Saturday, 19 April 2014

a garden art project

Our house is built on a steep hill, so much so that the very top of our garden is higher than the rooftop of our house. The previous owners had the steep garden terraced and we have a garden with 4 distinct levels, each of which has a different purpose. That said, the bottom level is pretty useless. It is close to the house and the next level is about 1.4 metres  higher, with a drab wall creating the boundary. I always think of this bottom level as a trench of sorts. One day I am hoping to extend the dining room all the way out to the wall and have a glass roof.



To brighten up the space, Richard paints the wall white every spring. About three years ago, Annie, Sam and I painted a rainbow on this wall, which really made a difference to our trench. This spring, rather than carefully painting around the rainbow, Richard painted the entire wall white again so that we could start with a blank canvas once more. A perfect spring holiday project, weather permitting. I had in mind a garden mural with beautiful flowers. If given a choice, I would have sketched the whole mural with pencil onto the wall to then carefully colour it in with a balanced mix of subtle flower colours and greens. Or maybe I would have invited some talented local graffiti artists over for an hour of spray painting. However, the wall art was to be the children's own work and they have of course different ideas of what is beautiful.

Armed with acrylic paint and paint brushes, Sam, Annie, James and Alistair started painting more or less at random. But that was ok with me.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Annie was more or less in charge. She helped the little ones and argued with the big one. My main role was to make sure they didn't paint the house, inside and out, and to wipe multi-coloured foot prints off the dining room and kitchen floor before the water insoluble paint dried completely. I also had to provide food and drinks for the artists. 


The wall art took two days to complete because of course there are many other exiting things to do in the garden and painting is hard work. Annie and I made some "corrections" one evening, nothing major, just turn a half finished black tulip into a bumble bee, paint over some random splotches and dot the butterflies with spots. I also added some flowers to a neglected part of the wall and Annie painted over James' and Alistair's signatures because she decided they were not legible.

I love our new wall. It is no Banksy, I agree, but at least we won't wake up one day to find the mural gone from the garden and appear at auction! 

Our two week spring holiday is almost over, just two more days to go. The holiday passed quickly. We spent hours in various local parks and country parks, enjoyed many days at home doing nothing much at all, went for picnics and family walks and spent a day at the safari park in Blair Drummond.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. We like to keep it low key in this house but Richard and I usually hide chocolate eggs for the children to find and eat (and fight over). Afterwards, Richard and Sam will be leaving for a one night wild camping trip in the Campsies. I am hoping to do some sewing with the French doors open, watching the littler ones play in the garden.

Have a lovely Easter Sunday. Cx

P.S. Just in case you watched the news tonight: no it was not our car that caught fire in the lion enclosure!

24 comments:

  1. The mural is gorgeous Christina, I can see Banksy certainly has some competition! I hope all of you have a very Happy and chocolate filled Easter Sunday!

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  2. Great post! I love the artwork on the garden wall, lovely idea. Our school holidays start this week and I can't wait. Ours sound similar to yours, with winter just around the corner I think we will be outside as much as possible. xo

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  3. I love how it looks, they have done a great job. Such a fun thing to do.

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  4. What a fantastic job they have done. It really does look wonderful. Happy Easter to you all Christina

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  5. I love that you all had a blank canvas to start again this year, the little artists have done a wonderful job and now the wall art can be enjoyed all summer long. Happy Easter to you and yours Christina, this is a great post ;-)

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  6. That garden wall is the best thing ever! What a great idea, and what wonderful memories your kids are going to have about it when they are older. Please tell them they had someone from as far away as Canada admiring their art work. :-)

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    1. I did tell them and they were well chuffed!

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  7. Beautifully done! I found the two weeks of holiday have gone really quickly as well. I wish it was longer. But it's been lovely. I hope you have a good bank holiday. CJ xx

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  8. This is the most charming idea, and I'm now wishing I had some wall I could paint white in our garden and let the kids decorate it. I love that it's truly their work and they made a very good job of it. It's nice to remind ourselves that we can be creative outside with a paintbrush, as well as with seeds and plants. x

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  9. I really love that you do this. I attended a school which allowed us to paint the walls of the hallways to decorate them. You had to be chosen for your artistic abilities. I was not particularly good but the art teacher chose me to paint a mural of Disney's Beauty and the Beast when I was fourteen. Eventually they painted over all the murals but before they did, there was about 30 years of student art on walls all over the school. It was really nice.

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    1. I hope you have lots of photographs of your painting! What a nice memory to have.

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  10. It looks so good, Christina! And such a great idea. I bet the kids loved getting involved and it makes the 'trench' look like a happy place! I cannot believe school holidays are over tomorrow, it has gone by far too quickly for my liking. It looks like you had a lot of fun though and had a very busy time! :)

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    1. The trench looks happy now but there was a good degree of completion and some arguments before we got there!

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  11. Hey Christina,
    I am very taken with the cat in your childrens' mural, although the whole thing is fabulous. I would love a bit of wall for Olly to pint, but he does have chalk and goes mad with them on occasion. Your holiday sounds very similar to ours. The weather certainly helped I think. And I'm very glad that your car was not the one on fire.
    Leanne xx

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    1. The cats were the source of countless arguments (mine is better than yours etc). I am glad at least one of them is recognisable as a feline creature....

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  12. I love this! If my lot had ever attempted anything like it I'd have felt compelled to make a few corrections I'm sure, just as you did - I was always the same when the kids decorated the Christmas tree - but how wonderful to have something that's all the kids own work to brighten up your days :)

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  13. That is so beautiful, I made me feel a little misty eyed....all i get from my 12 year old these days are zombies!!
    bestest to you and yours
    Daisy j xx

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    1. It is MineCraft talk we mostly get from our 13 year old but sometimes, rarely, he shows interest in more old fashioned activities.

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  14. Just perfect. It would give me joy to look at it every day x

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    1. I have a smile on my face every time I look out :-)

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  15. This is awesome Christina! You have totally inspired me to get the Kids to unleash their "talents" on our water tank :-)

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    1. I am looking forward to seeing the water tank!

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  16. That's a fantastic idea...we haven't got anywhere to paint at the moment but I'm sure it's something BigR would love. She's so into drawing and colouring at the moment. It look fab! :-)

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  17. Oh how sweet! Such a great idea, and it looks wonderful! x

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx