I felt as if I had swallowed one of Alice’s funny pills when I found myself drawing and painting on a twelve foot wide span of wall rather than a 5″ x 5″ wood panel.  I adore painting large….. the larger the better.  I have not fear of blank walls. They cry out for illusions of space, expansion of landscape and sometimes for pure fantasy.

First stage of Dining Room Wall Mural

To add to the Alice in Wonderland experience, the paint is not what it seems.  The plan is to create a ghost image similar to the landscape view from the client’s back patio.  The darkest dark will not be much darker than the value seen in the image above.  The paint dries at least three shades darker than it looks when applied to the wall.  As we paint tree trunks over  the mass of background foliage the trunk looks to be much lighter than the foliage.  As it dries, the trunk totally disappears when it becomes the exact same value as the foliage.  Slowly it becomes visible again as it dries darker than the foliage.  Quite the challenge!  We paint ….. and then we wait.   We paint …… and then we wait.  We laugh at the absurdity of it as the mural begins to take form as if by magic.

We are using latex paint, light and dark variations of the exact wall color.  This is the first collaborative mural project that Xochitl and I have done together.  Though our personal painting preferences are quite different, we are both flexible enough and skilled enough to meet on common ground, bringing our strengths together.  We work well as a four armed artist.  I can be on a ladder, unable to judge where the branches should be painted with my invisible paint, with Xochitl acting as the eyes and brain of the artist directing my hand left, right, up or down.  We are already looking forward to working together on more murals …. the bigger …. the better.

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