ARUNDEL — If you think it was easy to create the largest billboard-sized postcard in New England, think again. But the end result is something Danie Connolly is proud of and something that tourists will soon enjoy close up and personal.

Harkening back to classic postcards of yesteryear, the artwork is 15 feet high and 25 feet long and based on traditional “Greetings from Maine” postcards from the 1950s. It is one of the first things visitors see approaching the new Maine Classic Car Museum in Arundel and captures the essence of some of Maine’s most memorable events, iconic characters and landmarks while weaving in classic cars from the museum’s collection in each letter spelling out M-A-I-N-E.

“Tim Stentiford of Motorland commissioned me to design and create this postcard billboard based on an old-fashioned postcard for the new classic car museum,” Connolly said. “Tim is a purist and he knew exactly what he wanted. I knew I had to make it as big as it could be.”

Connolly created dozens of drawings and sketches and then invited Stentiford, who founded the museum as a companion to his classic car business, to her Kennebunk home to brainstorm ideas for the would-be barnside masterpiece.

“She said yes right away when I asked her and we’re delighted that she jumped on board,” Stentiford said. “It has exceeded all my expectations and is a wonderful creative collaboration.”

To assist her in keeping her lines straight in the massive postcard, Connolly enlisted the help of her friend, Marley Raum.

“The surface of the structure we painted on had ruts,” Connolly said. “When you have ruts, you have to compensate for that and that’s where Marley came in.”

It took the two women about 10 days to finish the project, taking time out on Sundays, when it rained or trying to simply figure out how to work the cherry picker lift to paint the top of the postcard.

“It was an adventure to have both of us up high in the lift and then we couldn’t get it to work right,” Connolly said. “Turns out the battery was drained. We learned to keep the battery plugged in.”

Raum said she found the entire process to be an adventure.

“There was a lot of giggling going on,” she said. “Especially when Danie had all of the details spread out on paper at her house. Her poor husband had to squeeze in on the sofa just to watch television because every inch of that room was covered with design sketches. Even when we thought we knew what we were doing, we really didn’t.”

Amazingly, the postcard didn’t take an excessive amount of paint and came together quickly.

Connolly incorporated many recognizable Maine images and a few surprises into the postcard.

There’s Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport and overhead there is President George H.W. Bush skydiving on his 90th birthday. There’s the Wedding Cake House in Kennebunk, Dock Square in Kennebunkport, a camping scene and the Goat Island lighthouse. The postcard also contains images of an airplane, a lobster, lupines, a bear, watercraft and a Maine moose.

Classic cars on the postcard include a 1927 Packard that President Franklin Roosevelt rode in, a Volkswagen bus, a Woody wagon, an amphibious vehicle and a 1931 Cadillac.

Stentiford said he was thrilled to have Connolly depict the classic cars in her giant postcard.

“Classic cars represent our great history of industrial design,” he said. “This is gong to make a great selfie spot for photos, too.”

Connolly thinks her billboard postcard may be among the largest of its type anywhere and might someday make the Guinness Book of World Records.

“I’m interested in seeing if we can pursue that,” she said.

But for now, Connolly and Raum are basking in how visitors to the museum appreciate their work.

“For two little white-haired short girls in their 70s, we are having a blast,” Connolly said.

The “Greetings from Maine” billboard-sized postcard can be viewed at the Maine Classic Car Museum, 2564 Portland Road in Arundel.

 


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