Our visit to Nelson BC Canada for their International Mural Festival

Color Dreamers creates new mural for Nelson International Mural Festival

We just landed in Nelson BC Canada for their first ever mural festival and we had quite an experience.  We created a mural, hosted a workshop, took part in a panel discussion and engaged with the local art community explaining our mural art process.  Before making our travel plans over to Canada, we first created a concept based on guidelines and recommendations by the business owner of the building.  We were given a corrugated tin corner wall that was the corner storage room of the building and the keyword “anvil.” We started to brainstorm a few ideas and created a few concepts we felt would work. We felt it was necessary to take advantage of the architecture and create an interesting focal point on the corner of the wall.

We created our mural artwork concept and got to packing. We made our journey through the highest mountains of British Columbia and three planes later we landed in the small town of Nelson.

Nestled in between mountains and  the Kootenay Lake , Nelson is a progressive town seeking to embrace a bit more diversity in their public artworks. We were housed just outside the city with a local mixed media artist and retired teacher whose house was filled with colorful sculptures and art. Our first Impression of Nelson was a peaceful, serene town with a flock of geese grazing on grass. The mountains had a distant smoke looming over. At the time we didn’t know it but it was smoke from the wildfires in neighboring Washington.

We got to work immediately and began the process of prepping the wall by power washing it and laying out our pre-sketch. We mixed our colors and over the next few days honed in on our work.

We hosted a community workshop titled “Top 10 Tips on Becoming a Professional Artist” where we gave some tips on best tools for becoming successful in the art world.  We also attended a panel discussion with 3 other artists that partook in the mural festival and the audience asked a few questions about our artistic process.


The mural that was created for this particular wall is 14′ feet high by 40′ wide. The wall surface was a challenge as the divots and corrugated pattern was not easy to paint with a brush but we always enjoy a a new challenge when it comes to art. The artwork is titled “Striking the Iron while its Hot” which pays homage to the craftsman spirit and iron workers. We took advantage of the corner of the walls and an illusion that appeared to look into a room. The cut away was created painting a faux brick wall that appeared to be incomplete.

The colors chosen provides a warm glow for those winters in Nelson and we used an array of complimentary colors to accent the glass sitting on the shelves in the room. On the Nelson Artwalk opening night we got the talk with many local residents who expressed how the murals are a  beautiful way to add color and vibrancy to the neighborhood.  We had a small opportunity to take a pictures with some of the crowd.

Towards the end of our journey the smoke in Nelson was so bad that many outbound flights were cancelled. At one point the sun had been so glazed with smoke it looked red.  We had to take a greyhound bus 11 hours north to the nearest airport and fly out of Calgary and left on the late night flight. It was quite a journey and it was special in many ways. We are happy to have had the opportunity to make the town of Nelson a more vibrant and colorful place.   Articles in the Nelson Star can be found here :