Hand painted, interior and exterior murals for schools, office and private commission 
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Marvellous Murals for all kinds of interior exterior art decoration

Marvellous Murals
for all kinds of murals

mural artist paints murals for commission schools, commercial and public. 

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The day to day musings of a mural artist as he goes about painting marvellous murals
anywhere that people will let him.
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Woodland animals, the wonderful British weather and inquisitive children.

Posted on October 19, 2015 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello again,


Since I last updated the blog we have finished the boards for Dairy Meadow Primary School which we were working on, which featured the school s four ‘E’ words – Educate, Empower, Embrace and Enjoy. We decided to paint most of these in the Swale Arts Forum shop - Bourne Creatives - located in the Forum shopping centre on Sittingbourne high street. There was a bit more space there than in the studio and it meant we could hopefully draw people into the shop with our live action painting! Now the boards are all finished, so in the next couple of weeks we will make our way over to Dairy Meadow Primary school to fix the boards to the exterior wall and to make the entrance to the school a little brighter.


After this we had a local job in Rainham, painting a woodland animal tree in a little girls bedroom in a barn conversion. About a year ago we painted a Snow White mural for the same family, but now their little girl is older she’s moving into a bigger room and allowing her potential little brother or sister to have the Snopw White room! The new room was very high at one end and then sloped down to some full length windows. This was the perfect space for a large tree mural as we could paint it nice and big and fill it with lots of woodland animals, with a few cheeky squirrels and pretty butterflies dotted about the room. The room had recently been painted a pale pink, so we could paint the mural straight on top of this cutting down on preparation and back ground painting time. The whole mural took three days for us to complete and the little girl was very pleased with her new room!


Next, we started work at Vigo Village Primary school, in one of their playgrounds. They were after two murals at either end of the playground, that the children could play in front of and interact with to promote imaginative play. One mural was to be of a Theatre stage and the other of the inside of a spaceship with windows looking out onto space and other sci-fi related imagery! The first day was a bit of a disaster. The walls were wet from rain that morning and a fog hung in the air making everything cold and damp. We were optimistic, so decided to put up the gazebo and continue with the prep of the walls, keeping our fingers crossed for the sun to come out. The sun did not come out. Instead, after patting the walls dry, brushing them down and painting a magnolia undercoat, the heavens opened. And the wind picked up. And the temperature plummeted. So in our naive optimism, we went to the hardware shop and bought some plastic sheets, hoping to secure these to the wall and make a little temporary shelter for the walls from the pending rain yet still allowing the sunshine (at this point, we were still hoping for sunshine) to dry the walls when it got warmer. Well, first off, we bought the wrong plastic sheeting and attaching them to the walls was a nightmare. But after a lot of ingenious gaffer tape use and some precariously placed (and extremely heavy to lift across the length of a playground) bags of pavement salt, the sheeting was sort of secured and we hoped we had done enough to stop the paint from washing off the walls and making its merry way across the playground. We left it for a day, as the weather was still not sure what it was doing, but when we returned, our fears were partially realised. A lot of the paint had washed off the walls due to the heavy rain we’d had since we had painted them, but it hadn’t floated across the playground and made a magnolia pattern of waves and the paint that was on the walls was near enough dry. Happy days. For two days we had dry (yet very, very cold) weather, so we managed to get a lot of the painting completed and today we put the finishing touches on the spaceship mural, so now they’re both ready to be coated in an anti graffiti varnish tomorrow. Luckily we had allowed a bit of extra time for these murals as we are aware that the country we call home isn’t known for its good weather!


On the days that we were rained away from Vigo, we went to Wentworth Primary School and made a start on the murals in their foundation corridor. As this is the area of the school where the youngest pupils are, they wanted to make the space more colourful and inviting, so have commissioned us to paint some well known book characters on the walls These include the characters from ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’, ‘The Gruffalo’, ‘Room on the Broom’, ‘Elmer the Elephant’ and ‘The hungry, hungry Caterpillar’. So far, we’re about half way with the murals and still have ‘The gruffalo’ and ‘Room on the Broom’ characters to complete. But a few more days and this should be done! The pupils are loving watching us paint and quite often I’ll turn around as I have that uneasy feeling of eyes on me... only to be met by a group of small staring children, hurling questions and observations at me. They all have very positive comments though and for some reason are very insistent on knowing my name and which Disney princess is my favourite (it’s a toss up between Ariel and Aurora if you must know). We should get that finished this week and then it’s back to Furness Primary to paint another of their stairwells.


I hope you’re all prepared for the Halloween festivities in a couple of weeks (I’m taking my nieces and nephew trick or treating and I may possibly paint my face and walk around on my knees to try and nab a few sweets for myself!) and also for the clocks to go back this weekend – an extra hour of sleep, woo! Or because I am nocturnal, an extra hour of watching films at 2am, woo!


Don’t forget to check back in the next few weeks to see what we’ve been up to and until then, Happy (early) Halloween!


Jaime

 

The end of summer, primary schools, holidays, nurseries and chalk!

Posted on September 29, 2015 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Hey everyone,


The autumn is upon us! Now, I do love the sunshine and being warm (as long as it doesn’t tan me… factor 50 every day), but you just can’t beat this time of year. The autumnal colours of fallen leaves and low warm sunlight, wearing big fluffy cardigans and socks, hot drinks with marshmallows in and a big slice of cake, and not to mention Halloween and bonfire night - my two favourites! We were also extremely lucky this week to be treated to a super moon lunar eclipse. I stayed up until 5am to catch the whole spectacle and I’m so glad I did. I got so excited watching the moon get slowly devoured by the earth’s shadow and then turn an eerie deep burnt red – just magical. I pestered my boyfriend and his friend to stand outside and watch it with me, and I think once they’d gotten over the fact that I had pulled them away from the PS4 at silly o’clock, they quite enjoyed watching it.


