The last mural I painted was way back in 2006, so I was intrigued to do this one when the opportunity came around. This specific mural was for the Bodhgayashanthi sanctuary out in Midrand, Johannesburg and it is a beautiful place; you can see that a lot of time, care and effort had gone into make the sanctuary warm, welcoming and inviting. Over and above being a beautiful place to visit, it also has a chilled zen vibe that really sets you at ease.
I initially stopped by the sanctuary to attend their yoga classes, which was brilliant. Over time I got to know the people running place and learning about their goals and vision. They do a lot of community work, like feeding schemes and events for orphanages and such. A lot of work the guys do align with my values as a vegan, so it was with great pleasure I accepted doing a mural for them.
I was surprised that I felt no trepidation in doing this mural, as I hadn’t painting this large scale in sixteen years. Nevertheless, the one thing I know about art, is the artist is just a conduit for something else. All I got to do is just show up, and the universe will work through me in creating something beautiful. And my faith in the process, worked out just as before, and the results were great.
This mural resides in the yoga studio, which is excellent because it adds to the spiritual nature of the place. The vast expansive ocean with the serene figure in the lotus enhances the calm aesthetic a little more. I really like that the mural and it subject works so well with the yoga studio.
It took around about five days to complete this, but in total about twenty four hours. I used all the material, paints and brushes that were available at the sanctuary, which was great because we didn’t waste anything. This time we mixed the paints with tints, which is something I’ve never done before. Basically, we would use small bottles of color and mix that into larger quantities of white acrylic paint. This worked excellently and surprising very little paint was actually needed to complete the painting. The guys on site did set down a base color of light blue which helped me a lot because its a fair amount of manual work.
I am so happy, that after all these years my skill has not waned, and that in fact it was easier than I thought. A lot of this has to do with the sanctuary itself being a place of peace, and my adoption of Ahimsa(through Veganism) in that all our values are aligning. And once vision, values and action align, beautiful things are created.