“Welcome Home Warriors,” a public art mural honoring the veterans and fallen of the Vietnam War, was recently featured on ABC10 KXTV News. The 16′ x 20′ mural, painted by Larger Than Life Murals artists Echo Westover and Linda Shrader, nears completion and will soon be installed in Manteca, CA, as reported by Kurt Rivera.
Designed and painted by Echo Westover and Linda Shrader, “Welcome Home Warriors” is an original work commissioned and owned by the Manteca Mural Society, Manteca, California.
The LION PRIDE Mural project between Larger Than Life Murals and La Contenta Middle School students is sure to make a lasting imprint for years to come. With it’s sheer size, bright colors, and striking design, it’s visible from almost anywhere on the campus, and even from eastbound Yucca Trail.
Beyond the visual impact, the overall success and positive experience of the LION PRIDE mural project was made possible because of a community effort. LCMS students and staff, parents, volunteer artist assistants, family, and friends all contributed in one way or another.
The Lion Pride Mural was twice featured in The Hi-Desert Star newspaper which was greatly appreciated. And of course, without the support and approval by the MUSD Board, none of this would have happened.
It all began when Jake Possehl, PBIS Director, reached out to Larger Than Life Murals (LTLM). Possehl had the idea of a LION PRIDE mural to help raise school pride to a whole new level, while encouraging student involvement as part of La Contenta’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Support program (PBIS).
LTLM artists Linda Shrader and Echo Westover knew this would be a great partnership project. “How many middle school students are greeted by a 15-foot-tall mountain lion stepping out of a wall in the middle of their campus everyday?” Shrader smiles, adding, “They love it, and the more we can strengthen the love + school equation, the better!”
Shrader speaks from experience. The mother daughter team of Shrader and Westover, Artist/Owners of Larger Than Life Murals, has painted over 60 murals in Southern California, and many of them on school campuses.
“The coolest part about public art murals is, they’re one of the most powerful and effective vehicles for delivering a message to students.” L. Shrader
“You can’t help but notice a larger than life mural, so of course it engages everyone on campus.” Shrader explains. “And most of us love wild animals, so that’s a WIN-WIN to start.”
Now factor in the power of hands on experience, and students reached over time… that all sums up to a REALLY powerful tool. Music also adds to the experience, hence, a classical piece was chosen for the soundtrack to the LION PRIDE Mural Time Lapse Video.
Students from LCMS Art Club, Leadership, and PBIS Student Leaders Participated
After much planning and preparation, about 20 students from three campus clubs, including LCMS Art Club, Leadership, and PBIS Student Leaders joined forces for the task.
Beginning Saturday morning, Jan. 28th, the design was laid on the wall using various techniques. Students helped with placing patterns, snap lines, locating coordinates, and making and using a plumb line. Some freehand drawing was added by Westover.
Students Began Painting Sunday
Sunday, Jan. 29th was the big student paint day. About 30 students came and went throughout the weekend. Many participated both days, and some only Saturday or Sunday, as a result of sports and other commitments.
Shrader and Westover, assisted by volunteer artists, Aaron Hansen and Jose Fierros, continued working on and detailing the mural until finished Tuesday evening.
On Friday, Feb. 3rd, reporter Leah Sanson came out to get some more information about the PBIS program and to take some photos for the Hi-Desert Star newspaper. Participating students gathered to sign their finished mural and pose for a group shot.
Larger Than Life Murals High Speed Time Lapse Video
Larger Than Life Murals video taped the LION PRIDE Mural painting process with their high speed time lapse camera. Beginning with student paint on Sunday, the short video below is 3 days of mural painting and credits in under six minutes.
Click on any photo to open the LION PRIDE Mural Gallery view to see all the photos larger…
Linda Shrader reviews before beginning with students1. Photo by Lori Thomas
Linda Shrader reviews before beginning with students. Photo by Lori Thomas.
Artist Shrader and students discuss the plan for getting the LION PRIDE mural design on the wall
Photo by Lori Thomas
Photo by Lori Thomas
Photo by Lori Thomas
Dr. Gruwell helps out painting. Photo by Lori Thomas
Artist Assistant Jose works with students on the lift. Photo by Lori Thomas
Placing patterns for some important mural elements. Larger Than Life Murals. Photo by Lori Thomas
Echo Westover keeps a watchful eye
Students painting on the mural
LION PRIDE Mural in progress. Busy student painting day at La Contenta Middle School, with Larger Than Life Murals. Photo by Lori Thomas.
Going up in the lifts was a first-time experience for many students and staff! Photo by Lori Thomas
Montana cutting in edges. Photo by L Shrader
Students working. Cole on the right.
Evening work continues on LION PRIDE Mural
Jose Fierros shares some of his artwork with captivated students. Photo by L Shrader
Student paints from the scaffold
Meagan working on edge details
Echo Westover working on shading the scroll
Echo Westover detailing
Students sign LION PRIDE Mural
Student and assistant signatures on the mural scroll
Lion Pride Mural going up viewed from the field next door. Photo by Lori Thomas
LION PRIDE Mural finished Tuesday evening
Students signing Lion PRIDE Mural
Finished Lion Pride Mural Group Shot.
For more information about bringing a Larger Than Life Murals project to your school or organization, please contact us using our contact form or call Larger Than Life Murals at 760-413-2116.
Even though Echo and I love painting together, the truth is some murals are just more fun to paint than others.
This mural was one of those fun ones. Located in LA, CA, the setting for this mural was a pop-up section of wall, 13.5 feet x 7.5 feet, in the rear garden of a lovely home, in one of the oldest neighborhoods between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. It was relaxing, quiet, and beautiful.
We are always grateful when any client, whether a private individual, business, or government entity, commissions us to paint a mural. But it was the attitude and flexibility of the gracious homeowner that really made painting this mural fun and memorable.
