Dogpatch Mural in Photos by Nicole Mueller

A few weeks ago, I wrapped up my biggest project to date—a 2100 sq. ft. 70 x 30 ft. mural in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco.

My goal was to bring color and attention to an area in transition, as the mural stands poignantly as the last line of defense against the encroaching construction that starts at the waterfront, and continues to work its way back, absorbing the former industrial features that defined it.

It's also a celebration of this particular moment in time, a privately commissioned piece for the tenants of Buspatch, and easy to pass over, even from the sidewalk or street right beside it. 

More about how the mural came together shared here in an earlier blog post. I hope this will be the first of many large public artworks I'll get to work on here in the Bay Area and beyond.

Since the nature of this mural is temporary, we made sure to thoroughly document it with photo and video. Below is the story of the mural, in photos. I look forward to sharing final images of the mural completed, some aerial documentation, and a short video soon. 

Photography by Dave Colson

Photography by Dave Colson

I would also like to extend my thanks to San Francisco PaintSource, Cresco Equipment Rental, and Center Hardware for their sponsorship and support.

Beyond the Studio: New Podcast on the Business of Art by Nicole Mueller

A new project I've been working on since the start of 2017, has just launched and is available for listening today on iTunes

Beyond the Studio is a podcast about the business of being an artist, co-hosted by myself and fellow artist Amanda Adams of Close Call Studio.

Beyond the Studio focuses on the behind the scenes work of visual artists—how they’re supporting and sustaining themselves and their creative work. It features candid conversations about their business practices, time management, financial planning, and how they’re navigating the unique challenges of making a living, creatively.

Artists are inherently resourceful, resilient, and ambitious, with a unique and diverse set of skills. We want to know how they’re connecting the dots in their own life, and demystify the process. We believe that by sharing these stories openly and honestly, artists will feel more empowered and become better equipped to live out their own creative life’s work.

I'd love it if you gave it a listen, and let us know what you think! We have been interviewing artists we know and admire, and can't wait to share more honest conversations with artists, makers, and business experts on the work that goes on beyond the studio. 

You can listen to our first three episodes today by subscribing to the podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud, or streaming here on our website

Sign up for Beyond the Studio's mailing list to stay in the loop about the show, and follow us on Facebook or Instagram to stay plugged in to the conversation! 

Thanks for supporting this new venture! 

New Mural in Dogpatch, San Francisco by Nicole Mueller

Poster designed by Dave Colson

Poster designed by Dave Colson

I've begun my first outdoor mural in San Francisco! And I'm thrilled to be working out of my own neighborhood in the Dogpatch (at the intersection of 19th St. and Illinois St.).

While I’ve painted many murals in the past with my former Baltimore-based business Blue Lined Designs, this is the first mural that aligns with my studio work. I hope it will be the first of many!

by Dave Colson 

by Dave Colson 

I haven’t been in San Francisco very long, but I’ve got a lot of love for Dogpatch. It reminds me of Baltimore, with its big industrial buildings and local pride. Many are getting torn down or renovated in neighborhood redevelopment, including the building where the mural will be.

The story of how this project came about is pretty serendipitous. A neighbor posted on NextDoor about a “short-lived mural opportunity.” On our block was a vacant building that would soon be torn down for a mixed residential building to go up in its place. They obtained permission to temporarily turn it into a vibrant and colorful focal point on the block, and I jumped on the opportunity.

Besides being a personal experiment for me (I’ve never done a painting of this scale!), another aim of the project was to celebrate and memorialize these spaces and defining symbols of Dogpatch, as they stand today. Across the street from the mural wall, facing the Bay, construction is already well underway on a public waterfront park, and a complete redevelopment of Pier 70, an old shipyard and industrial center.

Dogpatch, San Francisco 

Dogpatch, San Francisco 

What I also didn’t realize at the time is that the parking lot buffering the wall and fenced off from the street (dubbed Buspatch) was home to a group of folks who have been living “off the grid” in the middle of downtown San Francisco—in a self-sufficient system of buses—just one of many empty lots and buildings they’ve reclaimed and transformed over the years and around the U.S.

A transient mural, in the middle of a transient community, and neighborhood. 

Though the mural is public by nature, by painting it I was essentially being invited into their home. Any sense of discomfort I had over invading their space or privacy was only met with generosity—from helping to troubleshoot the scissor lift, use their solar power to charge the spray gun, offering food and lunches, and giving me water from their tanks to paint and clean with. Though the nature of all this is fleeting, I can't thank them enough.

This project also became an opportunity to connect with the local businesses that make Dogpatch what it is. With 2100 sq. ft. of wall, and no budget to back the project, I was going to need some help. 

I’m proud to say that all of the equipment, paint, and supplies for the mural are being generously loaned or donated by local businesses—which says so much about the character of the community. A heartfelt thank you to Center Hardware, San Francisco PaintSource, and Cresco Equipment Rental for making this at all possible. 

We’re taking lots of photo and video documentation, with help from a few friends, which we’ll share in a photo documentary and short video once the mural's complete. We'll also be documenting the building's demolition, whenever that day comes. 

by Dave Colson 

by Dave Colson 

Follow along on Instagram for more progress and behind the scenes. 

Emerging Artist Award and New Work Available by Nicole Mueller

by Dave Colson

by Dave Colson

by Dave Colson

by Dave Colson

Now that I've had a few months to settle into the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, and set up working in my East Oakland studio, I wanted to share a few announcements from California!

Our transition to the West Coast has been full of ups & downs that come along with uprooting a life and moving cross-country, and the continual challenges of navigating a career as an artist (more on that to come), but I am grateful for the connections and opportunities I've already experienced here in California. 

I am humbled to be the recipient of the Mark M. Glickman and Lanette M. McClure Artist Award, newly established to "support the creation of innovative artwork by emerging artists in California." 

I'll be presenting a solo show of new work at the Pence Gallery (no affiliation to our VP, thankfully!) in Davis, CA in early 2018. I'll be sure to share details closer to the dates, along with other shows between now and then.

I am also offering a sale on the three new paintings shown below, as a thank you for following and supporting my work! 

They'll be 50% off until May 1st, 2017, and available here exclusively in the SALE tab above. 


To be the first to hear about future updates, sign up here for my mailing list


New Studio in San Francisco, California by Nicole Mueller

I'd like to announce that I have officially moved from Baltimore, MD to San Francisco, California! I am excited to expand my painting practice here and am fortunate to have already found a studio, within a community of artists, to work out of in Oakland. 

I value the connections I've made over the years in Baltimore, and look forward to building on them from California, while continuing to grow forward here. I'm in the process of settling in to the city and studio, gearing up for next year, and looking forward to future collaborations in 2017! 

Apartment Therapy House and Studio Tour by Nicole Mueller

Earlier this fall, we had the privilege of inviting D.C.-based photographer Liz Calka into our home, and sharing our live/work space in the city with her. She did an incredible job of capturing the spirit of our home, which we've had a lot of fun filling with DIY projects and art from our Baltimore-based friends who are makers. We got to share the results with Apartment Therapy, and the features just went live!

Check out our Artistic, Industrial Live/Work Loft in South Baltimore (you can even see how we made the TV-Hiding Sliding Art Accent Wall). 

We also stepped into the studio and talked about How to Make Room for Creating Art at Home. I got to share how I work studio time into my schedule, what it's been like painting within our apartment, and what I love about the creative community here in Baltimore.

by Liz Calka 

by Liz Calka 

by Liz Calka 

by Liz Calka 

by Liz Calka 

by Liz Calka 

FIRST CUT by Nicole Mueller

Although bittersweet to see FIRST CUT come down (turns out it's a lot of work to put up an exhibit!), it's been so exciting to see images come back from the show, and to have it reviewed by critics and publications I admire:

Washington Post review by Mark Jenkins

Washington City Paper review by Kriston Capps

I was also lucky to have three incredible artists, friends, & professional photographers help with documenting the show, at different points in the day, to capture the lighting and installation. The images are stunning. Here are a few: