After sketching the design on the blank wall in pencil, the artist painted the mural from top to bottom, bringing out the image like sunlight illuminating a scene as it emerges from behind a cloud. This brightly colored mural depicts a field of orange California poppies—the state flower—and purple lupines under a dramatic sky with brilliant sunbeams. Rolling green hills in the background create depth in the painting while closer up, monarch butterflies flutter and families of quail move through the undergrowth. The rocks and soil at the bottom of the mural seem to blend the street into artwork, as if the piece were a window into an idyllic nature scene.
Mohamed “Slim” Soumah is a local artist originally from the Republic of Guinea in West Africa. His design for Under the Sun, selected out of eight submissions from Bay Area artists, would be his first commission in the United States. It wouldn’t be his last, however, as he completed another vibrant mural shortly after on the side of Antonio’s Nut House on the corner of California Avenue and Birch Street.
Around the front of the building, the theme of California poppies continues in Sun Flowers, a sculptural seating area by Jennifer Madden and Jeffrey Reed.