acrylic on canvas 48 x 72"
|detail of the Butterfly Mural|
I just got back from completing a 75 square foot mural for a private home in San Raphael, California. It was hot work but very gratifying. My intent in creating the butterfly mural was to extend the garden space and expand the feeling of sky while bringing more vibrant color to the enclosed garden space. It's a dialogue between art and setting, as now the garden is being redesigned with the mural's color palette in mind. Susan Amanda who commissioned the mural told me that it makes her happy to wake up and look out her kitchen window each morning to view the mural. Since my other goal was to create a painting that would bring a feeling of joy and happiness to the owner for years to come, I consider the project a success.The butterfly images relate to my Monarch Migration series which call attention to the environmental challenges facing the monarch butterflies. My most recent piece Monarch Migration Flight seeks to give the viewer the feeling of being surrounded by the flock of butterflies. www.andreaklawson.com/gallery
The images in the mural vary from large close up butterflies to abstractions creating a sense of movement and space. After extensive research about monarchs, I definitely took artistic license in their execution to create interesting designs and color variations. Another challenging aspect of the project was that the mural was to be painted onto four doors. Because of the doors, the surface was not flat. I chose to deal with the space as one and to incorporate some of the hinge shapes into the butterflies.
I thought it would be fun to share the process of creating Butterfly Mural:
One of the most time consuming parts of the process was the surface cleaning and preparation.
During the heat wave, I had to work in the early morning before it got too hot!
I used Golden acrylic paint with GAC 200, goldenpaints.com and did a lot of research to make the painting archival for outdoors. I selected the most color fast pigments which included many earth tones but also lots of bright oranges and blues, for instance, Phalo blue for the sky. First, I painted the entire surface shades of sky blue. Each color had to be painted in two coats to make it color fast.The idea is that in the face of sunlight two coats are better than one!
Next I created a grid to translate my small painting design to full scale.
Luckily, my brother Jeremy dropped by to help me with the chalk line and level! He sneakily let me climb up and down the ladder multiple times before realizing that he was tall enough!
|Me and Jeremy making a grid|
Drawing the design and honing it to go with the actual wall/door area.
|Outdoor painting table|
|Detail of Completed mural with the Artist|
(before final msa varnish to protect the mural from weather and UVA)