This Artist’s Hand-Painted Murals Add Wonder To The Walls


hand-painted wall mural of a red cardinal perched on a tree branch with white flowers

Hand-painted wall mural of a wide-winged bird in flight against a midnight-blue background

Hand-painted wall mural of a pink-and-white bird in a marsh-like environment

Hand-painted wall mural with a sage-green background with tree branches, white flowers and birds

Columbus, Georgia, native Emmie Ruth Wise studied industrial design at Georgia Tech, won a Parisian art tour scholarship sponsored by Suzanne Kasler and bolstered her knowledge with help from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art—all while finding mentorship in the likes of design-world luminaries C. Brandon Ingram and Mallory Mathison. That confluence of creative experiences coalesced to inform her rich outlook as an artist today. With a robust repertoire ranging from interior renderings to live paintings, Wise finds herself answering increasing demand for framed panels, decorative screens and hand-painted scenic murals. Here, she shares how it all happened.

What initially attracted you to architecture as an artistic subject? Many of my first clients wanted paintings of their homes. The more watercolors I produced, the more it inspired an interest in architecture. 

Tell us about this latest creative direction. Wall murals are even more personal than an interior rendering. It’s something that’s going to be with a family for years, so I try to uncover what’s meaningful to them. I meet the client at their home and pick up details from their furniture and artwork, then incorporate those elements into the mural— whether it’s a stylized acanthus leaf from her grandmother’s chair or the woodpeckers she raised by hand. 

What’s next for you? I’m exploring ways to get back to my product-design roots. Commissioned tablecloths were my first foray into that. I’d like to try painted rugs, tapestries or porcelain tabletop decor.