Contemplating Work – Three Year Round Up

Contemplating Work – Three Year Round Up

In the spirit of the process of the necessity of the…well…updating, overhauling, revamping, refurbishing, and just re-ing the online presence of ArtiFactory Studio, and Artissima ventures….and, about to add/subtract/move around work from my site, I thought I would share some of the work completed since my last site update (yikes, was it really three years ago?), and look at some of the media, processes, forms and approaches that are part of the wide world of decorative painting.

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I created a line of hand-painted light switch plates which I call, “Artissima Lumens“, which though small, do take a lot of work and focus to complete! Sanding the plastic or wooden surface, as well as screws/hardware, priming it, base painting it, and then…the embellishment, adornment, decoration (hmm…not a good word in art school!), whatever you want to call it. This can include hand painting images, gradating color, stenciling  a design, pattern, image or scene, adding layers of semi-transparent glaze, and most often, a combination of some, many, or even all of these!

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Mid-Century design, style, decor and imagery can be rich fodder for decorative painting on the wall, as evidenced by these bedroom accent walls. The dawn of the atomic age, coupled with star-bursts, floral imagery, and geometric shapes and patterns can be inspirational. These treatments, based on a sketch (above with mirror), made by, and a re-imagined image, (immediately above), found by the Client constitute a creative collaboration that bore Mid-C fruit in both a guest and master bedroom.

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There is nothing quite like custom,  hand painted imagery on a wall, or ceiling.  Above, the Fightin’Irish and Michigan State logos find a home in the room of a young boy, with an avid avian interest. Custom-designed stenciled and hand-painted birds fly across his ceiling and desk wall, and perch above the entrance to his bath.

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Stenciling, and the art of repeated pattern is an effective and beautiful way to create a border. Especially effective in a room, such as this bath, with no crown molding.  The bright color ties the room together with the strong artwork displayed there, and connects to the vibrant colors seen throughout the rest of the house.

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Exterior  decorative painting on the wall, any wall, can go a long way towards brightening up an area that is often dark, and shrouded in fog, as many decks, patios, yards and porches are in the vast and often overcast Sunset District neighborhood of San Francisco. The painting of a colorful wall mural on the rough textured shingled siding of this deck not only brightened the area, and extended the adjoining living space to the outdoors, it also gave the inhabitants a colorful “garden” to look at through their kitchen window.  Doing dishes is going to be a lot more fun now in that house!

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“MINDS HEARTS HANDS VOICES” is the motto for  Cathedral School for Boys in San Francisco. The painting of the motto so that is can be seen through the front windows communicated the basic approach and philosophy of the school. Samples of blue hues, and font styles were presented to the Headmaster and Development Director, who chose which to use. The intent was to keep the image and the message clean, clear and simple, albeit elegant, and let the words do the talking!

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House numbers  for HGTV Curb Appeal, “It’s All in the Details” episode were created with customized, hand-cut stencils, based on a font chosen by the host, John Gidding. Gradated shading using highlight and shadow was added to give the illusion of depth.

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The Flying Cranes project at The Briggs Residence (a historic residence in the West Adams District of Los Angeles) was the brainchild of architect Kaitlin Drisko, of Drisko Studio Architects, who wanted to transform the living room TV cabinet into a work of art . In conjunction with the Owner, and Owner’s rep Paul Davidson, designs and imagery for both the interior and exterior were developed collaboratively.  The exterior sides of the cabinet doors are gilded with composition gold leaf, or schlag metal, then painted with the cranes composition.

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The interior of the doors are stippled with  layers of gold, blue and red paint hues, then stenciled with a custom motif adapted especially for the project. When open, the articulated doors frame the TV screen.  The piece is designed to be a focal point in the room whether the doors are open or closed, the television on or off.

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It is fascinating to look back over a three year span of work, and contemplate all the uses of decorative painting.  It is a form that marries function and beauty, usefulness and aesthetics, craft, visual art, architecture and design.  Playing at once subtly and powerfully through our visual landscape, decorative painting makes its mark!

Behold the Glitterati

Behold the Glitterati

All that glitters isn’t gold…or is it?  Well, it might be “schlag, or combination metal leaf, it might be 22 karat gold leaf, or it might be copper, silver, bronze or a combination of all of the above. Materials that contain or give the look of  precious metals can add instant warmth and light to a room, which can be a welcome addition at any time, but perhaps especially during this the darkest time of the year.  Use of metallic leaf, waxes, paints and glazes can be instrumental in transforming a time of darkness  into a season of light. In a space that is.  Which may just affect our state of mind, and lift our spirits.

We speak of radiance, iridescence,  incandescence and luminescence.   We crave shine, sparkle, glitter and glamor.  We love sheen and shimmer, glow and glimmer.  We are attracted to the translucent, which lets the light through, and the reflective, which bounces it back to us.  In other words, we long for light,  our source, our fuel, without which we cannot live.

So, its only natural that we should adorn our  objects, furniture, architecture and accessories with materials which play with and celebrate light, and expand our experience and enjoyment of its qualities.

So, whether it is the enhancement of  a craftperson’s  decorative detail,

a ceiling treated in tones of gold,

or the embellishment of a chair…

let us celebrate the spark of our spirits, and illuminate our state of mind with the pure enjoyment of things shiny and bright.  Let’s revel in radiance, especially during the dark time of the year.  Let’s lavish ourselves and our loved ones with light, shine and shimmer, and spread a sphere of good cheer around us wherever we go, during this Season of Light.

Who knows? It may make us whole.

What is your favorite ritual of light?  Do you have a special way of embellishing the Holidays with glow and glitter, sheen and shimmer?   If you feel so inspired, please share your unique light with us.  We love to hear from you.  Remember, we are all  in this thing called Life, together.

Happy Holidays, and Best Wishes for the New Year!