View Full Version : My newest canvas...?

03-01-2002, 04:21 PM
Well, this is a first for me -- painting a mural around the urinals in a men's room. :p Total surface will be 10 foot x 6.5 foot.

This is in my neighbor's Irish pub. It's the sixth mural I've done for him, so he's a really good customer...
He originally wanted me to recreate a poster he has. It's a famous photo from 1932 of a bunch of ironworkers eating lunch on a girder over NYC. I don't much care to use other peoples work, but he's an ex New Yorker and he had his heart set on it, so I tracked down the owners of the liscense,(Corbis) and went to find out the cost. I explained that I wished to use the image as reference for a painted mural...YIKES! One-time use of the image would have cost $3,000.00!!!!!!!! :eek: This blew me away, as the original photographer is unknown, and he and his heirs wouldn't get a cent.

So, having friends in contruction...I set about trying to create an image that might make the client happy.
First problem was the weather, being as this is Cleveland in February...
Finally, on a halfway decent day, I arranged for a supervisor to catch a bunch of worker on a lunchbreak and get them together on top of a building for me. Since I wasn't willing to haul my very expensive camera gear into any precarious places, I posed the guys sitting on the edge of a really tall building roof...set up my tripod and shot a couple of rolls of film and a few digital shots.
I was not entirely sure that me and the gear weren't going to blow off the building. Did I mention that it was really cold and windy up there? Now I know why ironworkers are such big burly manly men! :D

Here's the burly men (and a couple of supervisors)...

03-01-2002, 04:36 PM
Next I took pictures of some cranes and girders and other construction 'stuff.'
Then some pictures of the Cleveland skyline.
Then I started working out my composition. I put the city in the background, the guys, anong with a crane and things hanging on chains -- you know -- guy stuff. ;) Finally I placed the guys sitting on a girder, instead of the edge of a roof. The customer was pleased with the scene, except he wanted all the workers to be holding up pints of Guinness...:rolleyes:

So last week I went and primed the walls. The walls were well scrubbed by their cleaning person, but as I painted the corner near the floor, I got a pubic hair on my brush and was totally grossed out! :mad: You should have seen me jumping around and trying to shake it off...
The walls are covered in 12 inch ceramic tiles, which makes it really easy to grid the drawing. :)
Today I went and did the drawing on the walls. Had to make some changes, as the placement I started with, would have put the guys heads loking into the urinals...yuck. :p
Here's the first steps...more to come. :)

03-01-2002, 04:39 PM
Oh, it goes around a corner -- here's the second wall;

03-01-2002, 05:14 PM
well this is definitely an unusual project...keep us posted...

oh the comments i could make right now...hehehehe :evil:

03-01-2002, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by arlene

oh the comments i could make right now...hehehehe :evil:

LOL! I think my husband has made all the comments already... :D

03-02-2002, 09:00 AM
Hi Gisela

This is going to be a great piece but the working conditions are hmmm, how can I say....not quite to my liking. Think I'd go for the plein air shoots you did beforehand. But, work is work eh? I lived in ON until last summer and I always wanted to do murals on those big grungy interior factory walls that are always so devoid of color and personality. I hope to see this when finished :) Hope your friend has an "Out of Order" sign on the door :D


03-02-2002, 10:12 AM

Gisela....I lift my glass to you :)

This really is going to be a great piece and I can't wait to see the finished product.

I want the third guy over who is sitting there in the cold with just a short sleeved shirt on :D

03-03-2002, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by leaflin
I want the third guy over who is sitting there in the cold with just a short sleeved shirt on :D

Hey Leaflin !!!
That third guy sure looks familiar, you have good taste :D :D
Gisela, this will look great when its finished, I to would worry about interruptions whilst working lol.
( PS, hope you dont mind my use of the photo, I have deleted it now) - it was just to tempting

;) ;)

03-03-2002, 02:57 PM
LOL...good one , Joe! :D
Has Leaflin seen that?