Anyway, enough of my pro autumn/nature talk! Let’s talk about what work we’ve been getting up to! When I last wrote the blog we were just about to start at Dairy Meadow Primary school in Southall, painting book characters in their library hallway. This was quite a big job with lots of detail involved, so we enlisted the help of Adele and Chloe to keep us on track. First off, we painted the whole wall with a simple back ground of green grass and blue sky. Once this had been given two coats of paint and allowed to dry, we drew all of the characters over the top, placing them sporadically over the back ground. These included Percy park keeper, Mr Bump, the Gruffalo, The Twits, Elmer, the hungry caterpillar, Dennis the Menace, Rapunzel, Room on the Broom and various other favourites! This mural took us one week to complete.


Next, it was onto Furness Primary in Harlesden. They wanted their canteen painted all over in a pale yellow, then groups of heathy fruit and vegetables painted on the walls. The canteen was a large room, so a few tins of paint and a couple of days later we had finished prepping the walls and painting in the back ground colour. We could then begin to draw on the fruit and vegetables. Once this was done, we started blocking in the main colours and then we could go around and build up colour and detail. As the walls were so large we needed to up and down ladders quite a lot, but we managed to complete this room in one week. Alongside this room, Furness also wanted us to paint one of their large stairwells in the same pale yellow and then add a brightly coloured waving line down the entire stairwell on both sides. The initial prep and painting of the back ground colour again took us a couple of days to complete (and another three of four tins of paint!), but once this was done dean could spray paint on some bright wavy lines and then it was just a case of couching up these lines and hand painting on a few more colours. The stairwell also took us a week to complete.


After these two London jobs (early mornings and long drives for three weeks really take it out of you!) Dean was off to Borneo with his wife for a week to celebrate their anniversary, so I also had the week off. I went to the New forest for four days with my parents, which was so lovely. Lots of long walks with the dogs across heath land and through woodland, sleeping in a caravan, having a go at archery in the woods, wading through rivers, getting woken up at 6am by my mums dogs licking my face, eating far too many sweets and takeaways and unfortunately, a lot of getting caught in the rain! I didn’t really want to come back… but I GUESS I sort of missed my boyfriend and my own bed and my pet rat, Ghost.


So, after a lovely week of holidaying and relaxing, it was back to work and we got straight to sorting out the final organisation for the Chalk It Up! Sittingbourne Chalk Art Festival. I think Dean has written his own blog regarding the festival, so I won’t go into much detail, but it was a great weekend (if a little wet on the Sunday) and thank you to everyone that was involved. I had a great time painting flower and animal outlines on to the road and getting the children of Sittingbourne to help me colour them all in. Everyone did a great job and it was lovely getting kids involved in art and making the high street more colourful and playful.


After the chalk art festival, we began painting a mural for a young couple in Canterbury. They were expecting their first child, and so following some water damage they wanted a nice new mural painted in their nursery. They choose to have the background painted a lovely cool grey and then for white silhouettes of clouds to be painted on one wall and a white silhouette of a tree to be painted on the adjoining wall, with some contrasting brightly coloured simple birds to add some colour and fun to the mural. We started off by painting the grey back ground, and then drew the cloud and tree outlines and painted these in with white. For the birds, we made some stencils and then spray painted them on using bright colours that matched some of the décor they already had for the room. I loved how simple and elegant this room looked and it showed that you don’t have to have cartoon characters of garish colours for a nursery, but can keep it simple and modern with some fun elements. This mural took us three days to complete.


This last week we have been painting some wooden boards, again for Dairy Meadow Primary school, to be placed outside by their entrance gate. As they want the murals painted on boards this has meant we can paint them in the studio, rather than having to travel to London daily. Although that also means that the pupils haven’t had the opportunity to see the work progress, but hopefully they will enjoy the finished product! One of the boards has the school name and logo on and the other four boards each depict one of the schools core words – Empower, Enjoy, Educate and Embrace. We painted each board with a yellow boarder and a pale primary colour and then we have painted the core word (in the same font as the school logo) with a simple illustration surrounding it, it bright fun colours. Today I am varnishing the boards and then we can take them to the school and attach them to the wall ready to great people and add a bit of colour and interest to the walk way. The boards have taken us seven days to complete.


Coming up next, we have a Winne the Pooh mural to paint and after that a couple more primary schools which want play ground murals, book characters painted and another stairwell for Furness! Busy, busy, busy! But that’s how we like it!


Until next time, wrap up warm and take lots of walks through fallen leaves and take advantage of this glorious layer wearing weather! I will be taking a woodland walk myself later on this week to start collecting twigs and other foliage to make my Halloween wreath with!


Happy Autumn,


Jaime

 

Mr Tweedy and the Moody Mermaid

Posted on August 28, 2015 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (99)

They say that you shouldn't need to explain great art but it seems that some people will not be happy unless I explain my thinking about one of my recent excapades - The Montgomery Mermaid (otherwise known as Mr Tweedy and the Terrorist Beard)


When I was a boy I grew up in East Ham in London and we would go on holiday to Sheerness which was a popular destination for many Eastenders on their summer vacation. I always remember it as a vibrant exciting place full of colour. My Granddad was in the Navy during the war and afterwards he worked on the Estuary docks. He was a larger than life character and would tell me many stories about his exploits around the world. Some of the stories stretched the truth sometimes but they always kept me enthralled.

 

On one of our holiday trips to the island I remember my Granddad telling me all about HMS Montgomery which was an American Liberty ship built during World War II. The ship was wrecked off the Nore sandbank in the Thames Estuary, near Sheerness in 1944 with around 1,400 tonnes of explosives on board which continue to be a hazard to the area today. He told me all about how dangerous it was and went on to tell me a story about a mermaid that swam among the wreck and kept an eye on it. He told me that we mustn't annoy the mermaid by getting too close to the wreck otherwise she will just set off the explosives. It left an impact on me.

 

I've always had a fondness for the island and I like to get over there from time to time and create a bit of public art to brighten up the place and get people talking about this fantastic little seaside town as it has become quite forgotten in recent years. I wanted to create something this year for Promenade Arts Festival which is held on the island every year and when Chris Reed from Big Fish Arts told me that the theme this year was mermaids there was only one thing on my mind that I wanted to paint - The Montgomery Mermaid!

 

I went for the saucy postcard look with the colours and I wanted to give her a bit of a scowl as I didn't want her looking all happy that there was this potential man-made disaster dumped in her home. I think if she had a smile on her face that would be even scarier.

 

It certainly has got people talking! A man wrote a letter to the local newspaper complaining that he didn't like it and thought she looked like a terrorist. This got picked up by the national media and was shared across many platforms. Some of the comments online got really silly and the newspapers blew everything out of proportion but I was absolutely overwhelmed with the support and encouragement that I received from not only friends and family but also almost all that I met.

She may not be everyones cup of tea but she means a lot to me. She wasn't created with malice and I love her. I think my Granddad would certainly be a fan of all the stories people are creating about her. Get yourself down to Sheerness and find that forgotten beauty!


Railways and sock puppets - talk about varied!

Posted on August 3, 2015 at 4:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello again,

 

The Baileys opening was a success! Dean added finishing touches the morning of the grand unveiling and got it all finished just in time for the ribbon to be cut on the new seating space upstairs. Everyone seemed really pleased with it and the day looked like a great success with lots of people in fancy dress and lots of coffee and cake was consumed.

We then started work on a mural for an unborn baby girl, consisting of a pretty rainbow on some clouds, a blossom tree and lots of butterflies, flowers and a blue bird. We also painted the little girl’s name is a pink italic font with some silver highlights. The client was really happy with the finished room and can now start moving in all of the furniture ready for the little ones arrival. This took us just two days to complete and shows how effective it can be to have a mural dotted about a room on a simple back ground colour. This was a particularly nice job for me as the client happened to live across the road from my parents, so I got to hug my mum’s two white German shepherds on my lunch break and got bacon sandwiches made for me!

We then began working on the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway mural. We were commissioned to paint the large exterior wall surrounding the site. Firstly we had to prepare the wall and due to the size this took us three days to wire brush, wash and paint an undercoat of white masonry paint. The lovely Karen West helped us with this prep, and we were all aching afterwards for a few days – who knew brushing down a wall could be so tiring! The sunshine is usually a lovely addition to working outside, but Karen did get a little sunburnt (I didn’t as, due to being a wannabe goth/vampire, I am constantly covered head to toe in factor 50 sun cream) and I’m pretty sure I got a little bit of sunstroke, but these are the things we endure for our art! We were very lucky with the weather however, and I think in the three weeks it took us to complete the mural we only had a couple of days of rain – a miracle for the British summertime. Once the preparation was completed, Dean began to sketch out a rough outline in paint and I could then start blocking in the undercoat. Deans daughter Chloe helped us so much in the first week and kept me updated with all of the pop and boyband news I was clearly missing out on. Once everything had an undercoat of colour we could then put on the second coats which is where we add shading and after that has dried we can add in the detail. Due to the sheer size of the wall and its coarse texture, it took us three weeks to finish the mural, then a day to varnish the whole wall with anti-graffiti varnish.

One Saturday in the middle of working on the SKLR mural, we helped out at Art in the Park – an annual day event held at Milton Creek. We decided to try something a little different from our usual painting. We were given lots and lots of brightly coloured plastic strips which we threaded and taped to a chain link fence. I made a panel of bright Aztec inspired patterns and Dean did a rendition of one of his pieces titled ‘Help Me Grow’ for the Soil exhibition we held at Workshop 34. It was good to try something different and it helped to brighten up a dull space in the car park.

