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.
88 thoughts on “My Wonderful Whacky Wall”
Looks like a whole lotta fun, and there’s precious little of that in this year of our dismalness. Congratulations on fighting back.
I have some dismal days but nothing like as bad as some people’s worries about losing their businesses, long standing jobs they’ve been doing for years. This made us all feel good and was fun, cleaning up after wasn’t so much fun though! Lol.
Brilliant actually. And you had fun.
If a practice session isn’t going well or a tricky new song is causing me problems I go into the lounge and it just makes me smile remembering those couple of days.
Oh these are days to hold to your heart. xxxx
What a lovely family project! Fun and fantasy combined.
I miss my family, I was supposed to go home for a few days this week but my Mums region went into Tier 2 lockdown which means no overnight sleepovers and its too far to go to sit in the garden for an hour. Plus they don’t like you to leave a Tier 2 area to go into another area and London also went into Tier 2 on Saturday. They haven’t quite closed everything down again though so I managed to get to a concert that my Royal College of Music Coach was playing in – just brilliant.
What a great idea!! And how lucky that the finished item is so pleasing 😉
Well I did white paint over a few bits haha. My Mum was going to paint flowers on it but decided against it.
I think it looks very good!!
That was an interesting project! It looks like someone with a degree in the biological sciences had a hand in the design?
The design was pretty much free hand, a quick glance at my Pinterest page and off everyone went with their own shape and colour in mind. Then I spent a few evenings drawing the dark lines and putting on the gold circles that reflect the light lovely from the window.
Looks like something from Monsters Inc. What a fantastic idea and a way to bring colour into a room. Well done! How inspirational 🙂 xx
I love Monsters inc. lol. I wished the blue was more turquoise like Sully but they didn’t have that colour. I tried a different type of tester pot but to be honest the Farrow and Ball paint went on easier and didn’t need so many coats.
Great Fun! Great Result! What Next? Best Regards.
Thanks, I’ve been working hard with some technical singing training and online lessons so it was fun to have this little break. Art wise we need to make some more sound absorbers and put some colour in the music room.
Cheers. Have a wonderful day.
Love the wacky walls.
Thanks, Jovina, it certainly isn’t boring.
It’s bold, funky and fun! I love it Charlotte. I see waves and splashes a watery theme I think💦🌊. Looks like you all had a lot of fun doing it. 🥰😘
Thinking about it, Gill, I must have been inspired with all those art collages we used to do on the wallpaper wall. Matt went crazy with the pink! Mum told me I’ve got to straighten out some of the brown lines I painted but I kind of like them wonky lol.
It looks wonderful and so much more fun that a plain white wall. You you are the perfect accent sitting on the sofa against your newly painted wall.
Thank you Timothy. It will evolve, if I get fed up with a shape or colour I’ll just change that element lol. Equinoxio below has given me a couple of new thoughts too relating to Kandinsky….watch this space.
Super And with an idea
Thank you 😊. It will evolve with time I’m sure.
This is absolutely brilliant!!
Thank you I’m glad you liked my kind of crazy.
Absolutely!! I appreciate most forms of crazy!!! 😂😂
I am not able to find the follow button on your blog. Can u please send me the link?
I’m not sure how to do that, I’ll look into it, the follow button is usually on the front page of the blog.
Well i am following you now.
I tried to follow you back because the button appeared on your site but it won’t accept the e-mail address as validation? Ive never had that happen before?
There is an issue.. I was facing the same issue while following u.. Its gets rectified after a while
Charlotte what a fabulous idea i love it.
It certainly shows your Mums and your Artistic personality.
Everyone looked like they had a good time too. Amazing.😉
Mum did those great big canvases in her office and she’s always wanted to do something like this. I think of all of us doing this together and it makes me smile. Mum did what I’ve called the elephant and the big orange shape on the left. The boys liked their geometric shapes. George’s favourite colour is yellow so he did all the pale yellow.
I am loving this! Thank you for the inspiration.
I can recommend it Annette, if I get a bit bored with part of it I can get another test pot and paint over 😊.
Thanks John 😊. It certainly livened up the lounge.