She is not only a patron of the arts, but a promising student artist as well. While we were painting she frequently watched quietly and studied what we were doing. While we were on break, she expressed her fascination with the process, asked great questions, and was generous with encouragement and compliments.
We had a specific budget to work with when we created this design and our client wanted something with the look and feel of an old, colorful Mexican town. She did not want it too detailed or realistic, rather more painterly looking.
She was all smiles when her Old Mexican Town Mural was finished. We hope our client will enjoy her mural and garden for many years to come. Yep, this was one of the fun ones. Thank you!
It’s such a joy to see the pride and sense of accomplishment the kids that painted the mural have with it. You can see by the way they touch it, that the connection runs deep, and the memories of the experience will last a lifetime.
We’ve built some relationships that will continue beyond this project, and are looking forward to following some of the student’s artistic endeavors in the years to come.
We were also surprised and honored by G.A.T.E. Site Liaison, Heather Possehl, when she invited us to a Morongo Unified School District Board meeting, and presented us with a beautiful plaque of appreciation! Thank you Heather!
“Discover Our Desert” Mural-In-A-Day Time-Lapse Video
What happens when you give 20+ elementary school students paint, brushes, and ask them to paint a 37 foot mural in one day? We were excited to get out our cameras and record a Mural-In-A-Day time-lapse video. Watch and see!
This 37′ X 8′ mural was designed and painted by the Onaga Elementary School G.A.T.E. Students and Larger Than Life Murals (Linda Shrader and Echo Westover).
“The truth, and I believe the key to our success, is that we had faith in the students. We knew with some guidance, they could do this!”
So we invested a little of our time, shared some information, and encouraged the students to give their very best in all aspects of the project.
Respect all persons and property (including NO paint spills).
Take pride in your work and give your very best painting effort.
And of course, enjoy!
And they did.
And even though we didn’t completely finish in one day, we considered this a huge success. We are very pleased with what we did accomplish and the kids were safe, and very neat about their work.
As the day progressed, some parents, teachers, even the principal couldn’t resist the urge to grab a brush and join in.
Here are some wonderful photos taken by the Office Tech, more fondly known as the ‘Heartbeat Of The School’, Barb Parsons.
Echo Westover (middle) advises G.A.T.E. Students painting “Discover Our Desert” Mural-In-A-Day, Onaga Elementary School, Yucca Valley, CA Photo by BJ Parsons
Tommie touching up the blue sky. Mrs. Possehl works on the legend KEY. Photo by BJ Parsons.
Chelsea West (left) discusses the desert tortoise with Cole. Photo by BJ Parsons
Linda Shrader (center) uses a straight-edge to correct the box around the coyote for the student artist. Onaga G.A.T.E. Class painting “Discover Our Desert” Mural-In-A-Day. Photo by BJ Parsons.
A parent volunteer demonstrates a technique to shade the center of the flower. Photo by BJ Parsons.
Mary, (top center) works on the blue sky. Photo by BJ Parsons.
Tommie concentrates on neatly painting the lettering. Photo by BJ Parsons.
From design to completion, this mural project is a true collaboration. The students choose the plants and animals to be included in the mural through class voting. We then selected the images using either our own photographs, paying for licenses to use a stock photos, or obtained written permission from the copyright owner. Then the students voted again on which plants and animals to feature. The we brought a design concept for them to approve before proceeding to the final, hand-painted 6-foot scaled mural on wood.
There Are 16 Native Plants and Animals In The Mural Identified On The Legend KEY.
Conceived by Onaga teacher and G.A.T.E. ONES Site Liaison, Mrs. Heather Possehl, the fun and educational mural depicts native plants and animals from the Morongo Basin, and is the first part of a project to create an inviting multi-purpose outdoor learning area for all Onaga students, complete with landscaping and benches.
If You Would Like To Contribute
Your skills, talents, labor, or financial support to the Onaga Outdoor Learning Area, please contact:
Butterfly Mural, Featured Exhibition At 13th Annual Indian Wells Arts Festival 2015
In keeping with the Indian Wells Arts Festival’s mantra, “Where Art Is Happening,” we were honored to be invited for our fifth year, to be one of many ‘artists in action,’ creating an exhibition mural from start to finish during the 3-day festival.
Ready To Paint the Butterfly Mural Exhibition, IWAF 2015
Linda working on Butterfly Mural
“The Butterly Has Landed” Exhibition Mural, Indian Wells Arts Festival 2015
Linda Shader and Echo Westover, Butterfly Mural Exhibition, IWAF 2015
The butterfly mural titled, “The Butterfly Has Landed,” was designed by Echo, and painted by both of us, April 3-5, 2015. It’s 12′ x 5′ acrylic (on 3 individual- 4′ x 5′ canvases), and we’re looking for a permanent home for it. If you’re interested in owning this mural at a great price, contact us here.
We have to keep the mural fairly simple to complete it in 3 days, because we spend a lot of time, answering questions and sharing information about mural painting. But good design and color are effective in catching the attention of festival goers.
When interested children approach, we often hand them the paint brush to add a few strokes and “help” with the mural, with parents permission of course.
Echo was also honored with a 3rd place ribbon in the acrylic painting category, with the beginnings of her newest series, featuring a stylized look at some iconic Southern California landscapes.
Echo Westover, 3rd place ribbon, acrylic category, IWAF 2015
Windmills Acrylic Painting by Echo Westover
Dreamy Palms Oasis, Acrylic Painting by Echo Westover
Joshua Tree Daydream, Acrylic Painting by Echo Westover, Joshua Tree National Park
Tahquitz Beauty, Tahquitz Canyon Waterfall, Acrylic Painting by Echo Westover
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.