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Artist fills 80-foot canvas
Artist fills 80-foot canvas

BLOOMINGTON - Everyone agreed the long blank wall at Pro Putt Family Fun Center needed an artist's attention. Owners Mike and Mary Lou Nelson recalled a mural painted on a wall at their church, Heartland Community Church, and the artist responsible for the work. When artist Corrine Ficek of Normal saw the 80-foot span of wall, she recognized the challenge.

"Thirty feet was the biggest mural I'd ever done before this one," said Ficek.

The scene of rolling grass and a golfer in full swing on the fairway was created with a selection of house paints. The decision to use the quick-drying paint accommodated budget and time concerns, said Mary Lou Nelson.

"A lot of the color blending was done with shop towels," said Nelson, with the artist wearing rubber gloves.

The mural and artist will be recognized on Sunday at an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. at the business, 1716 R.T. Dunn Drive.

The Fun Center painting is the 12th mural for Ficek, who considers painting a hobby that pleases her first and then others. "I grew up drawing, then I painted with oils or whatever else came along," she said.

Customers who came to play golf at the Fun Center or watch their children romp in the play land enjoyed watching the mural's progress. Ficek worked on the project about three hours a day, three days a week, for eight weeks.

One of several framed golf pictures on another wall served as an inspiration. Ficek sketched her work in chalk before opening the first can of paint.

The completed work has received positive reviews from customers, said Nelson.

"Everybody loves it. One man who paints signs said he was amazed she was able to get this quality with house paint," said Nelson.

Ficek, who gives her age as 'something over 65,' routinely climbed up and down ladders while working on the project. The task required some long rests in the afternoon, she said.

When the mural was finished, Ficek agreed with the business owners that a picture is worth the wait.

"The wall looked terrible. Having a picture on it really gave it some warmth," said Ficek.

GO!

What: Mural dedication

Where: Pro Putt Family Fun Center 1716 R.T. Dunn Drive, Bloomington

When: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday

Compiled by Edith Brady-Lunny

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