"Overlook in Blue" Mural Video by Nicole Mueller

Last summer, not long after I had moved to San Francisco, I took on my biggest project to date—a 2100 sq. ft. outdoor mural in the industrial neighborhood of Dogpatch. A mix of commercial warehouses and waterfront shipyards, Dogpatch is in the midst of a rapid redevelopment. The mural marked my first time bringing my studio outdoors, and working on a piece of this scale. Bringing in bold blues and yellows to reflect the palette of the neighborhood, the mural existed to bring beauty and color to an area in transition, but the project was short-lived. The building has since been demolished, but today the mural lives on through this incredible video shot by two talented friends and videographers, Mike Gaynor and Justin Carlson.

They did an amazing job capturing the mural's process and the essence of Dogpatch. I'm so excited to share it with you here!

The mural, titled "Overlook in Blue," was entirely self-initiated and self-funded, and made possible with the support of my neighbors within the transient community of Buspatch, local businesses Center Hardware, San Francisco PaintSource, and Cresco Equipment Rental

More photos of the mural can be seen here in an earlier blog post. 

Another thank you to Mike Gaynor and Justin Carlson for their film and video work, and to David Colson for the title sequence and photography.

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.

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.