Nice work Charlotte and you pulled it off. Talented singer with a beautiful voice, and now handy with a paint brush too. Any other talents hiding within? 👍👍
Well I can sew so I might borrow Mum’s sewing machine and make some more cushion covers with some cookie fabric I’ve seen.
Compliments to you and your family. A great result. I like it very. makes me think of Klee and Mondrian (Though there are no straight Mondrian lines…) a hint of Kandinsky, but I think it is really you. 👏🏻
What fabulous comparisons, I studied Kandinsky at school so perhaps his work inspired me without being conscious of it. I looked up Mondrian and his straight black lines might work around the blue squares to make them pop. I hadn’t heard of Klee I like his work also thank you for pointing me in their direction.
Well-deserved comparisons. Mondrian and Klee are very different artists but a good match to Kandinsky.
You’re gonna have to tear the wall, the day you move out of this apartment.
Looks great and sounds like a lot of fun!
I loved it Trent, although those dark brown lines took me ages it was great fun.
What a brilliant idea and it looks fantastic!
Thanks Clare, it is easy to live with too, Mum worried I’d get bored of it but if I do I can change just pieces of it.
Very creative. Well done.
Thanks Joe, we really enjoyed ourselves.
Hi, Charlotte. This is wonderful! I remember a photo of you and your mom, and I think you were working in the garden together. Through your posts, I also am reminded of the many times you mentioned how encouraging she has been along your journey. This project is so fun. (More proof of what a wonderful woman your mom/family have raised). Great job done 🙂
Thanks, Cheryl, We’ve always had our creativity encouraged, when we were little we had a wall that had plain wallpaper rolls put on it and we were allowed to stick all of our art of it and change it every three to six months. One time we painted a bus and each of us painted our faces on a white paper plate and stuck them in a window each, then we went on a trip around the World and drew icons from Paris for example and put them up, then the next project we went to Germany. Happy memories.
Fantastic! And so much fun.
It was a great short break. I miss seeing my family a lot so it makes me think of them.
The best gift that you could give to your Mom! Fantastic! Thank you, Charlotte and George!
She loves it Fabio, although she does think my lines could have been neater lol.
All my best wishes
Your Mom, George, you and the special visiting crew did a terrific job! I bet nobody will forget about the great endeavor. Best wishes, my friend!
Good work 👍
Thank you Amritpal 😊 glad you like it.
What a neat gift.
When we ask what she wants for her birthday she tells us “I don’t need anything” it doesn’t help, but she does like experiences and as there weren’t many experiences that could be had this summer this seemed a good idea and it was.
Charlotte, you and your mother share wonderfully creative brains! What a fun project and a fabulous result!
Wow! That is a great work!
It’s amazing how much coherence the work has gained with your changes. A great group project!
Wonderful and bold! Great idea for a birthday present and family bonding. 🙂
Wow Super !
A beautiful creative story. And a very nice result. The mixture of flat colors and very geometric black lines link the very “tidy, precise” side tone to the world of creativity and dreams. A very good mix indeed beautiful symbol reminiscent of the colors of the rainbows that you add to the scores in your interpretations. Bravoooo !!!!
Best thoughts of you, George and the family
Hi Charlotte, Ingres told Degas to paint lines, and you have painted them ever so abstractly.
The art seems to strike a counterpoint to the metropolitan environment in which you are living.
Expansive and upbeat in my opinion
Just like you, full of colour, creativity and energy.
Aww thanks Alex, appreciate that 🙂
I like what you all created. Such a wonderful tribute, and a great looking wall too. Thanks for sharing this experience with us.
Wow…if the singing does not work out, you can always do murals.
You do some fantastic work. Very impressive!
Thank you 😊. I was looking at my wall the other day and thought I hadn’t put any indigo or violet on the wall and its the only colour from the spectrum I didn’t use so I might pop along to the little shop and see if they have a suitable tester pot hehe.
When I was around thirteen and choosing the art or performing art academy to carry on to study up to sixteen, I was really torn, my academic teachers were going crazy because believe it or not I was at the top of the class in none arty subjects and they thought I shouldn’t concentrate so much on both arts and should give one set up but I convinced the Head that I would continue to study history in an art context and German in my music studies and expand my academic learning into my art subjects so he gave in and allowed me to do both academies. I absolutely loved school I took Maths, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, English Language And English Literature, IT, Music, Fine Art, Textile Art, Drama, Dance, General Studies, Critical Thinking, and an extra in Music Theatre. I can’t believe I crammed so much in looking back.
