Standing Our Color Ground IV

Standing Our Color Ground IV

Having completed a rather large and multifaceted color consultation for a set of two buildings anchoring opposite corners of a block in the “The Valley”, I decided to disseminate the experience, and its results through a series of blog posts.

I am completing the process with this post..which highlights some of my favorite details, architectural and otherwise, of  two buildings, one on either end of a median-sized block in Canoga Park, a district in the San Fernando Valley, about 25 miles northwest of Downtown LA.

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Doors….the cool elegance of a front door, web4

verses the brighter warmth of unit doors.

web3   The personal statement of a windowsill-scape adds whimsey.

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 Shifts of  color pull out window and balcony details.

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A strong hue on a service door offers  visual way-finding, and pleasing accent,

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wb1 while the softness of integrated colors is  accented by a hue less saturated.

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The sides of a building flow with the colors and lines of trees, and bursts of foliage.

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bringing  it all together.

Harmony…that’s what we’re after..isn’t it?

Here’s wishing You harmony, beauty, peace, and prosperity…for the still New Year!

Blessings from Artissima…the blog of ArtiFactory Studio.

A Saga of Flying Cranes: Installed

A Saga of Flying Cranes: Installed

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Last summer, I had the pleasure of meeting  Kaitlin Drisko, principal of  Drisko Studio Architects, known for “Integrating the new with the old…

I was honored to be engaged to transform a custom-built TV cabinet designed for The Briggs Residence, in the Historic West Adams District. into a singular work of art, that would be the visual focal point of the downstairs of the house.  Paul Davidson of Paul Davidson incorporated served as the owner’s liaison, facilitating and supporting every step of the project, from the initial inspiration, to the design phase, through the full-scale making process, to completion and installation of the piece.

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Framed by the dentil-style crown molding above,

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and the streamlined fireplace below,

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the four articulated doors swing open from stippled side pieces anchored to the wall.

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The inside surfaces of the cabinet doors are also stippled, then  stenciled with a custom motif and variations, echoing other design elements in the room.

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The stenciled pattern creates another frame when the cabinet doors are opened,

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while the Flying Cranes add movement to the room when they are closed.

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The transformed surface becomes a focal point for the room.

This project truly has been “A Saga of Flying Cranes” and a labor of love…

Gratitudes!

A Saga of Flying Cranes: Process

  A Saga of Flying Cranes: Process

I have had the opportunity, the honor, really, to work on a very special project for a historical residence, in the historical West Adams District of Los Angeles.  I was brought in by an architect specializing in the restoration and preservation of  historic buildings to transform a custom cabinet, designed to cover the living room television set, into a singular work of art.

I worked closely with the architectural firm, and project manager,  interfacing with the owner, interior designer, builders, and foreman, as we developed the design from concept to a specificity of  colors,textures,  materials and composition.

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Along the way, I amassed and created inspirational images, painted, gilded and stenciled mock-ups, to scale drawings, and numerous samples.

Once inspired by images, and with the design process determined, it was time to bring the rubber to the road…and take the concept to the surface!

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The inside of the four cabinet doors were stenciled with a customized motif that was variously rotated, flipped and reversed into variations that were combined to create an  elegant,  complex, yet fluid composition.

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The individual motifs, and the pattern they created when combined were designed to complement and reflect the pattern in the rug,

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and the carved images of  a free-standing wooden cabinet in the room.

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Even the decorative heating grate cover is an inspiration, and is integrated into the overall design and feel of the room!

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The architect’s office created a mock-up from copies made from the stencils themselves, and put together in the desired sequence for reference, to insure no mistakes were made.

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Due to virulent vigilance, none were.

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Stencils based on the chosen designs were drawn out to scale on acetate, a clear plastic material often used for this purpose, and hand-cut using an xacto knife, on a “self-healing” cutting mat.

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Once the stencils were used, colorful paint residue made it easier to see their pattern, and also served as a color guide. The hand-cut stencils can be too delicate to wash off, so the paint stays on them.

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After careful measuring and positioning, the stencils were taped into place over the primed, latex base painted, gold painted and several times stippled door panels..and the colors were applied in a stippled (or pounced),and  layered fashion.

