Archive for the ‘Murals’ Category

How to Do Your Own Street Painting – Michael W. Kirby

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

If you’ve seen street art, you understand the effect that it can have on people. It can sometimes be very captivating or moving. Some street painting is political while other street painting may be done purely for fun. It’s a medium where the message is conveyed on sidewalks and asphalt, a painted picture on the pavement that conveys more than can sometimes really be expressed. It’s a unique way to share paintings outside of museums and art shows. Street painting takes the creations right to the public.

Street painting is an Italian tradition that has been around since the 16th century, and has recently been enjoying a rebirth throughout Europe and the United States. Festivals celebrating the art have taken place from Italy all the way to California. Using the pavement as their canvas and chalk as their tool, street painters transform streets and sidewalks into beautiful works of art.

Have you ever wanted to try street art? Here are some tips to getting started on your own street artist journey:

  1. Select what you’d like to re-create - Most street painters re-create either a classic painting or a photograph. It is also possible to choose a more modern piece or even your own artwork to re-create with chalk. Just get a strong idea of what you’d like to convey with the re-creation.
  2. Use photocopies of the piece as your guide - After you make photocopies, draw a grid over them using a ruler and a thin marker. Usually, half-inch squares are used for the grids. Label graphed columns horizontally with letters and vertically with numbers.
  3. Prepare your work area - Remove any dirt, leaves or debris from your work area and measure out the area where you wish to paint your piece. Use a carpenter’s chalk line to define the borders and then apply masking tape to those well-defined borders.  Use the tape and the chalk line to mark out the grids that you’ll use to street paint with.
  4. Paint your awesome piece - Using the grids and guides you set up, use your inspiration and talent to re-create the great piece that you want to share with the world! There isn’t much to this tip as almost all of the creation is up to you. So, get out there and create!

If you want some professionaly done street art, contact Michael W. Kirby. Michael William Kirby is a leading public artist and street painter from Baltimore, MD, USA. He has nearly 20 years of experience creating permanent and temporary public art pieces around the world.

Michael Kirby has worked for such clients as the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, Honda, McDonalds, Carnival Cruise Ships and been featured on the David Letterman Show, Ace of Cakes, BBC, Good Morning America, Il Tempo, Venezia Gazatte, Informador, and others. Michael Kirby is considered a leader in this rising art form and an originator of the 3D look.


The majority of his permanent public art pieces are in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States which includes the states of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. He has also developed original techniques using fiber cement in his work so that his 2D visual public art pieces can be shipped and installed in locations around the world.

To commission a street painting, or for more information about the work of Michael Kirby, please visit our website, or email

Stay tuned to get in touch with your inner artist. And if you really want to be inspired, check us out on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInFlickr, and Pinterest.

Source: How to Do Street Painting, eHow

What Were Murals Traditionally Painted On?

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Murals: from Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel to middle school students and athletic courts, they make an appearance in a lot of different places. But how have murals traditionally been painted? Though now you’ll see them on anywhere from brick walls to concrete pavement, they were originally created on smooth, prepared surfaces, like a fresco, which is just a wet plaster to which paints are added. In this process, when the paints dry, they seal into the plaster, making them more durable over time and less prone to flaking and peeling.

Want your own classic work of art? We can make a mural that’ll make a lasting impression on all those who walk by it, whether a permanent or temporary piece. For more information, please visit our website, and for information about commissioning a piece, email

Stay tuned to get in touch with your inner artist. And if you really want to be inspired, check us out on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInFlickr, and Pinterest.


What is the History of Mural Painting?

How to Commission an Artist to Create a Mural

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Murals are often pretty expansive, covering large walls and spaces on both the interior and exterior of buildings and other areas.  Though taking out the roller and starting anew is entirely possible should you wind up with a mural you are a little less than in love with, it’s important to make sure that when you take the plunge and hire a mural artist, you have a happy, healthy relationship with the piece they create.  Here are a few tips on how to commission an artist to create a mural.

Start a Dialogue

When you’re deciding on what type of mural you’d like in your home or community, you may have some inkling of an idea with regards to what you expect to see– perhaps there’s a theme you’d like to embody, a color scheme you’d like to follow, a stylistic form you like. These general notions can act as an inspirational springboard for the mural artist you commission. From there, the artist is generally braced with enough background to begin designing your piece, asking questions about taste and direction in order to have a true understanding of your wants and needs as a client.

Location, Location, Location

What’s great about paint is that it can be applied just about anywhere – on brick exteriors, steel bridges, drywall, plaster, concrete, canvas – you name it. In fact, if the mural is detailed and well-done, the surface itself is hardly noticeable, as the scene takes over what used to be an unornamented space and becomes like any canvas, the place that allows the art itself to come to life.

A mural, like all art, can be an investment piece, which is why it’s important to make sure the artist you commission is receptive to what you want, taking your ideas and bringing them into reality in a way that is better than you could’ve imagined. World renowned mural artist Michael Kirby does just that,  transforming ordinary spaces into dimensional and captivating works of art.

For more information, please visit our website, and for information about commissioning a piece, email

Stay tuned to get in touch with your inner artist. And if you really want to be inspired, check us out on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInFlickr, and Pinterest.

Recognizing Young Mural Painters | News from Baltimore Mural Artist

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Baltimore mural artist Michael Kirby’s career burgeoned in Italy as a street painter, traveling to cities like Rome and Florence, leaving large, dimensional pieces in his wake. In another town named Florence, located in Fremont County, Colorado, a young mural artist is making her mark. Angelica Torres, a high school student in the area, entered a teen mural art contest held by the Fremont County Public Health Agency. Her winning “Tree of Life” painting will soon appear in the Health Agency’s new clinic: she will spend the next several weeks recreating it in the main hallway of the clinic, located in the Florence Municipal Center, which will open in March.

