Fort Myers Muralist Mural Painter | Fort myers, muralist, mural artist

Fort Myers Mural Painter Muralist

Muralist Fort Myers
Shark mural Fort Myers

One of the things I most enjoy about being a mural artist in Fort Myers and SWFL is the variety of projects I work on.  While a mural painter in Ft Myers may focus on one particular style, I enjoy the challenge of painting in multiple styles to bring the best look to a particular job.

Fort Myers Mural Artist scene is growing.

Being in close proximity to places like Wynwood, Miami and St Pete, its interesting to watch those mural painters style begin to influence our area. While they both may focus on street art, I think as our area grows we will begin to see a confluence of multiple styles creating something unique in Fort Myers, and something unique in SWFL.

Mural painter
Car mural by Ft Myers mural artist Erik Schlake

Europe – Part 3 – Madonnari Festival

Im doing these posts a bit out of order, I havent posted Part 2, which was our visit to Rome.

We were invited to participate in Concorso Internazionale dei Madonnari, a church festival in Nocera Superiore, south of Naples. It was a real honor to be invited along with a handful of other artists from the US, as well as artists from Mexico, Netherlands and elsewhere.

This wasnt a street art or chalk painting festival, but a church festival in which the chalk art was one part of a larger festival that included concerts, a light show, fireworks, parades and more. The theme this year was a Bible verse, based on John 15: 13-16 and was interpreted as “A great love, share it with the others”




Our piece was a recreation of “The Visitation” and measured 6’x 6′. For this festival we began work about 4pm and worked until midnight and then began the next day at 6am.


Nocera Superiore is a beautiful town with a great view of Mount Vesuvius. On top of every mountain were the remnants of old churches.

We stayed in town for two days after we chalked and had an opportunity to enjoy the festival and the people.


Trip to Europe – Part 1 – Salon & Netherlands | muralist

We just returned from a three and a half week trip to Europe. The trip itself was for two reasons, to attend Salon Leeuwarden, an annual meeting of decorative and mural painters from around the world, and also to attend Concorso di Madonnari in Nocera Superiore, Italy.

Salon takes place is a different city each year, and this year was Leeuwarden, Netherlands. The theme was Alma Tadema, the Dutch painter from the area. {The area is also home to artist M.C. Escher). Salon is my favorite event of the year, a mixture of professional development and meeting with friends.

While the world of muralists and decorative painters is quite large, this is a group of people passionate about the history of decorative painting and its techniques, from fresco painters, to wood grainers and marble painters. Its comprised of three main areas, an exhibition area, a demonstration area and a lecture area.


My Salon panel

For the exhibition, I create a panel looking inside a church that was painted by Tadema. I used a different view of the church, but tried to capture the feeling of space which he so eloquently rendered.


For 4 days, artists from around the world celebrate our craft. Its quite an honor, and rather humbling, to be watching and learning from some of the best in the business, including Dru Blair, Stefano Luca,, Pascal Amblard and others. Watching and being able to ask questions about their techniques goes along way in pushing myself forward.

Outside Salon hours, the days are filled with food and wine, meeting with old friends and making new ones. Salon has a certain “tribe” or family feel to it. There is no artistic competitiveness or ego. Its about celebrating our craft and working together so that everyone rises to the top. That is quite unusual in art circles.

Next year Salon will be in Chamonix, France. Its a year away but Im already planning my panel!!!!!!


Photos from Salon

Stefano Luca
Dru Blair
Pierre Finkelstein


Chalk Festival

Last month my daughter and I did another street painting festival, this one being Lake Worth Street Painting Festival.

The image we chose to do was a grotesque panel from Italian artist Carolina d’Ayala Valva. It’s a beautiful piece of art and we wanted to do something “old school”.

I really enjoy these festivals. Although its alot of work for something temporary, its an opportunity to challenge myself and also play with different types of art. And chalk festivals are an interesting mix of art, from classical to original compositions to street art. There are very few venues in the art world that allow for such a diverse showing of art.

