I grew up with a fold-out frieze of Noah’s Ark running around the top of the walls of the room I shared with my sister. Gazing from my pillow on the top bunk, I studied every detail of those animals. I’m sure that must have influenced my choice of subjects to this day.
Last summer I painted a fantasy mural of a clearing with a pond, horses and some little houses for my grand niece Julie Anna. Her family had a new baby on the way and this summer, 7-month-old Karla got her own fantasy mural.
To prepare, we set up lamps and a worktable, and draped the room with sheets.
I began with an spongey oval to echo Julie Anna’s Pastoral scene, but I decided to go underwater this time.
I added a sandcastle in the background and built up turrets and windows and seaweed until I was happy.
Now it was time to introduce the star–a fat, little mermaid with long dark hair.
Of course she needed an entourage of sea creatures,
including a whale for Julie Anna, a dolphin for Karen, and an octopus for me.
My other favorite bits now are the pearl in the oyster and the eel in the cave.
Karla seems pleased. No smiling for the camera this time–she only wanted to pat, pat, pat her little mermaid.
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