I'm so excited to be nearing completion of painting the Cumberland Dragon mural for Appalshop's Boone building in Whitesburg, Kentucky. This 55-foot by 12.5-foot mural is being painted remotely in studio on a material called Polytab, which is a non-woven fabric that will be permanently installed onto the building in a process similar to wallpapering. This allows for more detailed painting and less time at the mercy of the elements. The paint is acrylic, from a California-based company called Nova Color. I’ve been so happy with their products with this, the pigment load is high and the colors are vibrant and stunning in the sunlight. The photo above is the bottom half of the mural.
As far as the subject of this mural, The Cumberland Dragon a.k.a. "Goosefoot" is a regional cryptid that, according to legend, resides in the Cumberland Mountains region of the Appalachians. It was reportedly sighted in the 1790's by a group of soldiers. To read the legend, this site has a description of it from a newspaper in 1794: https://cryptidz.fandom.com/wiki/Cumberland_Dragon
My depiction of it as a wingless drake is inspired by Southern Appalachia's reputation as a salamander hotspot, having the highest biodiversity of salamander species on Earth. The design of the face of this dragon is the result of a multitude of sketches with inspiration from my dog's (a Pitlab) face, characters from Netflix's "The Dragon Prince", and the colorful dragons from "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild". The dragon itself is very much part of the landscape. Its scales resemble leaves. Moss grows on its back alongside the leafy spine. Little mushrooms bloom from the moss, and craggy turkey-tail fungi grows from the dragons legs and arms. It's hiding in the Mountain Laurel, which blooms in the mountains of Appalachia, another homage to the original legend. This region is also known for its lightning bugs. Summer nights are like a light show, with hundreds of them sparkling in the trees and bushes. Here they illuminate the dragon, ferns, and laurel.
The building this will be installed on was once a car dealership called the "Boone Motor Company". As an homage to that fact, the right side of the mural has a tree with the name carved into it, an old tire is being reclaimed by nature, and a vintage truck is being abducted by a UFO.
The mural will be installed in September. I’ll be sharing more information, photos, and video of the process once it’s complete! Below are a few progress photos.