For eleven days straight, I woke up with the sun, driving from San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. This morning ritual let me reflect on a distinct challenge of painting a large scale mural — to honor a space while also transforming it.

Joinery_Heather Day

No matter how open-ended a project seems, murals are at least partly predetermined. I was commissioned to paint the walls and floors of the Joinery, a restaurant and brewery nestled on the edge of Richardson Bay in Sausalito, CA. As a minimalist, I was drawn to the large blank wall that stands against the restaurant's spare design.

I’m often working within the context and confines of existing architectural forms. Earnestly taking in a space is critical to creating a new piece of art within it. The more I spent time at the Joinery, the more I appreciated what defines the space, both inside and out.

Joinery_Heather Day
Joinery_Heather Day

Each day I’d cross the Golden Gate admiring that landscape, and arrive at the Joinery in the early morning. During that time of year, the mornings were rainy and quiet. On nice days, the Joinery would open its glass doors, leaving no division between the interior and exterior, the structure and water. Around lunch, the sun would come out and the restaurant boomed. This essential contrast inspired the mural.

The time I spent painting on site gave me insight into the flow of the space and the surrounding community. There’s a directional energy heading towards the water. In the mural, pops of yellow reflect the marina boats and buzzing energy of morning commuters crossing the Golden Gate. Deep blues and greens lay a sturdy foundation for the movement, like the dense forests that cradle Sausalito.

From the first mark I made to the last, my work evolved with my perspective. While the mural is now complete, the finished work memorializes an ongoing conversation between what I see myself painting, and how it is felt. That gap between seeing and feeling is where I find my interest.

The emotional interpretation of space in a visual language lets subtle nuances of overlooked moments in time take root and change the space they exist in. It’s now up to the visitors to create their own interpretation of the re-imagined space.

Be sure to stop by Joinery to see it for yourself. 

Joinery_Heather Day
Joinery_Heather Day
Joinery_Heather Day
Joinery_Heather Day
Joinery_Heather Day
Joinery_Heather Day
Joinery_Heather Day
Joinery_Heather Day
Joinery_Heather Day

Special thanks to Hannah Collins Design for suggesting my work for the project and of course, Yella and Tyler from Joinery for your support and trust. 

Written by Heather Day. Photos by Margaret Austin