Roof Art

Roof Art

Roof Art has been around for years. Normally the artwork is a theme of what the business is. Like different colors of shingles like that of a Minnesota barn, weaved into a 70 foot design of a brown and white dairy cow, or a bright yellow shark on top of a flat roof of a biological field station in the Bahamas. There are many art designs on roofs I have seen, but the coolest roof art of all . . . . is in Seattle Washington.

Marlis-PetersonMarlin Peterson an artist, was commissioned by Washington State Art Trust to paint a mural anywhere in Seattle. Marlin’s typical murals are on city walls but he wanted to change it up a little and after gaining permission with the Seattle Center Armory, he began his next mural on the roof. Being just below the famous Space Needle, Marlin would have a fresh audience everyday. One can only imagine what goes on in the mind of an artist and how they pick their next subject but I really like this mural and I am amazed at how realistic the two character’s turned out to be.

Marlin Peterson SpiderBuilding a model himself, using lighting to create shadows and with simple math, he came up with a design for his roof art. He prepared the slightly pitched, mineral surfaced roof by sweeping and scrubbing off seagull droppings. Marlin said to me that, “at first the seagulls were frightened by him but soon returned to inspect his work and deposit more droppings daily.” In a short 2 1/2 weeks, Marlin completed a pair of Daddy Long Legs crawling across the roof top of the Seattle Center which is a Food Court at this time. One spider spanning almost 100 feet the other about 80. The correct name for these spiders is Arachnids. { A-rack-nids } They are in the scorpion and tick family and are said not to be spiders at all.

Roof ArtMarlin Peterson started this mural in 2012 and the mural is still there. . . . as of this blog writing. The Daddy Long Legs roof art has been maintained every few years by Marlin and will be there until the roof is redone. Hopefully long enough for you to see for your self from the Seattle Space Needle.

For more information about Marlin Peterson and his art please visit his website and Facebook. Use of these photos is restricted. Please respect Marlins art.

Check out the video.



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About author

Bob 270 posts

Since 2005 Bob has been answering questions, free of charge, here at With a strong background in residential roofing and provides a practical and simple answers to hundreds of roof related questions, so it is easy to understand the issues you may have with your roof. Our answers are free so feel free to ask what you want. Use the green question box to contact myself or I have spent ten years as a union shingler, seventeen years as a California licensed roofing contractor with a general contractor endorsement and since Feb. of 2005 a roofing consultant. If I don't know the answer to your question, I will point you in the right direction.

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  1. Belinda
    August 06, 02:22 Reply
    So creative & talented! They look real!
  2. Jesse
    August 06, 14:55 Reply
    Woah. I love the creativity in this so much. It's got to be pretty difficult to achieve the proper perspective when you're looking at this thing from the painter's angle...respect.
  3. theMacgyver
    August 06, 18:25 Reply
    Where I was raised we called these Grand-daddy Long Legs. I'd call this pair Great, Great, Really Great Grand-daddy Long Legs!
  4. Jules
    August 06, 22:50 Reply
    Wow! Cool! (Coming from a girl who despises spiders!)
  5. Rod
    August 07, 19:14 Reply
    Interesting article. I've always liked the idea of using roofs for creativity....within reason. :)
  6. Brenda Smith
    March 02, 06:27 Reply
    Wow, such a great art work...they look so real. anyone will be freaked to see from sky.
  7. KB
    May 02, 20:00 Reply
    Wow...I HATE spiders, but this is wicked cool. Maybe I'll surprise some friends with this kind of artwork someday
  8. Terry
    January 24, 18:08 Reply
    How cool is this??? Do you think you could paint on TPO? WoW! I love this Blog!!

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