Midway through 2018 I started applying to national public art RFP’s & RFQ’s, (Request For Proposals and Request For Qualifications). Now that my children are in their teens and require less supervision, I feel better about traveling for work. After a few months of searching, designing, and preparing such applications, and many rejections I might add, I received my very first commission from the Kingman Main Street group in Kingman, AZ!
I spent ten incredible days there, not only painting, but seeing some of the most outstanding sites Arizona has to offer!
Kingman is known as the Heart of Route 66 because it holds the longest stretch of that historic highway and the entire town centers around that history. Since the 50’s, Kingman has been in a slow decline as Route 66 was less and less traveled, until the historic downtown area was all but a ghost town, relying on tourism for the most part for survival. Now, over the past 5 or 6 years, businesses have started opening up there again including two major breweries and there has been a major initiative to revitalize Beale Street in particular with new restaurants, shops, parks and public art.
While I was there I saw and met tourists from Japan, China, Korea, France, Germany and the Czech Republic. It’s incredible how people from around the world have an interest for and romanticize about Route 66.
The Kingman Main Street group, founded a little more than a year ago, sought to create an Art Alley public art gallery running parallel to Beale Street and so posted a national Call to Artists to design and paint the first of many murals in that area. I’ve been told artists from as far away as Germany, Australia and Japan competed for this prize, over 50 applicants apparently, and they chose me and one of the many concepts I presented.
This project is so dear to my heart and I will tell you why. One reason is that it was my first successful, out of state, public art proposal, but more than that, on Sept. 11th my father passed away after a year long and painful bout with cancer. In fact I was not sure if I would be able to paint this mural because things were not looking good. As it turns out we were able to keep our schedule and I had a chance to process the loss by stepping away and having some time to think after his first memorial service in Sarasota, FL, the second being in our hometown of Ellicott City, MD. It was a therapeutic week.
My contact person for the project, Paul Gaines, and all the town actually, were so welcoming and supportive, I cannot tell you how good it felt to be cared for after pouring so much of myself out for my family over the prior weeks. Gifts, gift cards, free meals and friendships that will last beyond the scope of the project were all benefits of this experience. Once the mural was complete I spent time hiking on the local Monolith trail, the spectacular Hualapei Mountains, including Aspen Peak, elevation 7950 ft. I saw the Grand Canyon West, the Hoover Dam, was a guest on a podcast, (Cartoon Casual), even took a small 4 seater plane ride over the town and witnessed my mural from the air, compliments of Paul Gaines! It was a 100% life giving trip, one that I will always remember. Everything ran so smoothly I think the Kingman Mainstreet group was appreciative. They even held an unveiling of the mural, complete with a DJ, beer and food trucks. I can’t say enough about that experience! Thank you Kingman!!!
This is my current progress in reaching a lifetime goal to have at least one piece of public art in every state in the US. Help me accomplish my dream by commissioning a mural or sculpture today!
I had the honor of decorating the storage container for Mantra Fit, in which they store their Paddle Boards at the Nabbs Creek Marina in Glen Burnie, MD. Owner Carleen Birnes requested the mural to resemble the work of Hawaiian artist and avid surfer Colleen Wilcox. Needless to say this container went from an industrial eyesore to an exquisite explosion of color that can be seen from the other side of the river!
In addition to the long façade, we chose tiki’s to guard either side of the container and a variety of printed signs on driftwood to complete the look. I also painted two unusable paddle boards matching the feel of the mural to be placed along the roadside for advertisement.
It was so much fun painting by the waterside while listening to Carleen teach her classes. In fact as a partial payment or exchange I too have started to learn how to paddle board thanks to this job! Almost felt like vacation!
In March of 2018 I painted this 55 foot mural in exchange for a one year membership to our local pool club. If I could live off the barter system I would. Its so much fun!
As a wonderful turn of events, ClimbZone, the company I work for full time designing themed climbing walls for our franchised gyms, also is in need of a muralist to create the graphics for their non climbing walls as well. Enter BB Murals!
So far I have painted the 50 foot logo in the Laurel location and now in the White Marsh location. Hopefully with every new gym we open I will be the one they commission for this task.
Thanks to Terrance Briggs, Zoe Kumpf and Jacob Seese for your assistance on this enormous project.
After 9 years with the previous design, owner and operator Harold asked me to repaint the façade mural at the Loafers 1 location with this new design featuring the "Loafers Guy" on a hammock "down the ocean, hon". It keeps with the original warm colors and Loafers motif but with a new scene. This time I hired a few local artists to help so we were able to finish two murals in one day after I had sketched the designs on the wall and spray painted the sunset the week before. Thanks to John Rice 1V, Deanna Deley and Emma Boram for your fine work! Hope to do it again soon.
During the weekends I painted an interior woodland scene in the library/teaching center at the Oregon Ridge Nature Center as part of a renovation project which includesd not only the mural but new book shelves, counter top and sink, and new floor tiles. The re-opening should be mid to late February of this year.
The mural depicts a patch of woods framing a rocky stream similar to what you might stumble upon while hiking the 1,000 acres Oregon Ridge has to offer. It also will act as a background for some of the stuffed Squirrel, Raccoon, Birds and Deer that grace the Nature Center.
Aside from drawing the Sports Bar crowd, Loafers is increasingly becoming the go to spot for hot, steamed crabs in Catonsville, MD. To encourage this swell of customers and to perhaps persuade onlookers towards a spontaneous crab feast, the owner commissioned a bay scene including crabs big enough to see from the highway! What he received is basically a 90 ft., hand-painted billboard.
This mural was completed in late summer and I still remember how hot that tin roof was as I wasted can after can of spray paint.
Pictures do not do it justice.
The Black Kettle, located on Main street in Catonsville, MD was a brand new establishment in need of a decorated façade that mirrored its hearty, European inspired menu of broths and stews. This mural has it all, faux stone & stucco, a trompe l'oeil awning, windows, wrought iron railing, vines and bicycle, signage, the works! Met a lot of curious people passing by on this one.
Because of the deeply textured surface, we decided to forgo hand painting the Bistro sign, with all its intricate details, and instead design it in Photoshop and print on aluminum sheet metal to be installed later as you see in the photos.
You'll notice two different window awning styles represented in the photos. This discrepancy is because the owner, Noelle, changed her mind midway through the painting process. We ultimately went for the black and white stripes that matched the side awning and the interior drapes which I think was a good choice in the end. Flexibility is key when designing for a client. Patience and humility as well.
That black rectangle you see below the window was purposely left to add a real flower box and kitchen herb box in the springtime. I'm not sure if they have made it a reality but that was the plan.
RSM stands for Rooted Student Ministry and is a new over arching term for the middle school and high school student ministries led by Luke Casagrande at Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium, MD. I was asked to recreate their logo on a wall in the common area where the students hang out. This was a one day project. We actually filmed a time-lapse video of the event and used it as an intro to some of our RSM promotional material.
My first encounter with Climbzone was as a sub-contractor. I was hired to decorate the half wall that encloses the 3 & Under area at the Climbzone gym in Laurel. The painted grass you see was already there from a previous painting session that I was not involved with, I simply added the animals and flowers. We cut holes out where the faces would be to offer a photo opportunity for the young kids and their parents. Most 3 year-old's have their own Instagram accounts by then, right?
Anyway, the treatment also included a chalkboard wall with some starter drawings to get them thinking, or to fill in the shapes. From this job, things progressed into a 40 ft. logo and other murals in that location, to a permanent, full time job designing and painting the climbing walls themselves! A position for which I am currently employed and loving every minute of.
Another area of ClimbZone’s flagship location that I was asked to embellish. We adapted our slogan, “It’s not about holding on, it’s about letting go” and stretched it across the wall covering the offices and bathrooms.
When beginning a company, branding is everything! We made sure everyone who enters Climbzone knows exactly where they are, with a 40 ft. hand painted sign towering over the gym! Below this monster is an area we call the training zone. It's where you learn to wear your harness and clip into the belay. We've also added the rules of engagement while climbing at Climbzone in clear, bold letters.
The signage was accomplished using an LCD projector to project and trace the image and letters onto the wall. Its really the best way to ensure perfect proportions when painting something of this scale and complexity.
