BUTLER — The work of local artist Amy Buchs can be found in many communities in northeast Indiana.
She will be very busy in Butler in the next month or so, as she has been commissioned to create or rehabilitate three murals in the community.
Working with Linda Lacey, she was commissioned by American Legion Post 202 to update the patriotic mural at the northeast corner of Main and Broadway.
“The existing mural honored veterans, soldiers and America,” Buchs said. “They wanted to do the same thing but update it and still honor patriotism.
“This one will have the same subjects — the American flag and soldiers — only we decided to fill the wall,” Buchs said. “They wanted it to speak volumes.”
The wall measures approximately 32 feet wide by 35 feet tall. While the flag dominates the image, like its predecessor, the revised mural will feature American soldiers in various poses and action.
“I’m trying to give (the flag) a lot more movement, making it look like it’s in the wind, making the ripples obvious so it has a lot more movement,” she said.
“I’m trying to give it a lot more dimension by making the stripes bulge and pinch when it goes back. I’m trying to make it have a lot more dimension by varying the value. The red stripes get almost white and then really dark. On the white stripes, there’s a lot of white but there’s a lot of shadow.
“If I exaggerate that contrast, it makes it look more dimensional. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Between rumbles of passing trucks and trains, Buchs took time to reflect on what she has created so far.
Buchs said she wants to tweak the placement of some stars in the blue field. “That’s something, if you get it wrong, it screams wrong!
“I’m pretty happy with it. I wasn’t sure about all the reflective color,” she said. “I felt like I was being pretty daring.
“Up close, it looks like too much color, but when you back up, it looks really good, I think.
“Up close, I tell myself it’s too much color but I get down and look at it and say, ‘Hey, that’s working.”
Not far away is the Welcome to Butler post card-themed mural she and painting partner Dave Schlemmer created last year.
While Schlemmer is working on another project and isn’t available for this one, Buchs is using their tried and true method of laying out the intended design in a grid pattern and using that for reference.
Weather permitting, she hopes to have the patriotic mural completed by the end of next week.
Buchs is appreciative of the water and candy given to her by Butler residents.
Future murals will spotlight law enforcement and Susie the Deer.