Actually, Someone comes and cleans when the place closes and I'm only working on the piece until 4:00 each day, when the pub opens -- so I don't have to worry about...um...interuptions. (or bad aims) ;)

Gisela :D

03-03-2002, 03:15 PM
Im VERY glad to hear that lol

;) ;)

03-07-2002, 05:49 PM
Must be all that Guinness keeping you warm.
Be still my beating heart :)

Gisela, I am so glad someone cleans in there for you.
I actually woke up this morning thinking about that :o

03-09-2002, 10:46 AM
I just found this little adventure. I will be smilin and gigglin all day. I want all of those guys. Hey, even a crusty old broad can dream

03-09-2002, 06:34 PM
LOL Gisela. Thanks for posting your progress pics. I am looking forward to seeing the finished work.

03-10-2002, 10:04 AM
This will be the best mens room ever :D Hurry with more pics :)

03-11-2002, 08:35 PM
Blocking in the background...

03-11-2002, 08:37 PM
and the other wall...

03-12-2002, 11:09 AM
Gisela :)
This is coming along great!

Did you hear the one about the stolen the toilet?
The police had "nothing to go on" :D

sorry....couldn't resist

03-14-2002, 06:09 PM
Groan...Leaflin! :D

Windows...painted hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds...of windows.

03-14-2002, 06:11 PM
Did I mention that it was hundreds and hundreds of wondows?

03-14-2002, 06:17 PM
More work on the background...


03-14-2002, 06:25 PM
Did I tell you that the client decided that he'd like some of his buddys faces on the wall? Now I'm working from a pile of photos that were more than likely taken under the influence...of people who were more than likely themselves under the influence...!
In most of the pictures, the subject's face is one half to one inch in size.:rolleyeyes:

Some initial sketches of the faces...

03-14-2002, 06:29 PM
Most of the faces in place now.
Still waiting for 2 photos...

03-14-2002, 07:23 PM
There are a lot of strong brown stains on this work, are you sure the toilets are working ROFLMAO

;) ;)

03-14-2002, 10:26 PM
:p Yuck, Joe!
I wouldn't be there if they weren't working!

I'm only using raw umber, white and black paint. The client wanted it to kind of have the look of an old sepia toned photo. The other walls and doors are bright orange and emerald green, so anything else would have clashed...;)


03-15-2002, 08:10 AM
Gisela - what fun watching this unfold.

Would be nice if you could talk the owner into doing something re the horrendous wood trim colors. Even if it was a coat of a nice wood colored stain/glaze to make a visual transition into the space.

I keep thinking of the title of one of Monet's most famous - "Water Lilies"

Great work, Gisela.

Wally's Mom
03-15-2002, 12:30 PM
Your version is sooo much nicer than the originalprint that your friend wanted copied ! I hope that he is appreciating you appropriately, as well as paying you well ! It looks awesome, from here, and probably even better in person. All though . . .

Watched a show titled "The Worlds 10 Best Public Rest Rooms" on the Travel Channel recently, and all I could do was think about your project.

Good Work !

03-15-2002, 02:23 PM
Gisela!! Fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What fun to watch you work. Thanks for sharing the pics as you go! YOU are a patient woman with all
that detail!

03-15-2002, 05:35 PM
Mame...Water Lilies...Duh -- it took me a while to 'get it'! ;)

Wally's Mom -- Best Restrooms, huh? I'm LMAO that someone did a show on that. How funny! :D

Thanks Ladies!

Here's some more work -- Down to the waist now

03-15-2002, 05:41 PM
Painted the girder, sketced in the legs and feet and the background washed for the lower third.

left wall

03-15-2002, 05:43 PM
and the right wall

03-15-2002, 05:50 PM
detail of one of the guys - Irish Pete

03-15-2002, 05:53 PM
And the owner, my client -- American Pete (who's also Irish)

03-21-2002, 06:17 PM
was having to do the lower part of the walls. :p This part meant that I had to be on my knees for the better part of two days.

(Joe -- don't even think of saying it!!)

I worked on the buildings (looking down from above) and the legs and feet

03-21-2002, 06:18 PM
and the other side...

03-21-2002, 06:29 PM
The client also decided that it would be nice if everyone were holding a pint of Guinness...
Also some more work tying it all tgether.

03-21-2002, 06:30 PM
everybody gets a pint!! :D

03-21-2002, 06:41 PM
On the last day I added details -- the printing on the glass, a frosty drop down the side, shoelaces...

