Artist: Rick Forest
Boy Scouts Mural
How were you contacted to create this piece?
The Boys Scouts called me. They had a troop in the [Buncombe Street United] Methodist Church building. Their membership was low, and they felt the kids in the neighborhood didn’t know they were there. It [the mural] worked, and they tripled in membership.
What is the inspiration of this piece?
The mural is two Norman Rockwell pictures combined into one. The insignia and the Boy Scout saluting were both from Norman Rockwell’s works. We wrote to the Normal Rockwell Foundation to get permission, and they said that he did it for the Boy Scouts, and if it was being used for it, then it was OK.
What materials did you use to create this mural?
I used Behr house paint. It’s 100% acrylic latex. It’s the best thing to paint masonry. It’s very resilient to the sun and weather. I use a satin finish. I’ve used it for years and years.
How long did it take to create, and what was the creation process like?
I did the sketches first. It took a few days overall to formulate the original idea. Getting it approved by the board of the church took longer than anything else. It took a couple of months. I thought we weren’t going to start it. It took about two weeks from start to finish to do it.
The mural probably has about 10 coats of paint on it. Acrylic paint is something like watercolor because you have to layer it. You end up leaving a lot of color on the wall, particularly with skin tones. The gold medallion is a mix of yellows and golds.
What is your favorite part of the piece and why?
The eyes of the Boy Scout. They belong to my oldest grandson, James Forest. I’ve used him in multiple paintings. I’m real personal about what I do. I love what I do. If I attach myself to something like that, it makes me feel connected to it. No matter what mural I have done, it is as special as each one I’ve done. I believe in giving the piece the time it deserves to make it what it should be. It’s only gotten me in trouble with people who want something done quickly. It’s respect for the subject; you give it what it deserves.
When was it completed?
I think it was 2012.
Located at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church, 200 Buncombe St., Greenville.