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Local artist busy with U.S. museum commission


With a “dream” studio at her fingertips, local aviation artist Cher Hogan’s desire to paint is at an all-time high.

It is in her new 18’ x 24’ studio, overlooking the residential property she owns with husband, Murray, at Windy Point, where Hogan is plugging away at what is literally her biggest project to date.

Hogan has been painting murals for the last month or so, finishing seven of the 12 she must complete by Oct. 1.

The murals (10 at 4’ x 8’ and two at 8’ x 16’), commissioned by the Beech 18 Society of America in Tellahoma, Tenn., depict Twin Beeches and a staggerwing aircraft. They will be unveiled at the grand opening of its aircraft museum there Oct. 14.

“They tell me [the murals] will hang 60 feet up from the floor,” said Hogan, noting the two larger murals will form a centre picture with five single murals on each side.

“I never knew there were so many different kinds of Twin Beech aircraft!” she chuckled Monday in her studio.

“And it has been a real challenge for me to paint this big. I have to keep standing back and looking at [my work] to make sure I’m getting it right!” she laughed.

Originally, the Beech 18 Society had wanted Hogan to spend two or three months in Tellahoma to paint a 120’ x 60’ mural of the aircraft on the museum wall. But logistics and personal commitments eventually landed the project here at home.

Even though Hogan had been asked last October about taking the commission, the society didn’t make a final decision until February.

Research papers, photographs, and registration numbers for each of the aircraft didn’t reach Hogan until May, and it wasn’t until July that she had a place big enough to accommodate the large sign boards used for the murals.

“I had nowhere to do it until we got this studio finished,” she gestured. “My six or seven months [of painting] shrunk to two really quickly!”

Hogan is using sign paint as a medium. And though she noted it had great coverage qualities, it packed the fumes and lacked the blending advantages of acrylics.

Meanwhile, Hogan’s trip to the National Museum in Ottawa at the end of June to deliver four pieces of artwork for an exhibit opened her eyes even further to where she stands in the art world.

The exhibition, entitled “People, Places, and Planes,” was part of the activities of the Canadian Aviation Artists Association’s annual general meeting in Ottawa.

“The exhibit featured the largest display of Canadian aviation artists ever assembled,” Hogan noted.

“To walk in an establishment like that . . . it’s massive, and they wanted to hang something of mine in there,” she marvelled. “I feel absolutely privileged and honoured.”

But despite four magazine covers already depicting her aviation artwork (with another upcoming in January), two book covers, and 15 articles written about her in seven different aviation magazines, Hogan still is far from getting the “swelled head” effect, noting the realities of home keep her ego in check.

“I’m so busy with this [career] and I love it so much. It’s been really rewarding [but] I don’t get much chance to stop and think about what it [all means],” she said.

“Besides, I still clean my own toilet bowl and that keeps my feet on the ground,” she smiled.

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