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

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time to Head to the Lake...or not

I don't often paint outdoor murals.  Mostly because I sell my services as an interior decorator, rather than as a  muralist, so I don't often get asked.  The owner of this modest little bungalow happened into a shop I shared space in, back when I lived in Minneapolis proper.  She had just had a swimming pool installed in her back yard, in hopes of creating a cool hangout spot for her soon-to-be teen-aged son, and his friends.  She wanted to paint some scenery on the back of the house, and maybe add some wooden cut-outs around the deck, to create atmosphere.  Just beyond their back yard was a pretty strip of forested bike trail, so the idea was to create a Minnesota North Woods feel.

Minnesota North Woods Mural 2004, Dawn-Marie deLara.  (Panel 3 of 3) Click on picture to enlarge, click again for close-up.
 It was going to be a simple thing, with a few trees on the back of the garage, maybe a bit of a lake scene, and a few more trees on the back of the house.  The client primed her old steel siding with metal primer, and gave it a base coat the color of the sky on a particularly perfect afternoon, and then I started.

conifer forest close-up

It kind of took on a life of it's own.  The more I painted, the more I got sucked into it, and realizing there was no way I could stick to her budget if I kept adding detail, I asked if she would mind if I worked on it off and on through the summer.  Lots more detail, at no additional charge, if she didn't mind it not being finished anywhere near the original deadline.

Panel #1 of three, Minnesota North Woods Mural, Dawn-Marie deLara 2004
There's lots of detail on the shoreline to the left, so click to enlarge, click again for close-up.
It just happens sometimes.  The artwork tells me what it wants to be, and if I fight it, it will fight back.  Lucky for me, this client happens to be an art lover, and not only was she delighted to give me all the time I needed, she added a very hefty (and very unexpected)"tip" to the final check.  She insists it's worth it, when she sits out on her back patio, gazing across the lake, at her cabin in the woods, or floats in the pool, with the real sky melding into the painted one. 

Snag close-up

The mural, by the way, is painted entirely with exterior latex house paint, from Diamond Vogel.  Their very high quality metal primer was used, after thoroughly washing the siding.  The base colors for sky and shore were mixed at the store, but for the art, I bought the pastel and deep tone bases, then used professional tints to create the colors I needed.  Nearly seven years and countless hailstorms later, it is as vivid as the day it was painted, and has only suffered two nicks, when the rain gutters were changed.

So as you make your summer plans, remember, with a little imagination, lakefront property might be more affordable than you thought, and with no need to fill the gas tank to get there...hmmmmm

Info on how to commission me to create your dream get-away is on my website theartofthehome.com.

If you want to paint something like this yourself, most of the critical info is included above, but email me if you have questions.  I'm happy to share what I know.  dawnmariedelaragmail.com

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