Nursery Mural Painting – Saturday & Sunday, February 26th & 27th, 2011
Ever since we converted the old dairy shed to be a nursery for propagating seedlings we had been thinking that rather than blank walls, a mural showing native bush and birds would be more in keeping with the revegetation work at CUE Haven. The nursery is visible from the main road and you also see it as you come up the main driveway so we decided that a mural would be a nice way to welcome visitors.
We contacted Resene Paints and they generously agreed to provide all the paints for the mural at no cost as part of their community support program.
Identifying a mural artist was a bit of a challenge but we were lucky enough to find Doug Ford who has done numerous wonderful murals all over Auckland. We met with Doug, explained the CUE Haven project and what we hoped to accomplish. He came out to see the nursery and develop ideas and we knew right away we wanted to work with him. Not only did he share our vision for both the mural and CUE Haven, he is also a great person. After we met, he sent us a sketch of what he had in mind and we liked what he came up with.
Doug has worked on many community mural projects and he advised us that he could either do all the work himself or better yet we could get a group of people to work under his supervision and make it a fun event. Because CUE Haven is fundamentally a community project, we liked Doug’s idea and agreed that the mural painting would be a great way to get community people involved.
We sent out invitations to family and friends and got an overwhelming response.
We spent a couple of days applying the primer coat of paint on the new plywood walls so painting would be easier.
Doug came out on the Thursday before the painting weekend and sketched out the mural on the nursery walls.
On Saturday morning the first group of volunteers arrived. After a short program in which we introduced and thanked a number of our sponsors and supporters who had come along, we then had a tape cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the first walking tracks at CUE Haven and then we got to work painting. Training consisted of picking up a paintbrush and asking Doug what color to put where.
The mural took shape amazingly quickly. Some people tackled the sky, others the trees and bush and some adopted a bird or two. Things went so well on the first day that a volunteer who came by in the late afternoon thought we had finished.
But there was a lot more detail to fill in and the group on Sunday stepped in to handle it. The challenge on the second day was to work in details of the birds, for example by showing feather textures and other characteristics. Doug passed around a dog eared and paint encrusted Guide to New Zealand Birds and our old copies of Forest and Bird magazines so that the volunteers could see the actual colors of the birds they were working on. We had a group of about 20 children on the second day and they worked on the forest floor, filling in flaxes and kiwis.
We had a fantastic two days and everyone had a fun time. Not everyone participated in the mural painting, but all enjoyed socialising with others over their picnic lunch and exploring CUE Haven and the new walking tracks.
Now that the volunteers have finished, Doug wants to do some touch up work to make the coloring and textures consistent and also to work out all of the dimensions and perspectives. As soon as he gets a good dry day he will finish off the work and we’ll put up some pictures of the final product. We know that the mural will become a centrepiece of the CUE Haven landscape for many years to come.
We sincerely want to thank everyone who came along for supporting our efforts at CUE Haven. Thank you –
Lance, Peter, Jane, Rodney, Rita, Marley, Dermott, Karen, Rendell, Frances, Andrew, Maurice, Luc, Ken, Bente, Kath, Alan, Craig, Diedre, David, Herta, Paul, Melissa, Ian, Gabi, Laila, Angelica, Graham, Kiki, Rosario, Diane, Linda, Deborah, Martin, Margaret, John, Piers, Elaine, Renate, Sol, Gail, Karuna, Shobha, Primi, Vilashini, Malyaa, Yashasvi, Dharma, Arabi, Raj, Sivam, Pradeep, Pravir, Shobi, Balam, Niraj, Vijaya, Ranjan, Selva, Suresh, Anish, Roashanth, Vidhya, Avinash, Deeksha, Mana, Tehmurasp, Bilkish, Vicky, Goolrukh, Aneeza, Kersi, Yasmin, Zenobia, Binifer, Zeenia, Rustom, Delnaz, Kashmira, Nadir, Kairus, Sanaya, Bepsy, Cyrus, Nilufer, Kaizen, Aliza, Hiloo, Kashmira, Jimmy, Rashna, Dorab, Parvez, Arnavaz, Philly, Yasmin, Vispi, Daisy, Perviz, Persis, Homi, Navazesh, Peter, Sheherazad, Asa, Binaifer, Sushma, Arjun, Ruby, Amy, Ruzbeh, Rohan, Burzis, Paeterasp, Anahita, Binaifer, Tehmus, Jarafshan, Yazdy, Xerxes, Thrity.
We also want to thank Paul Hafner who took some beautiful pictures and publicised the mural painting and Doug’s work on his web site.
And a big thank you to Delwyn Dickey of The Rodney Times for her wonderful article about CUE Haven and the mural painting weekend.
We especially want to thank Doug Ford. Doug is a delight to work with and a deeply talented artist. He made the painting days special with his enthusiasm and light hearted assistance. His vision and artistry have made a permanent and positive contribution to CUE Haven.
And again, thanks to Resene NZ for sponsoring the paint for the mural.