Larger Than Life Murals launched the first of their art classes this past week, starting with a Ladies Paint Night, to a group of over 30 women, and it seems a good time was had by all.
“Such a great night,” says attendee Jessica Gibbs, “They (the whole Larger Than Life Murals team) were amazing… Lots of laughs, smiles, and learning. Can’t wait for the next one!”
“I’m really happy the night went so well,” admits artist Linda Shrader, “This was our first class, and I wasn’t quite sure how well our approach would be received, especially by the ladies who had attended paint nights with other artists.” Shrader had hoped she and Westover could deliver a good balance of having fun, with learning some real painting techniques the ladies could use in the future.
In addition to oral instructions and a live demonstration, Shrader and Westover also walked around the room offering tips, assistance, and encouragement.
“I’ve been to two other paint nights with another gal. Linda and Echo’s class was 100 times better,” comments Colleen Wortham. “All of them were so very, very wonderful. I can not wait for the next class!!”
In addition to the mother-daughter artist team, Linda’s 3 other daughters were also present; Photographer, Piper Robison, shot stills and a video of the class, while Shrader’s youngest daughters, Starlin and Blaze, also shot some photos and assisted with refilling paint plates.
Raquel Villegas drove to Yucca Valley for the Ladies Paint Night, all the way from Orange County, and was glad she did. “I couldn’t believe how easy and fun it was to paint my own masterpiece!”
Larger Than Life Murals will be adding more paint classes and workshops to their website, as well as some fun requested craft projects.
At Larger Than Life Murals, we have a zest for learning. Through the years, we have compiled a list of helpful resources which cover a wide range of topics related to public arts and culture, including economic and educational impact.
There is a wealth of information and opportunity out there. This list is not exhaustive, just a collection of some we’ve found useful. We hope you do also.
If you are a working or aspiring public artist…one of the best things you can do for yourself is educate yourself.
Public arts and culture is a growing industry. And if you want to be a part of it, the more you learn about the industry the better. You can research and study successful public arts programs, join support organizations, find many educational and working opportunities, grants, residencies, and the list goes on.
Visit some public art spaces in person, and if that’s not possible, visit their websites. Ask yourself, what makes them successful? What appeals to you most? Who is considered the top artists in their disciplines? What would be your best contribution to the public at large?
See what’s out there, not so that you’ll copy someone else’s work or style, but rather be encouraged, inspired, challenged to really dig deep, and bring forth your inner most dreams and aspirations as an artist. Check out our Inspiration page for some very cool public art. Dream big! No limits. If you could create anything… what would it be? (Then do it)
If you’re on a cultural arts council, or want to help start/develop a public arts program but don’t know where to begin, this is a pretty good place. Again, educate yourself.
The good news is, the real work has been done for you. There are links below to comprehensive studies, compendiums, reports- with real data for the numbers guys- to help you win your case for public art and art in schools, as well as so many other tools and opportunities to help you grow your public arts program.
Please note: Linda Shrader and Echo Westover of Larger Than Life Murals are sharing this information with you to for the benefit of public art everywhere. We base our opinions on our own personal experiences. Your own experience may vary.
If Graffiti Happens… call Larger Than Life Murals to restore your mural 760-413-2116
It’s one of the biggest fears of public art councils, city officials, school boards, business owners… to spend hard earned money on a beautiful mural, only to have it destroyed with graffiti. Truthfully, very few murals actually get graffitied, compared to the number that are out there. So take breath and relax a bit.
For example, in the 12 years we’ve been painting murals, only one we’re aware of has been graffitied. Maybe we’ve been fortunate, but our experience shows us that most communities, including schools, take great pride in their murals. Even most “street artists” show respect and don’t touch the murals.
A disgruntled 8th grader graffitied this middle school mural:
To make matters worse, he used heat-resistant engine paint, leaving the empty cans behind. This mural is 30’ x 15’ and he sprayed as much as he could reach from the ground. We’re only showing a portion here, to avoid displaying profanities that were also sprayed on the wall. The school principal was horrified… school was starting in a week, AND the district school board was coming for a tour of the newly remodeled school, complete with the new mural they were excited to see in person.
Like all Larger Than Life Murals, this mural was painted with Nova Color artist grade mural paint, and this mural was NOT coated with anything afterwards. At that time, we were not 100% confident with any particular mural coating, and trusted the highest UV rated Nova Color paints we used, to hold up. Which they do, and most of our murals are in the high and low deserts of So. Cal., with intense sun and often blowing sand.
After extensive research, we found what we believe is the very best graffiti remover. In fact, it’s the World’s Best Graffiti Remover, by Urban Restoration Group. The testimonials on their website at http://www.graffitiremovalinc.com are quite impressive. Quite a claim. We believe it.
