When Joseph Giarratana got the chance to paint the annual Christmas display on the front windows of Red Apple, he didn’t think twice. The mural is a seasonal tradition, he said.
“It’s festive, brings people in, makes it nice and fun,” he said. “I like it, too, because you’ve got the school over there, so the kids enjoy it, too.”
Giarratana started work on the display a few days after Thanksgiving, sketching the outlines of Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman in washable glass markers. It was the first time he’d created a window mural like that, he said.
But he’s been an artist since he was a boy. He began drawing as a kid in the 70s, he said — he started with puzzles, learned to love pastels and branched out from there. One day, he said, he’d like to teach a class about the things he’s learned.
“Just drawing stuff — basic stuff,” he said.
“Because everybody’s like, ‘Oh, art’s so hard, I can’t do it!’ It’s not really that hard! Can you draw a straight line? Can you draw a circle? If you can do that, I can teach you.”
Lately his pieces have gotten bigger. He painted a tiki mural on the wall of the bingo hall where he works; then the Red Apple window display. Now if all goes well, he said, there will be more to come.
“I’m trying to see if I can get some stuff out there,” he said. “See what happens.”
This story originally appeared in the Winter 2018-19 issue of the Mountain View Post magazine.