Artisan Mural: Day One, Putting Down The Black Lines

The very first thing I painted on the wall was this heart. Everything grew out of that. Here is the wall before the heart.

Painting a massive wall like this is fun. It can be a little intimidating at first. I mean, think about it, this is a pretty big wall that can’t be missed when you walk into Artisan. A lot of people will see it, so you want it to look good. It can be very easy to overthink what you’re going to do. Because my style is very spontaneous and I like to create on the spot I find it best to not focus on the big picture. Just start with something small like the heart. Then add a couple of other details. Then a couple more. After awhile it all starts coming together. Eventually you get to a spot where it just feels right. Almost as if you might ruin it if you add more stuff. At least at this stage anyway.

The initial “black lines” stage, as I call it, is done. The next step is to add color. After that I might find that I do need to add some more characters or whimsical lines, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Then the last stage comes, which is all the detail work of going over the initial black lines and making them crisp and clean.

There was a point today when I was standing at the top of the ladder painting a cluster of stars, which was one of the last things I painted and I looked down and across the wall and to put it simply, I just felt blessed. It’s the middle of the day and I’m basically drawing on a wall like a little kid with a pack of crayons. I just feel so fortunate that people give me these opportunities. A lot of you reading this have been nice enough to buy my artwork over the years and I want you all to know that it means the world to me. If you hadn’t supported me when you did I probably would not have been on top of that ladder today painting that cluster of stars. The way I explained painting this mural is a lot like life. Trying to see the big picture before it exists can drive you crazy. Back in 2004 when I opened my gallery I didn’t know that 11 years later I’d be painting this huge mural in the nicest restaurant in town. So remember, start with a little heart and see where it takes you. It might surprise and astound you.

Sweet dreams.
– Jeff

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One Response to “Artisan Mural: Day One, Putting Down The Black Lines“

  1. Lauren says:

    You are all heart Jeff and this is the sweetest! Can’t wait to see the color!