Artists Sue Martinsen and Kelly Meredith use Superior Quality Exterior Latex Sherwin-Williams house paint on each of the murals. Some of the murals are painted on boards in the indoor studios of Sue Martinsen/Kelly Meredith while some are painted directly on the buildings. Kelly Meredith always paints the faces to keep the murals consistent. Upon completion, they apply a sealer especially made for murals that was developed in California. The sealer forms a polyurethane surface. By the time they are ready to apply the sealer, the scaffolding is down. So, they use a lift for this final step in the process.
The Ashland community seems to be a conducive place for mural painting. For instance, there has never been a problem with graffiti on the murals. Also, the artists feel safe in just leaving their painting gear when they leave the various sites. It is always there and untouched when they return. Perhaps the murals are treated with respect because the community as a whole feels such a strong a sense of pride in them.
Susan Prentice Martinsen
Susan Martinsen of Ashland, Wisconsin has been painting murals in the Upper Great Lakes area since 1998. In addition to her independent work, she and Kelly Meredith have produced 20 murals together, many of them the largest in the region. Susan paints with fluid, painterly style that emphasizes drawing and powerful lighting, which works well for murals. Susan maintains a studio in Ashland at 415 Main Street West, which is open to the public 9am-12pm weekdays.
Kelly Meredith works out of a building in downtown Butternut, which was once the local heating and plumbing store. The back of the building is used as her studio, and the front has been converted into Fanatical Fish Gallery, where she shows her work and the work of other area artists. She has been a full time muralist since 2003 and continues to paint murals in the northland and beyond. Fanatical Fish is located at 108 N Main Street in Butternut and is open whenever she is working in her studio.