It's just neat that there are creative people here in the (Ogden) valley who are willing to put up that kind of time and effort to get a mural. – Jake Songer

HUNTSVILLE, Weber County — The landscape in Huntsville is changing, thanks in part to some large barn murals that recently appeared.

Jake Songer, the artist behind them, said he never expected to work on such a large canvas.

“It’s a way different process,” he said. “I mean, these are acrylic paints, and they don’t mix, and they dry really fast.”

Songer, an oil painter by trade, said he started working on barns when the owners of an area landmark decided to restore it.

“So when we got it done, had it painted, it was still kind of a plain Jane," said Bill White, the barn's owner. "So I contacted a couple of local artists and they collaborated.”

Songer was one of the artists and ultimately the one who painted a logo on the barn. That caught the attention of another barn owner and then another.

“It’s just neat that there are creative people here in the (Ogden) valley who are willing to put up that kind of time and effort to get a mural,” Songer said.

The transition from the small canvas to large wasn't easy, he said. Songer had to learn to paint from a distance because making things look good from far away means a whole different picture up close.

“There’s no way to blend,” he explained. “So instead of blending, what I do is I use sort of a pixelating effect.”

Songer picked up that idea from 19th-century impressionist painters.

“The hardest part is, in order to get an idea of what you’re doing, you’ve got to come down off the ladder and run back about 300 yards and take a look at it,” he said.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of the work, Songer said, is being able to help build on what is often a passing first impression of his hometown.

“I like that this town has an identity, but this just kind of puts it out there a little bit more,” he said.

Email: manderson@deseretnews.com