Archive for the ‘I Painted a Mural’ Category

Riley and I tumbled around a few ideas for what mural to paint in his room… from a “Skateboarder” theme to a “Surfer” theme… but I just couldn’t find the inspiration for either.  All I kept envisioning in my head was a forsaken vessel enveloped by a huge Kraken.  Probably not ideal for a 5 year old… but the idea mutated from giant scary Kraken to the heart of Riley’s soon to be mural:  the Octopus aka “Devilfish,” as they were sometimes called.

Drawing octopi just flows out so easily for me… like the graceful and awe inspiring dance of an octopus floating through the water, arms undulating in sinuous wavelike motion.  They are so beautiful!!!

from wikipedia: The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms, and like other cephalopods they are bilaterally symmetric. An octopus has a hard beak, with its mouth at the center point of the arms. Octopuses have no internal or external skeleton (although some species have a vestigial remnant of a shell inside their mantle), allowing them to squeeze through tight places. Octopuses are among the most intelligent and behaviorally flexible of all invertebrates.

The octopus inhabits many diverse regions of the ocean, including coral reefs, pelagic waters, and the ocean floor. They have numerous strategies for defending themselves against predators, including the expulsion of ink, the use of camouflage and deimatic displays, their ability to jet quickly through the water, and their ability to hide. An octopus trails its eight arms behind it as it swims. All octopuses are venomous, but only one group, the blue-ringed octopuses, is known to be deadly to humans.

In the larger sense, there are around 300 recognized octopus species, which is over one-third of the total number of known cephalopod species. The term octopus may also be used to refer only to those creatures in the genus Octopus.

Each of the octopus’s arms have two rows of suction cups each of which has ‘taste sensors’ to allow it to identify food. It is able to distinguish different textures and tastes with these sensors. With the ability to regenerate lost arms and an eye on each side of its head Octopi are hardy predators with unique self defence mechanisms and very good eyesight. Octopuses have acute vision and are able to detect colors. Just like the human eye, the octopus eye consists of a light-sensitive retina, lens and two fluid-filled chambers. They are however deaf due to the fact that they lack hearing organs.

Most Octopi have a globe-shaped ‘head’ or mantle that contains all the vital organs and mouth which hold a sharp beak which is used to kill and decimate prey. The brain is highly developed and they are able to learn fast. Their skin is smooth and ranges in color most normally from a tan to light brown with some coloration, but many are able to change colors by contracting skin cells filled with pigments to allow it to hide when hunting for prey. Some Octopi can even mimic other fish and objects, and their defensive arsenal includes the ability to squirt an ink like substance at an attacker to mask their getaway.

With life spans of approximately two years Octopus are often confused with squid, another Cephalopoda which has two longer arms called ‘tentacles’ – in an octopus all eight appendages are of a similar length and are called ‘arms’ not legs.

Living primarily in dens which provide refuge from predators including other octopi and various fish their staple consists primarily of crustaceans and molluscs such as crabs and scallops. This diet is supplemented by other bivalves, snails, fish and even other octopi. They gain access to shelled prey either by pulling it apart, biting it with their beak to break it apart or by drilling through the shell and secreting a toxin to dissolve the connective tissues.

Although difficult to maintain in captivity it is not unheard of for some people to keep them as pets, although they are very sensitive and their short life span discourages many would-be owners, as does the ability to escape from even well secured tanks due to their well known problem-solving abilities and high intelligence, which has been compared to that of an average house cat. They also are a food source in many parts of the world and some species are even bred and raised exclusively for that purpose.

A misconception is that octopi eat their own arms when stressed – but studies have show that this behaviour is caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system although stress may allow the virus to attack more readily.

There are over 160 different species of Octopus, broken into two large groups:
• Cirrata: Finned octopi that live at depths between 1,000 and 24,000 feet
• Incirrata: non-finned shallow water dwellers
Octopus have a sharp beak that it uses to crack shells and inject poisons and digestive fluids into shellfish and other prey.
Species links!!! 🙂

