Another Trompe L’oeil for Harbison Care


Another wall in the dining room at Harbison Care in Burradoo, NSW  was screaming out to be painted. So being very obliging, Annette Hearne and I took up the challenge!

Thanks CEO, Don Ross!

The wall divides the kitchen from the dining room so we designed an image centered around food.

muralsThe purpose of the trompe l’oeil is to brighten up the room and give the impression of the room opening up to the outside.  The lovely, elderly residents attend the dining room for  meals and other events, so we wanted the image to be cheerful, welcoming  and bright.

We thought that an image of people gathering together to share a meal was appropriate. It would also be a conversation starter and evoke memories in the residents and other passers-by. started by undercoating the wall and drawing the image. A sense of depth was achieved by the angles and lines of the vine covered pergola receding to a single vanishing point. Then we blocked in the large areas of colour and gradually added details.

tropme l'oeil Hearne after a busy day painting.

trompe l'oeilWe drew a girl looking at the viewer and a labrador dog, just like my old dog, Archie.  A woman is pointing out something to her child. young boy at the front spies a cold drink and people are sitting at a table. A seafood platter and a jug of punch are on the table in the foreground. adding details.

Burradoo, NSW, Australia.We drew a table of food in the foreground because a permanent buffet table will sit along the wall in front of the trompe l’oeil.

trompe l'oeil NSW, AustraliaAnnette and I both enjoy adding details. loved painting these sparrows. there are bright trompe l’oeils at each end of the dining room. of the best parts of painting at Harbison Care in Burradoo are the comments from residents, visitors and staff. Some visitors commented about how their relative who lives at Harbison Care is enjoying following the progress of the painting. Others said it makes them feel happy. esidents said the image reminded them of their childhood and visiting a relative  who had an old grape vine. Others remember swinging from a tree like the tyre swing shown in the back ground.      IMG_0444 - Copy (2)

Other passers-by requested images to be added like horses and pets so we included the mare and her foal, the dog, cat and various birds.  Residents and visitors talked about their pets.

IMG_0444 - Copy (3)      IMG_0444 - Copy (5) - Copy       IMG_0449

One of the things I love about art is that its powerful in its simplicity.  It conveys ideas between people and across cultures because its independent of verbal and written language.

Its been a pleasure painting this trompe l’oeil at Harbison Care in Burradoo, NSW.

The residents, staff and visitors all been been wonderful in their positive and affirming feedback.

So until next time.

Subscribe below to our next newsletter. If you would like a trompe l’oeil or corporate image painted at your home or office please contact Tracey.




Trompe L’Oeil Commission for Harbison



Take one blank wall, add some paint and you’ve created an interactive point of interest and discussion.

Tracey Miller

This is what happened when I painted the first trompe l’oeil in the dining room at Harbison Care in Burradoo, New South Wales. It got people interested and talking. Each passer-by had suggestions and input as to what they wanted on the wall, which was exactly our aim!

Annette Hearne,  offered to help even though she had not painted before, she is a pastel artist. She thought she could help by ruling up and assisting.  Well that turned out to be a big surprise because she quickly learned to blend colours and paint,  showing a great eye for detail.  We worked really well as a team.

The first trompe l’oeil commission was in October 2015 at Harbison Care in Burradoo.  The large dining room was plain with fairly bare walls. The idea was to paint a trompe l’oeil to create a visual illusion of space and to give a sense of being connected to the out doors.

We decided to paint a view of the sea because most people have a   connection to the sea.  Viewing it through a colonnade, tied the scene to the dining room and also helped to bring back fond memories of beach visits and pavilions.


Trompe L'Oeil


Above shows Annette painting. At this stage people couldn’t see what the image was about and the questions were fast and furious.


Murals Tracey Miller


We added the sky, sea and sand and everyone understood the images as more detail was added. Above is an image of me, Tracey with the seagull flying down to grab a potato chip. Residents came to view the image making comments like “Is that a picture of me sitting on the seat with my granddaughter?” or “I used to sail on a bay like that.”

The detail below shows children playing with their buckets on the beach. We can all relate to that!

trompe l'oeil


As the wall turned the corner, we decided to include an image of the country side which flowed down to the beach. We thought this was a relevant image because it reflects the Southern Highlands and Illawarra area.




The trompe l’oeil in the dining room is almost finished in the image above. As people stop to look they request additions like whales, sharks, ocean liners and yachts. We  added as many suggested details as possible to encourage ownership of the trompe l’oeil by everyone.

Its been a pleasure working on this trompe l’oeil and the response has been very positive and rewarding.  Most Australians can relate to the sea and the countryside and it was obvious by all the positive comments we received that it was the right image for the venue.

If you would like a trompe l’oeil painted at your workplace or home please contact me here.

We also make facilitated murals, where your employees or team, paint their own image under our guidance.

Please share this post and I look forward to chatting with you again soon about artation’s next art project.



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artation is the brainchild of Tracey to allow participants to enhance communication, collaboration and creativity in a non-threatening environment while having fun. A personal approach is taken with every client to achieve the best end result for them and their business. artation would be delighted to brainstorm a tailor-made experience to make your event memorable.







Collaborative Artworks



Collaborative art works are for those delegates who prefer to work alone.  At the the end of the session all the individual pieces are put together to make a larger art work.

We can make designs based on a theme of your choice. It could be your corporate brand, aims and objectives or something unrelated to your usual work.

The art work can be taken back to your work place and be displayed as a memento of the day.

The pictured works are based on famous art works. The following images were taken at our Bowral, workshop.

team art work     collaborative art

collaborative art making 

 team art making

DSC05669 DSC05670

art for teams

These delegates worked individually on two images each.  When it was put together it formed one larger image of a Shoalhaven River image by Arthur Boyd.


Working on individual sections the participants made a combined image based on a work by Gauguin.



At a 2014 Themed workshop in a workshop in Bowral, NSW.


At a workshop in our Bowral Studio.


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