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Stenciling is truly the art of delayed gratification…the total effect can really only be seen when done.  You have to  love it.  If you do, the effort, the care,  the patience and the high wire act is worth it.  It is for me…I truly love the process, and how complex the results can become.One of my favorites is the extraordinary ceiling of the Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room, housed in the Chicago Art institute.

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After the stenciling  was completed, three applications of composition gold leaf, also called dutch metal or schlag, were applied to the front side of the doors. Each surface was delicately sanded in-between, with a fine sandpaper of 400-600 grit.  Visual delineation of the  squares of gold leaf was the desired look. The  surfaces were  then sealed with a coat of  oil varnish designed for use over dutch metal, to prepare it for the painting.   Dutch metal will tarnish with any contact with water media, so this varnishing step is crucial.

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Finally, the initial painting of the “saga of flying cranes’ began…first in primer, as the paint is acrylic, and it would not stick to the oil-based varnished surface. Washes of color in acrylic were then built up over the surface, and detail laid in. The painted surfaces were lightly sanded between paint applications, to keep it smooth and satiny.

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More color details were added to give depth, dimension, and a bit of pop to the scene.

The colors were carefully chosen and designed to work with the room’s rug,

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(glorious colors and patterns…found by the amazing architect and designer and their team.)

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 fabrics, textiles and accessories…(some might say that pillows are necessities!),

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as well as the wall colors and finishes in the room. The undertone of deep blue violet in the birds also provides pop against the complimentary gold background.

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It was important to the architect that the crane’s feet have personality!

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Inspired by the film, “Winged Migration“, these cranes have grit and determination…they are going somewhere, and they are going to get there!

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On-site in the residence,  I treated the sides of the cabinet in the same stippled fashion as the interior surfaces of the door…but no stenciling here. I applied layers of stippled color over the primed, them base painted, then gold-metallic painted surfaces, as was done with the inside of the cabinet doors above.

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The room is handsome, serene, streamlined, and somehow both warm and inviting, and cool and elegant.

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I am looking forward to gong to the site soon,  to see and photograph the doors installed and the cabinet as a whole.

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When I do, I think I  will be tempted to say…”You’ve come a long way, baby!  You’ve flown the coop!”

Are You looking forward to flying in this New Year?

I hope You are able to take flight in 2013.

As we know…time does fly…so let’s fly with it!

E-Lumen-8 Part 1 Take 2

E-Lumen-8 Part 1 Take 2

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E-LUMEN-8 Your Life! 

The story of “Artissima Lumens”…painted light switch plates for your e-lumen-8-ed pleasure!

Nov072012_7170 The adventure begins  with prepping: sanding and priming the front surface of the nascent “Lumens”…making a tiny white canvass to frame the light switch aperture.

Nov072012_7157The “Lumen” prepared “canvasses” begin to stack up. Their tiny screws get the same treatment. Each is sanded, primed with a white-tinted primer, painted, and treated in the same manner as the rest of the piece. The entire surface is treated as one composition.

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  It is fun to play with the aperture, and use it as part of the composition.

Nov072012_7160Pattern rules. Words can express dreams, hopes, even prayers.

The possibilities are endless…the size restrictions a creative stimulant….as opposed to a limitation.

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Nov102012_7145  The interplay of textures, (built up through the application of  layer upon layer of stippled paint), and pattern, color and image, only become more fascinating to manipulate and explore.

Nov152012_7228Metallic paints provide glow and glimmer, sheen and shimmer, adding luster and elegance, or perhaps a celestial quality.

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Nov152012_7225The addition of paint, texture and color add depth…while sanding between the layers with wet-dry sandpaper makes the pieces smooth and sleek, creating a tactile experience to match the visual. Layering imagery over texture, then softening, or slightly obscuring it, can suggest an air of mystery, softness, and complexity.

Nov152012_7229The elements are engaging to play with, mix, and and match.

I hope that the addition of “Artissima Lumens” will add an element of detail, joy or  artistry to a room and make turning on the light not only an illuminating, but fun!

E-LUMEN-8 Your Life!

Turn it On!

May Your Holidays be filled with light, joy, and FUN!

A Saga of Flying Cranes: Inspiration

A Saga of Flying Cranes: Inspiration

Cranes are the inspiration for a project in a historic building  in the historic West Adams neighborhood of  Los Angeles.

