Over the years, I have had the pleasure to paint on the walls of family homes (like North Carolina Family Vacation) and businesses (like Music Making Mural). There is a story for each…and I remember them all.
Some murals start the story by the very question of what do on the wall which is quickly followed by why. Common to all is that the uniqueness of the space; be it the corner wall, around the door, down the hall, or to the side of the tub. To make beautiful, to add zing to a room, or commemorate events and to tell their stories, all start with a sketch and ends with a mural.
Often the mural is for the child transitioning into a new bedroom, due to an older sibling needing their own space or the arrival of a new little one. Another beginning is to design a mural where once there was a window (like Magnolia Niche) or restoration work on a once hand-painted scroll.
Other murals come about based on themes or the play of colors and patterns to be restated on the walls. Often I am given a clear theme for a mural such as Trucks, (like Toys at Work), Trains (like Steam Train), Castles (like Rainbow Castle), or Fairies (like Fairy Wishes), or beloved landmarks such as Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium.
Two murals came about as a solution for the request of ‘action’ that not every mom thinks needs to be on a wall. The child’s insistence for an “explosion” brought about the Volcano Mural and the request of “flames shooting across the wall” gave birth to the Dragon Mural.
The making of a nursery with a classic rocking chair is seen in Baby Cradle in a Tree. Turtle Crossing introduced all that was to come, and Floral Nursery was all about flowering plants climbing up the wall at floor level. Sometimes the story only unfolds by the personal requests as in Verdant Garden to include a straw hat and the ice-tea on the bench with fishing line dangling in the water.
The collaboration of the whole family can be seen in North Carolina Seashore Vacation. The dad handed me a sketch on yellow lined paper, mom found shared vacation photos, and the boys added what what they loved about family vacation. The painting of these murals with their stories all add up to this one overwhelming thought: my murals will be woven into someone else’s memories… to me I can not think of an honor greater.