In the Eyes of the Law

Client: Private commission

I was commissioned by a couple to paint a mural in their Georgian town house, which they had recently bought in Cheltenham. When I first went to see the space, I have to admit to being pretty overwhelmed by the sheer size of it. The client had chosen me for my style of painting, most of which is done with a tiny paint brush!  The mural began in the hall and carried on up the stairwell, which rose through two and a half floors and onto the ceiling at the top. 

As to the commission itself, the clients described what they wanted, they loved nature especially birds. They gave me a whole list of things, these included: chickens, garden birds and exotic birds especially parrots; lots of animals including dogs and a camel; a racehorse that they owned a leg of; a view of Florence and Christchurch, Oxford; a barrister's wig; the Scales of Justice; (he was an Oxford don and she a barrister). Apart from my style of work they liked my humour and they gave me cart blanche as to how I would execute the mural. They were happy for me to let my imagination go!

How to come up with a design with all of this included?! From the ground floor up to the first floor I created an arboretum, as a reflection of how much they had traveled. This contained trees from all over the world, including a baobab, banana and a banyan; pines and palms; olives, and oaks. Also a socotra tree with him sitting reading underneath it, their initials carved into the trunk (this mural really is a love story). I put an aviary on top of the hill and painted it with the doors left open. A plethora of exotic birds had escaped, parrots resting on a sculpture of the Lion and the Unicorn above one of the doors: toucans rising up to the armillary suspended from the ceiling. In the distance I painted his college nestled in the trees.

On the landing was an enormous window rising up to the next floor. On the list   were morning glory and passiflora, I painted these trailing around the window. On to the next set of stairs I painted a large fountain on a terrace overlooking Florence. Here lots of birds and animals had come to drink, including the camel. Further up the stairs, Atlas carries the universe (showing their birth signs) with chickens going about their daily business including laying eggs. Resting beside Atlas I painted her barrister's wig, as if she had taken it off before retiring to bed. On the top floor I painted a bird table with a woodpecker drilling its way through its post. On the ceiling, clouds and swallows, a summer's day.

All this took two and a half months using acrylic paints. It was an amazing commission which I have given the title, In the Eyes of the Law! 



Previous Home
twitter instagram