UPfest, the largest live street art festival in Europe and now in its seventh year, took place on the weekend of the 25th and 26th of July. We were lucky enough to be one of 250 selected artists to take part in the event. We headed up to Bristol on the Friday, with a short stop off in Wokingham to see a potential client, where we got soaked walking around in the rain. Once in Bristol we had to find out hostel, which turned out to be a huge building painted with galaxies and stars with a club and bar on the bottom floor. It was quite a daunting idea, sharing a room with strangers. I’ve only ever stayed in a hostel twice before, once on a uni trip to Paris where I at least knew, and once in Cornwall where my friends populated the room! Being quite a shy and anxious individual, this was not something I was looking forward to. Luckily, the people in our room were really nice and/or very quiet! The first person I met was a guy called Walter from Peru. He had lived in New Zealand and as now residing in Paris where he worked as a graphic designer. His passion was street art, so most weekends he was off around the world painting street art that reflected his multi cultural upbringing. It was interesting speaking to other artists and finding out about their working methods and the reason behind what they liked to paint. The first night wasn’t as bad as I expected (despite two marriage proposals from two very drunk men) and luckily everyone slept in later than Dean and I, so the showers were empty and we could sneak out before anyone else was awake! We went and registered and collected our free spray paint and then headed to the site where we would be painting. We were given a 20ft by 8ft wall. Dean had a sock puppet design he wanted to paint which was inspired by the online term for an individual who on review sites, forums and social media, creates different accounts and personas to then back up their views or endorse their products. We started by chalking out a grid so that Dean could transfer the design onto the wall. I then began painting in the pale blue background colour and Dean started on the sock puppets. We added shadows and then a bit of text to the right of the image to explain the term. We had a great reaction from the public, with many cries of ‘SOCK PUPPETS!!!’. I think that because our work was quite different from the majority of work on display, it made us stand out. A lot of artists at UPfest worked predominantly with spray paint, whereas we tend to brush paint our work, this time with Masonary paints as we were working outside. This gives our work an alternate overall look and the process is quite different. We managed to get our piece finished on the Saturday, which was lucky, as there was torrential rain for the next two days. Unfortunately, this also meant that the park in which we were painting got closed to the public on the Sunday and Monday. Our friends Julie and Anna Bradshaw also got into the festival line up, so it was great having people from home to share the experience with. We headed back on the rainy Sunday after another night in the hostel (again, not too bad if you turn your back on the room and wake up early!) and once we’d had a good walk around to see the artwork spread around Bristol. We met a lot of lovely people and saw some amazing and inspirational artwork. However, although an interesting experience, I don’t think staying in hostels is the life style for me!

Once back home, we finished off the SKLR mural and also made a start on a huge mermaid mural on the side of Sheerness amusements. Dean has been finishing this off this weekend after finding a beautiful model to pose for him.

Next week we’re off to Dairy Meadow primary school in London for two weeks to paint children’s book characters around their library. And after that, it’s off to Furness primary school, again in London, to paint healthy fruit and vegetables around their dining hall, so a busy summer for us!

I hope you’re all enjoying this sunshine and the summer holidays if you’re lucky enough to get them!

Until next time,

 

Jaime

 

It's a full Summer of events!

Posted on June 28, 2015 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (236)

Hello lovely people,

 

 

I think when I last wrote the blog, we had just finished the stairwell at Life night club in Sittingbourne High street. We have now also painted there a pretty black and white vector image of a ladies face around the womens toilets. We accented it with silver and pale pink, as these are the colours that feature on the night clubs logo. The image has a big impact just as you walk onto the dance floor. Whilst we were painting this, we also completed a nice little mural in the back garden of a local lady in sittingbourne. She wanted something simple, featuring her cats and the Maya Angelou quote 'Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud'.

 

 

Next, we began a mural at the Windchimes Respite Centre in Herne Bay. In their night time relaxation room, they wanted a starry night sky painted all around the top section of the walls and a night time waterfall painted on one main wall. For this we needed the scaffold tower, which meant a lot of carrying and building of bits of scaffold for the week (I didn't mind though, as I saw the extra exercise as an excuse to eat more cake). We started by painting the top parts of the walls a deep blue (and then giving them a second coat). We could then start adding the ethereal light of the milky way (using spray cans) and on top of this, we added lots and lots of stars, many of which were individually painted (the others we sort of splattered and flicked). Whilst I finished up the stars, Dean painted a big bright full moon and the waterfall. I then added a silhouetted tree line around the bottom of the starry walls. This took us one week to complete.

 

 

We then started on a Mickey Mouse play room and an underwater mural behind an outside bar area, both in the same house. For the play room, we got all of the characters drawn out and painted a blue cloudy sky that went across the ceiling, and green hills and fields to start it off. For the underwater mural, we painted a blue gradient back ground of sea and a black rough outline for the coral.

 

 

Once we had both of the murals set up, we started a new job in Sittingbourne High steet at Baileys coffee shop painting an Alice in Wonderland themed mural in their new upstairs seating area. We had to do a bit of job juggling, due to Dean going on holiday and the coffee shop needing the work done for their grand opening on the 4th of July.

 

 

We spent a week at Baileys and painted all of the back ground and a few of the main characters for the mural. I got to paint the Cheshire cat which was great fun. So that's where we're off to this coming week, now that Dean is back from his holiday, to get the mural all finished for the 4th of July.

 

 

Whilst Dean was off sunning himself, his previous assistant Chloe, helped me to finish the Mickey Mouse play room and the underwater mural. We spent three days on each. We worked in the play room for the first three days as the weather was a bit grey and that was indoors, then luckily the weather improved just in time for us to work outside (so much so, I think we both got a little sun burnt!). The six days went fine, though it was a little odd painting without Dean!

 

 

So, next on the agenda is finishing off the Alice mural and then I believe we have a mural of a lake lined up as well as a mural for the SKLR. Alongside painting, we shall also be starting to get ready for UPfest in Bristol, Sheppy Promenade and the Chalk It Up Sittingbourne Chalk Art festival!

 

 

Until next time, I hope you're all enjoying the sunshine and if you happen to be in the highstreet on the 4th, why not check out the finished mural at Baileys Coffee shop when they have their grand unveiling! :)

 

 

Jaime

Woodland, farmland and... nightclubs.

Posted on May 21, 2015 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello dear reader,

 

It’s been a busy time here at Marvellous Murals – but then, isn't it always!