The gold-leafed surfaces of traditional Japanese screens often serve as a background for crane, and other images.

           Although standing cranes are pleasing, flying cranes provide more movement.

The element of the fading red moon (probably conceived by the artists of such screen and scroll paintings as a sun), was found particularly attractive.

The richly textured and patterned borders of traditional Japanese scroll painting may provide direction and context for the border design of the piece.


The Asian depiction of cranes seems to differ in some aspects to the Western. Photographic and cinematic images of flying cranes stimulate design and composition ideas.

Incredible patterns and textures found in the image below suggest movement, relating to that of the Flying Cranes.

More Inspiration.

I am thrilled to be involved in such an exciting project, and am looking  forward to see what happens next!

To Be Continued…

The Objects of Our Affection: Vignettes 3

The Objects of Our Affection: Vignettes 3

Mystery

Familiarity

Artistry

Wearability

Functionality

Are our objects expressions of our love?

Our drama?

Our hopes, dreams, wishes, needs and desires?

Do our vignettes express that which we are, or that which we aspire to?

Or, are they the place where these meet?

Have a little fun…express yourself, and play…mix and match, or don’t match.

Live a little.

Juxtapose, and strike a pose, then tear it all down, and start again.

Refresh.

Fresh.

The Art of Home

The Art of Home: Vignettes I

Home is where the heart is…and home is where the art is, too.  For so many of us, they way we arrange our “stuff”, has as much to do with our heart and soul, our needs, and desires, and the core of our personality, as do our color loves and hates, what we choose and don’t choose to wear, how we eat,  and the company we keep.

What do we keep out, and around, and why do we do so?  Well, maybe the why doesn’t matter as much as the rush of love, appreciation, gratification or comfort that we feel when we see our “stuff” arranged in “vignettes” or groupings,  that may or may not communicate to other people.  What matters is how these compositions of objects resonate with us, what scenes they set, and the meaning that a particular grouping of collected objects has for us.  Vignettes are creations.

Sometimes the actual objects we choose to arrange in a particular way hold a conscious meaning for us…other times, we may not know why we are drawn to something, and why it seems to go with, to fit with, even to seem to need to be with, something else.

But this is part of the mystery, part of the fun.  New connections may be made between objects, and within ourselves, and old ones reinforced or recreated, through our following a seeming whim.

Sometimes we place together objects that have been given to us, or created for us by loved ones, or those we once knew and loved, and these placements can create a presence in our homes, place of business, or creative spaces, that stirs memories, offers reassurance,  or honors the past or present.

Objects speak, and their juxtaposition may inspire, encourage, calm, or just  seem (IE- feel) “right”.  The artist Richard Diebenkorn said, “Now, the idea is to get everything right-it’s not just color or form or space or line-it’s everything all at once.”  The amazing exhibition of his stunning Ocean Park Series, at the Orange County Museum of Art  (through May 27, 2012), is a testament to this quest.

The visual elements of form, color, texture, pattern, imagery, shape and space, of course, play into how we are moved, and  compelled  to put things together.  The combination of these elements can animate a space, and thus ourselves,  as we look at and live in it.  As we are in it.  Thus affecting the way we are.

When I placed the bird in a position where it looked like it was about to drink from the plate, something clicked.  I knew the vignette, the arrangement, the visual story, was, well, right.  I hope it looks and feels that way to other people, but the feeling of rightness, that “click”, was so strong that other people’s opinions (save that of  my beloved husband and sharer of our space) just really don’t matter!  The vignette is right for us, in the space we call home.

What vignettes have you created that click for you in your home, office, studio, or other environment?

if you feel so inclined, please share about them with us here.

We love to hear from you.

Remember, we are all trying to get things “right” in this thing called Life, together.

E-LUMEN-8 your life

E-LUMEN-8

Your Life…

In an increasingly technological world, there is a corresponding need for work created by hand.  As humans, we respond to useful objects of wonder and beauty.

“Artissima Lumens”  are hand-adorned light switch plates created custom, one at a time  as art, celebration and decor. They are created of water-borne primers, paints, semi-transparent glazes, stencils, metallic media, and varnish.

