Barbara Hunter (far left) has fellow artists look over a couple of her paintings during a mural meeting on Jan. 6 at Keizer Civic Center. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Barbara Hunter (far left) has fellow artists look over a couple of her paintings during a mural meeting on Jan. 6 at Keizer Civic Center. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

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By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

It was a mural meeting.

It was also an art class.

As well, it was a chance to do scaled drawings on the wall.

Jill Hagen, project manager for the Keizer public mural being done on the north wall of Town & Country Lanes later this year, hosted a second public mural meeting at Keizer Civic Center on Jan. 6. The next such meeting takes place Saturday, Feb. 6 from 3 to 5 p.m. at city hall.

For last week’s meeting, Hagen put up paper along one wall and noted it was one-quarter the length of the bowling alley wall. She also introduced some of the artists who will be helping community members learn how to paint a mural, including Barbara Hunter, Kathy Hainey, Shirlee Johnson and Julie Thorson.

“You have some wonderful resources here,” Hagen told the 20 or so in attendance.

Hunter put a couple of her paintings up at the front of the room and encouraged audience members to come take a look.

“We all need to get on the same page,” Hunter said. “We’re going to look at my paintings and see what will be useful for the mural. From a distance, you can see what I painted. You can see a car and flowers. But come closer.”

Hunter had audience members consider factors such as subject, style, shapes, edges, lines, colors, contrast, focus and movement as they looked at the paintings.

“Pretend you’re in the Keizer museum,” she said. “Are there any words that will help you do the mural?”

One audience member noted the shape stood out, while another felt the texture grabbed the viewer. Another noted the painting had more life than a regular photograph would.

Hunter pointed to the red Volkswagen Beetle in one of the pieces of art.

“If you want something to pop against this green building, put it in red,” Hunter said. “The VW is little, but it’s the center of attention.”

Hunter also referred to the sense of motion in a painting.

“Movement is basically energy,” she said. “The energy you have inside, put it on the canvas.”

Creating the sense of movement will be important for the mural, Hunter said, since the mural will be depicting various images from the Keizer Iris Festival Parade.

“You want the viewer to move with the parade,” Hunter said. “You’re seeing the flowers; you want them to explode on you. When the parade is going by you, it is kind of blurry. When people see something in the moment, nothing is sharp. When you have images that are not quite sharp, they will include some movement.”

A majority of the designs to be painted have been claimed. Hagen emphasized novices are encouraged to ask for any kind of assistance with their work.

“If you are feeling overwhelmed, there are people here to help you,” Hagen said. “You just need the tools and to be willing to ask for assistance. We’re here to do this as a community. It’s okay if it’s not perfect because I don’t know anybody that is. We’ll tweak what you bring in.”

After the discussion, Hagen had artists put their designs on the wall.

“Select the image you have in mind, then come over and begin to draw it in,” she said. “Don’t worry about if it looks perfect.”