From the moment I landed at Heathrow airport an hour outside of London, England, I was on the go. London is a bustling big city and like any modern city mass transit is the way to get around. From the plane to the train, which is called the Tube or the Underground, it took me to my destination where I was staying in the north-eastern end of London near Manor House station. The wall for my first mural is across town in East London, Bethnal Green. It took about 30 minutes on the red, double decker bus which I enjoyed because it gave me my only opportunity to see London.
Day two was the beginning of the mural madness and I left Manor House with wall priming paint, pole, roller and pan from Home Base which is England’s Home Depot. It was sunny and warm as I made my way to Bethnal Green on the 254 bus to Chrome & Black, a graffiti spray paint shop.
The wall, curated by London Graffiti, is at the corner of Clare Street and Cambridge Heath Road. My subject matter was the hilarious Mr. Bean who is a British character played by the actor Rowan Atkinson. I thought painting him would be fitting for the occasion. The motivation was from the reference I used because the worm’s eye, foreshortened angle is my favorite anatomical perspective to observe and illustrate.
It took about 8 hours to paint and when I was close to being finished I had a visit by the London police who rolled up in a riot van inquiring if I had legal documentation by the owner to paint the wall. I was detained for 15 minutes until London Graffiti straightened things out over the phone. I must say that the two men and one woman police officers were very polite and pleasant even though they thought I was facing criminal charges for not having any paper work of permission. In the end they said, “…we’re going to let you be” and I appreciated that.
From this day forward the long days of grinding had begun and the reason for why I traveled to London which was not to sightsee, but to paint. Mr. Bean was the first of 4 murals in a span of five days time which took me to different areas throughout London, spreading the ISM.
Stay tuned for the next two parts of my trip to London..
*A special thanks to HiddenStreetsofLondon.com and M Frenchi for contributing images*