Other murals included Jeff Pierson's detailed work on the "Fathers of West Virginia," including Lincoln, and Charly Jupiter Hamilton's colorful take "Battle of Charleston," according to FestivALL Charleston's website.
Nelson is familiar with the process, having painted a pier in the first phase of the public art project. His stylized sternwheeler can be seen along Washington Street.
He said his boss pushed him to participate in the project after he did a cartoon caricature of her, calling it the "Molly Llama." She liked the picture, and after reading about the pier project in newspapers, she urged him submit a proposal for the Charleston project.
The imagined design took shape with the help of photos of Civil War re-enactors and a grid. He drew and colored the design on a grid and then used it as a guide on the pillar, a common method used by the project's artists.
Nelson took the week of June 20 off from the state Department of Health and Human Resources, where he works as the director of the office of the inspector general, to work on the project. He worked 10 hours each day that week sketching the soldiers, cannons, flags and President Lincoln onto the concrete.
Since then, he's worked weekends and evenings, weather permitting, on the painting. He said he enjoys working outside and that people often stop to talk to him about the painting. Most of the comments he said have been positive.
"Somebody stopped dead in the middle of the road last night," Nelson said, gesturing over to Virginia Street. "It was a gold colored Pontiac. He yelled, 'Hey man, that's awesome.' "
He said the work is moving along quickly now. He has detail work to finish and still has to put the script on the proclamation with Lincoln.
Nelson estimated his pier would be completed by the second week of August.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.