Sometimes I paint on walls.
My garden mural. It is always in full bloom and there's never a weed to pull.
Mural painting in Megan Bay Estates, St. Thomas, USVI
One of three walls.
The illusion of the cobble stones covering the old driveway worked so well, guest walked around it. Another asked, if they had a problem with grass growing in the cracks of the stones?
The owners wanted an entry that set the mood to their home, adding beauty and a sense of tranquility.
They needed an area where they could display a new bronze sculpture, disguise two architectural niches flanking the front door, and correct a badly stained and paint-splattered driveway that led to the entry’s floor tile.
The owners are practicing Hindu, so I turned the niches into two garden gates, with the symbol of Om painted on them in gold. Beyond the gates are shaded trails dabbled with light and fallen blossoms, leading deeper into the gardens to an imagined place of quiet meditation.
I painted faux cobblestones on the stained driveway, (the stones end just below the flowers and blend up into the scene).
The grate in the lower right is a drain in the driveway, like the electrical outlet on the wall I needed to disguise it. The outlet is in the lower left curl of fern fronds. This close to the wall, you can see the line of where the wall meets the drive, but further up the drive the illusion works well.
Behind the Scenes
The home owners youngest child, a young man of three and a half years, inspected my work daily and had his own request. Each day I added an insect or lizard for him and his sisters to find hidden in the flowers.
He became more and more interested in the mural as it evolved.
On the last day he said, “We just need one more thing.”
“What would you like for me to do?”
“We need a big blue caterpillar so it can turn in to a big blue butterfly someday.”
I painted it at his eye level near the front door.
He nodded approvingly as he inspected it like an eighty-year-old art critic.
“Is the mural finished now?”
“Yes, it’s beautiful. You do very good work,” and he walked inside and closed the door.
That same week, I received a fun compliment from the local wildlife.
I’d just finished adding in the yellow impatiens around the base of the walls, and was standing back, twenty-feet or so up the drive, enjoying a cold drink and deciding what to paint next.
When two, three-foot long Green Iguanas hopped off the retaining wall nearest the street, scampered up to the mural and tried to eat the flowers.
The flowers I had just painted! Happily the paint dries fast.
They hopped and jumped at the wall several times, then stopped and looked at each other for a long moment, walked down the wall to the next batch of flowers and tried it again, before giving up and clambering back up the wall and into the bush.
They must have been watching for hours just waiting for me to move away, so they could hurry down and grab a delicious dinner.
I felt guilty, but enjoyed their compliment, and entertainment island style; leaping lizards.