TREE + LEAF

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Jeff Bridges

The Bleu Dude Garten

ART, GRAFFITIDusty GilpinComment

This weekend I was hosted by Hunter Wheat and The Bleu Garten crew. Hunter and I have been in discussion about painting another mural in their space for the last 6 months, and it finally happened. He told me the theme he was going for and gave me complete artistic freedom (which is a risky move!)

When he said he wanted a picture of The Dude from The Big Lebowski, I was all ears! The Big Lebowski is a movie I can get behind! It's no Blues Brothers, but it's definitely up there on my list. If you can stand sitting through the 240+ F-bombs, it might just be up there on your list as well!

This photo was taken about 1-hour into sketching out the initial concept. Luckily El Duderino has a pretty iconic features and accessories. The reference image I used from the movie has him in a different outfit, but the macrame sweater he wears seems to be most iconic. Also, His Dudeness wouldn't be The Dude if he wasn't sipping on a Caucasian. I think the White Russian was my favorite part about painting this image. Trying to figure out the reflections on the glass and the ice cubes was definitely a challenge, and that makes it fun.

Chump for scale. The shingles were a little tricky to work around, but not bad. They offered some weird shadows, so I had to wait until a cloud passed to get a photo without the obstruction...

Chump for scale. The shingles were a little tricky to work around, but not bad. They offered some weird shadows, so I had to wait until a cloud passed to get a photo without the obstruction...

All in all, I had a great time painting this. It was a lot of fun just hanging out in the Garten and talking to patrons. The guys at Buttermilk Sliders hooked me up with a free lunch and it was excellent as usual (Thanks, fellas!).

Lastly, I'm sure he doesn't want me to say this, but Hunter is a real advocate for the arts and I'm a real chump and often undersell my work. As we were talking about payment, I gave him my quote and his jaw dropped. He came back with a check for double what I had said. Any rational person would've just paid me what I quoted and been done with it. Hunter paid me in the value he found in the art, and that is very generous and very noble. I am grateful for the opportunity, the artistic freedom, and the considerate payment. Cheers!

Also! If you want to watch The Big Lebowski, drink a White Russian, and take your picture in front of my mural - you can do that at Bleu Garten on April 25th! They'll be having a grand ol' time as they feature The Big Lebowski as part of their summer movie series! Do it!