Summer garden mural project

During a summer like we have never know before, many people spent more time than ever in their gardens (if, of course, they were lucky enough to have one). Summer 2020 became the year of garden improvements, and what better way to make a dramatic change to a large, plain wall, than to paint a mural on it? 

I was invited to design a garden mural based on an Alpine mountain scene, using silhouette shapes and a blue/grey colour palette. 

The wall was first painted in a pale grey masonry paint, and then the mural painted on top. The wall was over 9 metres long, and took a lot of paint to cover! Lastly, 2 coats of varnish were added to help protect the mural from the elements for years to come.

From Nursery Mural to Bedroom Mural

It is a privilege to be invited into someone’s home to paint a nursery mural for them. I try never to take this for granted. Every project is exciting for its own reasons. However, painting a mural when someone is expecting their first child is always especially lovely. So, when almost 2 years after painting little Oscar’s nursery, I was asked to paint a mural for his new big boy bedroom, as he has a new baby brother on the way, I felt very lucky. I also added to the nursery mural I painted originally.

Original And New Projects

For the original nursery mural, I painted a pale blue cloudy sky, and hot air balloons. As a main feature I painted an old-fashioned teddy bear in the main balloon. I also added bunting, with Oscar’s name written on it.

While I used the same sky blue and old-fashioned teddy bear theme for the bedroom mural, this time I painted vintage airplanes. I have used sky writing to feature his name on the wall.

I used a palette of red, blue and yellow for the planes, because these colours are suitable for a boy’s bedroom, but still nice and bright and cheerful. The teddy bear in the plane is giving Oscar a little wave as he flies by! I hope Oscar enjoys his new bedroom, and being a big brother!

Scariest Project Yet?

Err, probably. A 20+ ft scaffold tower was not my favourite thing to be teetering at the top of. However, I think it was worth it in the end to create this eye-catching exterior mural!

Far From Home…

Relocation, relocation… I spent the last week up in Bolsover, working on the side of this fruit & veg shop. It’s been hard work, and physically very tough. There is nothing worse than climbing to the top of a scaffold tower, only to realise I’d left my paint brush back at the bottom etc etc. My mood was cheered however by the very friendly locals! Located next to the local Co-Op, I had many passers by who were so encouraging with their feedback. It seems the people of Bolsover love their new mural!

The project has taken 5 days to complete, including varnishing. I had to just get over my fear and started at the top and worked down. Last night, I finished with the lettering, and then varnished this morning.

I had much help and encouragement from Chris and Emma who own the shop, and who kept me going with their fabulous produce! Also many thanks to Jason who came and put the scaffold up and down every day! I hope you like the results…

Completion of Runnymede Murals

It’s back to my Runnymede Murals. I took a lovely holiday in between murals one and two of this project, so it’s taken me a while to get back to reality. Along the way, I have somewhat neglected my blogging.  But in between the unsettled weather I was able to finish all of the mural work on the lock house at Bell Weir. I was very pleased to have Crissy, who designed the second mural, come and help me finish painting on the last day, and sign her wonderful design.

Positive Feedback For Runnymede Murals

Members of the public have received the Runnymede Murals very positively. It’s always nice to work in a space where people can watch you paint. I enjoy meeting passers by and receiving their instant feedback! And I had people passing by both on foot and by boat. I hope people will enjoy the murals for a very long time to come.

The murals will be officially ‘unveiled’ this week, but unfortunately I am away working on a new project. I hope all the students who contributed the excellent designs will enjoy the day though.

Runnymede Magna Carta Murals day 3 and 4

“Freezing cold” is how I would have described myself by the end of Friday evening. But pretty chuffed to have pushed through and got the first mural completed. Or almost…for those paying attention, there are 18 shields on the wall, representing not quite all of the 25 Magna Carta barons, and the remaining 7 are due to go elsewhere on the building, which I’m hoping to do next week.

In order to get the lettering on the wall, I use the old-fashioned technique of drawing onto tracing paper (or in this case baking paper, as that’s what I had readily available) and then tracing through the back, holding the paper against the wall and tracing back over the lines, to leave the ‘ghost’ of the letters on the wall. Simple but very effective. However, when the wind is blowing strongly and you’re teetering at the top of a ladder, trying to blue tack baking paper to the wall is possibly one of the most infuriating exercises ever! I got there though, without having to chase escaped sheets of baking paper along the river…

So, I just need a big enough window in the weather to get those remaining shields on the wall and then varnish, and mural number one is all done! Pictures of progress at the end of days 3 and 4 are below.

Runnymede Magna Carta Mural Day 1 and 2

Day 1 and 2 at Bell Weir lock in Runnymede, painting commemorative murals for the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. Rain has unfortunately stopped play today, but as you’ll see from one of the photos below, the sun was glistening on the river at the start of the week. It has however been totally freezing, not helped by the fact that the wall is in shadow for most of the day. Back to wearing thermals!

I was really pleased to be joined by the students from East Berkshire college yesterday, who have designed the murals. I persuaded them to have a go at drawing part of the design on the wall, which they managed to do with a little bit of assistance and encouragement! Hopefully back on site tomorrow to carry on with the painting, and keeping fingers crossed that not too much damage has been caused by this mornings heavy rain…

Magna Carta Murals at Runnymede

22nd April 2015

I’m really excited to report that I’ve been asked by the Environment Agency to paint my second public mural along the River Thames, this time at Bell Weir Lock in Runnymede. This June sees the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta at Runnymede, and there are a whole host of celebrations planned. As part of this, local schools and colleges were asked to design 2 commemorative murals to be painted (by myself) on the walls of the lock keeper’s house at Bell Weir. The themes were ‘Magna Carta then’ and ‘Magna Carta today’. The winning designs have been selected and I am currently adapting them to go on the walls, hopefully starting next week! Having said that, after weeks of beautiful weather, the forecast is predicting rain from Monday…

Yesterday I met with the students, from East Berkshire college in Windsor, to speak to them about their designs, get a better idea of the inspiration for their work, and consult with them on any design changes I need to make in order to paint them as murals. I’m very much hoping that the girls will come and help me do some of the painting once the work gets going!

More updates here as this exciting project unfolds…