la jolla

Sending Champagne Wishes and … Quarantine Dreams

A San Diego muralist didn't let a lost commission get in the way of brightening up a bland alley in La Jolla

"Quarantine Dreams"
Hanna Daly

A Carmel Valley mural artist transformed a bland La Jolla alleyway this week with a post-pandemic wish list.

"I just finished it a half-hour ago," a slightly breathless Hanna Daly told NBC 7 on Wednesday afternoon, adding that the reception to the still-damp artwork just off Pearl Street had been great. "I sometimes forget how friendly and amazing people are. So many stopped to say they loved the color…. Probably half the people that stopped to talk had done some work themselves or were inspired by what we were doing or offered to help."

The end of Day 1

Daly was originally hired by the owner of the Fresheria -- Be Fresh restaurant to paint a drip mural, but that plan hit a pandemic snag, for obvious monetary reasons. Daly, though, asked if she could still paint a mural, and the owner offered to pay for materials. Daly, though, took those funds and paid it forward, turning them over to her freshly furloughed assistant, Carli, and used leftover paint instead.

So, instead of a drip mural, Daly needed a subject to paint.

"The cool thing is that when we were out painting it, I didn’t know exactly what I was going to paint," Daly said. "I had some ideas. The first day we just put down the colors."

And then, inspiration struck the two muralists, and "Quarantine Dreams" was born.

"All of the things we're missing out on right now -- we’d ask people's opinons and added stuff," Daly said.

Soon, they had added images of a glass of wine with friends, a sloth -- presumably at the San Diego Zoo -- a soccer ball, a pencil (somebody was missing school, we're sure) and, of course, a surfboard. We're a little confused about who was missing their alarm clock, though ...

Daly has been brightening walls for quite some time. In the 15 years since she started, she's created murals for Rady Children's Hospital, the Night Owl bar in PB, even done a six-story geometric piece of eye candy near the intersection of Ohio Street and El Cajon Boulevard near North Park.

Happily for La Jollans but sadly for Daly, she had lots of time available to paint "Quarantine Dreams" this week.

"It's gonna get pretty tough right now," Daly said, adding that she just completed a work at Rady's recently and had been told that if the painting had gone on much longer, it could have been months before she was able to back into the hospital. She said that with stay-at-home orders affecting so many of her normal roster of clients -- private schools, elementary schools, restaurants and bars -- she has lots of time free for work for private clients.

So go ahead, brighten your life -- and Daly's day -- by contacting her for a private commission.

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