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Artistic Murals By: Tamara Gerkin 

The Duffy's Tropical Italian Mural

 Oldsmar, Florida 


Day 21: The Completed Mural 










The Irish-Italian Mural

Dear Joe & Carol,

Thank you for commissioning me to paint your two walls in your lovely home.  It has been a great honor getting to know you both and painting your walls. 

 It is my hope that your new mural gives you both a feeling of peace and beauty at the end of each day for these are the feelings you gave me each day as I painted for you.  

With honor, love and respect...



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I love the design of this house! It's very unique and beautiful!

Size 14'x 28'

Ceiling to floor 22'

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  I haven't measured this wall yet, but I will soon. I'm planning on painting a large Palm Tree on the center curve in about three weeks or less. 

 Let the mural begin....

Joe & Carol's Italian tropical landscape mural with a hint of Irish: This wall has been especially challenging to design due to the window and odd shape. 

As you can see, the wall sharply curves around the corner then it flattens out again.

The first three images are the studies for the mural on the first wall.  I will be combining elements from both studies into one and using a full color pallet.   

* I normally do not start at the bottom of mural and work my up, but on this particular wall I've had no choice because the scaffolding is not completely set up yet.  

However...it will be set up by tomorrow late afternoon...     

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These are oil paint color studies for the mural on 2'x2' gesso coated panels. 

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Mural Study

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Mural Study

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Day 1: 

I used tinted gesso to block in the shapes & color.

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Day 2:

Today I began using Liquitex & Golden acrylic paint to block in the major colors and basic composition.


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Day 2: 

Everything is left unfinished and will stay this way for at least another week.

This stage can be really scary for  people because it looks like I don't know what I'm doing.  My dear Charley & Jane will be the first to tell you that it's really scary!

Hugs to you both!


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Day 3:

I have created a ledge of sorts for the mural to sit on. To break up the continuous shape, I've added stones and a sculpture that will eventually be a water-fountain.

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Day 4:

Carol is Italian, Joe is Irish. As a tribute to both I am painting an Irish-Italian female. Joe says that she must be more Italian due to certain attributes of her anatomy. 

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Day 4:

I'm going to attempt completing the figure tomorrow because the third layer of scaffolding will be erected which will reduce my standing space greatly.  

Hey Jim Branscum,

I've highlighted her eyes so that no matter where the viewer is standing, it looks like she's looking directly at you. I love that effect, don't you? 


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Day 6: 

Refining the face, adding the hand and plants.

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Day 6:

Joe painted a few walls over the weekend, I'll photograph them to show you how great the new color looks. Joe, you did an excellent job painting the walls! 

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Day 6:

I used one of DiVinci's drawings of hands as a model for her hand, only I had to modify it so that it wouldn't look so rounded and masculine. 

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Day 7:

The mural is progressing nicely at this stage. I should be finished enough with the bottom portion to have the rest of the scaffolding erected.  

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Day 7:

This view shows how the foreground landscape is beginning to flow from one end to the other.

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Day 8:

You will notice that the side wall to the tunnel is no longer a straight line...

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Day 8:

By the way...Carol is Italian and an excellent cook!  And we all know how much I love home cooked Italian food, don't we Charley and Jane? 

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Day 9:

Here I added a few reds to give the wall more warmth and variety.


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Day 9:

The flower is from Carol and Joe's yard...I'll often work from life in combination with photographs and my imagination.

Sometimes in life we have the pleasure of meeting people that feel as though they are part of our family. As a painter, I consider these moments extraordinary and extremely special.  My goal for this wall is to make it a masterpiece; one that reflects my feelings for the people who live in this house.  It may take me a little longer to complete this project, but in the end it will be well worth the effort. 
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Day 10:

Carol & Joe, thank you for your complete trust in me. As scary as it is to watch a mural grow and see areas that do not make sense, you are hanging in there like real troupers without fear or worry.  What brave people you are!  

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Day 10:

Here I've started developing a grape vine that will grow over a portion of the windows. If this area looks a little dark, you're right...it is dark only don't worry, it will work perfectly with the painting as a whole.  

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The lighting is poor in these shots because I photographed the mural much too late in the day. To compensate for the low light I used software to increase the brightness. Doing this always causes the color to look more intense that what it actually is in real life.

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Day 10: 

I haven't touched her at all, but when I do I will use oil paint to refine her face. She's much too serious looking and desperately needs a smile...  

Day 11: 

Labor Day

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Day 12:

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Day 13

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Day 13:

I'll let these last photographs speak for themselves.


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Day 14: From a distance, which is the usual viewing, her face seemed to look a bit angry, so I softened her features and gave her more of a pleasing sultry look.

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Day 14: 

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Day 15: 

Today I completed the grape vine and worked on portions of the background.  

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Day 15: The last section of the scaffold was installed at the end of the day. Don't worry family, I'll be wearing a safety harness and the cage will still be around me.


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Day 15: I repainted the lower portion because after finishing everything else it looked too...messy.  Shush Carol, don't tell anyone what really happened. 

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Day 15: A close-up view of the Tuscany village that can be seen in the background.


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Day 15: 

My lady is standing next to stairs and is the first thing people see when they wall into this section of the house. See serves as a wonderful welcoming figure to this great house.  


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Day 16: Today I painted the sky.


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Day 17:

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Day 17: As you walk down the hallway to the family, she is the first thing you see. 

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Day 17:

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Day 17: This is one of the most exciting stages when everything comes together and you are able to view a nearly completed mural. 

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Day 21: The finale day has arrived. I hope you enjoy these photographs as much as I have enjoyed creating this mural for two very special people.


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The bunch of grapes that are located on the far right side of this photo are my personal favorite. A few of them look as though I glued real grapes to the wall, which was really exciting for me to see. Even though I've never considered myself to be a Tromp'loeil artist, those two grapes could easily fall into this category. 

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The view Carol has  each morning while having coffee was especially important to me as I created this section of the wall. I wanted her to feel peaceful and have a sense of awe before she starts each day. At night when she and Joe sit on their sofa, the mural looks completely different due to changing light. It is at this time when the mural takes on an incredible gentle feeling that I hope will always make this special couple  feel relaxed and peaceful after a long hard day. Even if that day was spent on the Golf Course.

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Carol's Goddess, she greets everyone the enters her world with warmth and beauty. Until this moment she was nameless...Athena seems appropriate, don't you agree?

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This is a view from upstairs; a place where I could easily photograph the wall without distortion from my camera. 

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The bottom right section was the most difficult for me to resolve. I actually painted 3 different scenes here before I decided on what you now see. 

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The side wall though very simple, is a nice compliment the main mural. I like the way the country-side flows from one end to the other.

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This lady in this photograph is my Mother, who went with me on the last day to see the mural. She and Carol talked while I wore my head phones and listened to beautiful Hawaiian music.  

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Today I added vines on the bottom left and refined the water in this area. Doing this gave the section a much needed finale touch.

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You may not notice but a darker glaze was applied over the shadow side of the buildings... They simply needed to be darkened.

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The last day and last wall....

Carol and Joe, thank you for this opportunity and thank you for your constant warmth and kindness, your generosity is greatly appreciated! See you in a few weeks!  


All paintings and images are Tamara Gerkin's original artwork. Copying or reproducing paintings, photographs, prints or poetry at www.ArtisticMurals.com website without written consent of the owner, is strictly prohibited.  If you have any questions, please send an  E-Mail or call at: 727-809-0606,  Hudson, FL  

Original artworks by: Tamara GerkinCopyright 1999-2012 by Artistic Murals/ Tamara Gerkin. All rights reserved.