I've spent most of my career as a painter having a fear of scale. It was always a bit daunting to do a painting larger than, say, 24x36". Why? My theory is that a painting up to that size can be done from one stationary position. You don't have to walk around. In fact, smaller paintings can be done entirely "from the elbow" - from your elbow you have about 2 feet of range of motion. Also, when you back up to view your work from a distance, you can do this with one or two steps. Bigger paintings bring on a more disjointed feel as you have to work an isolated area, then move on to another area. And when you step back to see the painting, you have to move back 3-4 steps or more. Consequently painting larger pieces was awkward and I felt they weren't as good as my smaller pieces.
Recently I had an opportunity to paint some murals in a new home in Costa Rica. A big part of the incentive to take the job was that it would allow my wife to come with me and stay with our daughter who lives about 2 hours away from the place where I would be working. The job consisted of 2 murals about 9x9' each, going up a stairwell. The large paintings were linked with a one-color motif of swimming sea life done in the style of Tahitian tattoo.
Something magical happened when I arrived at the home I was to paint. Inspiration was everywhere. The house itself was amazing. It overlooked an incredible piece of coastline. Exotic birds circled above as monkeys played in the jungle. We started each day with a 2-hour surf. My client was a terrific host- meals and accommodations were superb and they helped me with anything I needed.
In spite of the fringe benefits, I still faced a daunting task. I had given myself a maximum of 7 days to finish. But there I was, thousands of miles from home, with 7 days to complete the work - I had no choice but to dive in and make it great. And that’s what I did. The murals emerged quickly and the faster I painted the more I overcame my trepidation about the scope of the project. Before I knew it, it was done and my client was stoked. So, if any of you are in the market for a mural, let's talk. With my new found vigor, I might be the man for the job.