Monthly Archives: August 2014

Caribbean Mural in Bristol, UK

Preparatory watercolor sketch of the Caribbean mural

Preparatory watercolor sketch of the Caribbean mural

Caribbean Mural

My friends Anji and Rick had wanted a Caribbean mural for their apartment for some time. Frequent visitors to Antigua in the Caribbean and owners of several of my paintings (see blog on Anthuriums), they learned I would be in Bristol in July 2014. Would I be able to paint their mural during that period? They sent me photos of their sitting room, where they wanted the Caribbean mural, and I painted a watercolor incorporating their furniture and the mural which I emailed them for their approval. The theme and colors were loosely based on a watercolor of palm trees by a sea shore that they had bought from me last time we met in Antigua. They were happy with my proposal and we were all set to go! Their sitting room was put together by Anji, who designed much of the furniture herself. The mixture of textures and colors produced a beautiful harmony which I didn’t want to overwhelm with the mural: the idea was for it to blend into the background. The sofa itself is already a work of art in its own right!

A work in progress

A work in progress

I used a large spirit level for the various sea horizons and a step ladder for the sections of the wall slightly out of my reach. I was delighted to discover that the paint used on the walls was perfectly amenable to my signature drips. The acrylic paint was heavy body Liquitex diluted with water to give a pastel effect but highlighted with accents of brighter color.

Part of the mural with the door open

Part of the Caribbean mural with the door open

Part of the mural behind the sofa & hidden by the open door

Part of the Caribbean mural behind the sofa & hidden by the open door. Note that the two formerly  noticeable wall control switches are now disguised as part of a palm tree!

The rest of the mural showing the sun-like clock and the banana palm on the far wall by the window

The rest of the Caribbean mural showing the beautiful  sun-like clock and the banana palm on the far wall by the window.

I think we were all pleased with the results. And it was really good to catch up with Anji & Rick again.

Banana palm: note the lizard on one of the leaves!

Banana palm close up: note the lizard on one of the leaves!

Caribbean mural with the door closed and Anji's gorgeous sofa!

Caribbean mural with the door closed and Anji’s gorgeous sofa before putting the rest of the furniture back.

By |August 21st, 2014|Around the house|0 Comments|

Black Mouth Cur & Vizsla

Dee & Ed's kitchen window with the Black Mouth Cur & Visla triptych!

Dee & Ed’s kitchen window with the Black Mouth Cur & Vizsla triptych!

Black Mouth Cur & Visla

Scout is definitely a Black Mouth Cur; Fiver, one of a litter of 16 Black Mouth Curs, was the only pup with no black mouth or underbelly. The breeder said that a grandparent was a Vizsla, which is probably why she seems more Vizsla-like than Black Mouth Cur. None of which really matters as the owners, Dee & Ed, adore both dogs. They recently bought a house in San Rafael, California and Dee sent me a photo of her kitchen window. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of your 6×8″ acrylic on wood paintings here? Preferably blue to match the fence outside?” she asked.  Somehow I was attracted to 3 photos she had posted of her two dogs and thought they would make a great little triptych rather than just the one. Also, the colors I would use would blend in better with the kitchen itself rather than the outside fence.  Two of the actual photos themselves were not good, so I took the best bits of them and together with the one of the two of them with their backs to the viewer, made them into the triptych I had in mind. The photo here of their kitchen shows them hung. We were all happy with the results! Dee & Ed are great friends: we first met them here in Antigua when they rented our apartment nearly 10 years ago, and Ed came sailing with us in the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. The next time he sailed with us, we asked him to prepare the crew’s food. He is a brilliant chef by profession (currently working at Perry’s Inverness Grocery at West Marin). Dee is also a dab hand in the kitchen but spends most of her time running and managing Angel Island and other outlets belonging to the same company. They love Antigua and if & when I make it to San Rafael, I am to paint a mural on the blue fence to remind them of the beautiful island!  We look forward to their next visit here in Antigua… and to sampling more of Ed’s delicious food!

Visla (Black Mouth Cur?) Fiver

Vizsla (Black Mouth Cur?) Fiver

Scout & Fiver

Scout & Fiver

Black Mouth Cur Scout

Black Mouth Cur Scout

By |August 20th, 2014|Around the house|0 Comments|

Wedding fun!

Wedding fun featuring a forester and a surfer!

Wedding fun featuring a forester and a surfer!

Wedding Fun

Wedding fun was on the agenda of Kate & Dotty’s wedding plans. The wedding was to take place in July at the Magdalen Centre, Chard, Somerset (in England). This is an idyllic countryside retreat (or  holiday centre) which also incorporates a working organic farm. The theme was fun and relaxation, so Kate and Dotty wanted to include some games and fun items. One of these was the board shown here which I painted for them in acrylic just before the event. Kate is a forester for the Welsh National Trust, whose t-shirt is depicted as well as the chain saw she uses to cut down  & trim trees. The protective clothing – heavy boots, thick trousers (pants) and gloves are also featured.  Pine trees make up the background with a few bemused Welsh sheep in the foreground. Dotty’s job did not lend itself to wedding fun,  so she chose windsurfing, which she loves. The rash guard and bright board shorts typify her personality, with the white-capped sea in the background.The lobster clutching the surf board line is included because “a lobster mates for life”! (” The Lobster” is also Kate’s pet name for Dotty…). The wedding guests were delighted with the choice of games and many posed with their faces in this board.

The wedding was a great success, lasting three days. The weather was glorious and the food and company excellent. We drank amazing organic wine and danced to music old and new. We all had wedding fun!

Rescue cat Eli and his portrait!

Rescue cat Eli and his portrait!

Wedding Present

For their wedding present, I painted a portrait of their lovely rescue cat, Eli. He is pictured here next to his portrait (acrylic on canvas,  28×35.5cm).


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