There is also the aspect of getting an opportunity to spend the weekend with artists of different styles, that travel from all over to participate. Many artists refer to each other as their “chalk family’, and that feeling is evident at most festivals. Its a nice change from the competitive world that art can be


57 Chevy Mural | 57 Chevy mural


57 Chevy Mural


I recently had the opportunity to design a mural for a team of car collectors in Ft Myers. The idea was a series of garage doors, and we added in an open door revealing a 57 Chevy. The size was 14 feet long by 9 feet tall, which gave us the ability to make the 57 Chevy mural life sized. It also gave me the opportunity to paint it on canvas and install it onsite. This was more convenient for the client, and gave me the freedom to use different techniques that are not practical onsite.


How to paint a 57 Chevy mural

For a reference, I purchased a scale model of a 57 Chevy, which was much more accurate than working off a series of photos. I could adjust the lighting and shadows to more accurately depict a 57 Chevy. If I were to use a series of photos, the lighting would be different and the shadows would fall into the proper place.

Next I photographed the car in a small carboard garage I built. This gave me all the proper shadows and highlights I needed. From that I was able to paint the majority of the mural in my studio, and then installed on site!


Murals Spray Paint vs Brush

shark111 Everyone by now has heard the term “Street Art”, and is familiar with artists such as Banksy or Shepard Fairey. In SW Florida, including Cape Coral, Ft Myers and Naples, you may not see many examples of street art, but you can bet its coming. I’m a huge fan of the street art movement and I participate in it myself quite often through street fairs, exhibitions and festivals. So in no way do I think having a different passion takes anything away from street art.


But when it comes to mural work I prefer the old school brush technique. I think some things are timeless and when placed side by side I can see how traditional painting and spray painting may look completely different but compliment themselves in many ways.

For me, the old school brush method is a bit more my style, its easier to see an individual artist in both the technique and color schemes. The palette is much more open, allowing the artist to mix just about any color. While there are many more options available to spray can artists, that palette is still limited to a certain number of blues, reds, greens and yellows.  Techniques also, in my opinion, are more available to a brush artist than a spray artist. For many traditional mural artists its easy to see in their work techniques that have been passed down from generation through generation whether through schooling, mentorship or studying an artists technique. Artists such as John Pugh and Wyland have both mastered the traditional method of brushing that you can see their influence in other artists.

From an artist point of view, while many street artists share similar techniques, the street artist makes a unique statement through his subject matter and individual style. Style is what allows a street artist to stand out.

For anyone thinking about commissioning a mural, both the street art and traditional styles are great options. But as a client, you shouldnt feel that one style is “hot” right now or that street art represents the future while traditional methods are something of the past. Neither one is going away soon and the decision should be based more off of what represents your business or home style and less on what is popular.


Wow, things have been crazy.  If you notice things missing off my site, its because I’m redoing it, and haven’t had a chance to breathe lately. Sitting in front of the computer with a cup of coffee and finishing my website sounds like a vacation at this point.

It seems we have been running non stop the last two months.  We did an event with Heather Ford for breast cancer awareness, a Veterans mural, and a variety of other things. Heres a few pics from both. Hopefully soon I’ll have a few moments to finish the website.



Woodgraining Garage Doors | cape coral, ft myers naples woodgraining garage doors

garagedoorHere in SW Florida, especially Cape Coral, Ft Myers, Naples , woodgraining garage doors is a popular option for many homeowners.


Woodgraining garage doors in Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral plays really nice into the stucco architecture so common in our area.

There are many companies that use gel stains to achieve a convincing wood grain, but its not the best route to achieve this look. Gel stains are not only fragile in UV light, but also the use of an oil based product on a garage door can void the warranty. The better approach is an acrylic based system. The pigments are more UV resistant, and the paint film itself is stronger than a layer of gel stain. The end result not only looks great, but lasts longer than an oil based stain finish. Especially in areas like Cape Coral, Ft Myers Naples, the extra strong UV from our strong sunlight needs to be taken into account.