My lovely friend Amalia (herself a talented watercolourist) asked me to design and paint a mural for the back room in her Vejer pharmacy which she is renovating.
The room has an impressive archway and will be used as a venue for workshops on health related matters such as diabetes, pre- and post-natal care and managing stress through yoga and meditation.
Amalia’s brief for the mural was that it should include plants and impart a sense of harmony and tranquility.
I selected various plants with tranquililising properties during a web search, printed photos and set about developing drawings in my sketchbook.
I came up with two options for the mural; one using the arch as a frame for a botanical drawing of an entire valerian plant
the other embelleshing the arch itself with a more stylised arrangement of kava, valerian, passionflower and chamomile.
Amalia selected the second option which I then developed into a more detailed drawing (below).
I drew just the left half of the design in detail. I then photographed it and used Photoshop to duplicate and flip it to create a mirror image. I printed out the drawing and packed it in my suitcase in readiness for my trip to Vejer.
Being faced with the actual wall was quite daunting at first, I had to be up and down a ladder to gain proper perspective as I worked which took its toll on my neck and ankles!
I drew the left side of the mural onto the wall in pencil. When I was happy with the layout I traced it in sections, flipping each one over so that I could copy the mirror image to the right side of the arch.
I painted the white parts first; then came the colour…I made a chart as a mixing guide.
Using the grey-green wall colour as a base I added tiny amounts of acrylic paint to get all the subtle shades required to colour the mural.
The mural is certainly subtle and elegant and has been received very generously.
The pale colours do make it difficult to photograph the entire mural well however, so here are some details: