Dogwood Tree Nursery Mural

Finally – the finished Dogwood Tree Nursery Mural!

We chose a calm subject with a soft palate (matching the crib set) – wanting to do a tree with birds or butterflies or blossoms that drift dreamily off of the tree.  I thought a dogwood was ideal, because it’s a big bouquet of blossoms in spring time – I cheated by making it a few different colors (and by including insects that aren’t mature in spring).

None of the white represents clouds, it was frustrating to me when people thought they did – even so, they seemed to like it well enough.

There are three messages painted into the mural – I think you can see two of them in these photos.  I’ll make a game of it – by waiting until a later post to reveal what they are.  You can point them out in the comments if you want to (I may not publish the comments).

Here is the drawing I started with.  The vertical line represents the corner, the horizontal line represents the height of the top of the crib.


I’m cool with anyone swiping this plan from the site.  I’d be happy to know there are others who did this in their homes (I’ll share your pics/links here, if you like).  I taped this drawing onto the first page of the journal I’ve started for the baby.

Here are the links to previous posts, showing the steps I took:

1. Tree

2. Color Areas

3. Petal Detailing

Here is a photo of the final result.


You can’t quite appreciate parts of it from this photo – butterflies drift around the room, and hover over the changing table.

Here are detail shots.









To get into a little more detail, for those of you who like to think way too much about otherwise simple things –

Butterflies are a little bit of a remembrance of the pregnancy we lost (as symbols of memory, transformation, etc), as well as friends and family who have died – but mostly, for this mural’s purposes they are just butterflies – soft little living petals in peaceful surroundings.

Dragonflies are symbols of creativity, among other things (you can’t see the dragonfly very well in these pics).  I painted dragonflies in Bee’s original nursery mural – as well as in the new one I’m making for her.

Green Grasshoppers symbolizes new beginnings, concepts of youth, rejuvenation, sentimentality, nature, adventure, growth, health and good fortune.

The Dogwood is said to be a symbol of love undiminished by adversity (which could be handy for our adjustment to a second child).

• The two birds together, are like Mom and I proudly perched over the crib.  The solo bird directly over the crib is like Bee – who will have an important relationship with her sister (if all goes well), longer than we will.

I don’t believe in anything supernatural – but I am interested in ascribed meanings and mythology (as natural facets of brain function).

I hope you enjoy it!  Let me know if you can read the ‘hidden’ messages.

I’ll be showing Bee’s new murals on the site, soon.  It was important for us to celebrate her as well at this time of changes in our family!  She and I have been having ‘painting parties’ while I do her walls.


7 thoughts on “Dogwood Tree Nursery Mural

  1. The nursery is amazing and I do see the hidden messages after you mentioned it! That’s fantastic…I LOVE it. Great job!!

  2. Hi There –
    I just wanted to let you know that my sister (who is due in May) fell in love with your mural design and sent it to me to see if I would paint it in her nursery. I followed your sketches and completed it last weekend. Thank you so much for generously allowing others to use this design. It has brought her and her husband so much joy and I loved painting it – especially your use of symbolism! I modified the animals in the mural to represent her family..thank you again for such a beautiful gift and idea. I have photos posted on my website if you want to see my “version”…personally I think you are a much better artist, but I had fun nonetheless 🙂 I would love to give you design credit on the photos, but couldn’t find your name…if you would like to share that with me so I can post credit for you, I’d love to add that to the info – thanks so much!

    • Wow, Holly – Thanks very much! This made my evening 🙂

      I do keep my name off of the blog, because I speak pretty freely about my daughter and post pics that I don’t want her to feel encumbered by down the line – and, to a degree, for the security of my family. I’d definitely like to see your pictures! Thanks again for sharing this – I’ll email you (will link your pics here to my page too, if you like.

  3. I was searching MSN and I came across your website. I am very glad I did, you have a lot of very good information here. I also love your layout, you have made it very simple to find everything. I have bookmarked your site and I will return shortly. Keep up the great work. Thanks

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