We called Urban Restoration Group and followed up with a visit to their LA office. Adam Kopcho, Director US Operations, was very helpful and informative. We purchased their Sensitive Surface remover, which is designed to use on painted surfaces. Applying the remover as directed, wiping it off with a damp cloth, repeating as necessary, the spray paint came off very easily and removed very little mural paint in only the toughest areas.
From a distance, the mural would have looked fine without touch-ups to the artwork, but we did touch it up, knowing it would be scrutinized up close by the touring school board, we wanted it to look it’s best!
This is how the mural looked when we were done.
In addition, Adam gave us a sample pack of various World’s Best Graffiti remover products, which we really appreciated. As a gesture of gratitude to the school district for their repeated business, we gave them some of the Bare Brick remover, designed to use on unpainted surfaces like block or concrete walls, because we noticed some “tagging” graffiti on some sidewalks in front of the school. The school maintenance staff was thrilled, and later said they couldn’t believe how wonderfully it worked, and stressed the time and money they saved using the Bare Brick Graffiti Remover.
Disclaimer- Larger Than Life Murals is not associated in anyway with Urban Restoration Group, nor is Larger Than Life Murals compensated by them any way. We are simply sharing our experience for the greater good of public art everywhere. Claims are based on our experience. Results may vary. Please use all products as directed by the manufacturer.
Larger Than Life Murals painting a public art mural, and the ribbon cutting. The mural was sponsored by local businesses of the Village of Joshua Tree, CA., and is located on the east facing wall of Natural Sisters Cafe, 61695 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
Larger Than Life Murals is proud to announce their new studio will be open both weekends of the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council Open Studio Art Tours, Oct. 25-26 and Nov. 1-2, 2014. Location and hours information soon forthcoming.
In addition to murals, Linda Shrader and Echo Westover will be exhibiting fine art oil and acrylic paintings, graphite drawings, photography, and sculptural pottery.
“This is a first for us, and we’re very excited,” says Linda Shrader, artist/muralist, and co-owner of Larger Than Life Murals.
Linda recently returned to the high desert, after living in Riverside for the past 5 years, and bought another home in Yucca Valley. “It’s good to be back in the Morongo Basin, we’ve been busy in our new studio and we’re very excited about finally being able to participate in the MBCAC Open Studio Art Tours this fall. Our new studio has a 16′ ceiling, so we can showcase some murals in studio.”
A life-long artist, Shrader has been painting murals over 12 years, and started Larger Than Life Murals in 2007. She and her co-owner and daughter, Echo Westover, have painted several murals in the Morongo Basin, including the Patriotic Mural on the Glen Realty building in Yucca Valley, and two murals in Joshua Tree, the Respect/Protect Tortoise Mural on the Joshua Tree Laundry building and Welcome to Joshua Tree on the Natural Sisters Cafe building.
In 2001, Linda served on the first Board of Directors for the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council. One of the board’s early visions was to create an Open Studio Art Tour. They did, and with the efforts of successive boards, many volunteers, and support of the patrons, the Hwy. 62 Open Studio Art Tours has become a big success here in the Morongo Basin, and continues to grow each year. Read more on www.mbcac.org
The Hummingbird Mural is approx. 6′ x 4.5′, Acrylic on interior wall. Commissioned by Yucca Family Medical Care, Yucca Valley, CA.
Here’s the story of this mural… The Office Manager, Jenifer, who commissioned us to paint several murals, had already adorned many of their halls and patient rooms with beautiful art and large framed desert photography. She wanted something more… she really wanted their office to aesthetically have the “wow” factor. Echo and I jumped at the chance to aim high and “wow” her! The staff loves desert landscapes, plants, and animals, so subject matter is plentiful, we just needed some great designs and photo references.
I set out on a mission in the Joshua Tree National Park (JTNP) to take some fresh photos with Starlin and Blaze. But it was mid-May, and the wildflowers were scarce. Remembering the garden at the Hi Desert Water District office, we headed across town and got there just before the sun went down, and indeed, there was a variety of plants still blooming. Just as I was about to snap a shot of this purple flower, a hummingbird buzzed right into the frame! It darted around a bit, pausing as if posing, letting me get several shots, and then was gone again. How cool was that!?
So here is the design we presented with my original photograph:
The room was painted this beautiful green after our presentation, we we adjusted the colors of the mural to work with the room.
Here is the finished painted mural:
“Larger Than Life Murals exceeded our expectations from beginning to completion. Professional and dependable, Linda and Echo went above and beyond to complete 4 murals within a very tight schedule. We love our murals, and confidently recommend Larger Than Life Murals.”
Jenifer Batin, Office Manager, Yucca Family Medical Care 2014
I also shot a time-lapse video of this mural painting, so I’ll get that up asap!
