Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Woollahra Holdsworth Centre Mural

'The Hall' as it looked before I started.

Where as many of you may be familiar with my canvas and print work,
you may not be aware that I also do murals - i.e. paintings and drawings
applied directly onto a wall surface. In fact I do wall paintings as well as
furniture paintings, and am increasingly often asked to take on complete
re-styling jobs or interior decor projects for children's rooms and spaces.
Something that needless to say is so much fun!

One of my very first commercial Sydney murals was for the
'Holdsworth Community Centre' in Woollahra.

Having displayed and sold my canvas art here many times, the management
team were familiar with my work and when their 'Hall' needed re-vamping
they thought of me. (yay!) The room was in dire need of a colour boost and
one of the biggest concerns was the lack of life and vibrancy in the room.

The room is quite large and is used for an array of events and programmes -
including kids birthday parties, art classes, yoga, pensioner meetings etc etc.
In short - a large and varied group of people of all ages and genders.

The one thing that stood out to me when seeing the room was the gorgeous
park outside the windows at the back of the room and I felt it would be nice
to draw the theme and colours into the room itself. After drawing an initial
concept (and getting it approved!) off I went to apply the first very nerve-
wrecking freehand drawing of the motif onto the freshly painted wall..

All my mural work is done 'free hand' and this very first step is the most
important and difficult. I prefer this method to ensure each mural is unique
and that it gets that true 'hand made feel'. That said, I am a bit of a perfectionist
when it comes to line work and I often get compliments for my tidiness.

The next step is to fill in the bottom layers of the motif - in this case
the tree trunks and branches framing the archway. A physical work out
I tell you, having to climb up and down a ladder for a good two days.
Each layer of paint is applied at least three to four times to ensure it is
opaque and vibrant. You can imagine the focus needed to ensure that no
paint strokes are applied outside the first layer, or I am in trouble! This
here is how the mural looked once some of the base elements were in
in place. As you can see I apply one colour at a time - so all things that
are supposed to be e.g. yellow are painted in one go, making sure I get
each colour nicely balanced across the motif. Next I apply other colours
until the whole picture is completed. In this case 6 days of intense work!

Many many (!) layers of paint later the mural was finally done....

Left hand side detail.

Right hand side detail.


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