When it comes to family-friendly summertime fun, miniature golf emerges as a premier sport of choice—a fun, competitive activity enjoyed out in the open air and often in animated, colorful settings.
This is the case at The Grove Mini Golf in Wesley Chapel, where 13 acrylic murals painted by a Hernando County artist score a hole-in-one with patrons.
Spring Hill’s Autum Proctor is an award-winning artist who is the owner and sole proprietor of Traveling Art Parties, a company serving the greater Tampa Bay area. Throughout Hernando County, her vivid artistic creations range from a publicly posted mermaid statue to murals painted on the walls of private homes.
So how did her collection of tropically inspired murals end up emblazoned across the walls of a putt-putt golf course? Well, the spouse of one of Proctor’s work associates owns The Grove and decided to integrate artwork into the park’s overall decor. “I came up with some mock sketches for the designs,” she explained.
The resulting wall murals, with their breezy tropical themes, depict subjects that include a friendly, smiling shark, various forms of exotic fish and plant life, plus whimsical turtles, gators and even an octopus–all set against rich aquatic settings. One humorous mural is emblazoned with a set of vibrant kiss lips, along with the slogan “Kiss My Putt.”
These murals do much to accent the overall decorative scheme at The Grove, which also consists of palm trees, sparkling waterways, and rocks.
Despite its light, fun theme, this proved to be a very work-intensive project for the artist. “It took the span of two days, working roughly ten hours a piece,” said Proctor.
Moreover, this outdoor painting project presented some challenging work conditions for Proctor.
“Definitely, the heat was a challenge,” she said, “having to work through it as the paint has a tendency to dry quickly.”
Yet, as an adventurous artist and popular art teacher, Proctor was ready to rise to the challenge.
“I primarily work in oils, but I try to keep a diverse toolset-I’ve worked and taught in acrylic, charcoal, graphite and even done tattooing,” she said. “I’m passionate about bringing joy to the mundane, and I express that through my teaching. There is nothing that drives me more than a student who is certain they ‘can’t paint’ and then seeing the look on their face after a two-hour session and they’ve produced a landscape or portrait of their pet that they never dreamed could come from their own hand.”
And when it comes to her own artistic endeavors, Proctor embraces and welcomes each new creative challenge. “There is no challenge I won’t tackle,” she said, “and I am constantly working to be able to interpret a client’s desire through my own prism and produce a work that they enjoy and challenges me.”
And in the case of the putt-putt golf course, according to Proctor, the work was worth it. “I had a blast painting it,” said Proctor.
Correction 9/18/2023: The original article stated that Ms. Proctor is a Bob Ross Certified instructor, which is not correct. She has attended one level of training, but certification requires three levels of training, according to a representative from Bob Ross Inc.