We completed the woodland sanctuary mural at Wentworth Primary School just in time for the space to be used on polling day, which was a big surprise for all of the voters! This mural took us just over a week to complete. This included a day to prepare the wall (which had previously been home to two rather large notice boards which had been glued to the wall. All of said glue needed to be chiselled off, then various holes needed filling and the whole thing needed sanding down – a tiring job indeed). Once the wall was ready to be painted, we started by roughly painting out the mural and then slowly building up colour and texture. We painted the sky in first, then Dean started painting the woodland floor, complete with shadows and patches of pretty bluebells. I painted in the tree trunks and made a start on the waterfall. Then it was just a case of building all of the scenery up, adding more texture and some rays of light extending from the soon to be setting sunshine. Dean also included a small portrait of the head boy and girl, walking down the woodland path in their school uniforms to really personalise the mural and make it unique to Wentworth Primary school.

 

Next, we began painting the new reception for Southern Salads in another of their buildings, just across from where we had been working before. You may recall that back in February we painted a large mural of some farmland a a tractor on the outside of the Southern Salads Factory. Ray, the business owner, wanted something similar in their new reception room. This room had a stairwell going up one side of the room circling round to the top hallway and the toilets. They wanted both floors of this area covered, so whilst I started painting everything a nice shade of sky blue, Dean began to sketch out the farmland mural, complete with a tractor and delivery lorry. Dean focused on the countryside whilst I got to work painting the vehicles. We then completed the mural by re-glossing the skirting, banisters and doors and painting a conveyer belt of salad on the side of the stairs.

 

This week we have been painting another set of stairs, this time leading up the dance floor in a Night club in Sittingbourne called Life. If you are a Sittingbourne local, you may be familiar with Life and I would guess that you have spent one of two drunken nights there! Well, now you have one more reason to go to Life – to check out its newest piece of artwork! Over the course of three days, Dean and I have transformed the stairs by adding a funky, swirly, mirrored pattern snaking its way up the stairs and to the cloakroom. This mural was all drawn free hand, and includes some metallic paint to make the most of the multi coloured LED lights in the space.

 

Next week we have a few murals to paint, including a rainbow in a ladies garden, some banana trees in a nursery and we will be revisiting Life and giving the entrance to the toilets a bit of a makeover!

 

We will also start setting in motion the plans for this years Chalk It Up Sittingbourne Chalk art festival, and begin planning for other events such as Artists in the Woods, Art in the Park and UP Fest!

I hope you all have a lovely bank holiday next week, and a great half term if that applies to you! Summer is definitely on its way. I know this, because the other day I sat on a bench in the sunshine, not wearing a coat and eating a twister ice lolly. That, my friends, is a true sign that Summer is fast approaching! (Or maybe that was Summer… oh dear. It was a delight whilst is lasted).

 

Jaime

 

Two heads are better than One

Posted on May 3, 2015 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello everyone,

Easter has been and gone, much chocolate hath been consumed and as always, we have been gallivanting around the place painting on walls.

We finished the shooting themed bedroom, which included portraits of the client, his son and their dogs. I left these up to dean, and I painted a lot of grass and some tractors! We also got to paint the built in wardrobe in the room to resemble a wooden barn. This meant I had my first go at using a wood graining tool. This was quite fun once I got the hang of it and it looked really effective.

Next we went back to Vigo Village primary school to finish the Vigo Values Tree in their entrance hall. We still had the ceiling to paint and the top of the tree, so it was time to test out the new Scaffold tower! It's really handy having a scaffold tower as it means we don't have to rely on rental companies. When I first started working for Dean, I was really quite petrified of heights. I tried not to ever let it hold me back from things (Like going on the viewing platform at the Eden project when I once went on holiday to Cornwall) but it was still very much a phobia (made evident by my becoming glued to the spot at the top of said viewing platform at the Eden project, bursting into tears, and my ever patient friends coaxing me down one baby step at a time). However, when painting murals, you never know where or at what height you'll be painting! And after lots of forcing myself up ladders and scaffold towers, I am now quite confident at 20ft up in the air! A good job too, as the whole ceiling required painting a lovely shade of sky blue (my arms and neck definitely felt it the next day!). We then finished off painting the top of the tree and added the twenty 'Vigo value' words onto the branches. We then added details, such as the seven birds and animals that made up the school class names and the four types of leaves that symbolised the school houses. Dean also added a silhouette of a boy reading a book at the base of the tree to finish off the image. It's so nice working in schools and getting to hear all of the comments from the pupils. The way they become so curious about the mural is lovely, and they always give some positive comments. I'm always a bit apprehensive of working in front of people, but in schools it's different. Children are just so full of encouragement and they get as much out of watching us paint as we do from painting, it's a great exchange and a lovely process.

Once we had finished at Vigo we started a really fun job in Dartford - a Superhero themed play room! This was a pretty large room, so plenty of space for characters! We had Adele helping us on this job as there was a lot to do. We started by painting in the back ground of blue sky, and cityscape and a dusty floor. Once this was done, we could start adding the superheroes to the foreground. The client wanted a range of Marvel and DC characters in dynamic positions. Dean let me paint Batman (yeeessssss) which was obviously great fun, because he's awesome (I even hold out hope for Bat-Fleck). I then got to paint Black cat, Cat Woman and Bat girl, Iron man, Cap' and Spidey (Dean had done most of the initial black outlines and Adele had helped block in some of the undercoats, then I swooped in and did the finishing coats and details and took all the glory - mwahahahaaaa (villian laugh) ). Dean painted The Hulk and Wolverine, Flash and Superman. After a bit more detail was added to the back ground buildings and some rubble was added to the foreground, we were done! This took us two weeks to complete.

