A bright, colourful new mural is ready to grace an interior wall in the children's section of the Whanganui District Library.
Painted in acrylic by Whanganui artist Tina Drayton, the work covers three large wooden panels, cut to size by Beadle's Panel Products, depicting a range of storybook characters including Harry Potter and Lowly Worm, as well as plenty from the artist's imagination.
"It's an eyeful, isn't it?" says Tina, when the panels are arranged in sequence for the photo.
The paint is protected and sealed by a clear, non-reflective UV coat. Each panel has a tiny ladybird hidden in the detail – the ladybird is Tina's signature mark.
Jane Barlow, senior children's librarian, approached Tina last year with a view to commission a work. Dan Mills had already created a mural in a nearby area for older children, so the works are significantly different.
"What I wanted to do was follow through, because we got Dan to do teenage … and now it's complete."
Jane says Tina was the obvious choice to do the next mural, especially having seen and admired her work on the climbing wall at the Boys and Girls Gym Club.
Jane says part of the brief was to include books, the mountain, the river and a taniwha. They are all there, and a lot more besides. The taniwha is reading a book about a taniwha, the mountain is snowclad and looks over the first panel, and the river runs across all three panels through colourful plants and lots of flowers.
"I had a plan, but not a full plan," says Tina.
She says things just appeared as she painted. "It evolves as you go."
There is lots of colourful vegetation, native birds, fish, even stylised Dr Seuss characters.
"I loved doing it. The kids will like it because they have to find everything in it."
Being painted on panels gives the mural portability if the layout of the library changes. The children's section has a large, open space for activities and events and already is a place of colour and vibrancy. The mural will add to the ambience.
Tina has an exhibition at the Yellow House through June and July, so if you like the library mural, you'll enjoy coffee at the Yellow House.