Public Health Director Carla Dionne said Angelica’s painting made thorough use of space, proportionally filling the long hallway – and that’s one of the reasons her piece was selected. Other finalists, Morgan Erps and Kaley Hudson, were recognized for their creative and vibrant entries. Second place winner Morgan Erps will also be honored with the opportunity to bring her piece to life on a large scale: her tree, which featured people’s faces and figures coming out from the branches, is set to appear in the waiting room of the Fremont County Public Health clinic.

Both pieces will be unveiled at the clinic’s grand opening ceremony on March 11th from 3:00-7:00 p.m., complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony, refreshments, and tours of the new health center in Florence. May these young artists be well-received – we wish them the best of luck, and look forward to hearing more from them in the future! In the meantime, check out the murals-to-be and the artists that created them here!

Michael Kirby is the founder of Murals of Baltimore and has been commissioned to create engaging murals all over the world – from Florence to Maryland, and more.

Stay tuned to get in touch with your inner artist. And if you really want to be inspired, check us out on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInFlickr, and Pinterest.


Angelica Torres wins teen mural art contest

Murals by Michael Kirby at the E3 Conference, a Gaming Trade Show

Friday, February 1st, 2013

E3 – that means triple “E.” It stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo, and it’s an annual fair showcasing computer and video games that’s presented by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). Held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, this premier trade show takes place at the beginning of June every year.

Never heard of it? Don’t worry. Neither had Michael Kirby. But he acclimated quite well. Here he is atop the mural he painted for the event getting his head blown off by one of the attendees dressed in character. Because, yes, people dress in character there. At one of the largest video game conferences in North America, how could they not?


Featuring a large variety of exhibitors as well as press conferences, E3 is a trade event open only to industry professionals, rather than members of the general public. It features prominent computer and video game companies, as well as business partners, media and industry analysts, and other experts from all over the world, coming together in one place.

Street artist Michael Kirby is a mural painter in Baltimore, Maryland, whose pieces, similarly, are commissioned all around the world – from cathedrals in Italy, to yes – major video game conferences on the west coast. To get in touch about purchasing a piece, contact Baltimore artist Michael William Kirby at To see more examples of his work, check out his online portfolio here!

Stay tuned to get in touch with your inner artist. And if you really want to be inspired, check us out on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInFlickr, and Pinterest.


E3 expo

Michael Kirby’s Murals: Promoting Unity at the Smithsonian

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Some people go to school to learn to become artists; others take their natural inclination and run with it, producing pieces without any formal training. Michael Kirby did the latter, traveling to Italy when he was just a teenager, watching the maddonari – street painters named as such because they create replicas of the Madonna on public walkways. Already a drawer, Kirby saw the murals and knew that he had the ability to paint his own. For the first time, in Italy, he realized that it was possible to make money by making art – maybe even make a living in so doing.

Now, he has. During his career, mural painter Michael Kirby has gone from making thirty dollars a day in Italy as a young man to being commissioned by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery to create installations – bringing the art outside for all passerby to partake in. Two years ago, Kirby spent three days working on sidewalk paintings as a part of the Smithsonian’s Chalk 4 Peace Family Festival. He said the piece was about “love, family, unity, embracing, tranquility, safety” (Source). In the spirit of unity, when the work was finished, members of the collective public were invited by the museum to take up some chalk and create an inspired mini-mural of their own. Children and adults alike did so, proving that art can connect all.

Mural at the Smithsonian

Smithsonian Installation | photo by: Michael Kirby

Stay tuned to get in touch with your inner artist. And if you really want to be inspired, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Flickr, and Pinterest.


Passion’s creativity: Street artist Michael Kirby at the Smithsonian

The Man Behind the Murals: Michael Kirby

Monday, January 14th, 2013
Michael Kirby, founder of Murals of Baltimore

Michael Kirby, founder of Murals of Baltimore

Murals: from the archetypal cave man creating simplistic images on the walls of stone dwellings to European churches adorned with elaborate frescoes, these large scale paintings have been around as long as art itself. Though Michael Kirby hasn’t been wielding his brushes and brightly colored paints for that long, he’s been in the business of creating both permanent and ephemeral public art displays for nearly two decades. Since the early 1990s, he’s Kirby has been commissioned by innumerable clients to develop expansive works of art using walls and large surfaces as his canvas. From Carnival Cruise Ships to National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institute, Honda, the Black Eyed Peas, the City of Venice, and more, Michael Kirby has traveled the world, leaving 3D murals in his wake.

It’s no surprise that fans of mural art have been singing his praise: Michael Kirby began his career creating sets and props for both Opera companies and film and television productions in Italy. Using forced perspective to create the appearance of great depth and distance, Kirby was a pioneer in bringing painting techniques for the stage to the street. And speaking of streets – Michael Kirby was the first American artist to take the title of Master Street Painter in all the renowned European Street Painting Festivals.

street painting

Original fine art street painting in Holland

Now, Michael Kirby is stationing himself in Maryland as the founder of Murals of Baltimore, leading a band of accomplished artists in creating beautiful frescoes and decorative pieces, using mixed materials like oils, watercolors, and pastels. With a breadth of experience and expertise as huge as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michael Kirby and his team can accommodate and create any creative endeavor you might dream up. To commission a piece, please contact us at

We’ll be bringing you weekly updates about our projects and the latest in the art world, so stay tuned to get in touch with your inner artist. And if you really want to be inspired, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Flickr, and Pinterest.