More crabs for Loafers! This time accompanied by two beer mugs 6 ft. tall. All four sides of this building are now covered in artwork depicting either steamed crabs, the Maryland flag or scenes of the Chesapeake Bay. Its become a landmark of Route 40.
My first time-lapse mural shot by my friend Victor Pineda. This two hour project was for Grace Fellowship Church's Discipleship program, the tree symbolizing growth, bearing of fruit and being rooted in the Lord Jesus Christ. The deeper we are in Him, the stronger our foundation and the more fruit we will bear.
For two years in a row I was hired as Artist-In-Residence for a one day mural event at Pointers Run Elementary School. Our project was one of several that day as others re-painted the school play lot lines, built outdoor classroom tables and weeded the garden.
The pictures tell the story much better than I can!
The first of two murals I painted for the Oregon Ridge Nature Center, the Reptile room hosed an active bee hive that was the focal point of the mural. I included a handful of hexagonal hive cells to act as display areas for information the center employees could add and change as needed. Also included in the mural is an opossum, gray fox, deer, snakes, and birds like the pileated woodpecker.
One of Mrs. Letke's daughter's loves pandas. So while she was away at camp, they surprised her by commissioning me to fill her room with these lovable creatures set in a bamboo forest. The mural stops around waist height to make room for the furniture, bed & desk. This was a two day project.
The owner, Harold, has an incredibly open mind about the exterior of his restaurant, much to my delight. This time he has asked for a crab, Maryland flag, Chesapeake Bay scene mash up! The entirety of this mural faces a busy Route 40 intersection in Ellicott City/Catonsville and offers the commuters something to look at while waiting for the light to change. Maybe even transporting them to a lazy dusk on a pier of the bay for a split second...
While working a short stint on the 4am-noon shift in the MOM's produce dept. I had the opportunity to create a number of chalk board signs for the sales and special events the store was promoting on a daily basis. Greater than that was the opportunity to decorate the hallway bridging the first floor with the lower level which houses the offices, stockroom and freezers. The thought was to design something more employee friendly than the current cinder block wall, you know, for morale.
At MOM's there is a culture within the company based on four principles which they call "The Purple Cows" They are as follows: MOM's opens early and closes late for their customers, MOM's will carry out your groceries for you, MOM's owner Scott is reachable by email (which is printed on every MOM's grocery bag, and MOM's recycles just about everything you can recycle.
Besides the grocery store doubling for a recycling center, MOM's has other environmentally sound initiatives including a wind power credit exchange program, beehives on the rooftops and a few more. I attempted to represent some of these initiatives in the mural design as a reminder to the staff of the bigger picture as they climb the stairs. That when you are employed at MOM's you are actually contributing to something greater than yourself and making a positive impact in the world.
And I thought painting purple cows would be fun.
An accent mural for Mrs. Cartwright's pool area. My son Jacob accompanied me on this 3 hour job and had a chance to play in the pool while I painted. Mrs. Cartwright was gracious and generous enough to let him enjoy the pool that hot summer day.
In 2012, I was chosen as one of five artists to complete a mural for the city of Baltimore through Baltimore Office of the Promotion of the Arts. They supply the paint, scaffolding while I supply the design and labor. This design is a welcome sign to the neighborhood of Bayview and was partially sponsored by Johns Hopkins Hospital. It is located on the corner of Elrino St. and Eastern Ave. in Baltimore.
One interesting anecdote about this project was that one night I stored several 5 gallon buckets of paint up on the top level of the scaffolding thinking, "Who would climb all the way up here and mess with it?" Well, that night someone did, and the following morning I was greeted with two story drips of black running down the face of the mural and splatter on the sidewalk below. Needless to say the rest of that day was spent restoring everything to its proper look. I did get to test my skills at faux concrete though, choosing to paint over the splatter and puddles instead of trying to remove them. Never found the culprit.
The Hub is an octagon shaped room that connects the children's ministry classrooms with the rest of the church building at Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium, MD. It's the front gates of the children's ministry, where the parents sign in their child. In fact, since these pictures were taken we have installed a floor to ceiling, climbable jungle gym complete with a curved tunnel slide in one side of this room that compliments the mural very well. They look like they were intentionally created together. I spent two weeks working on this panoramic explosion of color and cuteness.
