Slowly but surely, the mural on the side of Boyd Tire and Appliance is taking shape.
Artist Seth Gadsden, a Clover native, has been working on the project since the end of May, when his concept painting for the project was unveiled at the Larne Building.
"Things are coming along," Gadsden said. "The more I get into it, the more I like it."
As the temperatures soared this summer, Gadsden started working on the mural at night.
He lugs several lights into the parking lot on North Main Street each night he paints.
The artificial light produces less glare on the wall, which still has large expanses of a bright white undercoat, than sunlight.
Earlier in the summer, the early morning glare off the wall limited the amount of work he could do in the mornings before temperatures climbed into the 90s. Gadsden couldn't see well enough to do any detailed painting.
And it is the detailed nature of the massive painting that catches the eyes of passers-by as the greenery depicted seems to grow out of the wall, and the mass of red, yellow and orange balloons - each individually shadowed to give a sense of depth - floats above the long grass.
Though Gadsden has spent the majority of his time working on the mural alone, he has had some help along the way.
Phoebe Berkel, an art student from Hampshire College in Massachusetts, spent a few weeks in Clover as Gadsden's assistant, and two weeks ago, one of Gadsden's friends from Charleston, where Gadsden attended college, spent a week helping him.
"It is easier with a second set of hands," he said. "Especially when it's someone who knows what they are doing."
Gadsden also spent a day earlier this summer working with a group of children from a YMCA day camp program. The children worked on sections of the wall near the ground, where Gadsden and Berkel had outlined the design with thin black lines.
The kids stayed within the lines for the most part, Gadsden joked.
Though he originally planned to be finished by the end of the summer, Gadsden now hopes to wrap up the project by the end of October.
In addition to the heat, several rainy days have also held progress on the mural back at times.
The detailed nature of the concept, as well as the highly textured brick surface, also have slowed him down, he said.
"For most (other) cases, I'd really pay attention to the texture of the wall and not so much on the detail of the painting," Gadsden said. "But this is my hometown, and we really couldn't find a smoother wall that size."
Gadsden is not worried that the project is taking longer than initially planned. Supplies are still within the project budget - as much as $9,000 approved by the Clover Town Council to come from hospitality tax revenue, which must be spent on tourism related projects - and since he's moved in with his parents, he doesn't have to worry about paying rent while he finishes.
One benefit of the project taking longer is that several Clover High School art students will have an opportunity to work on the mural alongside Gadsden.
"I'll probably go into the class the day before to talk to them about the mural," he said.
To offset the amount of hospitality tax revenue spent on the project, Gadsden and the town of Clover have been selling promotional postcards that carry a chance to win the 5-foot-long concept painting, on which the mural is based. Those cards are available at Town Hall, the Clover Chamber of Commerce and various downtown businesses.
Once the mural is complete, the town will host a dedication ceremony, during which the concept painting will be raffled off.