I had the good fortune to be asked to paint a couple of Murals (a painting executed directly on a wall) recently at brooklodge Nursing home, The intent was to add some colour and familiarity to the walls for the residents.

One of the murals was for the wall of the dinning room and it decided that an Irish dresser would best fit for the location.  Irish dressers were a common sight in many Kitchens of the past with the Irish Museum of country life describing them as “the most valued piece of domestic furniture in the Irish home, as it was the way in which the wealth and status of the household was displayed. The dresser gave the maximum storage space for the area it occupied, with storage for food, pots and butter making utensils. It was made from pine and was painted to give it a rich, attractive appearance”

I outlined the design on the wall to fill a space between two long vertical light and above a radiator. I began by blocking in the items, which included cups, plates, books, a teapot and a vase of flowers, after that it was simply a matter of adding depth by including shadow and highlights in three or four passes.

The second Mural was located in a residents room, I want to paint an image that was built around the interest of the occupant, which was a love of literature, in particular the English romantic classic of high social intrigue by authors like Jane Austen and Emily Bronte. I settled on a window motif overlooking a Landscaped garden, in  the style of the great English manor houses of that time period. I also included a woman enjoying the surrounding as she reads, and a inquisitive Owl looking back at the viewer. Owls were also a personal favourite of the room’s resident.

I kept a strong sense of perspective to give the mural a hint of the trompe l’oeil (which is art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions).

Like the other mural i began by blocking tin the major shapes in a mid tone, then added depth and definition by laying up shadow and highlights.  All the Murals were hand painted using Windsor and Newton Acrylic paints.

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