd Street Station for commissioning me to create the work. We worked hard and for almost a year prior to the work coming to life.

Thank you to Jacque Authier for hosting me and to Mike Cobb for the connections you made to make me feel at home in Portland.

Thank you to Paul at Leavitt Machinery for their help with renting a telescopic boom.

More THANKS! Thank you Perkins!

This particular project took about 7 days to complete and was during July 2019 so the heat was intense at 80 degrees which is unusual for Portland. Thanks to Perkins for helping me throughout the mural!

He was my number one fan and even lent me that umbrella you can see in the video! He also made me the paint holder which came in handy when you are 25 feet high in the air!

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