When I was approached in October about dressing up some walls with custom, painted murals for a new restaurant opening in Bridgeport I was excited! The restaurant specialized in Jamaican Caribbean Cuisine which happens to be a favorite of mine. I knew the owner personally and was more than happy to be a part of the renovation and beautification team.
Her vision was simple; A large mural of Bob Marley on one wall and a large map of Jamaica on the other. I definitely had my work cut out because I had to work around the crew that was coming in to break down the old and build the new. I had approximately three weeks or so to get the job done before the planned opening of December 1st. Each wall was about 4.5 feet high and 6 to 7 feet wide...So I started to devise my master plan. Not really a master plan because my brain just doesn't work that way. My thoughts are usually all over the place; the only time they're not is when I'm creating.
I painted the map first since I knew it wouldn't take as long as Bob Marley. I painted a bright blue tropical water background on the entire wall. I found an image with the most popular parishes of the Island and sketched it onto the wall with pencil then painted the colors in. I decided to work with a color palette that might be used for a heat mapping image with a beige base to represent the land. I spent a total of about 4 hours on the map wall adding the names of each parish along with the country's bird and flower.
Bob Marley happens to be one of my favorite artists for many reasons. His music has always inspired me to do more. In my opinion, he was a prophet and a legend in his own right. He spoke his mind and didn't falter from anything he believed to be true. Marley was wise beyond his years and his presence was such a gift to the world. Now with that been said, imagine the responsibility of painting a mural honoring the likeness of this late, great legend. I didn't over think it too much (because I tend to do that) I just started to look for photographs of Marley online that were different than the ones that I always see. There were so many pictures that I should have been overwhelmed but I wasn't. As soon as I saw the image I knew it was the one.
It was a black & white photo of Marley performing in a Rolling Stone Magazine Coverwall entitled "The Life and Times of Bob Marley". I loved the passion on his face as he performed and felt that it would be a great depiction of his likeness for the wall. Of course I had to change some things to make it my own including painting it in color. I decided on the Rastafarian flag colors for the background, sketched the image of Marley and got to work right away on painting him. In total I spent about eight to twelve hours painting the Marley wall because I couldn't walk away until it felt right. I listened to his music the entire time I worked on the project and was very happy with the final results.
Awesome Sauce Caribbean Flavors opened their doors on December 19, 2015 at 840 State Street in Bridgeport, CT. I was there face painting anyone who came to celebrate with us. Both murals were a huge hit and I am told that people have been taking pictures and selfies in front of the murals regularly.