One of the Children's Ministry playrooms painted as if the viewer was roughly the size of an ant. The simple shapes and bright colors appeal to the young ones.
This one day mural was painted for the elementary age student ministry at Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium, MD where my family and I attend. It is used as a backdrop for performances and videos produced by the student ministry.
This farm inspired mural was actually a surprise gift from my friend Greg French to his wife on their anniversary. They own two pet goats and some chickens which they keep in this shed/enclosure near their driveway in the side of their front yard. His wife grew up on a farm and always loved keeping animals.
The mural includes a horse peeking out of a trompe l'oeil barn door and a vintage Fresh Eggs sign on the door. I also applied a wash to the wood made to look like aged boards and painted the trim a Colonial Red to match their existing garage.
Sharing a works pace with a pair of curious goats was an interesting challenge,
Let me explain how I became involved with this project because it's a doozy. While attending the S.H.A.P.E. workshop at Grace Fellowship Church in the fall of 2010 I met a man named Mark who was sitting at the same table. He happened to be an artist and spoke about a Texas based orphanage that he was currently volunteering at named Arrow. He went on to explain that they were looking for a muralist to decorate a courtyard at the facility. We exchanged numbers and I didn't hear from him until that following year. Before I knew it I was smack dab in the middle of a time-sensitive Eagle Scout project for a 17 year-old named Christian Posko who has been working with Arrow for the past two years on a courtyard renovation project for his Eagle Badge. The re-haul consisted of a paver stone patio, benches for sitting, four corner gardens enclosed in stone retaining walls and a mural on the wall. This all had to be complete before his 18th birthday or else he would not receive the credit and honor of his Eagle Badge.
This courtyard is meant to be a place of peace and comfort for the young men and women who live there. A place to cool off and reflect or just be.
This beautiful establishment is the newest addition to the fleet of Esther's Place Assisted Living homes. Newly renovated with fresh concrete half walls lining the walkway. The owners were hoping for a more weathered, aged look to the front of their building. Something more inviting and less sterile. We decided on a faux rock wall treatment with patches of plaster still sticking to the rock under-layer. Some hand lettering crowned this project and led to several commissions for Esther's Place. I fell in love with the spacious wrap around porch.
Portrait of Jimmy, owner and operator of The Windsor Restaurant and his son standing behind a trompe l'oeil stone window near the front entrance of the restaurant. This represents a rare opportunity I have to try portrait art in a mural context. One day, when I retire, I hope to spend my days learning to paint portraits in oil, like the old masters.
A gift to my parents for their retirement home in Sarasota which we affectionately call the Palm House. This two day mural celebrates the beauty of Florida's marshlands and the diversity of the birdlife it harbors. I've included an Egret and Sandhill Crane in the foreground and a few other cranes in the background.
My contribution to this collaborative effort was the hand painted lettering and the faux brick fireplace. The beautiful fruit and vegetables were painted by Kami Tremblay, a friend and fellow muralist.
Again, its always nice to be able to incorporate scripture in my work.
Esther's Place is a multi location, assisted living facility serving the elderly in the Baltimore/DC region. These murals were commissioned for the common room in one such facility and depict a French bakery store front and a garden on the other end of the room.
A commissioned piece relating the explosion of Baltimore's urban garden scene and cooperative farming to the Bible's use of farming metaphors in regards to the human soul. I ended up meeting one of the men in the photo reference I used for this mural while attending the Beginner Farmer Training Program from Future Harvest CASA. Funny how those two interests of mine, art and growing, collided. Really enjoyed this project! Anytime I can legally write scripture on a wall is a good thing.
The Greenhouse Grill is a family owned restaurant that had a bit of empty space facing the parking lot that the owners wanted to add some flavor to. This was a 3 day project in the heat of summer but a fun challenge.
I had the honor of decorating a portion of the newly constructed Health Care for the Homeless building, namely the Children's wing. The new facility has the special capacity to serve three times as many people in need as their last building!
The design features the HCH Local locomotive train carrying a variety of animals and a Lion's mouth tunnel welcoming you as the doors of the elevator open. I like the movement and frivolity of this piece.
