Vermont Murals

When I was in high school I began painting murals around my parent’s house.

I kept them small until I painted a 3/4 scale horse on my sister’s bedroom wall. I found I liked working large and could draw and paint freehand.

The Doolittle Farm Murals

doolittle_2webOne summer during college I was hired by my boyfriend to paint a mural on his brand new barn door. It was huge! I needed to use his bucket loader, normally used to scrape manure off the barn floor, as a lift to get to the top 1/2 of the door.

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That mural only took a few weeks, so I began painting the other barn doors too. He was raising white, Charolais cattle so one door showed a crowd of cows appearing to leave the barn. I was trying to create a simple trompe l’oeil effect by adding a bright window to the back “wall” of the mural. To add complexity I sat our two dogs outside the barn door, and then photographed them, posing  as themselves.

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I used oil paints for these 1st murals, then later switched to acrylics.

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This was a working farm, and, when I wasn’t painting, the cattle had the run of the paddock.

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The real Ray Gibeault stands next to the painted Ray, who is feeding a group of painted pigs.

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I included a self portrait in one of the doorways.

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This horse, about to escape, fooled quite a few people driving by.

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By the standards of the late 70’s, these murals got a lot of media attention.

doolittlespreadThe farm owner, Tim Clemens, wrote an article for Vermont Life. This photo shows five of the murals.

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Barn Door Murals

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Once I’d painted the Shoreham barns, I got a few more commissions to do barn doors in the area. Here is one from Smith Street in Shoreham, Vermont.

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And here is another from Cornwall, Vermont. Notice how I matched up the real and the painted windows in this shot of the finished piece with one of the models.

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On the door of a blacksmith shop in Middlebury, VT I was asked to paint the farrier posing with Ishkabibble the ram and Butterball the black labrador.

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One of the most detailed and populous murals I painted was the door of a working sugar house in Lincoln, VT.

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I painted inn keepers Bob and Linda Burdett on the side wall of her motel in New Haven, VT. Painting on clapboard siding makes it hard to achieve realism.

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Farm Signs

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I occasionally got to paint farm signs. I loved creating these calf portraits. Lettering wasn’t such a fun thing for me.

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