It was then off to Basingstoke. We were painting some more at St Annes Catholic Primary school. We previously had painted a large St Anne mural on the exterior wall of the entrance to the school, but now they were wanting some stained glass painting in the prayer room and an outside mural in the prayer garden. Last time we worked at the school, we stayed in a B&B, but this time we decided to attempt the commute. Five hours driving a day was quite exhausting, but it was (just about) worth it to sleep in my own bed every night, and to see my boyfriend (I know, gross, sorry). On our first day we realised the windows in the prayer room had a film over them. Once we figured out how to remove this we were met with the daunting task of removing the thin layer of glue entirely covering the glass. This took me a whole day to remove, with nothing more than some paint removal wipes and lots of elbow grease! Once this was done however and the windows were all cleaned and sparkly, we could start putting the outlines of the images onto the windows in black glass paint. Whilst dean was doing this, I started blocking in the colour on the exterior mural (We had already painted the area we were going to paint with white masonry paint, and Dean had drawn out the image and the accompanying lines of scripture. Once the outlines had been painted on the glass, I could then go and start filling in the shapes with colour whilst Dean added detail onto the prayer garden mural. All in all this took us six days to complete, including finishing the outside mural with two coats of anti graffiti varnish for extra protection.

(The bit above is by Jaime - the rest is by Dean)

Workshop34 unfortunately closed down at the end of March. The creative community in Sittingbourne are still trying to find ways to keep a sustainable creative hub in the town and this will hopefully be in one of the other empty shops in the high street. I still have high hopes for this project but, due to the pressure of current commissions and a demanding family life (i.e. wife with a broken leg and and house full of children that demand feeding!) I am unable to give it much attention at the moment.

Saturday the 25th of April was the St Georges day festival in Sittingbourne High Street. There were stalls, music and other festivities including the making of a giant paper mache dragon and of course, some chalk at from ourselves in the form of St.George and a Dragon. The day was a great success and it was great to see the community spirit return to the town.

The following weekend saw us chalking once again in Sittingbourne at the Forum Sci-Fi Event organized by the fantastic Nikki Baker or Luniac Designs. There were people dressed up in costumes, exhibitions and screen actors to meet along with a host of all manner of weird and wonderful things going on. We created an anamorphic Silver Surfer on the floor ourside the shopping centre which went down a storm.

We have a busy few months coming up, including finishing a waterfall scene in a primary school, some work at Life night club in Sittingbourne High Street and some more work at Southern Salads so, if you've reached this far in this epic blog that was half written by Jaime and then amended and added to by Dean when he got round to posting it up a week and a half later - thank you for your support. 

Wales, Water and Workshop 34

Posted on March 18, 2015 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Hey everyone,

 

 

The new year is well underway and Easter is on the horizon, where is this year going? When I last wrote the blog we were getting ready for the LOVE exhibition at Workshop34. This was a great success with lots of wonderful, varied work, so thank you to everyone that submitted something. A few pieces were sold and the exhibition drew lots of people in to the workshop in the two weeks that it was up. Due to it's success we decided to have another exhibition to celebrate the shop (which was due to be closing at the end of this month, but hopefully after a few meetings today I may have some more positive news in the next blog!) and to celebrate spring. This was the Roots and Shoots exhibition, which had it's private view last night. Again, lots of amazing work was submitted and made for a really interesting show. If you weren't able to make it last night, never fear! As lovely as it would have been to see you, the exhibition will be up until the end of March, so why not pop down and see everything we have to offer.

 

 

Aside from exhibitions at the shop, Marvellous Murals have been pretty darn busy over the last couple of months! Firstly we had a rather large job come our way in the form of painting the outside of a factory. That's right. The outside of factory. A salad factory to be exact. Firstly we had to prep the building for painting. This involved sanding down all of the metal at the top of the building, removing the old silicon from around the windows, cleaning all the windows and window frames, refilling with silicon, brushing down the bricks and sweeping the floor. The top of the factory was all windows and congregated metal, which as it turns out, is super time consuming to paint. We had Sam helping us with this project and we could not have completed it on time without him. Climbing up and down scaffolding really does add a lot of time onto our job, not to mention that due to the time of the year, working outside was just sooo cooold. Paint brushes are rather hard to negotiate with numb fingers. Once the top half of the factory was painted in the green of the company logo, we could move onto painting the lower half of the building with salad fields and a tractor. We painted a clear blue sky and then using a chalk line guide we were able to mark out the rows of different coloured salads in the fields. We then started adding more colour, building up texture as we went and we painted in a tree lined horizon. We also added a tractor to one of the fields to give the image a bit more interest and to break up the lines. It was then just a case of coating the mural with anti graffiti varnish to give it extra protection. Despite the bad weather due to the time of the year, we managed to get this completed just in time for the company's deadline, as they had a big client coming to visit them the next day.

 

 

Next we started a mural at Vigo primary school. Dean had painted a wonderful jungle mural in their school hall a few years previously and now they were looking for a large tree to be painted in their entrance hall which combined the four tree based names of the school houses as well as the school values. This will span across the ceiling of the entrance and also incorporate various woodland animals of which the school classes are named after. We got about half way through painting this mural, but due to other commitments we had to pause our progress but will be carrying on with it next week.