"The Road to Wellness" This was an existing design that Deborah Denny, the Community Relations Liaison and other staff members wanted painted on the wall to welcome their clients to the Mental Health Services portion of this hospital.
Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens and a Ravens Cheerleader gracing the men & women's bathroom doors at Loafers Sports Bar & Grill. These were painted in 12 hours over a two day period. As you can see the photos were taken before I painted the faux brick on the walls. Bit by bit I was allowed to transform this entire building, interior and exterior!
A large commissioned work by the Hustler Club on the Block in Baltimore City. They were opening a cigar shop next door and wanted to decorate the stairwell in between the two establishments.
After painting it we chipped, scuffed and otherwise aged the mural to look like it’s been there for a long time.
This mural had it all! Graffiti, figures, signage, smoke, neon and night painting. It was fun and challenging. Thanks to my friend Ryan Emge who helped me create this masterpiece.
These are two murals painted for the Sears Baltimore Office. The first one depicts the Eastern Seaboard and the Sears location on it while the second shows a view of the Inner Harbor with a Sears logo and Welcome sign.
Moveable Feast is an incredible organization that feeds people suffering from HIV/AIDS who are too sick to leave their houses, hand delivering three meals a day to thousands of people in need. I had an intern from St. Paul's School for Girls with me on this two-day project. Marie Rasasco was a very knowledgeable and capable assistant and is currently going to college to study theatre set design. She spent two weeks with me that summer working on several murals. The bike theme was chosen because of their biggest fund raiser, an annual bike race. Although they use a van to deliver the meals.
This is the largest single baby nursery I've ever seen. The client, Mrs. Sharmeen requested a Beatrix Potter them from her series on Peter Rabbit. I love to copy other artists because it pushes you out of your comfort zone as an artist. You end up learning quite a bit as you approach line, shape and color a different way.
I painted every inch of this room from walls to ceiling. It was truly an all-encompassing environment. Would love to see it furnished!
This area of DBCC was newly renovated and served as a place for the infants to sleep. Naturally we were looking for something soothing and calm to promote that slumber.
All the white in the mural was glow in the dark paint.
What a joy to adorn a bedroom with hand-painted Star Wars characters! This image is taken from some of the earliest marketing material for the franchise back in '77 and includes all your favorites, but slightly altered, like Darth Vader with a yellow light saber.
Yoda is positioned that way because once the painting was complete, a bunk bed was inserted into that corner so that from the top bunk, Yoda would be at eye level. Always thinking about how to please the client.
The second mural I've painted for my son Jacob, who, like his father, is a huge Star Wars fan. This mural served as a backdrop for all his Episode 2 Star Wars Lego figures and ships which were strewn across his dresser and hanging from the ceiling. Good Times!
This project was a unique request, at a unique house, and a unique experience as well. During the three days I spent painting at the Konkus residence, I had a constant companion in the form of an African Parrot named Guido. We had some good laughs together as he whistled recognizable music, film and tv tunes all day.
Here we see a long faux flagstone patio with brick inlay to welcome the guests of the Windsor Restaurant. Features include a painted cigarette butt and folded twenty dollar bill on the floor. I giggled incessantly thinking about the intoxicated guests stumbling out of the bar and reaching down for that twenty, never being able to retrieve it. Do you think me wicked?
One of several children's rooms that are inspired by Winnie the Pooh's 100 Acre Wood theme. At least the tree resembles that style. This is one of three murals I painted for the Thaniel children as sort of a package deal, including a Care Bear theme for the eldest daughter and a soccer theme mural for the son. (not shown)
Jeffrey's room. Jeffrey loves Greek and Roman mythology, obviously. Pictured here is Helios the sun god with his four steeds and chariot, Pan playing his reed flute and Artemis the Goddess of Hunting seen often with a doe. With the help of fellow artist Ryan Emge we painted all three murals in three days working 10 hours a day.
My daughters room when we first moved to Lutherville. We've painted over it since then but it served its purpose for many years.
Another Winnie the Pooh theme. This seems to be a popular choice.
Grace Baptist was stepping things up a notch in the gym and commissioned a logo design and painting on the gym floor. With this project I had a chance to work with an epoxy paint from CA made to withstand the wear and tear of athletes on a daily basis.
