Golden Plaice – fish and chip shop, Borehamwood

I was asked to paint some murals in Golden Plaice as part of a 2 week refurbishment that was taking place. The owner had large yellow panels along one wall that he wanted to be painted to look like water but with a waterfall in the middle. He also wanted the back wall to be painted as a beach scene. There was a wallpaper mural there before but it wasn’t in great condition. There was another board slightly separate to the rest, closer to the entrance door, which was decided that we would keep with the sea theme but have something different. They chose to have two dolphins, which was fine with me because they are my favourite animal! After lots of passers-by looking in and complementing my work but jokingly asking ‘but where are the fish?’ they later decided to add another board near the door, but on the opposite side to the dolphins, which was going to be more of a ‘fun’ design with different coloured fish!

The fish board design was left to me, so I decided that I would keep each of the elements of the painting looking realistic, to match the rest of the murals, but have the composition looking more abstract. I painted a long strand of seaweed wiggling from the bottom of the board all the way to the top, with a mixture of fish, a jellyfish and a turtle dotted around it. The owner then asked if we could extend the seaweed slightly onto the ceiling – why not!

This was my largest and most challenging job so far. I was on a schedule to be able to complete it all before the re-opening, whilst working around the other work that was taking place in the shop (new shop front being fitted etc). Two weeks seems like a long time, however it turned out the whole back wall wasn’t able to be painted on after stripping the wallpaper off, so instead some ply wood was attached on top, which then needed to be primed. I couldn’t start painting the mural until the new surface was ready. The yellow boards are made of Formica which is not the easiest surface to paint on! It is very slippery – great for being able to wipe clean, but not great for paint to stick to. This needed special preparation and sealing afterwards.

Fortunately I was able to complete all the murals in the given time and the customers were very happy with the newly refurbished shop when it re-opened after it’s two weeks of closing.