Artist: Cameron Webb (Hannah C. Webb)
How were you contacted to create this piece?
The Schmooney is a character in a children’s book of the same name. The author, Bob Schumacher, and I attend the same church, Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Simpsonville. He was discussing the book and had a prototype of the Schmooney as a stuffed animal with him one Wednesday night. I overheard him saying he needed an artist to illustrate the book and volunteered my services. So, as the artist who illustrated the book, when he needed the mural painted for the back of his shop at the time, he contacted me to paint it.
What is the inspiration for this piece?
The Schmooney character in the children’s book, “The Schmooney.” It is a little creature who has the characteristics of seven animals rolled into one. [It is] a skunk, raccoon, rabbit, bobcat, deer, bear and beaver [combined]. He acquires these characteristics by his heroism in the book saving his friends.
What type of paint did you use to create the mural?
Artist acrylic paint and some house paint for the background. Mr. Shumacher fortunately had painted the basic green background first, so I went from there with the artist paints.
How long did it take to create?
A few weeks. The creation process was rather hilariously affected by the cold weather. It was painted during winter and there was a cold snap to boot with literally freezing temperatures, so I about froze painting it. I would paint for a while, come down off the ladder and go inside the shop, where they graciously kept hot chocolate going for me. I would warm up, drink my hot chocolate and go back out and paint some more.
What is your favorite part of the piece and why?
I love the door being in the tree. It gives one the feeling that you can walk into the tree, maybe into another world, like in fairy tales. [It is] very appropriate for the transformative theme of the book. I also enjoyed painting the animals.
Also, I tried to paint it so that the verge of the grass at the edge of the building blended in visually with the grass in the bottom of the scene. That worked out really well.
When was it completed?
2009, I think that’s the date.
Located on the back of the building at East Curtis and Hedge streets in Simpsonville