Friday, April 30, 2010

Vintage Walls

This old photo shows one of my vintage wall finishes.  I first painted, then glazed the walls to a rich brown waxed paper bag finish.  The next layer is a metallic old gold damask, with the final layer being an amber brown glaze to further age this vintage look.  I love working with all of these layers, each one revealing a new surprise, adding to the story a bit with each one...what fun!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Value Study

20" x 20"oil on textured canvas
Value Study done in raw sienna...still playing with this one.  So much fun to play...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Birds Nest

24"x 30" oil on textured canvas

This painting will be leaving the nest tomorrow, going home with its new owner.  I will miss it just as I always do, but it is going to such a good home that I cannot be too sad.  It is a gift to learn that at times my art may speak to someone, and bring a bit of joy beyond my own paint brush.  Thank you so much for remembering this painting Jen & John...

Written in the edge of the nest is a little saying that I have loved from the first time I read it.

"Although we cannot prevent the birds of sadness from flying over our heads, we must not allow them to build nests in our hair." Author unknown.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

An Artist Swatch Book

This is the Artist Swatch book I designed for the Stutz Artists Association to send to architects and designers.  My hope is that more of those in the trade will encourage their clients to buy original art.  The Stutz has over 95 artists in 74 Studios, plus other Art related businesses in the buildings that used to manufacture the Stutz Bearcat.  

The limited first run of this Book will be going out very soon to Indy's top professionals in the trade.

The Tiffany and the Template

This photo shows the wonderful Tiffany skylight, the elegant iron railing and my hand painted finish.  Not the best of photos, but I do love that all three elements are included.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Twelve days of Show House Past: 2000 continued

As I was saying...I found an amazing surprise beneath the 25 year old wallpaper.  An imprint from the original wall covering...Gasp!  I knew immediately what I wanted to do about this, but that would require a change from my previously accepted design. I wanted very much to replicate the unearthed pattern on the walls, and I learned the original had been a red on red...lovely!  My request was granted, but alas not in the cranberry reds..

After re-designing my area, the next task at hand was to find the whole pattern to reproduce.  A little here and a little there, I was able to find enough of it to get all I needed to make a 4' x 5' template.  The walls were painted a soft bay leaf green, I then painted the pattern in a translucent mossy green. Look at that iron railing!

It was so much fun to bring a bit of history back to this formal entry, that I almost forgot I was so high up on the scaffolding.  Almost.  The template was just about as tall as me, so it was quite a challenge to say the least, and sometimes quite comical.  Its a tough job , but somebody's  gotta do it :o)

Vintage pattern, vintage rug, vintage furniture...Viola!

Thanks for stopping by...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Twelve days of Show House Past: 2000

In 2000 the Show House was back on Meridian Street at Historic Square, and my was the Entry in the Levy Mansion.  I had received an invitation to sit on the Design Board, and enjoyed very much working alongside my fellow designers.  There were two mansions that year, and so many details to be tended to.

The design I had submitted included a hand painted finish on the 2 story plus walls that led the eye up to this fabulous Tiffany stained glass sky light. Gasp! This beautiful work of art inspired me so much that I felt the need to be a part of the restoration of the surrounding area.

The walls were covered with 25 year old wallpaper. That needed to be removed. By me. On scaffolding.  Did I ever mention how I really feel about scaffolding? Well, let's just say I really, really loved that Tiffany light.  

As I was removing the old paper, something amazing started to happen. Even more amazing than me being on that slippery scaffolding...

Stay tuned for more on this mystery tomorrow...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Twelve days of Show House Past 1999 continued

My vision for the entry was to give an age appropriate feel and show that it is indeed possible to have multiple hand painted finishes in one area.  The soft golden damask painted on the wall compliments the amber stain on the hardwood floor. The gold and silver leaf bench has a clear crazing and amber green glaze.

The archway motif is a reverse painting of the bordered ceiling. The chandelier was found in an antique shop, I located and added all of crystals.  The candlesticks were dripped and painted.

Gold and silver leaf hall table is painted to compliment the bench, and a closer view of the wall finish.

