“Discover Our Desert” Mural-In-A-Day

Onaga G.A.T.E. Class With Mural In a Day Design
G.A.T.E. STUDENTS TO PAINT “DISCOVER OUR DESERT” MURAL-IN-A-DAY AT ONAGA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Under the direction of Larger Than Life Murals, the G.A.T.E. ONES 4th-6th graders at Onaga Elementary School, along with their teacher GATE ONES Site Liaison Heather Possehl, and community volunteers will be painting a “Mural-In-A-Day” on Sat. Apr. 11th, 2015, from 9AM until 5PM on the school campus.

Discover Our Desert, Hand Painted Design
Discover Our Desert, Hand Painted Design by Larger Than Life Murals

The 37′ x 8′ “Discover Our Desert” Mural Project was conceived by Possehl as part of an effort to create an outdoor learning and meeting area on campus, and is a collaboration between Larger Than Life Murals public artists Linda Shrader and Echo Westover and the G.A.T.E. class.

The painting will begin with a black and white shaded drawing, and the students and volunteers will be adding all the color on Saturday. The public is encouraged to stop by, watch the mural come to life, and be a part of the hi-speed time-lapse video that will be filmed through the day.

“When I first started this journey at the end of the 2013-2014 school year, I never imagined it would culminate by working with such dedicated and talented community members.  They are guiding the students down a path of true understanding and helping students learn that they are part of something much bigger than themselves,” says Possehl.  “They eagerly look forward to each session with Larger Than Life Murals artists and cannot wait to see their concept become a reality on April 11th.”

Click on any image to open the slide show

Through A Series Of After-School Meetings

The students have worked with Shrader and Westover co-creating the mural design, and learning about a wide range of good public art practices, including project planning, art design, respecting copyrights, licensing, the importance of using quality paints and protective coatings, and more. In addition, there was discussion about how fundamental academics like language art skills, mathematics, and sciences are applied to real life situations, even as an artist.

“I like to tell the students that I didn’t think academics were very important because I always knew I wanted to be an artist,” notes Shrader, “And then I became a professional artist, and guess what? I discovered that my so much of my daily operation requires academic skills! We take opportunities like this to not only teach and encourage students in their artistic endeavors, but in their academic studies as well.”

Calculating wall area and paint needed, scaling designs, cost analysis, bookkeeping, are just a few of the areas that require and incorporate math skills. Good language arts skills are a must for proposals, contracts, internet marketing, press releases, and communication between the artist and the client or public. Chemical interactions between primers, paints, and coatings, chemical emissions, as well as environmental and other factors are more easily understood with a firm grasp of chemical properties studied in science curriculums.

“I honestly can’t believe that these two amazing artists are willing to help us create something that will change our school forever,” says 6th grade G.A.T.E student Kahlena Alcantar.  “It was very enjoyable meeting them and discussing the rules of painting and planning our artwork together.”

We Need About 15-20 Artist-Assistant Volunteers

As members of the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, I invite other member artists to “assist” student-artists on paint day, and hope to inspire others to get involved mentoring, teaching, and sharing their areas of interest and expertise with our children in the community.

For members of the MBCAC or other artists in the community who are interested in assisting our student artists on Saturday, April 11th, for all or part of the day, please contact Linda Shrader 760-413-2116 or by email linda@largerthanlifemurals.com. There is a required informational meeting Thursday, April 9th, 6:30 PM, at Onaga Elementary School, Yucca Valley.

Larger Than Life Murals has created many public art murals in the Morongo Basin and beyond, teach paint classes, and are advocates of public art and art in school programs.

Additional Information: Larger Than Life Murals www.largerthanlifemurals.com

Larger Than Life Murals Launches Art Classes with Ladies Paint Night

Linda Shrader and Echo Westover with over 30 attendees at the end of their first Paint Night Parties evening.

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.

Larger Than Life Murals Paint Night Video
Larger Than Life Murals Paint Night Video

“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.

Artist/Instructor Echo Westover demonstrates for the class
Artist/Instructor Echo Westover demonstrates for the class

In addition to oral instructions and a live demonstration, Shrader and Westover also walked around the room offering tips, assistance, and encouragement.

Shrader offers some cloud  assistance to Alisha Bryant
Shrader offers some cloud assistance to Alisha Bryant

“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.

Nicole Cody, Stephanie Will  work on their paintings during Larger Than Life Murals- Ladies Paint Night.
Nicole Cody, Stephanie Will work on their paintings during Larger Than Life Murals- Ladies Paint Night.

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!” 

Chelsea West shows off her finished painting
Chelsea West shows off her finished painting

Larger Than Life Murals will be adding more paint classes and workshops to their website, as well as some fun requested craft projects.

For more information about Larger Than Life Murals or to schedule your own Paint Night Class,  visit www.largerthanlifemurals.com

Most Recent Murals – May 2014

Most Recent Murals

May 2014. For the most current information visit www.largerthanlifemurals.com

Our Most Recent Murals Were at Yucca Family Medical Care.

1. Desert Sky- painted in a main hallway.

Desert Sky Mural 2014
Desert Sky Mural 2014

 

2. The Wildlife Mural, wraps around 4 walls of the children’s patient room. 

Wall #1- The Roadrunner

Wildlife Mural, Roadrunner
Wildlife Mural, Roadrunner

Wall #2- The Coyote

The coyote in the wildlife panoramic mural.
The coyote in the wildlife panoramic mural. He’s over 5′ tall.

Wall#3- Mountains

Wall #4- The Cottontail

Wildlife Mural, Cottontail
Wildlife Mural, Cottontail

3. The Hummingbird Mural- for the women’s health patient room.

Larger Than Life Murals- Hummingbird Mural.
Larger Than Life Murals- Hummingbird Mural.
Close-up of the Hummingbird Mural
Close-up of the Hummingbird Mural
Echo painting the flowers on the Hummingbird Mural.
Echo painting the flowers on the Hummingbird Mural.

4. The Bighorn Sheep Mural

The Bighorn Sheep Mural.
The Bighorn Sheep Mural.
Bighorn Sheep mural close-up
Bighorn Sheep mural close-up
Bighorn Sheep mural close-up
Bighorn Sheep mural close-up
Bighorn Sheep mural close-up
Bighorn Sheep mural close-up

 

If Graffiti Happens…

If Graffiti Happens

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:

Mural Graffiti
This is just a small area of a 30′ x 15′ mural that was graffitied by an 8th grader

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.

Using Sensitive Surface graffiti remover by Urban Restoration Group
Using Sensitive Surface graffiti remover by Urban Restoration Group

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.

The restored mural!
The restored mural!

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.

So… If Graffiti Happens, call Larger Than Life Murals to repair, restore, and protect your mural 760-413-2116, www.largerthanlifemurals.com

Or visit Urban Restoration Group at www.graffitiremovalinc.com to learn more and do it yourself.

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.

“Humming Bird Mural” 2014

Hummingbird Mural

 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:

Humming bird design

 

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- Hummingbird 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

 

Close-up of the Hummingbird Mural
Close-up of the Hummingbird Mural

 

Echo painting the flowers on the Hummingbird Mural.
Echo painting the flowers on the Hummingbird Mural.

 

I also shot a time-lapse video of this mural painting, so I’ll get that up asap!

We welcome your comments or questions 🙂