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, December 29, 2011

It's a start...

I have to say that 2011 is ending on a high note. I've never been so busy in December, and though most all my blog posts were about Holiday decorating, entertaining, and gift making, I have been working on "regular" stuff, too. Back at the end of November, Audrey Peterson, the minister at Unity of the Valley Spiritual Center, where I attend services and take classes, called to ask if I might have time to help her with something. She wanted to make the hallway containing the doors to the four children's classrooms much more cheerful and inviting. 

Before:  Why does this look like the clinic Christmas party?  Maybe because this used to be a clinic, with lovely purplish gray wallpaper throughout.  Several patterns, but all purplish gray, with "Bruised Plum" trim.  Mmmm.
 We met, we talked, visions expanded (as they have a way of doing in that place), and next thing I knew, I had a comission for a sixty foot long mural. Audrey wanted to perk up the grim starkness of the gray wallpaper and rigid lines, and could I do something to soften the shape of the doors, maybe with plywood? My ears pricked right up at that, and my brain went skipping off toward the brambles...Dimension? I get to stick things on?? Can I start yesterday???

It's a long wall...

...a really long wall.

Okay, still not so good with the red and green christmas decor, but here's the background color.  They asked for vibrant, and these are only the deep tones!
Not realizing how much time prepping for all those holiday home tours and open houses would take, I started the mural early in December, but have only managed to put in about five days of actual work. Luckily, there isn't a strict deadline, and one couldn't ask for a more understanding client than a Unity minister, especially Audrey. I would usually be working all hours to keep to the schedule promised, but Unity is very laid back, very much about being present, wherever you presently are, which means they were fine with me being where I needed to be, to fulfil obligations and promises to others. If I had to describe Unity in one word though, it would be "light", so that's what this mural will be about.
One of the over door patterns.  This was one of the main goals of the art work, creating something that would reshape the doorways, and make them more inviting.  A jungle cat may not have worked over the nursery or preschoolers door, but this room is for the ten-year-olds...hopefully I've struck cool.

These mid-ground trees show the general style of the art.  Keeping it simple is my biggest challenge!
The style of this painting is far more contemporary than my usual murals, but I'm enjoying the challenge.  Putting in background colors that are as bright as the foreground in most of my paintings was a stretch for me, but I started playing around with the white linear highlights today, and I'm liking how it's working.  I was inspired by a greeting card saved years ago for just such inspiration, but recently lost (of course).  As I remember, it was colorfully painted, using white to play up highlights, rather than black to denote shadows.  Thinking of that, I was also reminded of Byzantine icons, which are a very old tradition, but because of the white line work used to create dimension, can have a very modern, graphic aspect.  This mural isn't really in the style of either of these, but they are the inspiration in my head as I whisk in the light.
These rocks are my favorite part of the mural, so far, though I've a long way to go.
Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be working on this, and maybe posting progress, but it's not the only reason I started this post telling you that my year ended on a high note.  For the next two weeks, I'm also pushing to finish the living room mural here at home (the one I started back in September, with the Gwragged Anwynn sculpture stepping out of it), because the Minneapolis Star Tribune has asked to interview me and photo Belle Ami for a feature in mid-January!  And that's not all.  I've also been asked to illustrate a book, and yes, for those wondering, I am still working on mine...both of them.  2012 is going to be a very good year!  A very busy, very good year!  My biggest hope is that every person reading this is as absolutely content right now as I am.  Cheers!

I am booking up for the late winter and early spring, so if you are thinking of having me add some light and color to your home, check out my website for a portfolio of possibilities, and the info on how to hire me.  theartofthehome.com.

Questions or comments can be posted below, or feel free to email me at dawnmariedelara@gmail.com.

No comments: