Chesapeake Beach, MD

The Rod 'N' Reel Resort, located in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, has been a destination recreational area for decades. Owned by the Donovan family, it features more first class amenities than I can briefly list here, including restaurants, bars, a hotel & spa, 24/7 gaming facilities, and a full service marina hosting one of the largest charter fishing fleets on the Chesapeake Bay. It is an honor and privilege to have been called upon to contribute to this massive renovation project in the small town I call home.

The history of the town of Chesapeake Beach as a recreation destination goes back well over a century and is quite interesting. On this very spot, The Chesapeake Beach Railway ran straight from Washington, DC, unloading passengers who were eager to enjoy the bay breezes along the closest salt water beach (a welcome respite from the steamy DC summers) and the many amusements it held. A boardwalk stretching some 300 - 400 feet from shore offered restaurants, arcade games, a scenic railway, a carousel, live music at the band shell, a dancing pavilion, and a grand roller coaster called "The Great Derby" which opened in 1916. Along with swimming, boating, fishing, and crabbing, the adjacent shore provided pleasant picnic grounds, shady groves, scenic overlooks and even more sumptuous restaurants and hotels for overnight accomodation. There were also steamboats arriving from Baltimore that docked at the end of The Long Pier to disembark visitors who could walk the 2000 foot pier to shore or ride the little pier railway in if they chose.

The large scale murals I created for this project, which were printed on the Structurflex facade system screens by Rainier Industries, in Tukwila, Washington, were all based on actual postcards, photographs, and other historic materials generously provided by the Chesapeake Railway Museum which maintains a trove of the various documents and other paraphernalia of the railway and this town's rich, storied and colorful history.

The images were "painted" on full-size "canvases" (26 feet tall and varying in widths, the train scene being 128 feet across) into a 15" MacBook Pro through Photoshop CS6 using a 6"x8" intuous Wacom tablet. As you can imagine, there was a LOT of zooming in and out to capture all the details. Due to the size of the files (some were almost 7GB), I had to send them via UPS to the printer in Washington state on USB flashdrives.