 

 

We then made our way to Wales! After a six hour drive, we found ourselves in the picturesque village of Herbranston in Pembrokeshire, ready to paint the room of a lovely little girl named Brie. This was a great job as Tina, Bries mum, gave us a lot of freedom. The brief was to paint a woodland animal themed room and to include some of their own pets in the mural. We started by painting a clear blue sky all around the top of the room. We used three different blues to give a nice gradient and went down to almost white. We could then start to draw in a rough landscape as a basis. Once the perspective was right, we began to paint in the hills, fields and trees. Whilst I was giving this a second coat, Dean added some detailed fluffy clouds to the sky. We then added three blossom tress in the foreground. It took us about three or four days to complete all of the landscape and then we could start painting in animals! We were working rather long days to get the most detail we could in the six days we had to complete the mural. We wanted to make the room really personal, so we included a lot of the family's pets, including two of their adorable miniature dachshunds, Martha and Benson, Bob the horse and some other animals that lived on the land surrounding the house. There was a shallow cupboard in the corner of the room which was a bit of wasted space, so we decided to secretly paint inside it to make a magical Narnia-esque doorway which opened to show a unicorn and rainbow. Once the main animals were painted, we added some flowers, toadstools, and insects. It's always quite hard working away from home, especially for a big baby like me, but Tina and Mark were so welcoming and cooked us delicious food every night and always made sure we had a cup of tea! And all of the puppy love from the dogs helped keep the homesickness at bay! Brie loved her room and couldn't keep her eyes off of it, so we hope she gets many years of joy out of the mural and keeps finding lots of little details. After a long seven days, Dean and I made the long drive home and had a well deserved day off.

http://www.marvellousmurals.co.uk/wildlife-mural

 

 

It was then off to Nottinghill in London to paint a a sunken pirate ship mural in a basement flat. This was just on one wall, but also included painting a section of outside wall that the window looked out onto. We started by painting the entire wall a deep blue with a slight gradient to a medium blue. After a couple of coats, we could then add in the sea floor and the surface of the water. Dean painted the pirate wreck whilst I focused on painting a large treasure chest full of gold. Dean then added some delicate jelly fish to the wall behind the window and I painted some brightly coloured coral. I hadn't ever painted coral before, so this was a bit daunting at first, but i gradually found my own style. After adding a few more fish, a diver and a shark, the mural was completed. This took us three days.


 

 

This week we're painting a little boys bedroom with a shooting theme, then it's back to Vigo to complete their entrance hall tree.

 

 

There are still life drawing classes every Thursday at Workshop34, as well as other workshops and classes, involving juggling and guitar lessons. For more information or just for a browse, pop by Number 34 high street, Sittingbourne 10 -4 Monday to Saturday.

 

 

I hope you all have a great rest of the month and i'll update the blog again soon so you can see what else we've been up to and the fate of Workshop34.

 

 

Jaime

 

 

Workshops, jungles, blossom trees and luuurve

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello,


January is well under way and it’s almost February – where has the time gone? Talking of February (and specifically Valentines day) at workshop34 we’re holding an exhibition based around the theme of ‘Love’. This can be in any medium and it’s all about how you interpret the word and what love means to you. From a portrait of your cat to an abstract piece about what it’s like to feel all warm and fuzzy, we’re accepting submissions up until this Saturday (the 31st of January). Then we will be working our socks off to get them all up and looking pretty in the shop for the private view on Monday the 2nd of February (from 4:30 – 6:30) and the exhibition will be up until the 15th, just in time for you to buy any last minute Valentines gifts for your one and only. We look forward to receiving your submissions and seeing all the wonderful art from local artists.


Last time I wrote the blog Dean and I were waiting to see if we’d got into the ‘Soil’ exhibition at the Horsebridge Centre in Whitstable. I am pleased to say that we did! My collage piece entitled ‘The heart is the most fertile soil’ was accepted, as was one of Deans mud paintings ‘Help me grow’, a very moving portrait of a little boy. The exhibition was wonderful and very varied and after a week of having the work on display we’re heading over to Whitstable this evening to collect our pieces. It was a great honour to be accepted into such a wonderful exhibition and we hope to be involved in more events like this in the future.


We went to Essex a couple of weeks ago and painted a blossom tree under the stairs in a lovely cottage. The owner had recently watched the new Paddington Bear movie, where there is a large blossom tree going behind a spiral staircase and so wanted one in their own home based on this but to fit the space that they had available. This was quite a simple design and painting each individual blossom petal was quite time consuming but the finished mural had a great impact. It took us two days to complete, including repainting the wall to give us a nice clean canvas to start on.


We have also recently painted a jungle mural in a little girl’s bedroom, which was great fun. The walls had all been painted a leafy green apart from one feature wall which was left white which is where we would be focusing the mural. We painted a misty green jungle background complete with trees and vines and leafy plants. On top of this we painted a giraffe, a tiger, a baby gorilla, an orang-utan, a mother and baby elephant and some birds (not all technically found in the jungle… or even living in the same locations… but we took a bit of artistic licence as we knew the little girl would love seeing all these wonderful animals in the same place!). Dotted about the room we also painted a parrot, a toucan, some butterflies and some flowers to tie the rest of the room into the feature mural and to make sure there was lots to see and discover! This mural took us four days to complete and the little girl loved watching our progress.


We have a few projects coming up in the future, including a woodland animal nursery and a little boys bedroom based on clay pigeon shooting. We also have some school projects on the horizon as well as whatever we can get involved with at workshop34!


This Wednesday at Workshop34 Tallfoxdot will be holding another textiles workshop, this time focusing on embroidery and applique, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm for just £8 per person including materials and refreshments.


The Clay Flowerbed will be having their second clay flower making workshop on Thursday, teaching you further skills required for this wonderful practice. Places are £27.50 per person and include all materials and refreshments and the class will be held from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.


Also on Thursday the second Life drawing class will be taking place. Places are £10 and include basic materials (though we would advise bringing your own for more variation) and refreshments and the class will run from 7 – 9 pm.


