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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Off The Wall

As an artist I have a soft spot for Murals and Trompe l'oeil (trick the eye) paintings. Some of my favourites are the vast murals inside the Capitol Building in Harrisburg PA, all done by Violet Oakley in the early 1900's. and I have spent many a privileged afternoon sitting in the gallery of an empty Senate sketching details of her work. ( below )

I've had a few commissions in my time to paint large walls, the quirkiest of which was one recently where I had to paint a likeness of The Sankore Mosque of Timbuktu, on the wall of a Shop in Oxford that sold African Craft work.

So I tip my hat to this wonderful painting Knight called Eric Grohe, from the USA... who gets to work in long sunny summers on some truly big pieces.

Take this blank wall of a Nursing Center. in Mount Carmel

A typical concrete stucco facade.....

Here's Eric in his element....30 foot above the ground.

He does most of the artwork himself and researches, paints and designs each project from scratch. His wife Kathy,who is also an artist, serves as project manager.

With his talents the Nursing Center wall soon takes on a 3-D appearance.

Then there is this one called The Great American Crossroad in Bucyrus . Ohio.. Here is the before photo below.

and now after

or this one ....called Liberty Remembers.

Before Photo

and afterwards,

Hard to believe you are looking at a flat 2 dimensional wall.

Here's how to dress up a drab Shopping Mall in Niagara, New York.


and afterwards,

Here is a close up of the left side and of the Middle.

But here are the ones that the knights of the KMSA will like.. His Indoor murals at the Miller Brewery Hallway.

Here is the Miller Fermenting rooms beforehand:

and here is the stunning after work.

Hooks, Clipboards and aprons were added to the surface afterwards to enhance the illusion.
You are looking at a flat wall.

Detail view looking down the illusional hallway in the previous photo.

So There you have it. Think Big, Think Before you Ink, and remember nothing is as it appears.

Sir Dayvd (who always has paint on his best pants) of Oxfordshire.


  1. Off the Wall is Off the Chain!

    I'm a big fan of Trompe l'oeil. I've had the privilege of setting many times in the Senate gallery in Harrisburg, PA through good friend and fellow Lady of the Realm, Lady Flo of McClay, who works there.

    However, the most impressive Trompe l'oeil I've ever seen is all throughout the Vatican Museum in Rome!

    Of course, leave it to the Catholic Church to master illusions!

    Sir Hook the Donald Trompe of Warrick

  2. Nice work, Sir D!

    These are just awesome.
    I wonder if any artist has done a self portrait of himself painting himself in a corner?

    Sir Bowie