Architectural Gem Series 2

Architectural Gem Series 2

Strait Is the Gate…near Miracle Mile, Los Angeles

WEB3

WEB2

WEB4

Tracking Texture and Giving Thanks

Tracking Texture and Giving Thanks

The palette of warm gray/green, with terracotta/brick hues…translates from architecture,

to walkways,

to utilities,

and back to architecture again…

sometimes combining materials and textures in new and unexpected ways.

The type of material, and its texture, offer us a myriad of ‘takes”, on the colors, and how they play together.

Stone,

the glory of weathered wood, artfully used,

even concrete…reveal their charms, as the value, intensity and emotional impact of their colors shifts through their textures.

Nature’s palette too, plays out differently through texture….elegant branches punctuated by new green leaves against smooth ivory walls,

and  new life pushing its way indomitably through rock…

Let Us Enjoy These Gifts!

Giving Thanks this Season, for the never-Ending Wonders of our World, and the Power of our Imaginations to Create With Them Continually.

Peace and Blessing to All this Thanksgiving Holiday

Decorative Painting: Leaving Our Mark

Decorative Painting; Leaving Our Mark

Encompassing a seemingly unlimited pantheon of forms, functions, mediums and media, the discipline of decorative painting goes everywhere.

A chosen vase provides colorways, pattern, and a touch of whimsy to the wall detailing over a living room fireplace for a creative client’s new home.

Custom stenciled butterflies flutter over the curved wall of the Dress for Success boutique. Architect: Justin Martinkovic of Martinkovic Milford.

Move over Nike  “swoosh”, Top 1 Oil‘s in town…and it’s all painted. Interior designer: Kelly Berg of Arte Styling.

Ceilings beg a variety of adornments…painted beams being one of them. Woodworker: Larry McCanse, Palmer Creek Hand-Hewn Wood Products.

Softly blended glaze colors tease out architectural nuances. Interior Designer: Anne Norton-Dingwall:   AND Interior Design Studio.

It takes a brave and bold client to live with strong color…a real treat to create with custom tinted, blended glazes.

Glazed stripes layered over a glazed wall create depth and character in The Polished Lounge nail salon.

The high ceiling and walls of a narrow powder room are dramatized by layers of glaze creating visual texture.

Glaze and paint create the effect of  marble and stone on a living room fireplace.

Once white latex, these tub cabinets have been transformed into wood…known in the business as “faux bois“, literally “fake wood”.

In the same bathroom, the closet door and cabinetry are also faux bois…inspired by the door to the room, which is “real” wood.

This cabinet sits at the top of a staircase, and serves as a focal point when ascending the stairs, or just passing by and looking up. It’s faux bois application matches that of the staircase banisters.

The wonder of decorative painting, and its myriad of applications is that it is are never-ending. Continually changing and evolving, and showing up in any and every nook and cranny, or open interior or exterior space, the glorious enhancement, beautification, communication and transformation of the built environment continues, and will continue, as long as humankind is willing and able to leave its mark.

An Amble Around the Gamble

An Amble Around the Gamble


The architectural brethren team of Greene and Greene, created (with the expertise of many) The Gamble  House, a  magnificent Arts and Crafts masterpiece in Pasadena, Ca,  It is also  a National Historic Landmark and museum.  The Greenes designed the house in 1908, for the Gamble family, of Proctor and Gamble fame.

Hallmarks of the  Arts and Crafts Movement in American Craftsman style architecture include the use of natural materials, attention to detail, aesthetics, and craftsmanship.

The Greenes, brothers Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, were influenced by  traditional Japanese aesthetics, though they never, as we were told, visited Japan.   Outdoor  and indoor space were considered of equal importance in the design, as the Greenes used nature as a guide.

Relief and shelter from the hot sun of Southern California climes were created through wide, overhanging eaves.

The use of wood seems to be celebrated through the design, as well as the juxtaposition of textures, earthy, natural colors, and the finishes and hues of stone, metals, glass and patina, all reflecting the expression and experience of nature, the passing of time, and even planned imperfections,  which were part of the architectural and design philosophy.

Exterior porches  such as the one below are found off three of the second-floor bedrooms and were used for sleeping or entertaining. This one was used by the sons of David and Mary Gamble, as told to us by our amiable  and hardworking guide, who was entrusted with taking us through the entire first floor, and front exterior of the house in 20 minutes!  I think she stretched it to 1/2 hour, but she did it!