Joshua Tree, CA. Private Commission. Acrylic on stucco. 40′ x 5′
Close-up of Quail
Echo Westover with Cory Hamilton Assisting
Desert Oasis Panorama
The home where this mural is located is near the beautiful Joshua Tree National Monument. The homeowners love the desert landscape, and wanted to be able to see it even while in their pool. Working with some photos the homeowners had taken of some favorite hiking trails, plants, rocks, views, and the request to add a watery desert oasis complete with a quail, we designed a mural to fit the space and manifest their vision.
“From the design phase to completion, working with Larger Than Life Murals was a pleasant experience. Our expectations were met or exceeded, and we are very happy with our finished mural.”
Their beautiful pool area was created to enjoy with their children and grandchildren, so we added an extra element of fun to the mural by painting all 15 of their names into the mural, very small and only visible up close. We heard they had fun searching for their names, like a big page of Where’s Waldo? 😉
Welcome to Joshua Tree Mural is a community mural in Joshua Tree, CA. The 21′ x 9′, mural was painted in acrylic on stucco.
Sponsored by many local businesses in the Village of Joshua Tree, and painted by Echo Westover and Linda Shrader of Larger Than Life Murals. It’s on the East-facing wall of Natural Sisters Cafe on Hwy. 62., a gracious contribution from building owner, Linda Perry.
Designed by Echo Westover, the jack rabbit on the right, also painted by Echo Westover, is a Larger Than Life version of Marcia Geiger’s original small painting “Surprise Jack,” which was recreated in the mural with her permission. You can see her reaction to seeing it finished in the video below.
We had a lot of fun painting this mural, and because of the family-friendly atmosphere in Joshua Tree, Echo and I were assisted by my other 3 daughters: Piper Robison, Starlin and Blaze Shrader. And by my sister, Jody Person. We were also honored by the assistance of the famous Aaron Hansen on the lettering.
Larger Than Life Murals recently painted a small mural on the newly constructed monument wall in the middle of the Mecca Roundabout traffic circle at 4th Street and Hammond Rd.
The mural was commissioned by the Riverside County Transportation Dept. and made possible by federal and local grants.
Mecca Monument Mural, Riverside County Dept. of Transportation, 2013
Echo Westover detailing Mecca Monument Mural
Senior Inspector Alec Yzaguirre lends a hand
Wayne Winiecki Spraying B-72 (Sealant)
Because we were literally in the middle of traffic, which included many agricultural trucks and semi’s, safety was of the utmost concern, as well as getting done and out of there as soon as possible. But we always enjoy painting, and I guess it looked like so much fun that Senior Inspector Alec Yzaguirre just had to grab a brush and lend a hand.
Larger Than Life Murals To Paint Exhibition Mural, 13th Annual Indian Wells Arts Festival
We’re excited and honored to be back at one of our all-time favorite arts festivals, The Indian Wells Arts Festival, April 3,4,5, 2015. Echo and I will be painting an exhibition mural from start to finish during the 3-day festival.
This is what we painted in 2011…
MT Robison, looking Larger Than Life!
Mural News, Linda Shrader speaks to the media at the Indian Wells Arts Festival 2010
Indian Wells Arts Festival, three days of art & entertainment Published: Thursday, March 12, 2015 8:19 PM Pacific
Always a favorite among art enthusiasts is the incredibly talented Falossi family of artists whose rock sculptures inspire nothing less than awe as the award-winning ‘rock duo’ David Falossi and his young son Christopher chip away a work of art from a stone block. Painter Linda Shrader and her daughter Echo Westover will create a spectacular large-scale mural, completed from start to finish over the three-day event; and, glass-blower Bruce Freund will transform sand into colorful, delicate hand-blown glass art with temperatures of more than 2,100 degrees in his portable furnace.
New to the Festival this year is portraiture artist Peter Mikulak whose talent rose to fame with national recognition of his unique and edgy portrait painting techniques while selling his works of the ‘Forever Marilyn’ exhibit in Palms Springs, and now prominently featured in luxury galleries and hotels such as the Hyatt Regency.
Adding to the energy of the event is the Rancho Mirage High School ‘Flash Mob’ who will deliver a breakout performance for Saturday festival-goers; and, fun photo-ops for attendees presented by the Cathedral City High School Digital Arts and Technology Academy (DATA) and event primary sponsor, Hot Purple Energy; as wells as an assortment of wine, cocktail and food offerings, including a Sunday “Eggs + Champagne in The Garden” brunch menu till noon, and children’s activities.
Since 2007, Larger Than Life Murals has created over 60 murals in Southern CA. We're a full service company specializing in the design and painting of custom public art and private murals. Services include protective coatings, graffiti removal, and restoration. We are also advocates of arts in education.