Andy Lloyd's Murals
I have begun taking professional commissions to paint wall murals in the Gloucester area. My latest work is of dinosaurs.
These prehistoric scenes incorporate a variety of dinosaurs and other creatures, set in a lagoon. I have used the irregular wall shape to the right to paint an archeopteryx in a tree. This entire mural is about 12' by 8' in size and took around 17 hours to create.
Some of the detail in the mural is quite fine, as can be seen here. My oldest son helped with the dinosaur eggs. On the opposite wall I decided to create two much larger dinosaurs; the boy whose room this is was desperate to have a scary T-Rex on his wall, and the alcove here allowed for it to be hidden away a bit, in case it scares his younger brother and sister!
I think the T-Rex works very well, looking menacing in the background. I created a softer feel for the Stegosaurus, and raised it up from the ground (to allow for furniture) by incorporating a stream and waterfalls running from the alcove. This mural took a surprisingly short period of time; about 10 hours.
I recently created a fictitious window, overlooking a country garden, in the same house. In their kitchen to be precise. The piece was painted literally overnight, as a surprise, which was quite cool. It included particular subjects asked for, like the water feature and the geese! My favourite part of the painting is the vase on the windowsill:
My Son's Room (1996)
Time is a precious commodity, and it can take up to 100 hours to paint a successful wall mural, as it did with the third bedroom in our house. But it was worth it. A couple of months after our first boy was born the mural was featured on Central TV News, giving us a very professional baby video indeed! The wonderful thing about acrylic paint is that it keeps its colour permanently, and the mural is still as clear and bright as the day it was painted. There's just a bit more in the way of furniture in front of it, that's all...
The problem with painting murals on the walls in your house is that if you end up moving house it's not like you can take them with you! Fortunately, we have no such plans...
My wife and I love the Amalfi coastline in Italy. To wake up in the morning each day and look out of the window and gaze upon that magnificent scenery would be quite wonderful. Lucky old Gore Vidal! In our room I painted the Amalfi coastline, or at least something resembling it. Not quite the real thing, of course, but it's better than Britain on a wet winter's day!
A couple of years ago I was asked to decorate the corridors of Ward 14 at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. I tried to emulate some of those wonderful underwater scenes of diving dolphins, but as usual I got wrapped up in the detail and it turned out to be a bit more quirky. It also took absolutely ages. Might have been better to get Dave and Martin Cosnette to install an aquarium on the ward!! This mural is entitled '8 Fishtulas', which is a medical in-joke with one of the surgical Drs.
This mural is featured on:
"How To Paint An Aquarium Mural Resources"
After '8 Fishtulas' was eventually completed I embarked on a second mural on Ward 14. This coincided with my changing wards, and becoming a Charge Nurse. It took me a while to settle into my new role, so the painting was sidetracked a bit...18 months in fact. But at last it's finished. Here's 'Surfer Rosa':
The Cotswold Dialysis Centre have commissioned me to create a wall mural in their waiting room. This project is a bit more adventurous, being an 18' by 8' wall with radiators in front of it! I slowly worked away on a scene of San Gimignano, loosely based on a photo by Sandro Santioli. It took many months, but was well worth it:
The radiators were a big problem. I decided to paint a balcony across the wall in the same vein as the radiators, in order to hide them. As it happens, seating usually hides them anyhow. Then I painted Romanesque pillars on each side, to accentuate the feeling of looking out from a balcony. In hindsight it may have been better to break up the effect with a gate in the middle, showing the sunflower field. Still, it's not bad, and the staff at the Cotswold Dialysis Centre certainly like the finished mural:
Regrettably, this mural is no more! The whole building was demolished to make way for a new Women's Centre. As upsetting as that may seem, not even art can stand in the way of progress!
School Rainforest Project
As my children get a bit older I shall hopefully have more opportunities to work on murals in public places. What I would like to do it incorporate my portrait work into the murals to create neo-classical works; but I have some way to go yet. At the moment I'm involved in a large art project at Longlevens Junior School. I've been busy painting 15' high walls with a rainforest scene. The children are getting involved too, and are incredibly enthusiastic about the whole project.
Here are some photos of the area before preparation and painting began:
I started by white-washing the walls, and painting the sky onto the ceiling. Not particularly easy, even with good ladders and rollers to paint with. Needless to say, this stage took place over the weekend, without the presence of the children. Then I painted straight onto the walls, Rolf Harris-style. I knew the whole project would take some time, so I just plunged into it with little preparation. It was very enjoyable work, with plenty of enthusiasm, and disbelief, from the kids. The pegs are still on the wall here as trees and a waterfall take shape:
Project work with other artists is on-going with the Year 5 children involved. They started making these huge plants to go in the room as part of the overall installation. I also began to help the children add to the mural, painting in animals and birds mostly. The butterfly to the left of the picture below is such an example:
This work is on-going, a bit at a time, here and there. During the summer term, the rainforest took shape with the installation of the hanging tissue sculptures made by the Year 5 children. Additionally, the computer LAN was in place, allowing visitors to add rainforest sounds, again created by the children. The overall effect is wonderful.
As you can see from this image, the area is very busy indeed! The doors to the toilets have become part of a hut. It's also difficult to make out the shape of the room; there are three walls shown on this image!
Here we can see some of the animals painted in by the children, including a butterfly, a black panther, a snake and a horde of insects on the path leading to the temple. The Olmec head can just be seen, hidden behind the computer.
A couple of years after this mural was created, it was adapted to become part of a major art project about 'Kensuke's Kingdom'. Follow the link below to see how it turned out!