Esco Alley Art
Love Paper Paint - Katie Gaines
Katie Gaines
Uniting Two Worlds

Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by the mythology of the mermaid. Growing up biracial, I identified with mermaid symbolism, of being part of two worlds…every day learning to navigate, adapt to, and somehow balance my connection to the different aspects of being “mixed”, half/half, ethnically ambiguous. As an artist, I’ve found that my personal work tends to reflect my desire to feature the beauty of diversity, by incorporating a merging of color, pattern, and imagery inspired by multi-cultural influences.

My company, Love Paper Paint, weaves together the two facets of my work through the common thread of Love. My work marks meaningful events and moments in the lives of the people I create for. I love what I do and I hope that my passion and exuberance for sharing art will shine through and bring awareness to how beautiful our world is when our diversity is celebrated. My future work intends to expand upon the mermaid theme by peacefully connecting different cultures without diluting the individual strengths of their identities.

In this painting for ESCO Alley Art, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to create something meaningful to me personally. This painting incorporates many colors and design elements that I love, and reflects the pride I have for my Asian American heritage. It is about self-awareness and self-love. The piece features: a mermaid (representing my bi-racial identity), pink peonies (an important flower in Eastern art and culture), a Mehndi pattern (out of appreciation for yoga’s influence on my life), a protective and calming amethyst crystal (assuring that clarity, truth, confidence, stability, and peace are all within reach), flowing water (symbolizing tranquility and purification, but also change and movement), and my tattoo (a personal mandala that I designed with significant symbols and the number 8, an auspicious number in Chinese culture…and also meaning infinity).



“I am a self-taught artist, muralist, decorative painter, and graphic designer with over 20 years of experience creating art throughout Southern California. After graduating from UCSD with a B.A. of Visual Arts, I worked as a digital colorist for the comic book industry and a corporate graphic designer. I decided to pursue my passion for art by transforming spaces with color, pattern, and imagery. In 2001, I started my own business specializing in decorative painting, murals, specialty finishes, and custom invitations. My company, Love Paper Paint, was founded on the love I have for the creative process and the powerful impact that surrounding our environments with art can have on our lives and communities. This pursuit of bringing beauty and joy to my clients through art has given me countless opportunities to paint murals, faux finishes, and decorative artistry for private residences, restaurants, hotels, schools, special events, and public spaces.

My work features bold, vibrant colors and patterns, and is deeply inspired by multicultural influences. In addition to painting murals and decorative finishes, I am a registered yoga teacher, certified expressive arts facilitator, and online art instructor.

Sharing my love of art and the creative process is one of my passions. I enjoy helping others explore their own creative expression when I teach. My hobbies beyond art and yoga include running and hiking, walking my dog, reading, listening to true crime podcasts, binge-watching shows and movies, and I’m a total foodie – I love to cook, eat, and experience other cultures through food. If I could pick my dream job, it would be to travel all over the world, immersing myself into each destination by learning about the culture, customs, and food….and painting murals along the way.

I live in North County ­San Diego (San Elijo Hills) with my husband, Aaron, our two teenaged sons, Mason and Isaac, and our Frenchton (Frenchie/Boston mix) named Gizmo.”

 Escondido is for artists. 

Come & CElebrate!!

2023 Esco Alley Art Party

Explore 12 new murals, and join us for birthday cake to celebrate Mayor Dane White’s birthday.

4 PM on Saturday, September 9th

Alley Art Party with DJ & cake, Free and Open to All, with food available for purchase from Doña Rosa Raspados. 

Find us in the alley south of Grand Ave between Kalmia and Juniper.

Global Roots Mural Mosaic Unveiling

America Connects West Mural

Music, Food, Friends, and Art!

Maple Street Plaza
Escondido, CA 92025

Join us for the Unveiling!

Sunday March 26, 3pm

Let's party!

2022 Esco Alley Art Party

Come celebrate the addition of 12 new murals with our artists in Downtown Escondido!

3 PM on Saturday, November 12th

Alley Art Party with Live Music, Free and Open to All!

Find us in the alley south of Grand Ave between Broadway and Kalmia.

Call For Artists

2023 Season

Esco Alley Art exists because of our wonderful artists. Apply today to participate in our next round of murals.

Thank you!

We so appreciate your generosity.