The response to this mural was overwhelming!. Children and parents alike were amazed at what a difference a little paint can add to a room. During that week the teachers brought their children out to paint alongside me on their own, oversized paper. We all had a great time together with miraculously no major spills or damage to the walls or floor.
The design criteria for this project was simple; no recognizable characters from TV or movies, but something bright and cheery. We chose Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood as inspiration, minus the characters themselves.
This mural was the catalyst for other smaller projects in each of the classrooms over the few years that our daughter was enrolled there.
This is Afram Jeweler's new and larger location on 15th & New York Ave. in Washington DC which is just a few blocks from the old store. They are doing very well and it was time to expand.
I spent a few days painting the sky ceiling while the electricians were lighting the store and other crew were installing the ceiling tiles. In addition, I hand-painted an 8 ft. sign to match the existing wood furniture with the Afram logo and tagline.
It was an exciting time for Sam Morataya and Miriam Afram because they were expecting their third daughter around that same time period. You can visit them online at www.aframjewelers.com
Ms. Lande wanted the rustic feel of stone walls in her kitchen without the hassle and expenditure of actual rock facades. She was hoping for a European country kitchen vibe. Besides the stones, I added some cracked plaster and vines to complete the illusion. Just imagine the savory smells pouring out of the kitchen now. I think she will be inspired to cook, using every herb and spice at her disposal!
This 180 ft piece of community art was sponsored by the Dundalk Community Renaissance Corporation with a twist. We ran a promotion whereby local residents could donate $100 and receive their portrait on the wall as one of the people in the parade. We had quite a swell of interested parties. Because the mural was on the corner of a busy intersection in Dundalk, I also had many pedestrians offering their help on a daily basis. Marie Rasasco, my intern was also present to help in this enormous undertaking.
Unfortunately the artwork only lasted a year or two because the wall it was painted on was part of a dry cleaning business and began peeling in a few areas due to the steam or extreme temperatures on the other side of the wall.
As owner Harold Xeconimos launched into a renovation of this once eye sore of a building in 2007, I became the artistic end of that process. Since then he has hired me several times per year to paint a section of his establishment and seems to have no end to ideas for improvement. Harold is my oldest, most faithful and closest client. I thank him for our continued relationship.
Loafers new outdoor seating area has a tropical flare enabling its patrons to relax in style. Besides the sub tropic forest scene and trompe l'oeil archway I also painted the black top in a flagstone patio motif.
The WHUR was the first major advertisement mural for BB Murals. A collaboration with Provision Outdoor and Adworks of DC, we pulled off something rarely seen. I wish I could say without a hitch but this job was wrought with danger and problems. The first of which was the growing ecosystem on the rooftop in the form of a 16 ft. pond which was in the pathway of my scaffolding. After a 5 day painting marathon, the ad was complete. Later we discovered that changes had to be made to the design and I was back up there again to fix it. The final design had black lettering which we thought would be more visible from afar. In between painting the designs, the roof collapsed and was rebuilt just in time for me to paint the second time. This was an excellent lesson for me in perseverance and determination as I satisfy my own standards as well as the clients. It was a true test.
There is more to come from this growing fitness center. Ali True, owner and operator was featured in the 2008 issue of Everyday People Magazine under the Entrepreneur Spotlight, "The Business of Health". She opened up her own club after a number of years as a personal trainer at Merritt's Gym in downtown Baltimore. find more at www.truebalancestudio.com
Lanai make-over! Anita wanted to continue the tropical bird theme in her house onto the walls with a custom designed mural. Some local seamstresses were nice enough to reupholster the seat cushions and pillows for the occasion while we were there. We also repainted the white wicker furniture to a distressed brown and green/gold to match the mural and the rest of the décor.
In addition to the lanai, I was commissioned to create a faux finish in the living room and a palm tree accent mural in their guest bathroom. All in all I think I spent two weeks at the Jankovski home bouncing from project to project.
This 2,300 square ft. ceiling is just the first step into transforming this space into a 50's style indoor gas station set. Complete with paved roads, vintage cars, street lights, true to era gas pumps and American memorabilia filling the location.