There is also a Kids Art Club starting this Saturday 12pm – 4pm, where anyone under 16 can come along (under 9s must be accompanied by an adult) and spend a couple of hours creating their own unique artwork with expert tuition. It’s £10 per child and this includes all materials.


And finally! If any of you happen to be in Sittingbourne on Saturday evening and are a fan of live music, why not come down to workshop34 where we will have two local bands, Glass Houses and The Crownless Kings, playing live from 7:30pm – 10:30pm.


So yes, that’s all from me for now! I hope you all have a lovely week and we look forward to seeing some of you at various workshops or at the Love exhibition!


Jaime

 

Happy New Year!

Posted on January 7, 2015 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)


 

The festive season hath been and gone and a new shiny year lies before us, filled with potential, scariness and hopefully awesome lovely things.


But let me just tell you how we finished off our year and then we can move onto all the fun stuff in the future. So. After we had painted the nursery for the two little not yet born twin boys (I believe they were due Christmas day, so I hope they’re doing well and enjoying their room!), we had a nice little Job at Yiannis hairdressers in Gillingham. They had just had a bit of a refurbish and wanted an eye catching piece of art to go on one of their now plain walls. The image they liked was a really quirky illustration of the profile of a woman’s face, whose hair was a mass of swirls and shapes to make it look like a birds nest. The image was really fairy tale like and had accents of gold and silver, but was predominantly done in a lovely greyish green. We worked from this image and created something a little different, but still very eye catching and unique. I loved painting the swirls of the hair and not having any real guidelines to stick to. It was scary at first, especially painting straight onto a white wall, but once I got into the flow of things it was really enjoyable. We added some chrome effect highlights to certain strands of hair to really make the image pop and give it a bit more detail and character. We used the same colour that had been used on the feature walls in the hair dressers, a greyish greeny blue, and although the colour was usual it worked really well and gave the whole salon a really sophisticated feel. This took us two days to complete and was all painted free hand.


Next, we had a little girls play room to paint. The walls were a plain magnolia colour and so to liven them up we painted a fun cartoon animal scene. We left the magnolia as the back ground colour, allowing us to put more detail into the characters. We painted a central tree, with a sleepy lion in front of it, a mummy elephant and her baby to the left, a giraffe and some cheeky monkeys. On the opposite wall we painted a flamingo standing on one leg next to the door. This is going to be used as a height chart to mark off Ruby’s (the little girl) height as she grows up. We outlined the characters with a slightly darker version of their predominant colour. This helps to make them look finished, but is a lot less severe than painting a black outline. Ruby loved watching us paint the mural and was transfixed as we added more colour and details and couldn’t wait to get in there and play. This took us three days to complete.


Then it was back to Workshop34, the new creative hub in Sittingbourne high street. This will be our new creative home for the new few months. Workshop34’s great location on the high street means that when we aren’t out painting walls, we can be in a central location in Sittingbourne, enabling us to talk to other creative people and to showcase our work and what we do. We’ve also been doing some painting in the shop, helping to draw people in and get them talking about the project. Recently I painted a large portrait of Elsa from Frozen. This was great fun, as I love painting Disney characters. I did this in the shop and it could be seen from the windows, so lots of little girls were stopping and watching me paint. A lady came in and saw what I was painting and wanted to buy it so she could hang it her room, so that was great news! Though at this point it wasn’t quite finished, so the pressure was definitely on to not mess it up! I delivered it to her and her daughter a few days ago and they both seemed to love it, so that made me very happy.


We also had the Workshop34 Christmas party, which was great fun! We had Kevin Ralph taking photography portraits upstairs, karaoke downstairs and a great group of local artists in attendance.


Dean and I have also entered submissions into the SOIL exhibition that’s being held at the Horsebridge Centre in Whitstable. We created our entries at Workshop34. Dean decided to actually paint with soil (mixed with PVA) and created these really beautiful images, one of a skull and one of a little girl. The soil gives the paintings a really interesting texture and depth and I think Dean really enjoyed working with a new medium and producing something a little different. I decided to make a collage for my submission based on a really nice quote I found; “The heart is the most fertile soil, whatever is planted there good or bad, will take root and grow”. It was strange making a collage in the public eye as I usually just hole myself up in my bedroom for a week and work on it continuously, without human contact or any nourishment other than tea and biscuits. It was a new experience, but I think I prefer my social exclusion as then I don’t have to worry about any crazed look in my eyes or if I wield a scalpel with a little too much enthusiasm. But our entries are now in, so we just have to sit back and wait to see if they make it into the exhibition!


Workshop34 is holding its own exhibition in the run up to Valentine’s day with the theme of LOVE. We’re accepting all submissions from local artists and will display them in the shop. The deadline for entries is the 31st of January with a private view on the following Monday for all that have taken part. The work will be displayed in the shop until the 15th of February where it will all be up for sale (with 20% commission going to the shop), so if you would like to get involved, pop into the shop for more details or simply get your art made and bring it in before the 31st!


There’s a lot going on in Workshop34 at the moment, we’re trying to get a program of workshops underway and continue to have the Stuttle every Thursday 10-4 as well as encouraging freelancers and creatives to come and make a part of Workshop34 their temporary home. TallFoxDot will be holding textile workshops starting on the 21st of January and we will also have clay flower making workshops (dates and times yet to be confirmed).


Next on our agenda is a job in Essex painting a blossom tree inspired by the film Paddington. Then after that it’s off to Wales to paint a nursery which should be quite interesting!


So, I hope you all have a lovely start to the year and I will babble at you again soon.


Jaime

 


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