Creating a Mural

I live in an interesting place. When I first moved here, the school was beyond depressing. It hurt to come to work. I asked my Vice-Principal at the time if I could repaint the hallway leading into my classroom, and his response was, “You can paint the entire school.”

So I did. I’m a fan of color. I researched color theory, school hallways, happy places to work, and came up with a plan. Luckily, an interior decorator had just moved to camp and had some time on her hands. We embarked on a journey that would change the feel of the school and become the best of friends. Shout out to Rilia Varandas. Check her out on Instagram. Here is one of the people who helped inspire during that process:

Ingrid also wrote an interesting article about color which I will post here in case you need more convincing:

I just went down a very large wormhole getting these resources. Ingrid has a blog, a book, and so much more. Based on her findings and based on what I’ve learned about color theory, I turned some pretty drab hallways into some fun places. Bright colors welcome students, staff, parents, and community members.

About a month ago one of my co-workers put up a very large painting in one of the main hallways in the school. It was met with immediate criticism, simply because it has nothing to do with the school, and it doesn’t look so good. Another teacher responded by moving the mural to another location and asking me to help her put something in its place. My co-worker, who is kind of known as one of the moms of the school, had a plan for this area. She wanted to make it a hang-out space for students and she had very specific plans for this wall. It was to highlight our mascot, a wolf. She knew exactly what she wanted: a geometric wolf, painted in shades of grey, on a grey wall. What’s with all the grey?

I jumped at the opportunity. She had the image, the tape, and the plan. I had the paint and lots of time on my Covid-spring break staycation. My very good friend, Amy, signed up to help paint and the three of us were on our way. I designed a few wolves on butcher paper for practice, just to get the colors right. My husband, after looking at my first wolf done in shades of red (black and red are our school colors) suggested we paint the wolf in the den colors (black, red, green, and blue denotes the different houses or dens) and we were off. We got a projector to help us trace the image on the wall, then taped over the pencil marks with pencil. Here is how the process went and the final product.

This wolf is pretty awesome, I must say. Now, we are in discussions about making into a t-shirt.

Pretty cool collectors item for all of us who call this place home. Keep making art and learning, you never know what you be asked to do and all the learning opportunities that will come from these experiences.

Author: Sonia Chapman

I am an art teacher, living in the Middle East, following my passion for art, teaching little children about the finer things in life, and loving every bit of it.

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