I get a bit of cute aggression when I see fuzzy bumblebees in my garden, especially when they fall asleep in a trumpet flower with their chonky behinds covered in pollen sticking out of the flower. They are the cutest garden visitors ever. I have dedicated several art pieces to these adorable muses and their plight, including three at art battle, which I am happy to say went to new homes. Thank you to all the amazing collectors and buyers who support me! A portion of all sales and paint events are donated to charity.

As you can imagine I was completely over the moon when I was awarded a neighbourhood impact grant this year, by the Mississauga Arts Council, to paint a public mural dedicated to pollinators, featuring my favourite flying floof, the bumblebee. Not going to lie, writing a grant is a huge pain, but it was worth it. I also found out that strangely enough even when you offer organizations a free mural, they seem to hibernate/go on vacation/disappear from the face of the earth/not want to email you back in time. Luckily I was finally able to nab one organization that was not only responsive but just as excited as I was with the possibility of bringing this mural to Mississauga. A huge thank you to the Parks, Forestry and Environment Division of the City of Mississauga! You guys are honestly the best!

It was so satisfying to paint large scale, although very physically exhausting, I feel blessed to have been working at a project where I couldn’t wait for the next day to get back to work. Fringe benefit: it was an incredible workout, everything hurt, but #lifeisshortsoimcramming ! The wall was actually rocky so painting detail was such a challenge, getting fine lines to work on such an uneven surface was extremely time-consuming. Another huge shout out to Parks and Forestry, especially Anna Ferguson, who prepared the wall with three coats of primer! That wall just sucked up three coats!

Another huge shout out to the weather for being pretty cooperative most days I was out painting. It was such an amazing experience, bringing art to the community is always a joy, thank you to the Mississauga Arts Council for supporting artists to do what they love to do. You can visit the mural, Pollinator Paradise, at the Mississauga Valley Park. Fingers crossed for more public murals to beautify Mississauga!

Khaula Mazhar 



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