We will continue our “Amble Around the Gamble” series in the next post, with a focus  on some of  the wondrous exterior details of The Gamble House.  Hopefully, with a longer time next in Pasadena, I will be able to celebrate the interior of the house, right here on “Artissima, blog of ArtiFactory Studio. Ciao for now!

Have You ever visited The Gamble House, seen the work of Greene and Greene, or other Arts and Crafts buildings?

If so, please share about it with us here.  We love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all ambling and gambling our way through this thing called Life, together.  Happy Trails!

HeARTfull Stone

HeARTfull Stone

In a recent article published in the  Bay Area Women’s Journal called  “Faux Finishing…Get the Look of Marble and Stone“, I discuss the “faux” finishes of stone and marble (a kind of  rock).  I created this “sister” post to show more painted and glazed stone and marble faux (fake!) finishes, and to share a bit more about the process.

Stone blocking is a technique in which individual “blocks” of stone are depicted, as well as the grout between them. Below, the lower part of an exterior shed door is painted (stippled and pounced) to look like the actual stone blocks on either side of it.  The grout, of course, is also painted. The painted door meets the real flagstones underneath it.  Underfoot, as it were.

Careful match of color helps create the illusion, despite the obviousness of hinges.  The “Trompe L’Oeil” (‘tricking the eye”- to make us think something is there that actually isn’t) effect is broken when…

 the door is opened, which adds to the fun. The treatment satisfied the aesthetic yearning of the homeowner to have the eye perceive  a line of stone blocks  unmarred by the more prosaic brown-painted door.

Below we have an ornately detailed fireplace, with a lot of carved character.  It sits resplendent in its prepped glory, primed but not even base painted yet.  Looking white white, it is set off by a new marble surround and hearth.

Voila, here we have the same fireplace with a stippled “limestone look”  finish, which draws out its ornate detail, and works with the colors of the marble.

The carving plays with the light, both reflecting and absorbing it.  It is highlighted by the glazes (semi-transparent veils of color) that are stippled across its surface.  Details like  this can be coaxed out and showcased through the addition of color and texture!

The same “limestone-like” stippled technique can be used to add character to a one-of-a-kind table that already has plenty,  (again, the technique pulls out the carving),

or, a smooth, plastered, rather standard issue stove hood, which needs to be brought into line with the other splendid details of its Spanish Revival architectural setting.

Stone finishes can also be used in tandem with their sometimes showier cousin, marble finishes, also known as marbling, or marbleizing.  On the fireplace below, semi-transparent glazes were used to create the marble finish, and opaque paints in equivalent colors for the stone.  The marble and stone treatments are both set off by the classical detailing, which is in turn set off by the treatments!  At their best, architecture, decorative treatments and detailing work hand in hand, each strengthening the other.

The pillar below is treated in a subtle limestone finish, with the same glaze colors employed in a marble finish on its base.


In the same room and colors, the hearth below is marbled through the combination and simultaneous manipulation of several glaze colors over its smooth, base painted surface.

The same technique is employed on the fireplace mantel and pillars, unifying the piece.  The Clients wanted to enhance the architectural details of their white-walled living room in an elegant yet subtle way, and the paint and glaze colorways were designed accordingly.

The fanciful marble treatment designed for the white, latex-painted built-in below is enhanced by the addition of gold, not only in the veining, but also on the inset frames on the cabinet doors. The diamonds are created by a second application of marbleizing.

  The fantasy marble finish employing pink, gold, and antique white glazes adds sumptuousness. The marbleized diamond offsets the rectangular shapes that comprise the cabinets.

Whether the goal is to integrate, enhance, create elegance, luxury or history, the application of stone and marble faux finishes can add depth, character, mystery, and even fun and fantasy to a space. Take a look around your environment, and imagine the addition of finishes true to nature, to the imagination, or both! Consider drawing out classical or whimsical details,  harmonizing your color scheme, or adding a bit of eye trickery to where you live, work and play.  You’ll soon feel the benefit of the Magic of Decorative Painting.

Have YOU used Stone and Marble finishes in your Home, Business, or Community Spaces?

If so, please share about it with us here. We love to hear from you!

Remember, we are all designing this thing called Life, together.  Cheers!