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'Monumental Murals': Mother and daughter paint giant art on fence in Grand Haven Twp.

The family now has three huge murals at their home on 160th Avenue in Grand Haven Township.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — An Ottawa County mother only gets a visit from her daughter every few years, but when they're together, they create beautiful, life-size art that will last a lifetime which the community can enjoy.

Tucked just off the busy roads of Grand Haven Township, is a little paradise, brought to life by a mother-daughter duo.

Beverly Richmond moved to West Michigan in 2014. Her daughter, Jamie Thompson, stayed back in Roanoke, Virginia and can only visit every few years.

When she does come, they spend their time painting giant murals on Beverly's fence on 160th Avenue.

"It was a way of keeping her here with me," said Richmond. "I can go outside and look and remember that we did that together."

Their latest masterpiece, finished just last week, is a giant painting of sunflowers, Daisey's, bumblebees and a lady bug on their front fence. 

"We named one of the bees 'Chonky,'" explained Richmond. "Because he's the big one, and the other one is named fluffy." 

"We expect all the neighborhood kids will come by and want to name them their own things," added Jamie Thompson, who joined via video call.

Thompson said she's always been artistic, and this was a way to bring that passion to life.

"It was a way to something a lot more freeform than working on paper or working on the computer," she said. "I get to put something out in the world in a way that I wouldn't normally get to, and in a way that everyone who comes to her home or everyone that walks by gets to see."

Their first mural was done in 2017 in the back yard, and is of a huge black tree complete with several decorations.  

"It's also the biggest one," Richmond said. "It runs about 34 feet."

The second mural, also in the back yard, of several giant poppy flowers, was finished just before the pandemic started in August of 2019. 

"The poppies are my absolute favorite," said Richmond. "Jamie did such a good job of getting all the colors on that."

Each mural takes about a week, and Jamie does the designing and painting, while Beverly stays close by to help whenever she can.

"The fence wood is old and dry, so it absorbs quite a bit of the paint," Richmond said. "So all of the murals have somewhere between 8 to 10 coats of paint on them."

And Jamie said they do it all in layers.

"Usually that's where most of the work comes in, is getting in all of those layers," she said.

Beverly's favorite parts of it all? There's an elementary school next door where the kids love to see what they're working on. 

"The kids will deliberately test themselves to get up higher on the play structure and slides so they can see into the back yard," Richmond said with a smile on her face. "As we're making different changes or whatever, the kids are waving and telling us it looks great!"

Beverly and Jamie said they're not sure where their imagination will take them next, but this is definitely not the end of their painting potential. 

You can see more of Jamie's art by clicking here.

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