The plain plastic, or wooden plate is sanded to create texture or “tooth”, readying the surface to receive the primer which creates a bondable surface for the painted base coat.  The surface is thus  prepared for more intricate layers of adornment.

Paints, semi-sheer glaze or other media are manipulated across the surface to create visual interest and an interplay of color and texture.

Gold, silver, copper and bronze metallic media add luminescence, glow, and glimmer which  catch the light and animate the surface.

Stenciled or hand-painted pattern and imagery establish a composition which can become playful, elegant, whimsical, retro,  nostalgic , contemporary or celebratory.

The necessary hardware or screws are treated as part of the whole, and treated to each successive application.  They become part of the visual composition, as does the aperture for the switch itself.

When at last complete, the work is sealed and protected with  water-borne varnish. The “Lumen” is now is ready to eLUMENate its chosen light switch, and give the user a jolt of light energy.

Experience shows that we can become more calm, energetic, stimulated, peaceful and alive through interaction with our visual surroundings.  Color, texture, pattern and imagery can enhance, beautify, communicate, and  transform our feelings and surroundings, and thus both our interior and exterior landscape.

If YOU are interested in ordering or commissioning an “Artissima Lumen” please email: debra@artifactorystudio.com

BELIEVE

CREATE SUCCESS

 HAVE GRATITUDE

Lumens for Humans

Lumens for Humans

In an increasingly technological world, there is a corresponding need for work created by hand.  As humans, we respond to useful objects of wonder and beauty.

“Artissima Lumens”  are hand-adorned light switch plates created custom, one at a time  as art, celebration and decor.

They are created of water-borne primers, paints, semi-transparent glazes, stencils, metallic media, and varnish.

Typically, the plain plastic, or wooden plate is sanded to create texture or “tooth”.  This readies  the surface to receive the primer which creates a bondable surface for the painted base coat.

The surface is thus  prepared for more intricate layers of adornment. Paints, semi-sheer glaze or other media are manipulated across the surface to create visual interest and an interplay of color and texture.

Color, texture, pattern and imagery can enhance, beautify, communicate, and  transform our feelings and surroundings.What we surround ourselves with can make us feel more calm, energetic, stimulated, peaceful and alive.

Stenciled or hand-painted pattern and imagery establish a composition which can become playful, elegant, whimsical, retro,  nostalgic or contemporary.

“Artissima Lumens”  can be designed to work with other art works.

If YOU are interested in ordering or commissioning an “Artissima Lumen” please email: debra@artifactorystudio.com

Success

Gratitude

E-LUMEN-Eight

E-LUMEN-Eight

In an increasingly technological world, there is a corresponding need for work created by hand.  As humans, we respond to useful objects of wonder and beauty.

“Artissima Lumens”  are hand-adorned light switch plates created custom, one at a time  as art, celebration and decor. They are created of water-borne primers, paints, semi-transparent glazes, stencils, metallic media, and varnish.

Typically, the plain plastic, or wooden plate is sanded to create texture or “tooth”, readying the surface to receive the primer which creates a bondable surface for the painted base coat.  The surface is thus  prepared for more intricate layers of adornment.

Paints, semi-sheer glaze or other media are manipulated across the surface to create visual interest and an interplay of color and texture.

Gold, silver, copper and bronze metallic media add luminescence, glow, and glimmer which  catch the light and animate the surface.

Stenciled or hand-painted pattern and imagery establish a composition which can become playful, elegant, whimsical, retro,  nostalgic or contemporary.

The obligatory hardware or screws are treated as part of the whole, and treated to each successive application.  They become part of the visual composition, as does the aperture for the switch itself.

When at last complete, the work is sealed and protected with  water-borne varnish. The “Lumen” is now is ready to iLUMENate its chosen light switch, and give the user a jolt of light energy.

Experience shows that we can become more calm, energetic, stimulated, peaceful and alive through interaction with our visual surroundings.  Color, texture, pattern and imagery can enhance, beautify, communicate, and  transform our feelings and surroundings, and thus both our interior and exterior landscape.

If YOU are interested in ordering or commissioning an “Artissima Lumen” please email: debra@artifactorystudio.com

Believe

Create Success

Have Gratitude