My first step was to paint the bit of stone wall as I figured this would be a quick job I could do on a Sunday morning. I was right, it was a very quick job. My brother is a professional painter/decorator and I think he would be very proud of the end result - which was largely thanks to his advice on the matter.
With the wall painted I began to clean up, but not before thinking it was a lovely blank canvas I'd just created. Evidently, my landlady thought the same thing as a moment later she said, "You know, a mural would look quite good on that."
I laughed and told her I'd just been thinking the exact same thing and then I realised, she was quite serious. I could have cried with joy, to be perfectly honest, as I've got this thing about doing large scale paintings.
I asked her what she might be interested in and she gave me a little guidance but was quite happy for me to come up with what I wanted. I considered the space and an idea immediately sprang to mind in line with my Dharma series. I love the shape and elegance of Japanese maple and knew my landlady was partial to the previous piece I did using them.
The first thing I did was draw and cut out some templates.
Then I did a quick sketch of the wall and worked out the shape of the branches I wanted to draw. I consulted with the client once more, making sure she was just as pleased as I was with the concept and design. She thought it was brilliant and told me to proceed.
|Leaves at the end of the first day of painting|
|Finished the leaves, now to the text!|
|'Be Unapologetically Magnificent'|
I thought this project would take me a week at least but I've found myself so enthralled with the space and that I've spent both Monday and Tuesday evening working on it, until it was quite suddenly complete!
|The finished piece!!!|
The text for this piece is less my own and more a quote from the recent retreat I attended. Jane Hope was talking about meditation being a way for us to connect with our magnificence - to allow ourselves to BE magnificent.
This reminded me of a teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh that I'm rather fond of. He talks about being able to see the entire universe in a tree. When you look at a tree you can see the sun because without the sun, there is no tree. And you can see the clouds because without clouds there is no rain and then there is no tree. And you can see the air and the wind because without your breath and mine there is no tree.
Trees are magnificent.
The woman I painted this for is magnificent.
You are magnificent.