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Create Bright Interior Murals

Joanne Wasserman explores her ideas and techniques for creating bright, large-scale interior murals

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Joan Wasserman's mural for the Leona Bowman Center for Community Health Nursing was painted with Golden Acrylics. The Bowman Center is part of Johns Hopkins University's School of Nursing, which celebrated its centennial with a move to a new building. "I completed this mural only one month after ordering paints, medium, brushes, gesso and canvas from Daniel Smith," says Wasserman, whose Rockville, Maryland-based business, Wasserman Design, specializes in graphic design and calligraphy. "The sales staff was extremely helpful. "I am motivated by ideas and compose them as visual expressions," says Wasserman.

"The calligraphy suggests the meaning of the words in the context of the art. The concept imagery, symbols and graphic designs are invented by my imagination to express an idea, identity or objective." In the mural, the bold lettering of the Center's name is superimposed on a background which expresses the idea of community both in the visual imagery of forest and city, and in the written imagery Wasserman composed to reflect the goals and values of the School of Nursing. "I love the Golden paints," Wasserman adds. "Their high pigmentation makes them go a long way. I used a lot of gel medium and white to make them lighter but still intense to match my watercolor comps.

Irene Turner and Robert Williamson are partners in Eclectic Surfaces, a Seattle mural painting business specializing in restaurant and architectural work. Andaluca, an intimate wine bar in the Mayflower Hotell, Gretchen's cafe in Seattle's Benaroya Hall, several Briazz cafes, and Rikki Rikki in Bellevue, all feature painted walls or installations by Eclectic Surfaces. Their work is also seen in many Starbucks stores nationwide."It was a big breakthrough for us to move from high quality interior house paint to Golden Acrylics," says Robert Williamson. "We've grown to depend on the Golden Fluids -- they're so concentrated and have given us a lot more flexibility." Turner and Williamson work directly on walls as well as on panels and muslin fabric to be installed later.

"Glazing is a big part of our work, adding depth through layers of color. We've used untold gallons of Daniel Smith Acrylic Medium, almost always matte. It extends the paint really well and we've never had any foaming problems. We also like the Golden Glazing Medium. It's a convenient premix which slows drying, giving us more time to glaze large areas."

About the Artist
Joanne C. Wasserman has been professionally engaged in original art, custom art services, and graphic design since 1979, when she opened Wasserman Design, in Washington, DC, as a studio business. Joanne was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design. Recently, two works of calligraphy and illumination were composed for Senator John Warner and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Wasserman's work for Johns Hopkins University's School of Nursing is a tribute to The Center for Community Health Nursing. Other works include drawings and watercolors for the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation.