Our Beloved Village Mural

Our living room mural garnered lots of comments and interest when readers spotted it on my In A Vase on Monday post. I decided to write a little something about the artist and her process.

I met Donna through our mutual friend Roger. Bodywork By Roger is in a nondescript building owned by a credit union, but when you walk in the door the space is stunning. Donna designed and painted the lobby and all of the rooms. I asked Roger for her contact information, and started referring her to my organizing clients and a few friends. I loved being able to peek at some of her projects and enjoyed seeing the breadth of her work.

I’ve dreamed of a wall mural my whole life. I have magazine clippings of murals dating back to 1970, hoping one day the dream would become a reality. I came close once about twelve years ago, but I didn’t connect with the artist so the idea fizzled out.

It’s been five years since Donna painted our mural, and memory is sketchy, but at some point I approached Donna with an idea and it manifested as this:

Completed mural

Donna took inspiration from a canvas we loved, creating her own colors and glazes to bring it to life. She sketched the idea, then literally drew a simple outline on the wall using an overhead projector. It was magical watching her work. Click on any photo in the gallery below for a closer look.

She painted over the course of a week, fleshing out the mural as she added fence posts, buildings and the beautiful sky.  She even added a small cat to the stone wall at my request. See if you can spot the kitty.

cat in silhouette

Kitty in silhouette

cat in silhouette on stone wall

Kitty in silhouette on stone wall

We have an open space plan with our kitchen, dining area, entry way and living room all flowing into an L shape. This allows us to see the mural from many angles for maximum enjoyment. One of the things I love about the mural is the way the colors change with the seasons or simply with the time of day. The mural always feels alive.

Wall mural (living room) and textured wall (dining area) by Donna Pierre, Felted wool oval runner by Randi Adams of RanDisignFiberArts

It’s a tremendous privilege to have Donna’s work in my home. I’m glad so many of you asked.

Of Note: You may recognize Donna as the artist behind our revitalized Little Free Library. You can read more about that project on my post Our Little Free Library Becomes a Work of Art.

51 thoughts on “Our Beloved Village Mural

  1. Lovely. I saw it in the photo, but didn’t want to draw attention by commenting, it felt a bit like invading your privacy. I love how murals open out living space and give you a whole different perspective. My sister lives in a converted French watermill in the Dordogne, and in her kitchen there is a large filled-in arch which used to be a doorway down to the water-race. She had a mural painted there, with a wrought iron gate in front of a view down the valley. It’s wonderful, and so is yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is gracious of you, Kate. I’m fine with you or anyone asking about photos I post. I’m careful not to put up anything I don’t want someone to see. I’m happy to share Donna’s work. She’s amazing. Your sister’s place sounds incredible! Oh my goodness, what a fun place to live. I don’t know the term “water-race”. Can you please fill me in. Thank you!

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      • A water mill uses water trapped and channelled into a narrow, fast moving stream to drive the wheel round. This ‘head race’ is then fed down via the wheel into into the ‘tail race’ and away, ‘race’ being the term for channelled, fast moving water. In the water mill, the miller needed access to the workings of the wheel, but once the house was converted, the wheel was dismantled, and the access was closed off. She still has the mill pond and the remains of the tail race in her 12 acre back yard!

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        • That’s a whole bog post right there, Kate. I would love to see this story with photos. I’m fascinated! She has 12 acres? Oh my goodness. We have a 1/4 acre lot and the house occupies a third of that. I’m dreaming…

          Thanks for all the details.

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          • I’ll see if I can dig out some photos for your private consumption 🙂 Most of her 12 acres is gardened with a ride-on mower, some of it is under cultivation and some has local cows agisted on it. She does have a lovely orchard with dozens of cherry and apple trees, a large vegie garden and some fabulous roses dotted here and there.

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  2. How lovely is this, Alys! The mural looks so relaxing and welcoming. But I can’t see the little cat. 😦 I am now looking around my walls now and wondering if I could fit in a mural somewhere.

