Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Belle's Kitchen: the saga continues

I have this poem by Robert Frost on my studio wall.  I'm sure you know it..."Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."  On different days, I give it different endings, like "and I stood frozen, unable to choose", or "and I turned around and went back home, 'cause who wants to go into the woods anyway"...and various other endings, depending on just how late I'm working, and just how grumpy I am at myself for never taking the easy way.  I think I have finally hit on the version that honors my truest nature:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I went hiking off through the brambles.

My kitchen illustrates this perfectly.  I meant to do something interesting on the cabinets, something a little different than you might expect, but I did not intend to spend weeks of early mornings and nights after work, painting a full color, fully detailed mural...with brambles.  Last week, I showed you the cabinet to the left of the stove (rabbit conveniently located near the stew pot, heh-heh-heh!), so this week I bring you the sink cabinet.  You want to find the compost bucket in my kitchen?  It's behind the rhubarb, of course!

click on photo to enlarge, click again to zoom on details.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Comparing apples to pomegranates

Sometimes people think they can't afford my services, without ever asking my pricing.  For almost any effect you wish to achieve, there are multiple ways to do so, and the dollars are in the details.  I can paint an 8'x8' mural in a day, or I can paint it in a week...just depends on what you like, and how much detail you want to pay for.  Here's an example:
The artwork on my business card is a photo from a full-surround mural I painted in a baby girl's nursery that was to later become the mother's home office.  Animals like this are about $60 each in a mural project.

This artwork is from a mural painted across cabinet doors.  Animals painted with this level of detail are about $360 each in a mural project.  This section of cabinets took nearly as long as the entire room done in the simpler style! 

By the way, if you like this newest bit of art, check back next week to see if there's another installment in the long drawn-out saga of "Belle's Kitchen"...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Even superheroes need a place to sleep

One of my favorite clients, Kemerie, called me last year to tell me they had moved to a bigger house, and although she had visions of a classic and tasteful little boy's room for her son Graham, her husband had bought Graham removable stick-on decals of his all-time favorite guy, Spidey.  Not at all what Mama had in mind, but I assured her we could work with it.

Though definitely "all boy", with a love of cars, policemen,  firemen, and superheroes,  Graham is one of those little boys who speaks in long sentences, wears khakis and polo shirts, and will probably own a briefcase before he graduates middle school...if he doesn't already!  I wanted to give him a room that would be a backdrop for the interests he has now, and would be likely to work through his teens as well. 

To create the Minneapolis skyline, I drew and masked off the buildings, then brought the ceiling color down onto the wall "behind" them, fading it into a light version of  the wall color, so the contrast wasn't too stark.  No need to repaint the whole room; no need to worry about the custom work clashing with anything Graham might want to hang on the walls.  With Arts and Crafts style furnishings, this room is classic enough for a grown-up, but rugged and neutral enough to look perfect filled with all the colorful toys Graham and his pal Peter Parker love to play with. 

This is a great use for all the new vinyl wall graphics.  I don't paint licensed characters, as they are copyrighted, and now you can buy them cheaper in vinyl than any artist can paint them anyway, plus, they are removable.  With any theme room, from Pooh to Harry Potter to Spiderman, you'll get more longevity, and possibly a less cluttered look, if you paint the room as a place for the favorite character to live, rather than with images of the character.  This also creates a backdrop for your child's imagination to go beyond the limits of someone else's character.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

You splash my back, and I'll splash yours!

Well, I had thought that by now I would be posting pictures of my own kitchen, but the backsplash is holding me up.  Nothing going badly, just my usual way of starting with one idea, and with no real restriction on how much time I can spend, being continually sidetracked with thoughts of  "Hey, what if I try this...or this...or maybe..."  So, my backsplash next week...I think. 

For now, here's one I painted in a kitchen up toward St. Cloud.  Yup, painted.  There is no tile in these photos.  The marble countertops are real, the red tile...paint!  Now, this is fairly time consuming, so not a huge amount cheaper than real tile, but since the homeowners knew they were thinking of selling, they wanted something potential buyers wouldn't be put off by, if red tile isn't their thing.  Five minutes with a sanding block, and they can roll right over it.

The house, by the way, just went on the market.  It's just a short bit from the Annandale exit, tucked back in the trees.  I'm remembering four bedrooms, two fireplaces, attached garage and seperate storage buildings, as well as a dog run, nice landscaping...and some really cool paint in a few rooms!  email me if you want more details, and I'll forward you to the homeowners.