Artist’s murals brighten rooms and revive memories
About eight years ago, St. Cloud artist Lynn Paulish found herself climbing the ruins at Tulum, Mexico, on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, just one of the many trips she’s taken to Mexico with her husband, Bruce. As they climbed the salt-and-pepper rocks of the fortress that looms over the cliffs of the Caribbean Sea, Lynn paused to marvel at her surroundings.
“It was overwhelming,” she said, “to think about this happening 2,000 years ago, and walking where the Mayans lived their daily lives and performed their ceremonies.”
She committed to memory the sea and its “every shade of turquoise, and the sandy, almost white beaches,” feeling the intensity of the sun’s heat on her face, not knowing that less than four years later, she’d be re-creating that very scene on the dining room walls of Juan Ponce’s Sheboygan home.
Ponce himself visited Tulum, and having a mural of the historical icon was the perfect way to relive a trip he thoroughly enjoyed.
“I really like how it’s set up,” he said of the scene that depicts the stepped ruins towering above the azure sea, cautious grey iguanas peering through lush green foliage
Rising to the ceiling are the same vibrant hues of blue Lynn committed to memory on her trip.
For greater effect, Ponce ran 3-inch widths of molding near the ceiling, then installed a series of rope lights that illuminate the entire setting.
When asked if he’d ever return to plain walls, Ponce was emphatic. “This isn’t going anywhere,” he said. “It lightens up the whole house.”
Lynn’s murals have lightened up many area homes — she’s painted sports-themed rooms, coral reefs, underwater settings and a beautiful outdoors scene in her stepdaughter’s home, featuring a tall tree, its arching branches home to small birds. Below it all is a sparkling blue pond, ringed with soft cattails, flowers dancing along the bottom.
After experimenting with what she called “the crafty stenciling we did in the ’80s,” her first mural was one of Noah’s Ark that she painted for her sister, who was expecting her first baby.