Our first mural of 2021 has been a long time coming but a couple of days ago the clouds parted long enough for the sun to briefly pop its head out to say hello. That cheery greeting was enough for us to put on our painting jackets and get outside for a bit of freestyle al fresco painting.
We’d recently given the wall a spa day in preparation for mural season and stripped her back to her under layers but we’d stopped short of giving her a new coat of white because we both agreed the wall looked pretty cool as it was. A free background if you will. Time to put it to use.
All we had to start with was the basic stencil of the woman and after a fair bit of hoohah about what exactly we were doing we ended up with is the lady with the copper earrings here. She looks like she knows stuff she’s not going to tell you. And that’s most certainly the case. You just don’t have the correct security clearances.
Well, will you look at that. It’s only reveal day for my latest creation – a 3-in-1 mural of my cousin, Sandor. If you watch the video you can see that I’ve even dressed up for the occasion so you know it’s going to be pretty exciting. If you’re into that kind of thing.
Given that I was concerned that the different tapes at different angles could possibly be a bit visually jarring I’m pretty pleased with the end result. Let’s hope Sandor is too…
Step 1! We can have lots of fun. Step 2! There’s so much we can do. So we’d best narrow our options and decide on the most time consuming course of action then step to it. To up the ante a little I decided to use three different tapes set at three different angles not knowing if the final result would be an insult to both vision and art. But life is an experiment so we forge ever onward.
As you have likely spotted from one of the work in progress shots the temperature has now officially reached high enough that I’ve had to revert to my 90’s rapper look just to stay cool. Time is a harsh mistress it’s true but stay tuned for tomorrow’s exciting reveal all the same…
Bonus fact: In case you didn’t notice I hit you with some New Kid On The Block lyrics right at the start of this post. So there.
It’s now time to embark on a new 3 in 1 piece on my favourite bit of garden wall and I needed a willing new subject. Can you guess who it is? Well, who better than my cousin! Full marks if you guessed correctly although if you’re not family you’ve been doing some pretty hardcore surveillance. Congratulations either way.
If you didn’t recognise him you’re just going to have to trust me that it’s a pretty good likeness. The question is, how much further can I get done before the rain sets in? It’s sunny now but my weather app assures me not for much longer. Answers on a postcard…
Scruffy here doesn’t like cats and he never has. The way the prowl round like they own the place with their evil eye assessing any prey small enough and silly enough to get in their way. Oh yeah, they like getting their belly rubbed and are cute when their owner is about but, man, the things he’s seen them do when they think no one is looking beggars belief. Recently he’s been seeing a lot of cat video’s on the internet and he’s had just about enough.
No-one is saying graffiti is the answer. (It is though). He’s just a man on a mission to express himself. He’s just got finish this sentence first…
Step 1 – Find an old pencil sketch of Muhammad Ali that your dad did back in the 70’s in your auntie’s kitchen and decide that you want to do your own version of it. Attempt to find the reference photograph that he must have used but fail. #ali #muhammadali #mohammadali #mohammedali #stencil #art #contemporary #mural #paint #painting #wall #london #overcomplicated #sketch #70s #modern #street #urban #graffiti #lockdown #stepbystep #instructions It turns out Ali has been photographed thousands of times over the years and the internet is not particularly helpful when you can’t be very specific. No problem. You’ll just have to make the detail up yourself.
Step 2 – Using the arcane skills you’ve learned over the years turn the original sketch into a wall sized stencil and then apply to your wall in black. So far so good. This is easy.
Step 3 – After much deliberation about colour and the general direction you want the picture to take you decide on a nice bright red and go with the wallpaper with the hidden morse code message and sit back to admire your handiwork. You leave it overnight and decide to come back tomorrow to see if you’ve actually finished…
Step 4 – Have a harebrained idea about taking this piece next level by having it as three murals in one and then proceed to attempt to make this idea a reality. Constantly question whether it will work or just be an immense waste of your time. Add some detail to the hair area then try to take some classy shots. This could be as good as it gets. Really go for it and include the cat if you can and any other arty shots you can manage.
