I Painted a Mermaid In Malaysia…
While roaming around George Town, Penang, I spotted a colorful alleyway. My head was twitching while whispering, “You don’t know this place, you might get mugged.” BUT my inner artist was twirling while screaming, “You go in there, guurl, you might get thrown with acrylic paint and glitter.”
I am not going to turn down the chance of getting thrown in the face with glitter, so I entered.
I was absolutely amazed by the fantastic works of art that were nestled together on the walls of a 120-meter lane. There were origami birds and wire faces hanging from the ceiling. A wide variety of themes painted in different styles and sizes. Artists from all over the world are featured on these walls.
It’s basically a community project started by China House – situated around the corner – which has the most delicious cakes you’ll ever stuff your face with, ever!
When it first started, Art Lane was open to the public and China House provided them with paints and brushes. After some time the creators decided that they wanted to have some quality control and public access to paints and brushes were halted.
Tourists and locals can view the beautiful works of art during the hours of 9am-7pm. Art Lane is closed at night to avoid scallywags painting over murals.
Step 1.1: Dig deep within your soul for an interesting concept
Step 1.2: Sketch an idea
Step 2: Email a proposal to China House (email@example.com)
Step 3: Get their approval and win their trust
Step 4: Meet the manager at their restaurant where she’ll give you some
brushes and paints
Step 5: Find a spot on the wall
Step 6: Start painting (and if you’re like me, you would probably forget any form of hydration, and you’ll sweat your toosh off in the hot Malaysian heat)
Step 7: Finish off and eat cake
Rules of Art Lane, Penang: No Profanity. No Politics. Nothing Sexual.
Yes, I know… the end product doesn’t really look like the initial sketch. But, what can I say? My mood took over and I painted with the rhythm of the wall.
“Why the green body?” you may ask. Tourists and locals are continually passing by and while I was chatting with a lot of different travelers from all over the world (also painting, also dying of heat, also trying to look somewhat approachable) – I kinda got this idea that I didn’t want to paint a peachy-flesh-colored mermaid. I decided on ‘green’ to try and incorporate individuals from all ethnic background. It also reminded me of a fantasy creature. So, yeah, green!
The whole idea of this 5-hour wall mural was not to reach perfection. It’s a messy mermaid tail with loads of imperfections (Scales, Curvy Hips, Green Flabby Tummy, and Random Color Spots – Perhaps Algae).
Just because: “No one said you had to be a size ‘0’ to be a Mermaid!” We are all beautifully fantastic creatures and we shine in our own magical ways.