Whats a mural artist do anyway?

Posted: April 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Murals | No Comments »

Whats a mural artist do anyway?

Work on a grand scale!  This seems not to register with most, when I say the wall was 10’ x 50’.   And it took 10 days.
This work is labour intensive!
The wall area is layered over many times by the time I reach the finishing stage. So how many 500 sq ft is that?

When I had turned 60 my kids were already suggesting I slow down . Too hard on your body, especially for a small woman, they said. Not to mention the paint toxins. I appreciated they realized how hard this work is physically.

So when I reached 65 I was disappointed to find all my friends joking that I was questioning and wondering how I could still do this.. The ones my age were reminding me that they don’t stop at 65 but keep going… why are you even thinking of it, that’s just a govt. limit, they laughed.  These are people who know my work. Or so I thought.

Here is another level of this mural work. I don’t feel the physical strain. I am usually “beside myself” while painting and work at an incredibly fast pace. I don’t try to work fast, its just become part of the process. Clients, including myself are surprised at how much is accomplished in such a short time.

It is definitely a kind of wonderful Magic,  that I am trying not to analyze, for fear of losing it!  So perhaps I cant blame my friends, because it all appears to happens so effortlessly.

Another level is how the contracts come to me and what the content is. First of all I no longer search for them. My name is being passed around.  Mostly within the schools.There seems to be just enough of a time lapse between contracts for my shoulders to heal. The flow is always paced just perfectly t so I can accomplish the jobs pay my bills and feel contented that I am brightening the world & doing what I love..

I am amazed at the freedom clients give me to interpret their dreams. And always inspiring & uplifting dreams they are. To organize it, on a wall  in a way that  reads well and flows in harmony, is when I am in my element.

Storytelling…this is the key. The visual language is a language rarely used day to day. especially in schools, it seems. Drafting, composition, layout, dramatic angles, stylization and catching the most simple essence of a form, is a joy to conjure up.

Something from nothing! Students & teachers alike are mystified by the process of layering up to a finished piece. They are convinced I have no idea what I am doing till the third day.

Ancient symbols surface and reoccur, in the water ,sky or landforms. The energy flow around images, reveal themselves as unfolding spirals or repeating patterns. And sometimes I consciously include healthy water molecules, the star of unity or the sri yantra or the visica picis.

Colour! I can make no mistakes when I omit brown, grey & black! But feeling the effect of peach beside thalo green, or purple beside deep orange is a feeling I know the kids feel , without knowing how or why.

So I will continue to paint just as long as the contracts keep coming in. because I feel I am being supported by many. Mostly I feel my artist ancestors all lined up behind me whispering encouragement and inspirations.. Ahhh! I feel the release of all of us when we lay down our brushes after a happy day.


Written by Maureen Walton

Maureen Walton

Maureen is a mural artist in the Toronto area.

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