LIFESTYLE

Greencastle resident creates unique mini murals

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Mike Vaughn added beauty to vacant space behind his villa. Several construction pieces have been idle for some time so he added some artwork.

Mike Vaughn tackled a beautification project on his own. The retired Mack Truck engineer moved to Greencastle a decade ago with his wife Diane, and idle construction equipment marred their view for years.

A neighbor on Moss Spring Avenue suggested he do something about it.

Vaughn, a self-taught artist, first took his paintbrush to the concrete cylinders and steel bucket in 2014. He wanted scenes that were pleasant to look at for all the residents in his row of villas. He painted rural settings, gristmills with waterfalls, and a marsh with pheasants, ducks and other wildlife.

The property developer was unaware of his activities for some time, but upon discovering the images, was supportive.

Late start

Vaughn, 80, began the painting pastime in his late 60s. His son had told him he needed to do something to occupy his free time. The budding artist took a few classes and focused mostly on oils. A sunroom became his studio. His home now features many of his works.

“I think this will carry me through the rest of my life,” said Vaughn.

He is expanding into other subject matter, including still life and portraits. He even has plans to spiff up an abandoned trailer in the vacant lot behind his home. He is leaning toward an Edouard Manet reproduction.

Vaughn thinks communities could use his idea to transform ugly buildings or sights in town. For minimal expense, and with volunteers, painted surfaces could make the area more appealing to residents and visitors.