Summer 2017 - Summer 2018

Sorry I don't seem to write more than once a year!

At long last, here is your update on some of the highlights from the past 365-ish days worth of work.



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The end of Summer 2017 involved partnering with the Big Lots Foundation and Children's Hospital to create a piece of artwork that would represent the donors fiscally responsible for the creation of the new Behavioral Health Pavilion set to open in 2019. 

Not gonna lie: It was a pretty sweet gig.

The Big Lots Foundation held a Gala in honor of the donors who had committed their resources to the development of the Behavioral Health Pavilion, and my job was to bring a triptych canvas mural to the event, and paint it in front of their guests. The goal was to make a work of art that guests could witness coming to life, journeying along with the artwork's evolution. This was an incredibly fun concept, but there were certainly some challenges to overcome...

Challenge #1: Design an image that not only lined up with The Big Lots Foundation's desire to represent their donors, but also create something that would compliment the design style of the Children's Hospital buildings' interior design, and imagine what the new space will look like even though it wouldn't be accessible for another couple of years.

Challenge #2: The triptych (3 canvas panels) needed to be at least halfway completed prior to the Gala evening so that onlookers could watch the process unfold. I was hired about 3 weeks before the event, so that meant: a) Purchasing supplies, b) Meeting with Children's Hospital to hear their visual needs, c) Creating a design that was approved by all "big dogs" involved, and d) Painting like mad so it was ready in time.

Challenge #3: Painting in heels on the night of the event. #nuffsaid

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The Gala was great fun. I enjoyed meeting many of the guests, but most of the time I was very much "in the zone." At one point, the Big Lots founder gave a little speech and pointed everyone's attention toward yours truly. I instantly turned a chromatic shade of magenta, beautifully accenting the turquoise art behind me as everyone gazed at the crazy paint lady.

Most of the time I don't mind having people watch me as I paint. What makes me nervous, however, is when they're stepping in to the middle of my process. Half of them are gushing about how gorgeous it is because they think it's pretty much done, and the other half don't say anything because they're thinking, "Is that IT?" To the latter group, I have to fight my awkward inner voice from announcing, "It's going to look so much more different, I PROMISE!! I really DO know how to paint!!!"

The finished panels were delivered to Children's Hospital in February 2018 for temporary housing. I am truly so pleased with the finished product, and it was honestly quite difficult to let them go! I tried an altogether new approach (mediums and otherwise) on this series of panels, and I have a feeling this style will pop up again soon in my maniacal mural ways.

Meanwhile, I am incredibly grateful for the insane honor of representing the brilliant humans who are responsible for bringing the manifestation of the new Behavioral Health Pavilion. I am inspired by their love and generosity.

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In the Fall of 2017...

I was asked to visit the new 1400 FoodLab (previously known as The Commissary) to have a chat with Scott Humphrys. Scott was interested in having a sister mural painted in an adjacent space to the original mural I had painted a few years prior.

The original mural image is one of my favorite works. Upon the opening of The Commissary, I was invited to do "my own thing" as long as the design incorporated food and community. My solution was an image that incorporated animals which would typically be on the dinner plate, sitting around the table enjoying a glass of vino together.


Scott thought it would be cool to see the same animals, only have a different view of them in work mode. The wall that was begging for a painting was next to the kitchen, so I went for a layout that mimicked the kitchen windows and painted the hustle and bustle of the animals at work at their craft, baking and cooking.

The biggest challenge of creating this mural was the time factor. I only had about a week and a half before 1400 FoodLab planned to have a re-grand opening party, and the goal was to have it finished for guests to view. This meant designing, transferring the drawing, and painting in a realistic, modeled style all within 10 days. Let's just say adrenaline levels were HIGH.


By the grace of God, I was able to get the mural to just above the 85% mark, so most people thought it was finished by the time the event emerged. {Hallelujah.} Then, I finished it within that week once the pressure was off. 

I love how this guy turned out.


And this guy...


And this little dude...


And, finally, the big picture...

1400 FoodLab mural 2


The Winter of 2017...

... was slow and cold in the mural arena, so I zeroed in on my pet portrait business. A multitude of hand-drawn and painted pups were delivered as Christmas gifts that season!



In the Spring of 2018...

The mural commissions began to roll in once more. :)

First, I created a funky Octopus mural for Crimson Design Group's client, Preferred Living. It's located in the Clubhouse of a recent Grandview area luxury apartment build.

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Next, I designed and painted a mural for Trinity Financial Associates. They desired a wall that celebrated the philanthropy of their own personal efforts along with their client's, encouraging generosity to whoever walked through their doors. Their giving falls both in the local and global realms, which is why a Columbus city skyline is superimposed over a global silhouette.

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Once the Trinity mural was completed, I moved on to one of my greatest painting challenges this 13 year mural career has slung my way...


And not just any ceiling painting - a German Rococo style mural complete with intricate golden borders, magical clouds, a Latin inscribed banner, AND... flying babies.

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This mural was requested by Keith and Jennifer Elflein of Herrenhaus Elflein, a winery located just past Canal Winchester, out in Asheville, OH. The Elflein's wanted a mural that celebrated the Rococo period as it was tied directly to their specific German heritage. Believe it or not, German's don't just make beer... There was & is a small section of the country that focuses on wine-making, and Keith's lineage includes these vine growers. Now, he's carrying on the tradition, cultivating his own grapes on his beautiful, sprawling farm with the help of his lovely family.

Herrenhaus Elflein is due to open in the spring of 2019, and once it does you had better put it on your list of vinos to taste, cuz: WOWSERS. 


As soon as I finished up the ceiling mural, I travelled to the other side of the city to begin a project that had been long in the making...


At G.T.E.S., I had painted the library several years prior, and even then the librarian and I were dreaming of this next project. In the winter of 2017, the green light had finally been issued, and so the design process began. You see, the school had a wall that measured about 150 feet in length which wrapped around the front side of the building. Previously it had been painted what was - I am sure, at the time - a "lovely" shade of taupe with silhouettes of children playing and floating. The wall was pleading for a visual update.

I came up with three different possible design solutions and the kids voted on their favorite. In the end, a concept that incorporated the school's mascot (a tiger), along with the Dublin school system's logo (a shamrock) won out. To top it off, each shamrock is saying "hello" in various languages, providing an intentional extension of hospitality to the diversity within the community. (Enter melting heart here.)


(Pictured above: The finished product.)

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(Pictured above: How the process began.)

I had some friends help me transfer the design onto the wall, and then I turned my drawing into a paint-by-number system. The kiddos from G.T.E.S. came out one library class at a time (about 7-8 classes a day), and we separated each class into two waves. The first wave was handed a smock, a brush and a cup with the paint color they were attacking. After 10-15 minutes, they handed off their goods to the second wave of students in their class. Five days later, we managed to see every student in the school (just under 900!!).

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Once the students painted as far as they could reach and every child had a "go" at it, I stepped in for clean up duty. And... let's just say, that part of the gig wasn't lacking in opportunity. ;)

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It took awhile - with a handful of setbacks slowing me down - BUT, I finally finished up the project at August's end, complete with a couple coats of varnish. And I must say, "She's a Beaut!"


I am so very pleased with how this mural finished up. The colors make my heart - and the wall - SING!! What a joy to create such a vibrant, energetic painting for little ones as they enter into their elementary school years. May this mural be a symbol of peace and inclusion to every culture that walks through the school doors.