Since 2008, I've been painting electrical transformer cabinets as part of the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places program. This program, in collaboration with City of Fort Collins Utilities, has been beautifying electrical boxes throughout town since 2006. The program has been growing ever since, and 164 cabinets have been painted to date.
I've been lucky enough to be commissioned to paint nine cabinets so far, and I'm currently working on the 10th, titled "Pony Express-ions". This design is inspired by 2014 being the Year of the Horse with the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital's Large Animal Clinic nearby. It also alludes to its location through the concept of travel with the MAX Bus Line and Mason Trail which run adjacent to the cabinet.
All cabinet designs begin with a sketch submitted for approval. This project began as a way to mitigate graffiti, so the idea is for the designs to be as busy and active as possible. "Pony Express-ions" handles this requirement by being as obnoxiously colorful and pattern-filled as possible...POW!
Once approved, the cabinet is primed and the hardest part (in my opinion) begins. Taking the design from the flat sketch to the three-dimensions of the cabinet is nerve-wracking. It's important to get it right...not necessarily an exact duplicate as the design on the page, but a design that works with the cabinet. As you can see from the picture above, there are A LOT of sketched lines that take me a while to draw...and then decipher.
Finally, I reach the step that I call "finding the line". I take all of those sketchy pencil lines and I decide which ones to actually follow. Fortunately, I also keep a small jar of the primer color to use as an eraser, just in case the line I find is wrong...which happens more than I'd care to admit.
Next time: COLOR!