Artistic designs


Think you’ve seen some beautiful homes along the Sussex seashore? Check out muralist Damon Pla’s portfolio — they’ll stretch your perspective.
Or, stop by his studio in Bethany Meadows and view a few up close. Pla’s place will be a new stop on the Southeastern Delaware Artists Studio Tour (SEDAST) this year. SEDAST — set for Friday, Nov. 25, and Saturday, Nov. 26 — is a self-guided point-to-point, with stops all along the Route 26 corridor at local artists’ working studios.
Coastal Point • SAM HARVEY: Damon Pla, at his home studio, is featured in this year’s SEDAST.Coastal Point • SAM HARVEY:
Damon Pla, at his home studio, is featured in this year’s SEDAST.

Admittedly, Pla doesn’t have as much on canvas as some of the hosts — he is a muralist, after all. But with the recent arrival of his baby girl, Maya (14 months), Pla said he was looking to settle down a little.

“I’m working on a transition to more canvasses and prints, so I can stay at home more often,” he noted.

Pla hails from Miami, and his larger-than-life artwork appears all over Florida, from classy villas to upscale clubs, from Pompano Beach to Boca Ratón.

Some pieces are fantastical — Lord Poseidon looking down from a circular ceiling, or a brick dooryard leading into an impossibly beautiful pastoral scene. And some are really, really large — his “Whale Fluke,” down in Fort Lauderdale, is 9 feet high and 70 feet long.

That’s a lot of scaffolding.

“I like to work big,” Pla pointed out.

Being from the tropics himself, he said he favored the tropical look.

“I love my palm trees and my banana leaves,” he grinned. But he said he’d started getting a little tired of the static Florida weather and moved to Delaware a couple years ago for a little changing of the seasons.

“I love Bethany Beach,” he said. “I like how it gets really busy in the summer and then it’s empty in the winter — best of both worlds. In Florida, it’s kind of the same crowd all the time.”

He picked up his first commission at Bethany Resort Furnishings and said work had just started piling in. Pla said he’d done quite a few homes in the area and was beginning to work with some more local landscapes.

Getting involved locally, he said he had agreed to paint a mural inside the new Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.

“I’m looking at something that incorporates a few different sections from the fire trucks, maybe some American flags,” Pla said. “I want to do something that creates that ambience of what the firefighters are.”

He said he might set up a camera for some stop-action footage of the work in progress — something he’s done on a few of his works to date. It’s an interesting view, and Pla will no doubt run the computer program for SEDAST participants, if they ask.

The tour – with a chance to visit Pla’s studio and those of many local artists — runs Friday, Nov. 25, and Saturday, Nov. 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. For more information, call (302) 539-4092 or visit the Web site at www.artstudiotour.com.

And to learn more about Pla, try the Web site at www.damonpla.com (you’ll need Flash) or call (302) 537-6945.