Watch Wyland Paint His 101st Whaling Wall Mural in Seattle


Good morning, Seattle. Okay, you guys ready? All right. Let’s paint. Rock and roll. So my plan is to kind of paint this little
scenic area. So, this is Elliott Bay and the orcas do pass
through here, but we’ll recreate that on a grand scale. By having this mural, this is really a testament
for the city of Seattle that, “Hey, the orcas are beautiful, and to respect them, we need
to respect and protect our water.” That’s it and our art’s going to play an important
role and that’s why I’m here. This is going to be the best one, guys. We’ve got to make it the best one. Let’s go down when you’re ready. Rock out. This was an incredible project to repaint
one of my murals that I did here back in 1985 on the Edgewater Hotel. It’s a great canvas. The difficulties are that it’s right over
water, it literally hangs out. It’s tremendously challenging. It takes a lot of volunteers to make sure
everything’s safe and all the paints are mixed. I never thought I would paint more than a
hundred. 101 here we come. With the giant murals that I paint, imagine
a giant Polaroid with big bands of color slowly coming into sharp focus. Once I paint the ocean and the background,
the environment, then I imagine the whales swimming in it. It’s there and I want to do a 30 foot, a big
male kind of breaching across that area. These orcas that are featured in this painting
are actually from the J-Pod, which is a local pod of whales set that they had been studying
for many years. Got news that Eddie Vedder’s coming from Pearl
Jam. So Eddie’s going to sneak in here, I think. I’m very excited you’re here, Ed. So Eddie Vedder, one of my heroes for sure,
Pearl Jam, love those guys. He came up and actually got on the scaffold
with me. Can this guy paint or what? Am I going to have to fix it soon as he leaves? All right, how about a hand for Ed, my assistant
today? Pretty cool. Let’s do it. Yeah. All right. It looks really cool. All I’ve got to do now is finish it. Piece of cake. You know, the whole project from 1981 when
I did my first whaling wall in Laguna Beach, it’s always been about art and conservation
equally. And when I was a kid growing up, I was inspired
by Jacques Cousteau, I was inspired by Greenpeace and the first Earth Day and I thought to myself,
“Man, we’re damaging the very source of life on the planet, not only for these beautiful
whales that depend on clean water and healthy oceans, but for all of us.” So I thought, early on, that that art could
really play an important role in bringing the message of conservation and I decided
after I painted that first one in 1981 that I would do a hundred of these ocean murals. I couldn’t do it alone. Let me tell you, there’s been so many awesome
volunteers. The volunteers are really the backbone of
the Whaling Wall project. Just wanted to take a moment to put the glasses
in the air for Wyland, then we’ll toast and say, “Thank you very much for your art. Thank you for your support of our environment,
our clean waterways and healthy oceans. Wyland, you’re awesome.” I’ve been asked before, I’ve been very fortunate
in my life, a few great bands, bands I always looked up to invited me to either play live
on stage or record with them. You invited me up onto the scaffolding to
participate and actually throw down some paint. It felt very much like that working with another
great artist, so I really, really appreciate it. You’re the best, man. Continued great luck in everything you do,
and thanks for having us. I’m really proud of this mural. It’s a number 101, and I think it’s my best
one. We need an environmental Renaissance period,
and I think we’re in it. Art could play a very important role. I knew that from the beginning. And when you do art on a grand scale, it
really captures the imagination of people. And I’m all down for the kids. I think if we plant these seeds of conservation
in the hearts and minds of our youth, they’ll be world changers, they’ll be ambassadors,
and that’s why I’m here. Anyway, Seattle, thank you. Woo! Let’s sign this bugger. Here we go. Air, land, and sea. Thank you, everybody. Thanks, guys.

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