Step 5 – Apply tape to half the wall and then recolour the background in a vague approximation of the colours of the Islamic flag to denote his membership of the Nation of Islam in 1964 and his name change from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. Your idea already sounds pretty highfalutin but you’ll go with it all the same.
Step 6 – Add some white to the background then, using your meagre skills at skin tone and having no reference pic to go from (other than the photo of your dad’s pencil sketch), colour the face in and try to make it look at least a little convincing. Hmmm. You’ll have to try a little harder than that.
Step 7 – Fuss around for ages trying to get the skin tone looking at least a bit more believable. That’s a bit better. Best to stop now before you go too far. Admire your handiwork and take another pic. That’s two murals down. There’s no turning back now.
Step 8 – It’s reveal time! Find the ends of the tape that you applied to the wall in Step 5 and yank that stuff straight off the wall. You’re now officially a performance artist.
Step 9 – Now you get to see if your plan actually worked. Admire your handiwork and take a few more pics. Job done. Congratulations. Then it’s time to wonder if anyone has done this kind of thing before or if you’ve finally found your thing. Think about this for approximately five minutes before your attention is diverted by the next shiny idea to pass through your brain.
We’re a bit late to the party with our announcement but we’re happy to confirm we’ve been given a wall to paint at this year’s UPfest. It’s the first time we’ve managed to snag an actual wall so must finally have enough karma points stacked up. Let’s just hope we manage to nail it…
The year is 1981. The place is the newly opened Lion’s Den club in Miami’s South Beach. Our time-travelling warrior poet Azrael Goldbeard is taking some well earned time off in the early 80’s as he fancied a bit of some sun and some disco dancing. Although lesser known than it’s New York counterpart, Studio 54, the Lion’s Den is very much along the same lines. Debauchery is the name of the game and Goldbeard is very much enjoying his time here. He’s currently thinking about nipping back to 77 and see what all the fuss was about. It’ll be a while until he’s back in grim and grimy 2019…
So how do we start a write up about lady Cheltenham? Maybe its best to explain our monumental balls up that started it all.
There we were during the week looking at the weather forecast and lo and behold it forecast rain for the Saturday. This year our design consisted of quite a bit of emulsion so we thought it best to get an early start so that it wouldn’t run in the rain. So with as much preparation as we could muster we headed down on Friday to get an early start which we did with an ease that id-iom is known for.
When we got to the Frog and Fiddle is when the problems started. The wall that looked like the one we were painting hadn’t been painted white like the rest and it seemed a little wider than what we were expecting, so we asked the bar staff who pointed at another wall which we took for consent to paint. In hindsight this was probably not the best idea.
Lets move forward to Saturday lunchtime when we finally dragged ourselves out of bed after a few too many drinks the night before we set off back to the frog and fiddle to finish our piece but i think you can already guess we had painted the wrong wall. With a few expletives thrown about for our stupidity we set about trying to get the new wall finished before either the rain stopped play or the after party started.
Anyway what we have for our troubles is Lady Chelts
Thanks to Andy and Angela for once again putting on a wonderful festival. Onwards and upwards guys!!
When we got a call from Korp to see if we’d like to freshen up a large wall in Peterborough we jumped at the chance and ‘Mr Mayhem’ is the inevitable result. If you’ve seen Sons of Anarchy (which, if you’re unaware, is a TV series about gun-running biker gangs in California) then you’ll probably know that ‘meeting Mr. Mayhem’ is a club euphemism for killing someone. If you haven’t then now you do.
Now, I’m certainly not advocating violence of any kind but it got me to thinking about Mr Mayhem as a kind of mysterious character rather than a euphemism. And here he is. Resplendent with his ‘Mayhem’ ambigram. To me he’s like a dapper English gent version of Winston Wolfe from Pulp Fiction. Except he puts people into sticky situations rather than helping them out. And if he had wallpaper in his fictional house it would undoubtedly look something like this.