I am very lucky to have such supportive parents, in particular, I have a mum who has inspired me throughout my formative years and encouraged me to become the person I am today. For her birthday this year, I wanted to give her a gift, that would enable her to freely express herself through art on a bigger canvas than she is used to. So, I organised for my Mum and my family to help me to paint an abstract wall mural in my living room. A bold and brave move – but totally worth it!
I have always enjoyed art, it stimulates my imagination. A white wall screams to me for a more vibrant colour. In the past, I would have achieved this with framed textile art that I made so this was a whole new direction for me.
The reason for this idea was that my Mum and I have a keen hobby of sharing images we’ve seen on Pinterest with one another. As a result of this conversation style, we found some fantastic wall murals that you can buy from an Etsy artist and then stick onto your walls at home.
However, my purse strings are a little tight this year and I thought why not try to do this myself. I enjoyed painting and drawing in high school. But the joy of the idea came from the initial conversation with my Mum and I knew she would get such a kick from going for it and the adventure of doing it in my home.
The thought process was – let’s try it, if it doesn’t look good, I’ll just paint it white again! George was up for it and I thought what’s the worst that could happen? I started a Pinterest board, collecting ideas for a colour scheme, tips, and tricks for how to paint a mural, and inspirational images. This provided me with some practical knowledge so that minor mistakes could be avoided. To keep the costs down I bought tester paint pots with my Mum, I wanted her to be involved with the colour scheme. At first, I hid the surprise from her by saying that I was just testing out colours for the walls, and I wanted her advice.
Then the physical part of the project began. The date was set, as I knew my family was coming to London to celebrate my Mum’s and my brother Matt’s birthday in August. I prepped the walls, moved the furniture, stuck a dust sheet down, and had the paintbrushes ready to go.
My Mum was really excited and we began the project, just the two of us, one afternoon during her visit. We split the wall into three sections using masking tape and then followed our instincts and went for it. We had so much fun on day one, that I thought why don’t we all get stuck in so I invited the whole family around.
This encouraged an abstract design because I wanted everyone to feel comfortable at giving it ago. Whether that was painting their own design or just colouring in a triangle. As the weekend came to an end, I was left with a really colourful wall but it didn’t feel congruent. I loved that each shape reminded me of the different people who painted it, but I wanted there to be overall harmony.
At first, I worried as there were little bits I didn’t like (eek – apologies Family), but I reminded myself it was an expression, a process to spend time together, to create a memory. I took these into my stride and loved how they inspired me to chop and change the design into something more harmonious. To be honest, I learned a lot from this experience, it has helped me find the beauty in someone else’s ideas and add my own personality into the mix to create something special. I hope that I can develop this idea within my own personal singing practice.
Before I came up with the final look, I took pictures of the wall as it was and then drew over the design using my iPad. I tried out several different ideas, sending them to my Mum for her input until one struck me with enough confidence to paint it.
Here is the finished look! I am really happy with the final result and I think it adds a little bit of my personality to my home in a beautiful way, every day it makes us smile. The icing on the cake is that my Mum sees it every time we FaceTime and it always makes her smile too.
There is a fantastic quote by Degas: “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” So I would love to know what you see and take from my magical wall. Let me know in the comments below.