Bird Mural – Illustrator Maeve O’Keeffe

In April 2019 I was commissioned by Glounthaune Tidy Towns and Community Association to do a mural in Glounthaune Railway Station. It would be a birdlife theme on the railway shelter, complementing the nearby Harpers Island bird sanctuary.

When I visited the station to take measurements and get ideas, the first thing that struck me was “How do I get birds around the bin and the seats?” There’s a tall grey rubbish bin in the centre of the shelter with welcome metal seating on either side for awaiting train passengers. Seagulls are typically unafraid of swooping on unsuspecting commuters to snatch a sandwich, so depicting two cheeky gulls rob the rubbish bin seemed a good idea.

Maeve O'Keeffe, Mural, Illustrator, Cork, Ireland
Seagulls grab litter from the bin!

How would I incorporate the other birds? The shelducks and mallards could swim with their colourful offspring eyeing the thieving interlopers. The turnstone, dunlin and lapwing might perch on each bench. The teal, oystercatcher and golden plovers could take flight. Redshanks and godwits might busily wade in the water, while the sentry-like heron could stand tall taking it all in.   

Once the design was approved the mural work got underway. I had a very interesting time painting and occasionally chatting to people either waiting for or alighting from the train.

Maeve O'Keeffe, Mural, Illustrator, Cork, Ireland
Oystercatcher, Lapwings, Godwits & Herons

However, it was soon back to my usual routine of teaching art as I was due to start my After School Art Classes in SNCN Glounthaune NS; My Place Hall, Midleton on Tuesday 17th Sept and The Pike Hall, Glanmire on Thursday 19th Sept 2019. My adult education Drawing & Acrylic Painting classes started in St. Colman’s, Midleton on Tuesday night Oct 1st. As some birds fly south and others arrive from the north, art-wise it promised to be a busy autumn!

This is a slideshow I made of the mural from start to finish:

For more information about bird-related topics or future art classes see Maeve O’Keeffe’s Facebook page

©  Maeve O’Keeffe

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