In the beginning Lathan had bare tan walls and Lightning McQueen sheets… no comforter… and one poster.  He needed an upgrade and so we asked him what he would like in his room.  First response: Batman.  I said no.  Second response: Guitar Hero.  Now we’re talkin!  Does that make me a bad mom?
Yoga painting move.  I didn’t have a ladder at this point so I had to be creative when applying the ‘lightning.’  At first I tried applying a cool pattern with white paint and crumpled up paper…. which I DO NOT recommend to anyone.
Than I started the grid pattern over the lightning with the plastic grid from an old baby gate Amanda gave me.  I had to nail it to the wall in about 8 places each time I moved to a new section and then I stippled in the darker grey paint.
The grid took most of the time.  Probably a little over 2 weeks.  Towards the end I was whining WAY too much on Facebook with posts like: [This wall is starting to suck the life blood out of me, better put on my Gooines Never Say Die shirt.] and [I have a paint chip lodged in my eye, possibly lead poisoning, tetnis and lung damage from paint fumes…]
“I get by with a little help from my friends”
Finally done with the grid!
The first backwards guitar!
My signature… yes I signed my mural two weeks before it was done.
Mark Knopfler Strat
Got a ladder upgrade from Joshua
Bruce keeping mommy company.  Isn’t he hansome?!  I love the matching guitars on the paper in the background.
I’m surprised Peter did not short circuit looking at this filthy mess… that seemed to grow larger everyday!
I will never again post a picture of myself wearing NO make-up AND making a heinous face.  So soak it up ladys and gentlemen.  Check out my awesome cheer up or die shirt.
Too many pictures of my butt… please forgive me.
Check out my awesome hairdo.
All the records my dad gave me… I still need to get Darkside of the Moon.
My Aunt Pam gave us vintage concert tickets from some legends!  Thank you!!!
He’s so excited.  I wanted to cry just watching him last night.  And this morning when I went upstairs to make his bed he had already tried to do it just like we had.  Love you, my baby Lathan!!!
My Aunt Pam gave us THE COOLEST GIFT EVER!!!
Vintage concert tickets that she attended…. they are AMAZING!
She had them framed for Lathan’s room THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Check out the date on the Jimi Hendrix Ticket… it’s from Peter’s Bday!  Also see: Led Zeppelin, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Traffic, Jethro Tull, and the ROLLING STONES!
My Eric Clapton Autograph

Mark Knopfler Strat

Posted: September 28, 2009 in I Painted a Mural, music
I am a huge Dire Straits fan… due, in no small part, to my dad who owned numerous Dire Straits records that I would regularly burn into my brain via his cushy old-fashioned bonafide ‘record listening’ headphones.  It’s funny, those headphones sort of remind me of the oversized cell phones of the 1980’s when you think of how comparatively small a set of iPod ‘earbuds’ are.  But the sound quality of my dad’s headphones remain unparalleled. 
I remember how cool the Money for Nothing video seemed to a kid just discovering the wonderment of MTV.  And solidifying their coolness even MORE: Sultans of Swing… the epitomy of a Rock ‘n Roll song, Romeo and Juliet… the most memorable lyrics you’ve ever heard… and the rest of the Making Movies album that I had on constant repeat when falling asleep throughout high school.  I actually got into arguments with friends when I would state that I thought Mark Knopfler was the best guitarist ever…. you know, over the likes of Hendrix, Page, B.B. King, Clapton, or Duane Allman.  Oh how young I was.  At that age, one favorite song or even one section of music could effectively put my blinders on to anything else by comparison. 
So this one’s for you Mark Knopfler!  You’re still my hero! 🙂
Mark Knopfler Strat    
‘Money for Nothing’ Video
(click below)
Getting there!

Rock On

Posted: September 15, 2009 in family and friends, favorites, I Painted a Mural, music
Without giving EVERYTHING away I would like to present the premature stages of Lathan’s rock ‘n roll mural.  When my oldest baby said he wanted a guitar hero room… I ran with the idea!  And something that started small got real big, real quick.  With everything from guitar/amp bedding (that we found online) and a guitar mural, to my dad offering to give Lathan some of the most precious album covers in his collection!  Deciding what kind of guitar to paint on the wall has turned into a full scale dilemma… I know musicians play different guitars for different sounds… but which is the best:  Fender Stratocaster or Gibson Les Paul?  My obsession at the moment, Dan Auerbach, usually plays a Gibson.  BUT a Fender is SO ‘Rock ‘n Roll!’  So I decided to paint Fenders over the lightning and grid pattern that you will see more of later, and thanks Amanda for your baby gate contribution!   Not to say that a Les Paul or Epiphone won’t be on another section of wall… I mean, Lathan did say, “Mom, EVERY part of the wall needs a picture!”
So here’s a break down of the mural…
Stage One: Lightning
Stage Two: Circle Grid Pattern
Stage Three: Stars
Stage Four: Guitars

(The red is a Mark Knoffler Strat!)

Why in the hell did I decide to accept this special assignment considering EVERYTHING else I was doing? IE: Making jewelry for my craft show, making 33 car bows for Grubbs, decorating the 14 foot tall Grubbs Christmas tree, and MY Christmas tree, and eating turkey, and picking secret santa’s, and planning Riley’s birthday…. yes WHY?

Because my friend Josh is worth the extra effort… even if it means listening to Scorpions songs ALL day long. The Josh-isms alone make it worth it.
What is a Josh-ism, you ask? Here’s just one small example…

“I think watching people paint is relaxing. I could sit here and watch you paint for hours… or maybe if I went somewhere like France, and just watched people paint.”

Yep, Josh-isms rock. Hopefully you know Josh and that made you laugh because you know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, imagine if you were to say or express a thought and then your listeners just stare at you blankly… that is a Josh-ism.

And I found something out too. I miss painting. I’ve always let my creativity flow freely, but it’s been YEARS since I held a paint brush in my hand. And it felt good. I’m already imagining the possibilities for the boys rooms. So thanks Josh and Trish. It was so much fun… even though I ripped a GINORMOUS hole, I mean, TWO ginormous holes in my favorite jeans!
I can’t wait to meet little Samantha Jo… she will be an angel, I know it.