This particular mural was painted over three days in 12 hour increments. I've never painted so intensively in my life! It offers a view of a Tuscan countryside cut by a long and winding stone pathway seen through a carved marble railing entryway and a trompe l'ioeil niche containing a water maiden marble sculpture. All very warm and inviting, the artwork is located next to the kitchen and will grace the couples dining area.
Here's another Italian countryside scene shown through a faux balcony framed in painted pillars. The actual pillars you see below the painted ones were painted in a faux marble look called Cremo Delicato. The warm colored veins in this particular strand of marble blended well with the existing decor in her dining room. The four columns took two days to paint.
Could I just say that Mrs. Nina Berger is a fantastic cook. Every day I was there she prepared the most outstanding lunches for us like crab cake sandwiches and homemade chili.
This tropical mural was painted in 5 days at my parents house in Florida. It features a Canary palm tree, Christmas palm, Fan palm, Sego palm, orchids, Split Leaf Rhododendron, Bird of Paradise and two Crape Myrtles. Wildlife include a Great Blue Heron and an Ibis bird. It feels great to give back to my parents and apply the creative knowledge and talent they fostered all those years.
Here our client wanted an Italian courtyard theme coupled with a garden scene that reflects the beauty of Florida's natural vegetation. The mural features two scenes painted on sliding glass doors, sky ceiling, trellis covered vines, a tromp l'oeil doorway all framed by rustic brick and rock. Light shines through the glass and creates a stained glass effect when looking at it from the inside. This mural took 8 days to paint working 10 hours a day. Thanks to Dan and Michelle Miller for acquiring this client and helping me start the business.
Grant loves Star Wars, almost as much as his father does. In fact they would often watch the movies while I was painting. My aim was to encapsulate the room in artwork and give the viewer the sense that they were inside of a ship looking out upon the battle. True fans will be confused by the mixture of Droid fighters, Tie fighters, X Wings and Star Destroyers all in the same battle but the client wanted everything represented from every episode? Technically it's not historically accurate in the Star Wars universe. It seemed there were two camps. The son liked Episodes 1, 2 & 3 while his father held a deep nostalgia for Episodes 4, 5 & 6. My job was to combine the ships from each.
Grant was so excited he wanted to charge his friends admission.
Painted for Hannah Evenson. Besides the horses, I included a portrait of the new family puppy.
The first of many projects for Aeleana Wisenbaker, the three ceiling domes received the classic cherubs amidst the clouds theme. I was able to complete each of the three domes in a two day period which included sketching the designs, laying in the sky, painting the figures and applying the protective finish.
What do you paint in the Dining room of a $12 million dollar model home? A portrait of Diana the Goddess of Hunting and Perseus the son of Zeus of course. Seen here both with large cats to match the theme of the rest of the house. My team and I also painted all the gold leaf trim and molding in this room. Aelena requested that the figures have more of a Eastern European look rather than Greek as she is Russian. I spent two days per mural in this room.
Here you can see the damaged areas in the Dining room and the finished restoration. This project was completed by Patrick Kluga, Brent Lojzim and myself. We started in this room and worked our way over to the Ballroom which gave us plenty of practice. The St. Regis Hotel was my first assignment with Valley Craftsmen Ltd and I was and still am so thrilled and proud to be a part of this historic restoration project.
Mrs. O Laughlin is originally from Jamaica. She keeps magnificent gardens in her front yard, back yard and lanai. Her daughter commissioned BB Murals to bridge that beauty through their house by painting this mural in the garage where she does most of her gardening, transplanting, etc. I added three Jamaican sculptures with a copper patina to add a focal point to the piece.
The Davis's have two boys, Jack and JM. In the younger ones room I painted this wildlife scene with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background. John and Alice Davis met and taught together at the Baraka School for Boys in Kenya which is featured in the compelling documentary "The Boys of Baraka". Once married they moved to Maryland, next to us in Bolton Hill, Baltimore in fact. Our boys grew up together until they were 5.
I spent two weeks transforming this foyer into a Venetian plaster courtyard. It glows now with the warmth of a Tuscan sun. In addition to the finish I added some vines, a tromp l'oeil flower pot and a window overlooking an Italian vineyard. It was a tight squeeze getting the necessary scaffolding into foyer dodging the chandelier.
