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.


Tracey Miller.com.au




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.








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