STREAK OF SPONTANEITY: Aquabird manager Kylie Morton said talented James waltzed in off the street without warning and offered to give the local shop a bright and bold face lift.
STREAK OF SPONTANEITY: Aquabird manager Kylie Morton said talented James waltzed in off the street without warning and offered to give the local shop a bright and bold face lift. Marian Faa

Spontaneous mural painted outside shop on Albion St

A FLASH of exquisite colour may catch your eye as you're driving along Albion St this morning.

In the space of a single day, Brisbane-based mural artist James Ellis has transformed a boring blue wall into an amazing work of art for Warwick residents to enjoy on their daily drive through town.

In an act of spontaneity typical only of an artist, James spotted the massive double doors of Aquabird Pet Centre on Albion St while passing through town and decided to put a proposal to the owners.

Agreeing to play along, they let James take creative command of what has become 'a community canvas'.

Working from 7:30am in blistering 40-degree heat, James chipped away at the massive design of brightly-coloured birds.

The joy of giving a gift to small communities around Australia is what keeps 22-year-old James in a line of work that sees him climbing ladders and inhaling paint fumes all day.

"People in regional towns are a lot more appreciative of the murals than in the city," he said.

"It's hard to explain but they seem to care a bit more that you are doing it," James said.

With a car full of paint canisters and a camping mattress, James has been travelling all around Australia to bring a splash of colour to regional towns.

 

BRAVING THE HEAT: Artists don't live the lazy life. James was up at 7:30am and chipped away at the mural all day despite temperatures reaching 40 degrees. The effort was well worth it for the end result.
BRAVING THE HEAT: Artists don't live the lazy life. James was up at 7:30am and chipped away at the mural all day despite temperatures reaching 40 degrees. The effort was well worth it for the end result. Marian Faa

"I rocked into Bowen and as soon as I did one painting everyone loved it, especially as they were recovering from the cyclone."

James ended up spending four months in Bowen, painting murals for locals.

"People take a lot of pride in having their town looking great... they love having new and interesting things."

Aquabird manager Kylie Morton said James' mural had been turning a lot of heads.

"Everyone is just in awe that someone can pull out a spray can and do something like that straight off the top of his head," she said.

"I think Warwick needs a bit more of that, some people say Warwick needs to be beautiful, we are 'rose and rodeo' city after all and we can be jazzing up ugly walls around town."

Ms Morton said she was impressed with James' work ethic, smashing out the painting in a single day.

"All too often people frown on people with a spray can but he's outdone himself," she said.

James said he even managed to line up some more work, with a private property commission in Allora today and plans in the works for a piece with Cafe Jacquis.

On his way to Melbourne for a friend's wedding, James plans to spend the next four weeks beautifying regional towns along the back roads, stopping at Goondiwindi, Parkes and Shepparton.

Young and free, James reckons he's living the life seeing parts of Australia that are a bit different to the big cities.

"It's almost like my teenage dream come true... if I had an eye into the future when I was 15 I would not have believe my eyes."

 

CLIMBING THE LADDER: James Ellis enjoys travelling and seeing different parts of the country, but he's always sure to leave something beautiful behind.
CLIMBING THE LADDER: James Ellis enjoys travelling and seeing different parts of the country, but he's always sure to leave something beautiful behind. Marian Faa


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