This project was memorable because I made a terrible mistake spray painting inside without creating a barrier to the rest of the house. The air conditioning vents carried the overspray particles through the house and settled on everything including the daughters shoes and their grand piano. I spent two days carefully cleaning the baby blue dust off all their possessions. The Burns family was very gracious and forgiving. I was embarrassed but learned a valuable lesson.
Maddie loves to swim! So much so that she wanted to wake up to the sight of her pool every morning. Mural details include Maddie's nickname, "Flygirl" painted on the pool floor, various family members watching the race from the sidelines, a portrait of Maddie winning the race with her lucky swim cap on, and a plane flying overhead dragging a banner with the tagline "Go Maddie Go" on it. I spent 4 days on this one paying close attention to every detail.
Mrs. Smiley wanted something to look at while bathing besides a white wall. After some deliberation she chose a view of some Grecian ruins overlooking the Adriatic Sea. This mural led to others in that house including a tropical bird room, clouds painted on the bathroom ceiling and in the daughters bedroom with cherubs looking down at her and two faux pillars in the foyer.
The Smiley's keep two Macaw's and a couple of African Parrot's in their house. This mural is the backdrop for the area where they have their cages and perches.
Aquatic mural in our first child's bedroom in Bolton Hill, Baltimore, MD. This was completed a few weeks before he was born. I remember painting a shark face that could only be seen when the door was closed which he really liked once he was a little older.
In 2001 I had to complete 10 hours of community service for a traffic violation which I will not go into detail about. I was sentenced to carry it out at The Beacon House Men's Shelter in Frederick, MD. In lieu of the dish washing or whatever work they had planned for me, I asked the director if I could paint a mural on the wall surrounding their basketball court instead. He agreed and so I did, based on some favorite scripture they use in the facility. This is another early attempt at using spray paint for large public art.
From the years 1999-2005 I taught art at this alternative high school on the corner of MLK Blvd. and Pennsylvania Ave. My interest in public art was realized here as we completed several beautification projects around the school using the students in my class. This was our cafeteria mural and was covered by a local news station who interviewed myself and the students.
An early mural in my career depicting the Johns Hopkins campus.
One of my first commissioned murals, this area, although off the beaten path, gets quite a lot of traffic as it connects offices with an eatery in downtown Baltimore. Mr. Pascal wanted to brighten up the corridor with some artwork depicting the tailoring process. Once again Amir Fallah, Chad Graf and myself went to work with our spray cans and this is what we came up with. I have fond memories of this project as it was one of my first large commissions after graduation from MICA that I landed on my own.
This project was another project I facilitated for the Greater Homewood Community Corporation as Director of Urban Arts Projects. I managed 45 Hopkins Freshman to prime this 50ft by 200ft wall in one day. The rest of the imagery was accomplished by myself in the weeks after the initial event.
It features portraits of the mills that used to dot the banks of the Jones Falls River. It also acts as a successful graffiti prevention tool in this area.
The annual graffiti convention attracts graffiti artists from around the world to paint the miles of flood wall. My friends Amir Fallah and Chad Graf traveled from Baltimore for this event. I was responsible for the middle section. It was a memorable experience.
After I graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art. I still stayed involved with the school through the Continuing Studies Program and the Community Arts Partnership (CAP) program. When they were looking for someone to facilitate the Service Learning Project for the upcoming Freshman, I was selected. After designing the mural, receiving approval from the community, setting up the scaffolding and sketching the design, I was joined by 45 MICA freshman volunteers in a one day mural marathon! We all worked harmoniously all day and it turned out to be such a success that I was called on again the following year. Assistants included Amir Fallah and Chad Graff. The mural was entitled "Celebrating Diversity in South Charles Village"
This was a partnership with the community, the school and the community center I was working for at the time through the Americorps Program. I was the Director of Urban Arts Programs at the Greater Homewood Community Corporation. My duties on this project included the design, getting school approval, recruiting volunteers, advertising the event, receiving sponsorship, facilitating and completing the artwork. Most of my volunteers were from either the community or the school except for MICA alumni Chad Graf and Amir Fallah.