Produced this imposing mural over 4 nights in a new restaurant in Elliott's Field Retail Park in Rugby.
The brief was to convert a serving hatch behind the food counter and to somehow make it appear to look like a New York Food Truck. Considering the size of the wall and the imposing nature of such an area, the challenge was an interesting one, especially since I had to create the illusion of some perspective to allow for the street scene to the left to have any impact.
If the truck and the buildings had been flat to the wall (which would have been the easier option perspective wise), then the painting would have lost its slightly dramatic feel.
Creating some form of perspective illusion also allowed me to incorporate the angle to the left in the actual wall, and to make the corner of the buildings with the pavement. Road crossing markings also help to make a feeling of space and to lead the eye in.
The finished painting is quite dramatic in that it is pretty much lifesize… so the visitor to this restaurant ends up looking up at this van with the scene, perhaps simplistically wanting to step into the picture.
All of these pictorial devices, although simple, would hopefully just be noticed in passing by the visitor and do the job of altering a flat wall!
Review of the restaurant Midtown Eats in local newspaper in Rugby
CLICK HERE FOR RESTAURANT REVIEW
Working on a period Georgian property in Edgbaston.
Room 1 Sitting Room - Usual cracked coving, blown and cracked plaster and woodwork repairs...Some particularly bad. Sash windows and shutters renovated and brought back to excellent condition.
Room 2. Dining Room. Whole room re plastered, sash windows renovated, usual repairs to woodwork, 3 coats to ceiling and walls.
Another gilding /gold leaf job. This time in a local Church - preparing an involved stencil design for the alcove behind the Our Lady altar.
Day 1 to set up the scaffold tower and layout the design with laser level.
Day 2 to double and treble check the layout!
Day 3 - 8 (today) beginning the process of gold leafing. The photo is at start of Day 9.
And on to the end of Day 12. Gilded most of the wall...corners and curves demanding more attention. Outside Arch detail gilded ready for design to be stencilled over!
Stencil being applied to curved detail of arch. A simple fleur de lys and cross design custom drawn to fit the space and overlay the gold.
I was approached to create a gold leaf stencil design for the main wall behind the altar in a chapel.
Once the wall paper was removed, it became clear that the wall was in need of replastering before painting in Pugin Red from the Dulux Heritage Paint Range.
Onsite measurements were made to plan the stencil design. Being well prepared is always the best way.
Working with 2 emblems from one of the stained glass windows in the chapel, I created stencil motifs that could be repeated across the wall, relevant to the chapel and its users.
Laying out the complete stencil design had to be spot on and done carefully with laser levelling, since the plan is that the finished wall will last many years.
Gold leafing through a stencil is fairly straightforward if done with care and precision. I stippled the gold size through the stencil, being careful to avoid "bleeding", and then applied the gold; in this case 23 carat gold, supplied by Gold Leaf Supplies.
The most useful tool for this work is a soft haired mop brush for removing excess gold leaf!
Hopefully, the time taken in laying out the design shows on the finished wall. The gilding doesn't need varnishing or sealing, since real gold leaf will not tarnish or oxidise. It would lose some of its natural glimmer and sheen, which we wouldn't want!
Another satisfied customer!
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Spent a few weeks renovating this prominent building in central Birmingham right on the canal behind the Central Library. The rear windows were refurbished and painted up, repairs to guttering and slate roof, and a main weathered disintegrating side wall repaired and painted.
Renovating this canalside conservation and heritage cottage in Staffordshire involved repointing the chimney, repairing and painting all sash windows, cills, doors and barge boards from being in a dreadful state.
Plenty of 2 part resin was used to repair the woodwork, ensuring many years of solid protection, before finishing with Dulux Weathershield Exterior Wood Primer, Undercoat and 2 x coats of Gloss. Weathershield Masonry paint for the stone cills.
Spent a day painting some prominent Government leaders from recent British history in a school. This forward thinking primary school likes to inspire its children through multiple themed areas - great for development and awareness, especially in this 'British Culture' themed corridor. I was surprised how many of them knew at least 3 of the personalities!
This year is continuing as 2014 finished, with plenty of mural work to do. I have found myself being commissioned by a Birmingham school to design and paint all kinds of mural paintings.
Already completed are a "Gifted and Talented" staircase mural, including images of Stephen Hawking, a supersized Cristiano Ronaldo, several historical figures having a fantastical meeting (Cleopatra, Gandhi, Elizabeth 1st, Martin Luther King, Shakespeare, Florence Nightingale) - which all sounds slightly bonkers, but worked out very well.
I've also produced an art gallery in one school corridor with pretty good appropriations of Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dali, Claude Monet, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse and Gustav Klimt. I am still to make some gold leaf frames for a lot of these paintings!
Projects currently underway are murals for a "Reflection Area" where children can air their experiences and concerns to support staff, a corridor devoted to the idea of an Egyptian Museum with hieroglyphics, figure paintings and some display boxes for Egyptian artefacts. I will also be starting an historical timeline in a corridor very soon!
Given 4 weeks to transform this huge school hall to match its new branding, changing the colours from greens to blues. Scaffolding was erected throughout the room in order to reach the 9 metre high ceilings. Plenty of cracks were found up there, which were dealt with before 2 coats of vinyl silk were applied over the whole room. Years of cracking paint coats were ground off the radiators before being primed and sprayed. Skirtings, dados and doors finished with gloss.
What a way to spend the Autumn months, restoring the exterior windows and doors of Thomas Telford's historic Beech House in Ellesmere, Shropshire, overlooking some of the most wonderful countryside in the UK. Reputedly his offices while designing the canals and bridges of this part of the world, there is a real feeling of the period nature in this area.
Of course, there was work to be done - which was very involved, needing a thorough going over to make the sills and woodwork watertight and well finished - 38 windows in all, and 7 doorways.