Birth of a Dolphin

July 17, 2005

A blank wall and an idea
The Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA staff and members have embarked on a project which is intended to brighten the appearance of our Café. A wall mural will be created to create a fresh look to the existing environment.
Daniel Toney has agreed to design and paint the mural. Daniel began his work on July 17, 2005 with a written prospectus.
Opening thoughts by the artist
"A thought arises in my mind as I vision a dolphin caressing a gentle blue ocean tide, embraced with colorful fish swimming freely to their song of serenity.
This is the vision I have as I gaze at a green wall which soon will be blue as blue as a gentle ocean tide."
A photo of the blank wall after wall mountings have been removed but before any preparation has begun.Textual Description of First Photo

July 29, 2005, Day One

Daniel begins the project.
The target wall is painted with a blue base coat. The figures are outlined on the wall following this visualization by Daniel:

"The tide is turning as paint turns the wall into a majestic blue ocean. This is the start of the mural that will grace the walls of the Café.

I have added two adult dolphins to the picture along with their two babies.

I will tell you my hands are full, trying to capture their sleek, smooth figures."

A photo of the aquarium at stage 1. Textual Description of Day One

August 9, 2005, Day Two

The undersea environment begins to appear

The artist begins to develop the undersea environment by adding a coral reef and underwater vegetation under the watchful eye of an appreciative dolphin.

A photo of the aquarium at stage 2. Textual Description of Day Two

August 11th, 2005, Day Three

The development of the undersea environment continues

"The ocean’s floor is finally covered with green foliage, rocks, black coral and reflection from the surface.

Light peers; creating shadows and highlights that I have been trying to capture.

The picture is starting to appear with more depth as we move forward adding a few strands of seaweed and black coral.

But this is far from my vision."

A photo of the aquarium at stage 3. Textual Description of Day Three

August 17th, 2005, Day Four

Two new artists join the crew. The sea grass develops and aquatic life appears

"Finally the sea is pulling together as the coral reef is almost done. You now can see the depth of the mural I have been trying to create, expanding and filling every inch of the wall and our eyes.

I am now moving on and adding some fish and sea creatures to the mural. Ron Cooley and David McClure are assisting me. I will move forward with the force of a tiger’s claws, excited about the outcome that tomorrow will bring."

A photo of the aquarium at stage 4. Textual Description of Day Four

September 7th, 2005, Day Five

The dolphin family is complete.

"The mural is turning into a sea of grace as the seal and dolphins are at their final stage.

I have outlined some more fish on the mural, which will be painted by the members of the Consumer Center.

Each one will be given credit for their efforts.

I feel confident that the mural will be something that people will appreciate and admire.

And if it brings some serenity and joy to even one person then all the work I have done was well worth the pay."

A photo of the aquarium at stage 5. Textual Description of Day Five

September 8th, 2005, Day Six

Members participate with the mural

Several members of the association have welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the painting of the mural.

Daniel Toney, the artist painting this mural, also teaches our ongoing art class.

A photo of the aquarium at stage 6. Textual Description of Day Six

December 1st, 2005, End of Project

The Mural is Completed

The fish that I had drawn were painted by most of the members and staff, each adding their own creativity to the mural. This participation gives each and every one of them a sense of ownership and joy, as the mural seems to be coming to an end. Fish by fish, wave by wave, placing the final touches to this work of art as the sun sets slowly over the ocean once more.

A photo of the finished mural project.

Textual Description of Finished Mural

©2005 Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA

Home Page |  Creations Accessible Art Gallery