Just a few weeks ago, I completed a 4th mural painting at the Lost Rhino Retreat restaurant in the Brambleton neighborhood of Ashburn! It’s an honor to be trusted to paint on a large-scale in such a public setting. They have great American fare and live music every Friday evening. Here is a photo of a close-up of the latest mural:
This painting was a collage that I created based on a number of photos that they allowed me to take of the kitchen staff. These guys get busy back there around dinner time!
Here’s a few photos of all of the murals in the room:
Recently I had the enjoyment of painting enhancements to a residential mural in Leesburg. This mural was originally painted around 17 years ago! The homeowner wanted me to improve the appearance of the willow tree so that it resembled a willow tree more, and re-paint the cardinal bird up top. So the tricks were to keep the style of the original artist and mix the colors well enough to blend in with the original painting. Here is a ‘before’ photo:
This morning I started the prep work on a mural painting at the Lost Rhino Retreat Restaurant in Ashburn, Virginia. The interior of this restaurant is beautiful, as it is open and spacious with very high ceilings, locally milled wood installations, a fireplace, and natural light streaming through the tall windows. Perfect for illuminating a mural that I’ll be painting on an empty white wall, which will be a colorful outline of the Lost Rhino logo.
Here is a photo of the blank wall:
As part of the prep work, I cleaned the wall from scuffs and scratches:
and then added a fresh coat of white paint:
Next Thursday I’ll be going back to paint a colorful version of the rhino logo, and hope to finish up that day or on Friday!
A few weeks ago I mostly finished the forest friends mural painting in my son’s bedroom, although I still plan on adding a stream of water in when I get a chance.
I took this picture a few weeks ago when my son was in the room with me and grabbed a paintbrush so that he could also paint!
Here are a couple of other shots of the mural, complete with smiling animals like an owl, cardinal bird, deer and fox, with a sparrow bird, squirrel, butterflies, a mother dove flying over to her 2 babies in a nest, and a little boy running with a kite in his hand. Right before my wife and I found out she was pregnant with our 2nd son, two doves had set up a nest outside of our kitchen door and laid eggs for 2 babies that hatched over the course of the next month! So I had to include that in the painting.
I’ll post a few more photos after I add in the stream of water, and hopefully get some better lighting to see the color and detail a bit better.
Painting upside down is a real workout! I hope Michelangelo had a really good chiropractor when he painted the Sistine Chapel. Today I started on the underside of the mural that I’m painting in a townhouse studio in Ashburn, while also painting in jumping whales and dolphins, a sea turtle, and colorful sea fish!
After talking with my client, I’ll be extending the painting down onto the wall below to add in a coral reef. Looking good so far!
I’ve been slow to post, but here are a couple photo updates of the ocean life wall mural I’m painting at a home nearby here in Ashburn!
The mural runs about 10 feet along the side and bottom of the soffit in the room. I’ve got the base layers of paint on for the sky and clouds, so next will be the fun part of adding the animals and water, which will really bring everything alive with color!
Recently I’ve begun an ocean life mural painting inside the studio of a Cranial-Sacral Therapist here in Ashburn. We’re both super excited to see the transformation of the room as it comes alive with color!
This mural is being painted on a soffit that runs along the ceiling in the room, so it incorporates both an eye-level view upon walking into the room, as well as a view of looking up while laying down on the cranial-sacral therapy bed.
When entering the room, the viewer will see the ocean as it meets the sky, with birds, turtles, whales, dolphins, fish, a sea horse and a mermaid. When lying down, the perspective will change to one of looking upwards through the water, while seeing the bottoms of turtles, whales, fish, and the mermaid tail.
While painting upside down is admittedly hard on my neck (I don’t know how Michelangelo ever painted the Sistine Chapel!), the result will be worth it. I’ve found myself doing yoga poses as I work to alleviate the kinks!
Public art is often used to beautify spaces in the public domain and/or to convey a message. Recently, I painted and installed a mural painting to bring light to the situation of nearly 700 students that the Loudoun County Public School system has identified as homeless. There are likely hundreds more children, not in the school system, that are homeless. They sleep in cars, the woods, abandoned warehouses, or “couch surf” among their friends. This is currently taking place in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States!
Mobile Hope is a program of INOVA Loudoun Hospital that was born out of this awareness and serves to meet the basic needs of these children through donations of food, clothing, hygiene products, school supplies, medical care and providing other helpful resources.
The “I’m Here, Loudoun” mural for Mobile Hope is a metaphor for the early difficulty these youth face. It portrays the sequential bloom of the lotus, a flower which grows out of murky darkness to become shining and radiant. Next to the blooming flower is the image of a young child walking next to a supportive adult.
The child’s shirt is a strong red color, symbolizing all of life’s intense emotions, from anger, danger and mourning to strength, love and vitality.
The mural and accompanying poem encompass the often hidden misfortune of homeless children in Loudoun County, yet show that with love and help from others in our community, these children can also grow and thrive.
Being bilingual, I decided to also paint the poem in Spanish, as Loudoun County is home to over 38,000 Latinos, some of whom are also affected by homelessness.
An unopened bud, a hidden soul
Invisible misfortune, does anyone know?
Un capullo cerrado, una alma escondida
¿Hay alguien que sabe de mi invisible agonía?
See my light, see me grow
Out of the dark, a blooming soul
Ve mi lez, veme crecer
De la oscuridad, voy a florecer
Lend me your hand, help me to rise
Clean, pure, beautiful, wise
Si me cuidas bien, seré hermosa y luminosa
Si me das tu cariño, seré un día una gran persona
The “I’m Here, Loudoun” mural is on display at the Mobile Hope location. I hope that it can be a source of awareness and inspiration!