Living the Creative Life: Woodland Library Mural

Things have come together in the best possible way since I left my full-time studio practice to re-enter the workforce. I feel like I’m getting closer to my goal of living creatively on many levels, not just through my own artwork.

Working at the library has provided unimagined opportunities for me to educate, create, and inspire. At the same time, I have found a low-key job without long hours, too much stress, and windowless cubicles! It just reinforces my desire to never go back to an office job.

So, I wanted to share the most ambitious project I’ve worked on so far for the library: a woodland mural.

Our library has these two short walls next to the circulation desk. They are just a little weird and asymetrical. The idea was to paint two trees, one on each post, and use the trees to create-library related displays and decorations year round (More on that later in this post).

First, I’ll show you the evolution of the project in pictures.

Here I am painting the base coat.

The tree on the righthand side. The original idea was to leave the outline all in white and paint the animals and flowers in full-color.

Here’s the other side. This column was L-shaped, so I was able to wrap the image around.

I painted a number of North American birds because I miss them so much here in Germany. Especially cardinals.

Here’s the owl all finished. He’s my favorite part of the whole thing.

Okay, so maybe not every animal is North American. My boss, the librarian, really wanted a hedgehog….

….and a giant hare.

All finished! I decided to supplement the white outline with black “reverse” highlights.

Our first display was to use each tree as a “Poet-Tree” (get it?) The kernal of the idea grew from here. Essentially, you provide patrons with everything they need to create poetry of their own, without the initmidation factor of attempting to compose an original poem word by word. This is why using the concept of “found word” poetry is so great.

FullSizeRender (2)

It’s amazing to see what people create:

Found Poetry for Poetree

I’m looking forward to coming up with new displays and creative ideas for how to use our two unique trees. In the meantime, our sister library has called and they want a mural of their own!

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