Finally done -- I can get the hell out of the men's room!! :clap:

03-21-2002, 06:42 PM
the other side...

03-21-2002, 06:46 PM
Finished!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

To think that, at this point in my life....I wind up with my name on the men's room wall! :p

A final detail shot.

Wally's Mom
03-22-2002, 08:43 AM
I am soo Impressed !

I hop your friends patron's don't have any trouble doing their business with all those guys staring at them ! LOL:p

Good Work !

BTW: Did you (or are you going to) put some sort of top coat on to protect your artwork ?

Thanks for sharing this !

03-22-2002, 09:03 AM
What fun watching this unfold. Thank you gisela for your generosity and time in posting the process!

Lady Grey
03-22-2002, 03:44 PM
Very original ! You can be proud of yourself :)
Lady Grey

03-22-2002, 08:27 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

What we need now, is one for the ladies.....

03-23-2002, 04:25 AM
Well done Gisela, there is an expression "P-----g in someones pocket". which may apply here and I also expect you had a couple of those birds of prey of yours protecting the door.LOL Again a great effort.
Billyg:D :clap: :clap:

03-23-2002, 09:36 AM
Quite incredible, Gisela !! Hats off to you ! :clap: :clap: I'm thinking you should be getting in touch with the travel channel to add "your" washroom to it. I hope your friend really appreciates all that you have done and what you went through to get it there! Did he tell his buddies they would be painted on the wall or did he let them be surprised ? Well done! :D:D

03-23-2002, 11:12 AM
This is FANTASTIC, it has turned out so well, I hope you got paid more than a few pints of the black stuff lol.
Im sure the men will be delighted to see this, and I didnt even THINK of a remark to make, about you being on you knees ( in the gents ) for 2 days :evil: :evil:

;) ;)

Little Old Lady
03-23-2002, 02:06 PM
Just found this thread today. It was fascinating following the mural from beginning to end. Just fantastic!

03-27-2002, 12:01 AM
:clap: This has been a delight to see evolve, you did a fantastic job, well done. Even though it was completely cleaned...... did it smell like a mens room at all??? eick, gross, hahaha, you are a brave lady.

03-27-2002, 12:35 AM
Thanks everyone! :D

Wally's Mom -- some guys says it feels a little weird with all those smiling faces watching. On the other hand, my best friend is gay and he thoroughly enjoys the mural!

Mame and Lady Grey -- thanks -- it was really a lot of fun to do.

Geoff -- I've done 4 murals in the ladies!

Billy -- Only worked while the pub was closed -- it's a madhouse when they'e open.

Olika -- it was a surprise to most of them -- they got to see it on St. Paddy's Day. The guys that they chose all helped to build the pub, so it's kind of a tribute wall to them. :)

Joe -- love ya' -- thanks for biting your tongue!!

JoAnn -- thanks much - glad you enjoyed it.

Weece -- the smell wasn't bad -- the manager kept the place in fresh cherry scented urinal cakes --I may never eat cherries again! :p

I'm starting another mural for the pub in a couple of weeks. Eileen, the gal that runs the place, went to Ireland a couple of weeks ago and took pictures of St. James Gate for me. For the uninitiated, that's the entrance to the Guinness brewery in Dublin. (sacred ground practically) ;)

I love doing these murals -- it's so much fun to work in such a grand size. Of course, there's that added bonus of hundreds of people a day looking at your work! :D If you've never tried it, do one at home, for yourself!


03-29-2002, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by Gisela
To think that, at this point in my life....I wind up with my name on the men's room wall! :p

:clap: :clap: :clap:

I have enjoyed watching this immensely.
Thank you for sharing your talent and your humor.

04-08-2002, 08:03 PM
Ahhhhhhh I found this one again. I had to see it finished. Top job G :D I hope he paid you what you deserve. Well done. :clap: :clap:

04-08-2002, 08:56 PM
And I thought MY job was crappy (chucklechuckle). Came out great girl! But when people view my art, I prefer they have their wallet in their hands rather than....


Just funning ya. It's fantastic! Brava! :D


04-09-2002, 01:29 AM
Originally posted by TracyN
...But when people view my art, I prefer they have their wallet in their hands rather than....

ROFLMAO!!!!!!! :D :D :D