OK, I probably should not pick favorites, but I think the projects I most enjoy are murals where I get to create a scene from scratch – which was confirmed by how much fun I had on my recent job of painting this 2-wall mural for a 7 year-old girl’s room in Brookline!
When I met with her parents to talk about their thoughts for the mural, I got fantastic input – but I had a pretty open slate to work with! The over-arching concept was a garden – very loosely based on the book “The Secret Garden”. From there, we just brainstormed on the different elements they wanted in the scene – with input like including a gate or arch, giving it a slightly Japanese or eastern feel, making it look like a garden but also like it is wild, including a path to a different section of the scene, including a few birds and animals, including a rope swing and including specific flora like a cherry tree, irises, daffodils and lupine. From there, it was up to me!
Below is a picture of the walls I had to work with before I started the mural:
Because this project had so many elements involved, I wanted to start the collaboration with a pencil sketch and I sent this first take below:
With this design, I used the hedge on either side of the gate to act as a wall between the foreground and the background. This helps create a sense of depth - but also plays with the idea of something hidden/to be discovered on the other side of the gate. In the foreground, I wanted to hint at the hand of a gardener in a planned space - but also make it look a bit more wild and magical - like a mysterious abandoned yet beautiful space begging to be explored. To get the Japanese/eastern flare, I used a Japanese style gate as well as tiered and manicured trees I found in pictures of Japanese gardens pictures.
Everyone loved the concept, so I was on to creating my paint sketch. To do this, I create a scale version of the mural using the exact paints I plan to use on the final mural. Following are these concept paintings for the 2 walls:
I met to review these with my clients, and they were happy with everything exactly as I had planned it! With the concept approved, I was on to painting on the walls!. Following are shots of the various phases of painting the final mural: