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Murals - Trompe l'Oeil
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  • Ladybug By the Sea

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    "Ladybug By the Sea"
    Latex on exterior stucco walls
    approx. 9' X 14'
    ca. 1986

    Painted illusion of lattice, brick and plants.

    When I painted the Pillow Window at my friend, Ray's, house, word of mouth raced across the neighborhood and within a few days I was commissioned to paint this simple scene on the garden wall of one of the neighbors, a local film producer.

    The brick columns were deliberatley partially obscured by the trees. You had to approach the mural to see them and, when you did, you discovered things like the (painted) hose nozzle left drippping on one of the columns.

    Many of the elements are real (wood pile, foreground flowers and trees) while others in the background were painted. Some real garden ivy disappears behind a tree and reappears as painted ivy on the other side!

    A very faint haze of an ocean is indicated in the background. Details are avoided to encourage the viewer's imagination and discourage tiring of the painting which would be seen every day.

    The technique used is broad and theatrical. This is done deliberately because people seem to always be entertained by the dichotemy of the effective illusion despite the obvious disregard for realism.

    The title is derived from the fact that on this relatively large surface, there is hidden one life-sized ladybug.

    I was concerned about what medium to use outdoors for durability.

    At this time I happened to meet an established muralist from France when I was a Mann Bros. (professional paint supply on La Brea) who said he swears by latex. He used latex to paint an outdoor mural 40 years ago and it still looks as good as the day he painted it.

    Private residence
    West Hollywood, CA
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    Copyright 2005 by Anton Uhl. All rights reserved.