Serenity Before Dawn Mural & Installation

When owner Dawn Freedkin first approached me about doing this mural Sunshine House is a vacation rental home out in Blanco, I couldn’t believe the opportunity I was being presented.

The Concept

The house came with a very large windowless storage space that she wanted to transform into a meditation room. She hoped I could tie in inspiration from the Blanco river with dark florals and deep green foliage. Beyond that, she wanted the room to have a blacklight mode to transform the space. I thought this sounds way too cool to be true, but she went forward with my onboarding and concept procedures so I had to deliver.

Full Spectrum Lighting vs. Blacklight UV-Reactive Mode

When I concept a project, I do a dream concept and a practical concept at a lower price tag. Often clients will opt for the practical concept. I presented both concepts and, to my surprise, she wanted both in different parts of the house. When I appraised the location we talked about putting in hanging LED prop clouds from the ceiling and she wanted those, too.

Painting and Planning

Once I finished gathering my jaw off the floor and collecting initial payments, I got straight to work on creating this half-wall scene inspired by the Blanco river. At Dawn’s request, mushrooms, a snake, a tarantula, and a scorpion (signifying the Scorpio zodiac) were added into the scene. When the blacklight mode is active, we decided it would be cool to have a series of moon phases appear across the ceiling. Several synchronous moments occurred frequently, like seeing a doe running across the road the first day I drove out to paint or Dawn sending a poem for inspiration, only to have me point out that the flower mentioned was featured in the mural.

Here’s a time lapse video of the full painting of the Serenity Before Dawn mural.

This 253 sq. ft. mural covering the meditation room entrance wall and ceiling was painted entirely with Montana Colors water-based spray paints. Once the base mural was completed, an additional pass was made with Glomania transparent UV reactive paints. Painting this magical scene took around 75 hours over one and a half months. Painting phase was completed on August 24, 2021.

LED Hanging Cloud Installation

This installation included two bespoke LED hanging cloud lanterns, which had custom programmed lightning and breath sync meditation light cycles. When connected to the local WiFi network, guests can pull up the cloud control interface via IP address on their mobile phones or tablets.

Cloud lanterns were constructed from round paper lanterns, wire, and poly fill. Lighting units were built using an ESP-32 chipset with NeoPixel Strips and programmed on Arduino, using the NeoPatterns class as a starting point. Units were enclosed in an acrylic housing.

Behind the Scenes


I can’t help but re-iterate how grateful I am to be involved with bringing this space to life and that Dawn and her family made this possible. Thank you for taking the chance on me and enabling me to create at this scale. A lot of good energy went into this mural and continues to go into this space, which I am sure guests will feel.

Want to hire me to transform your space into something magical? Get in touch on my rates page today!

@samsoper.art

Alien Cutie explores the Sunshine House meditation room mural & LED cloud installation by me, ft. art by @averyodesign Aerica Raven @Tyler Thrasher #fyp #artistsoftiktok #mural #ledlights #VenmoSpringBreak #arttok #spraypaint #blacklight #foryou #needlefelting #cutie #muralist #propbuild @montana_colors

♬ Sunny Day – Ted Fresco

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