What so special about a mural?
It’s not decisions regarding color or line—those are the same as in a traditional painting. The rules of composition remain constant—creating an eye path, establishing focal points, addressing the edges, distribution of light. Similar tools are employed: paint, brushes, rags, gloves, mixing knives. So what’s different?
Your first guess might be scale or size, but by definition a mural can be small as a mouse or big as a house.
Here’s the answer. It’s the wall.
Painting on a wall isn’t like painting on a canvas. First of all, there is no give. You can’t rotate it or put it on the floor. Depending on the surface, it can absorb the paint like a sponge or mute the colors into chalky pastels. There may be cracks, doors, or pipes protruding. Creating a mural is committing an image to a particular space and accepting the transitory nature of ownership and weather. After all, you can’t take it with you.
In honor of my upcoming birthday, I wanted to do something special, an impractical piece unintended for an exhibit or series. So I painted a mural.
Step 1: get rid of the cobwebs on the wall
2: Map it out
3. Put in the shadows (At this stage, I’m questioning my sanity and the wall is getting bigger. What will the paint cost? How many times can I go up and down this ladder? )
4. Embrace the drips.
5. Six hours and three days later, I think I’m done, but no. I awaken to color that looks too high-key. More neutrals are in order. Good thing I still have that ladder I borrowed from my neighbor Elke.
I just hope my landlord approves.
My birthday party is tonight and I made my guests party favors. I drew another version of the mural, cut it up and voila! Bookmarks! I guess sometimes you can take it with you.
I always learn interesting processes from you. Happy birthday, dear girl!
Sawaadhee wann kööt khun Amy, best of wishes for your birthday! I love your mural and the development of your thoughts of how the wall will treat your painting on it. Thanks for sharing! Kop khun maag kha, greetings from Spain
Amy, I am sure your landlord will love it. It is Thailand in a creative, colorful, wonderful expression. Thank you for sharing the process.
I’m sure it will be hard for you to leave it but think about the joy you are spreading around the world leaving pieces of your art everywhere.
Love love the verticles, the way you’ll look at it and be uplifted! Happy Birthday!
Happy birthday my friend.
You are a marvel of creativity.
You just increased the value of your apartment many-fold!!!
Love it. Love the ladder. Happy Birthday to YOU!
Love it. Happy Birthday!
Wow! First: Happy Birthday, Amy.
Second: What a bold task you under took.
Third: What great success!
Fourth: Fantastic ‘favors’!
Fifth: Happy Birthday, Amy. xx
Your love of life is contagious. Happy birthday!
Wish I was there, Amy. Looks vibrant and makes me feel good.
I want to be there. I want to be there. Oh, happy day! What a fun party!! You inspired me to chose a wall. What the heck! It’s just paint! Beautiful mural.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMY! Enjoy your special day! Look forward to seeing you at WWB in November.
This is so epically cool – only you! Happy birthday!
You have inspired me and now I am going around my house looking at walls and having very different thoughts of how to decorate them. Lots of fun! Many thanks