The stair railing had been painted the flat wall color with a black hand railing.  I chose a silver leaf and black finish to for an aged patina.  I think this finish works especially well with the twists and curls of this iron railing.  The back wall has an aged subtle natural setting mural.

Even the old lyon on the door could not escape my brush, finished now with a gold leaf clear crazing and then aged as well.

It was allot of fun trying to meet my self imposed challenge of painting every surface, and I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite parts of this journey.  It was very heartwarming today when a friend and talented artist mentioned that she still remembered seeing this room at Show House all those years ago.

To connect with someone through our own art is a feeling like no other...

Thank you Martha, your work speaks to me as well.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Twelve days of Show House Past 1999

This is a before shot of the second year I worked on a home for St. Margaret's Hospital Guild's Decorators' Show House.  I was awarded the Entry that year, and my design included a hand painted floor.  Shown in this photo is the newly sanded floor, after the old carpet was removed.  I then proceeded to measure and sketch the final drawing on the floor. Drawing the design with wood tone pencils took more than a week to complete.

Then it was time to paint.

And paint, and paint, and paint some more! I again had early access to complete the floor, then covered my work with plywood to protect it while I finished other details, and to allow others safe access through the entry.  Am I giving too much of this process away?  Tune in tomorrow a few more details on this area.  

My plan was to paint every surface in the room...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Twelve Days Of Show House Past: 1998 continued

The Back Staircase was much more labor intensive, and since I had both staircases on my to do list, I was allowed early access to complete my task. The Home Owner wanted a storybook castle theme for her grandchildren in this area, so of course I wanted to give it a try.  I designed a friendly castle like theme, and the grandchildren were very happy. Gotta love happy children...

I so much wanted to write "The passage back from the place I was before" by this Trompe l'oeil  doorway, but it was just not to be...this time :o) Thank you Eagles for the inspiration...

A bird and her shadow, feathering her nest.

A faux limestone plaque, showing the year this home was built, another request from the Home Owner.
Below is the hand painted armoire' that you have seen before...this time in its intended setting, where it remains to this day.

Looking back there are several things I might add, as well as several things I would subtract, but in the time constraints of a show house, you have to know when to walk away from the work. Something I continue to learn every day.  I will use my new ideas on a good friend would say. Indianapolis Woman

It is confirmed...I am a tree hugging old hippie!  I thought you may enjoy this bit of trivia amongst the other meanderings of mine in this interview Indianapolis Woman   Note to self...always keep a few good one liners on hand to lovingly recite when surprised by an interview.  I always giggle that nervous little laugh when reading something about myself... just a reflex I suppose. 

All in all it is pretty cool,  although I am quite sure I never used the word trash :o)   {see fourth sentence in the about me column on my blog} 

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Twelve Days Of Show House Past: 1998

Top photo is a nice summer shot of the 2010  St. Margaret's Hospital Guild's Decorator's Show House .  As much as I would love to, I will show you no more of this beautiful historic must come and see it for yourself when it opens April 24th.  Instead, I will be pulling some photos from the archives to show some of the work that I have done on Show House' past.

The first year that I designed an area for St. Margaret's , was in the first of three Officers homes at Fort Benjamin Harrison shown that year. I did two (two?) three story staircases and landings....whew!  What was I thinking?  Oh, I remember, I was thinking it would be a great way to show two totally different ideas of decorative finishes in one home.

The front staircase featured a formal, very subtle textured five layer finish that took several days for myself and three helpers to complete, working around the clock...oh to be young again!  Show House always has two staircases, and one of them must be open at all times.  In this home I has scaffolding in both, hence the long hours on this finish.  I have since done this finish in many colors, in many homes, so turns out to have been a good choice to showcase.

This is a photo of a built in china cupboard in the 1907 Federal style home's Kitchen.  An aged cream clear crackle finish with green trim was chosen for this vintage cabinet. I was hired by the kitchen designer to finish this cabinet, after she saw the armoire I had done for the back staircase...

More tomorrow...