Lake Havasu, Arizona, is the location of a project that I completed in late November of 2016. The mural is painted at the vacation residence of my cousin Dawn. Dawn was a very kind relative that housed me during my transition to California from Colorado in the early 2000s. It was always the deal that I would paint a large painting in exchange for the housing. And 13 years later I finally was able to deliver my end of the deal.
The mural’s inspiration takes from the Lake Havasu region and my cousin and her wife Jan’s favorite parts of the city and the surrounding area. Then my work began, and I took my favorite parts of their favorite parts, and I came up with the final design. The painting took four days to complete, and I spent a total of 5 full days in Lake Havasu. This painting was much smaller than the subsequent pieces I had done, so it was relaxing being able to do a medium sized mural in a short amount of time. The privacy of being in a private residence was great as well and made for me to having much stronger focus during the painting process. The mural is done entirely with Rustoleum 2x (my favorite) from the local hardware store.
My personal adventures within the city consisted of the tours my cousins gave me via boat and off-road vehicle. I also bought a bicycle which I used to explore the town and the bike trails around the lake. The whole region is such a beautiful place, and the locals couldn’t be more kind. I love the small town feel, and the city lacked nothing that I desired. It had delicious food, a decent bookstore and all the natural beauty you could feast your eyes on. When a place has beautiful sunsets, I always feel at home. And Lake Havasu is a place where I can most certainly feel at home. The sunsets are beyond tremendous. The Landscape of purple, blue, red and brown, mountains, cliffs, and hills. The subtle array of colors that you would expect to see in a desert region, but unique and all its own at the same time. Exploring the rugged terrain in a Can-Am was the most thrilling part of my trip. Can-Am’s are incredibly versatile machines, which as I learned, can drive up almost vertical terrain and can become airborne. The boat on the water is a shaky ride and a strange place to be, where the desert sun meets the cool water of the winter. The Lake is so big, and it went on far beyond where I was able to explore during my two boat trips. The city had fantastic weather, well mostly. It was somewhat cold as the sun came up but quickly got warm as the sun began to shine down.
It was quite a different adventure getting to see the landscape through clear, sober eyes. My first journey to the lake was a whole different experience when I came here for the fourth of July for a job in 2006 or so. As anybody who has attended a large party at the lake has witnessed, things here can get a bit crazy. Mix all day long drinking, in the desert heat, with half naked bodies everywhere, and an atmosphere of adventure and things can get wild. My first adventure to the lake was as a scout for the MTV show dismissed. So basically my job was to approach attractive people and see if they would be interested in being on the show. Then I took their info, got a photo and along we went. Also, did I mention that the whole crew was encouraged to party along while we worked? One drink led to another, then to whatever else I put in my body to elevate the day. A better job that I’ve had indeed.
As always I am so grateful to be able to find such fulfillment through painting. I am very grateful for all of the opportunities and experiences that I get to have and be a part of. The Lake Havasu mural project was another great experience in my career. Already I am looking forward to my more adventures and my next visit to the Lake Havisu region.