I forgot to say…
When I downloaded your photo of you and the wall it was titled ‘unnamed.’
Always put your name on the digital file as well as the date and location. As well as anything else important. If you got a print, do the same on the back.
99.9% of the material I deal with in the Archive has no identification…all lost to history.
Thank you Daniel for your advice on naming digital files, I’ll look into how to do that. By the way I loved your Princess Picture with the balloon 🎈 . I’d love to have some gritty photos like that but if they were staged they just wouldn’t be the same. Best wishes Charlotte 🙂
Yes, I like candid photography. I’m not much for staged photos. I guess I’m not that creative to do good staged work, just as some photogs have little talent for candid work.
When I was a kid growing up in L.A. I wanted to be a fashion / studio photog. Only after years of butting my head against the wall did it finally sink in that I had no talent for that type of work. So I decided to do what I could do well and never looked back.
As far as grit? It goes with the territory.
Low light candid photography = high ISO = contrasty light = grit. I prefer clean candid photography with less grit, but you have to make the best balance you can for bringing home the goods. Once in a while I do add some grit as you will see in a photo (‘Hakenkreuz in a Dress’) from the post I reference below. But normally I don’t add grit.
Once the corrosive virus hit that shut me down in NYC. I left many photo projects in various stages of completion and not much opportunity to shoot nowadays. But I work on archival material, (photos, film, video, audio) so no shortage of work to finish.
Going back to naming files and descriptions, I always put ‘candid’ in my descriptions now to make things clear. It is the same as I told you to put your name and details. But I never used to add candid. People have asked me if the little girl was my granddaughter or relative. So that got me clued in to label it candid to make things clear.
Candid street photography is what separates the men from the boys. And men taking candid photos of stranger kids on the street is even more of a risk…you get labeled a sexual predator. People can’t fathom that kids make interesting subjects and photogs would like to shoot them.
I wrote a post about all this naming importance a while back and it will give you more details. The post is NSFW. If you want to read it Google:
The Importance of Naming Digital Files Teoli
I had a link in the post of a dead man on the floor in a pool of blood. But Tumblr banned me in 2019 and removed all 48 of my websites including that photo. Only reason I mention it is; you can picture the scene of the dead man in the blood as you read the part that makes reference to the backstory of that photo.
As always…best of luck with your career and undertakings…I hope you always stay as happy and bright eyed as you are in your posts!
Now that’s bold, wonderful, and creative. Love the group effort!
Your wall design is such a bold statement and so well crafted. I love the interspersed geometric order with the abstract zones of color. I see it as collection of amoeba on a mad day out. There is something different to draw your eyes to at every glance. Thanks for sharing this work.
Brilliant. Finished product and more importantly, the process to achieve the final product
This gave me such a lift when I saw it and envied your mum joining in the painting, that I forgot to comment!
I see joy, fun and happiness.
I also see a whale swimming by a beach!
It looks wonderful! Very inspiring!
Thank you Andrea 🙂
splendid work! looks like a great team effort.
That’s absolutely wonderful and beautiful, not to mention such a fantastic way of bringing the family in on something fun and memorable! Awesome idea Charlotte!
I have just found your blog because you followed mine many years ago (you certainly will have forgotten!) & I haven’t been using my blog for years!! I just wanted to say that what you do is amazing & uplifting for people & I can see it must give you great joy too; And on top of it all you are able to come up with such a beautiful visual artwork which seems to reflect the spirit of optimism that you transmit!! In reply to your question as to what others see… with this mural aside from making me think a little of Matisse, Miro & Kandinsky, I end up seeing a duck in part of it along with a sensation of movement of water!
Lovely to hear from you again Sonya, I hope that you are well. I’m glad that my optimism comes over I like to raise spirits. I love Kandinsky and Matisse I studied both at school, I must check Miro. I love that you saw a duck my Mum thought elephant and others a sailing boat.
My best wishes
Great ideas and implementation. Great work!