SEAVIEW — It all started with an octopus and ended with a mermaid kissing a scuba diver.

A whimsical underwater mural — stretching 22 feet along a residential fence in Seaview — was painted to bring smiles and brighten the day of people passing by, and hopefully offer a brief reprieve from the on-going covid-19 pandemic.

The mural was the work of local artist Sherry Bosch and the final touch in a full restoration at Sea Nook Cottage, a vacation rental at 1101 34th St. in Seaview owned by Michele Marek.

“We wanted it to be whimsical but true to the Pacific Northwest,” Marek said Monday afternoon.

“I remodeled inside and out and when we put the fence up I thought of it as a big canvass. I wanted to do something special because a lot of people go by here. We thought we could create something that would make people smile.”

Finishing touch

Marek considered a wood carving but decided to commission a mural by Bosch, one of the first people Marek met upon moving to the area roughly three years ago from Long Beach, California.

Bosch started the acrylic painting in early July and finished in about two weeks, painting in increments to the amusement of people passing. The mural features a cast of creatures commonly found in the Pacific Northwest including jellyfish, starfish, crabs, as well as a treasure chest and sunken shipwreck, but it all started with one.

“We started with the octopus and one panel,” Marek said.

“It kind of developed as we talked about it. It was fun coming up with ‘What else can we put here?’ It was a fun, collaborative effort.”

It was the eighth mural that Bosch could recall over her career, but the first being painted on a fence.

Signs of improvement

The painting came after what had been a particularly tough stretch for local artists in the spring, when businesses, including art galleries, were closed to slow the spread of the covid-19 virus.

Bosch has since seen encouraging signs of recovery recently in the local artist community since restrictions have been slowly lifted.

“With the pandemic, people in Long Beach really seem to be trying to get artists going again financially. It’s just in the last couple months, as soon as they opened up things, people began buying and buying.”

The latest mural spawned three more commissions, Bosch said.

“I’m busy — really busy,” she said.

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