In a nod to Vincent van Gogh and Mount Dora’s artist community, one local artist went to work.
His vision can now be seen by passersby heading west on Old 441 as they leave downtown Mount Dora.
Richard Barrenechea, a Mount Dora artist and resident, approached the property owner about his desire to add art to the expansive wall he viewed as a blank canvas. The owner agreed and after prepping the approximately 40-foot stucco wall, Barrenechea began its transformation on July 17.
The artist dodged rain showers for several days as his recreation of van Gogh’s 1889 “Starry Night” began to take shape. To achieve his desired effect, Barrenechea used spray paint, acrylic and latex oil paints. He chose to reproduce the famous nightscape because he wanted an iconic and beloved painting.
The mural is a work in progress and will continue along the highway to include a van Gogh-inspired lighthouse. Once complete, the painting will be approximately 130 feet long.
Originally from Uruguay, Barrenechea moved to Mount Dora two years ago from Orlando where he also worked as an artist. Although he recently completed a series of van Gogh-inspired paintings, Barrenechea had new appreciation for the complexity of “Starry Night” once he began the mural.
“It looks simple, but it’s very difficult with the number of tones used,” said Barrenechea.
(Publisher's note: On July 26, a City of Mount Dora Police Department code enforcement officer issued the homeowner a violation citing the painting was graffiti. Read more)