Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Bit of Italy


On Friday morning, I installed a small mural
for a delightful client
 who has transformed her lakeside home
 into one with European flair.

My part of the project was to paint a vineyard scene
for a false window in the lower level game room. 

After pouring over photos from her trips to Italy ,
the client chose a very muted pastoral scene
as an inspiration for the mural. 
 While the carpenters and painters finished their jobs,
I painted the mural in my workshop.

Here's how it grew:

Not wanting to paint on a fresh, white canvas,
I first "dirtied" it up
with a rub of earthy browns and umbers. 
 This under-painting gives depth and texture 
to the colors that will be painted on top.

Using the client's photo as a guide,
 the colors and shapes were washed in.

At this stage, things are rough
 and I don't like anyone to see -
but I did promise to send e-mail photos to the client
so she could see the progress every step of the way....
I guess you can see them, too!

Little by little, the scene took shape. 
More buildings. 
 More greenery. 

I confess that when I'm painting,
there is always a point of discouragement 
when I feel no progress is being made. 
Things seem to be going very sl-o-o-wly. 
This picture is of that moment.
That's when I fidget,
brew yet another cup of tea
and scrounge the cupboard
for any morsel of forgotten chocolate. 
I'll distract myself by doing the most useless things -
sharpening all the colored pencils,
reorganizing the shelves of art books,
throwing out old paint,
and cleaning the studio's crusty sink.

After that burst of restless energy,
 I settle back to work.
Soon the mural is ready for the client's final approval. 
It didn't take long at all! 


The carpenter left a space in the wall to hang the mural. 
 Isn't the stacked brick beautiful?

The mural was dry-mounted onto a piece of 1/4" luan board
cut to the shape of the opening. 
Hoping for the best, I popped it into place. 
 Only a small adjustment was needed for a perfect fit.

Here's a close up of how the mural fit into ine brick opening.

So now, when family and friends gather in the game room,
they can enjoy a vacation scene.


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