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  3. Like Kate, I noticed it too but didn’t comment; so glad you wrote about it! It’s gorgeous and Donna is SO talented. I wish I had the wall space for something like that; it would sure make our arctic-like weather more tolerable for the duration of winter!

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  4. What a unique wall, Alys. I thought about having a mural or trompe l’œil on a wall at the top of the stairs. I never believed it would be possible but maybe one day I will be lucky enough to find someone out there who can do it for me!

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  5. I think this mural popped up in a photo before. I admired it then. Not possible to see the kitten but knowing it’s there is sweet. I have never planned to be anywhere long enough that a hand painted mural would be a good investment but I like them. It gives you the feeling of being out in the country.

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    • I added two more closeups with the kitty, but it is tiny, so easy to miss. I just like knowing it’s there. 🙂

      What’s weird is that I could have sworn I blogged about the mural at the time. I spent twenty minutes yesterday trying to find tags or categories with the words “mural” or “Donna” without any luck. No matter. It’s here now!

      Before this house, I never lived anywhere longer than five years, so I get that. I’ve also read that some artists simply paint on removable panels so they can be transported to a new home. The problem with that, though, is that you would have to find a house with a wall with those exact dimensions.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My goodness, Alys, your mural is simply gorgeous! I think it’s exceptional, too, that your home has enough of an open plan that you can enjoy it from other rooms. i really admire Donna’s tremendous talent! If you ever have the need to move, you’ll simply have to find a way to take that wall with you! 🙂 It’s truly one of a kind.

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    • I’m smiling, Debra, at the idea of taking the wall with me. I would be sorely tempted. We hope to stay in this house a good long time though, as it really feels like home. Both of us moved around a lot as kids, so we’ve really fallen in love with staying put, if that makes sense. Thank you for your kind words.

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  7. Oh, Alys, this exquisite! This mural makes me feel like I’m in Tuscany, basking in warm sunlight with the promise of a good meal later. Such a great idea. I love how you always wanted a mural and so you got one…by a worthy artist!

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  8. What a brilliant idea you had in conceiving this — and how brilliantly Donna executed your vision too! It’s simply gorgeous, Alys. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

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  9. I admired that mural when I saw it in your IAVOM post too so I’m glad to see a post providing more input on it. The colors are wonderful and as a cat lover I also appreciate the tiny addition.
    Sometimes it just takes time – and the right person – to help realize those dreams for home (or garden).

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    • Oh, I’m always happy to meet a fellow cat-lover! Are your kitties featured on your blog? You’re right about time. There is something, too, about realizing a dream later in life (I’m 57) that makes it all the more sweet.

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  10. Truly stunning, Alys! Donna is such a wonderful artist. I can actually ‘feel’ the countryside in her mural. The light falling upon the hills draws us into the scene. It must be such a treat to watch the light and shadow change with the time of day and the seasons. Dreams really can come true! I’m so happy that you have Donna’s mural to enjoy each and every day! Hugs, my friend! ♡

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    • Hello Dawn. Hugs right back your way. I’ve always been amazed at the way great artists can create light in their work. I think shadows are easier as you add shading, but to create light with paint is really something. I’m off to your blog soon. xo

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  11. I really can’t imagine just a blank wall there, becuase the mural is so much a part of your decor as I’ve known it. It reminds me of the countryside in perhaps Italy. Pretty amazing how Donna uses so many colors together to create shadows and shading on the village homes and throughout the entire scene. Wouldn’t it be fun to have someone at Pixar animate you for a little walk through the village?! Your home is warm and inviting and a perfect reflection of beautiful you xo K

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    • You say the sweetest things, Boomdee! Thank you. It does feel like a big part of our home. I love it and enjoy it every day. I like the idea of Pixar animating me through this scenery. You are so clever. By the way, we recently saw Coco and loved it. It has all the heart and artistry of a typical Pixar movie. xo

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