Posts from the ‘murals’ Category
August 19, 2013
Wanted to do a second mural in Africa after completing my first one which was done in Morocco in 2011. Had my eye on Nairobi for a long time and finally managed to get my chance to paint there in March of this year. It was a project very personal to me as it had a lot of history attached to it and I had a life changing experience whilst completing it.
I have known most the team members of vision 2020 for much of the earlier years of my life, and remember playing or rather observing them playing football on the same ground since the early nineties. The team had two separate divisions back then, the younger age group was around 8-10 years and the older around 14-18 years. It is super inspiring to see my friends and the kids, who are now grown men, having continued their passion for the sport, forming a league and now, using football as a tool for social change.
Having been benched for most of my time there [played football for fun, was either the goalkeeper or linesman -ish, whereas they were the pros and had a passion for it] it was a refreshing change to contribute something to the football pitch that they use and cement my history as part of and one of the lifelong supporters and members of Vision2020 FC [albeit creatively] . See the link below for more on the team and their activities. http://www.vzhon2020.kbo.co.ke/
The idea behind the mural was to create a narrative going round the pitch, where the ball is passed from one player to the other, each catching or interacting with it in their own style, until finally it reaches the striker, shot is taken, goalkeeper is caught unaware and its a goal. Time was tight and the grounds large making it an ambitious design to attempt but I am happy with where it is going*. I managed to get the help of two industrial designers from China, Rebecca and Kacey, who were staying at a local hostel and I am very grateful for their efforts as it cut my workload by half, as well as providing a fun jamming experience for all of us. It was their first attempt at doing/working on a collaborative mural. Total time spent on the work above was two weeks of painting, fitting in 4-5 hours a day as I had a few projects and errands to complete whilst working on the mural.
Super close to the end of the project I was struck down by Cerebral Malaria [having gone out of Nairobi a few weeks prior to painting] and this landed me in hospital for 1 week. Will not go into too many details, but it was a life changing experience, one day I was eating sugar cane and painting in the sun, next day I was in hospital with tubes running in and out and around me. From a creative point of view, it gave me the motivation to work harder and put out more material, from a living life perspective, it gave me a lot to think about and appreciate.
*I had to slow down and as a result, one side remains unfinished. I use the term unfinished loosely as to me it is a more “to be continued”. Gives me the motivation to go back, and also hopefully come back with some of my crew and friends to paint. Never thought I would say it but there is too much wall out there for me, plus sharing is caring. Plans is to drop down in Nairobi at some point in 2014 and pick up where I left off.
Needless to say, it was still one of the best experiences and most fun mural that I have worked on. To see the grounds transformed, reaction of the players, kids and local residents and to be part of my friends team and history is priceless. A big inspiration during this project was Margaret Kilgallen. Her style and works are beautiful, and since it is the second black and white piece I have done in almost 13 years, drew on her for visual guidance. “Always see the line waiver, thats where the beauty is” … a quote by a talented artist and it means a lot to me in more ways than one.
May 1, 2013
Yes, the Divai Cafe & Wine Bar mural is done and it feels good. I left the characters till the very end as they would help balance out the whole mural, starting with the cat and working my way down. The details give each character a personality and I strive for this element in my work. I want one to associate with a particular character for whatever reason they are drawn to it.
I am happy with the colours and the final look of the piece. Japan has such a rich visual culture and had plenty of reference materials, mainly anime, Ukiyo-e and the great Hokusai. As much as I was heavily influenced by all things Japanese, added my own personal touch, as this is my take on Sakura, plus wanted the space to feel like spring, warm and airy.
Divai Cafe & wine Bar is located in Ushitsu, Noto, Ishikawa prefecture Japan and run by great friends of mine. If and when you make your way here, pop by for a drink and enjoy the mural in real life.
April 26, 2013
3 weeks in an this is how the mural at Divai Cafe & Wine Bar is looking.Spent a lot of time on this piece and happy with thus far. As mentioned in the previous post, Sakura is a well known and visited theme [some great others not so] and wanted to do it justice as well as add my own twist to it. Detailing on the flowers is new territory for me, I am more of a character based muralist, and a quick freestyle painter, but welcomed the challenge to do something new. Now I can draw cherry blossom flowers with my eyes closed. Only a few details left on the characters to make them stand out more, and the cat will be the last to be addressed . Pictures of the final piece soon to follow.
April 20, 2013
Been working on a Sakura themed mural for Divai wine bar & cafe located in Ushitsu, Japan. Was given free reign over the design and wanted to add my twist to the regular sakura style/ Japanese tree imagery. I can’t beat the originals, don’t wish to, or do a half baked copy, just adding my twist to a well known, covered and much loved subject. Its my second mural where I am using only paints and brush for all the work and details, usually mix media and use markers for the line work. Pumping a lot of effort into this, because if you have experienced Sakura, its a tough theme to reproduce so it needs to be slick, as well as the commissioner is a good friend and the space is very well put together, meaning my design needs to echo/compliment this. Photos of completed mural soon to follow.
October 9, 2012
I was invited to take part in the “Artist Open Studios” showcase, in Laguna Beach by an amazing artist and sculptor Louis Longi. The participating artists had a selection of works on show, as well as demonstrating their working methods and techniques. I created the mural in Louis’ studio space/home and it was a great experience to show and work alongside talented artists and meet new people. The work is titled “ciao” because it hints at a passage of time, hello and goodbye , things change. What is here today, might not be here tomorrow.
Looking forward to having future collaborations with Louis and other artists that I get to meet in Cali, and I am grateful for the opportunity he gave me. See more on Louis via the link below and if you are around or make it to Laguna Beach, go check his work out and get to see the mural as well.
September 20, 2012
Just completed my first mural States side in sunny California. Wanted to do something free, fun and colourful to echo and liven the space, and finished the piece in about 5/6 hours. Style very similar to two other murals I completed a while back, no sketches, just flowing with the piece and leaving it when you get to a point that you feel happy with the look and the feel of it. Its always a pleasure painting in the sunshine and hopefully will get the chance to do a few more. See links below for two murals in a similar style.
April 2, 2012
Siri is probably better known now thanks to the IPhone, but it means secret in KiSwahili. A fitting title to a silent whisper. Will post more work pictures as the mural progresses.
April 2, 2012
Still working on the mural and documenting it as I go along. Interesting the sense of perspective and how the images is viewed. It is a very tight stairway, you observe the image as you ascend and the perspective changes accordingly. I like how the feet appear three dimensional from a worm’s eye view, and the whole thing looks flat from a bird’s eye view. More to follow.
January 10, 2012
March 24, 2011