This summer, the with Jeff White's very intensive tugboat-painting operation involving many weeks in the heat and over a dozen artists. (Not done yet.)
Meanwhile on Main, two strong but delicate murals now flank the interior walls of the coming-soon store. And they couldn't be more different than the C-Town project in style and approach.
Painted by Jo Jayson of Harrison, the murals are monochromatic mountainscapes, one lone hiker each, done fast and on the fly.
Jayson, veteran muralist and decorative artist, paints in a very intuitive way, not much pre-process for her. She just goes at it, with a slight sketch in hand, and a simple palate of three shades: light blue, white, and lighter-light blue.
Much of the body of her work of late is focused on the feminine (she has a line of Goddess products) while some may say store owner Enzo Simone is invested in the very male pursuit of climbing 10 mountains, 10 years (the name of the documentary that's been made about the project). Both, however are equal parts tough and sentimental and they've become real life friends by way of Facebook.
I caught Jayson between signing one mural and starting the next, and she described her inspiration as French “Grisaille," here limiting her palate to blue tones rather than the traditional shades of gray.
“It's tricky when you're working on it, since you can't see what's going on until you step back," she said. She started with some of Simone's mountain climbing expedition photos, taped on the window, and sketched from there. In the first mural, over a long built-in bench, the climber has surmounted one peak but looks out over a landscape of many more. “Someone is reaching their goal but in the distance are more goals, so you're never finished.”
Simone seems to accumulate dreams in this fashion. He climbs in order to raise money and awareness for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, diseases his mother and stepfather have. He is opening a juice/books bar to fuel mind and body and inspire against-all-odds achievement in others.
He is actually on a mountain now. Simone is hiking Mount Saint Helen's with NBA basketball player Brian Grant and people with Parkison's. Grant, who has Parkinson's himself, saw the 10 Mountains documentary and formed a Grant's Army foundation inspired by Simone's Army of Change. Jeff Streich from National Geographic Explorer came out with a crew to document the climb.
It's a “notorious volcano” said Simone, that blew very dramactically only 25 years ago. But he's fine with that.
Opening a business might be more challenging.
Simone hopes to open Believe by Labor Day, assuming all the plumbing, electrical, inspections, etc., align.
Other décor items on the agenda: Simone envisions a compass on the floor with a charity arrow pointing you to action (exit), and, on the door's arch, “Above all else believe you will and you will.”
Simone was pleased with Jayson's cool blues, saying it reminded him of the view from past climbs; the lone man facing more obstacles ahead. “You reach the top of one and it's what are we doing next? One down, world up.”
“There's nothing familiar any more up there,” Simone said. “That's the color. And at the end of the day it all turns red.”
For more information on Jo Jayson, visit jojayson.com, where she writes, "I am finally living my purpose and am truly grateful, and hope that my work now and in the future can continue to inspire, heal and empower all those who look upon it." For more on Simone's Army of Change visit here.
Stay tuned for the grand opening date.