I have this thing about flowers as a metaphor for so many things that necessitate description or definition or simply a place to be. And is it not true that when we seek to express an idea or a plan, it seems to germinate through the process of words and images? At least that is true for me because I am always torn between the power of phrases versus the beauty and tactile images of color and art.
I have been so busy the last few weeks that I have taken refuge in a bouquet of peonies that have been in my living room for many days. They seem to last forever. I probably have taken twenty photos in various lights and unfolding, a way to chart a journey of their life, a source of continual engagement and inspiration. It has given me reason to pause and reflect on the days when I am often at my computer or in my car. And essentially, it has become a forum for me to reflect on variations of colors and movement and all that this manages to entail.
I will be moving into a retail space soon. I think it was the bouquet of peonies that helped me arrive at this decision. It was simply a thought, similar to that peony bud, knowing it would eventually unfold, gradually reveal its reason and strength. I know I love the idea of story and metaphor, but truly it seemed to be an evolution of like-minded souls, the bloom and the action to decide.
And lingered there for awhile talking about our favorite project, the magazines we loved, and the plans we were making going forward.
When the shadows cast their spell in my garden at the end of the day, I felt that there was truly so much blooming in the world of paint, in me, the students in my workshop, and the idea of a retail shop soon to make its debut.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
When I was about 15 years old, many, many years ago, my mother bought me a gallon of paint that was a combination of these two Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors, "Emile" and "Henrietta". I started early on changing the colors of my rooms, the bedcovers, curtains, and decorative elements. I was always tweeking something, wanting new colors, new looks. This pattern of change has followed me my entire adult life. When I discovered Annie's Chalk Paint, I fell in love all over again with painting and color, but in a different way.
This is a sample that I painted from an unfinished piece of wood. There are three layers of paint on this piece as well as Annie's clear wax. It was quick, easy, incredibly fun, and immensely satisfying. I love this paint and all its magical possibilities!
I had an opportunity to take the most amazing workshop this last Saturday in Southern California from Anne Skougard, one of two stockists for California and Kari Saupstad, a mini stockist. I came away inspired, excited, and literally changed by the amazing potential of this paint.
Taking a workshop enhances the uses of the paint as well as creates knowledge and awareness of its immense possibilities. You learn why everyone calls it "magical" because it simply is.
This is the same sample in a different light. The colors and wax finish create so much richness, depth, and beauty. In some lights, it almost has an iridescent quality to it, but there is absolutely no metallic in the paint. It simply is the magic of the paint. Below is the back of this same piece and how it looked before I started, just plain unfinished wood.
This is another sample, again with three colors of paint.
Here is the same piece in another light, outdoors in my garden. I love how there are raindrops along the top. As I was photographing the sample, some drops from a rain-soaked shrub landed on the piece.
Who does not love a rich green? Again, the combination of color and wax creates depth and shadow and mystery.
I have always loved the look of stenciling on just about anything, furniture or textiles. So when I heard that Kari was going to do stenciling with the chalk paint, I had to take this workshop. I could have spent a lot more time on this piece with shading and refining. I definitely will try many more pieces using stencils with this paint. I think this would be beautiful on an armoire.
I purchased some stencils for further exploration of this process. If anyone is interested you can find an elaborate selection of stencils here.
My first night home, I hardly slept. I kept thinking about the paint, the number and combination of colors that can be created from the 24 colors. What I am also realizing is that I can never go back to painting with only one color, ever. Nor will I buy anything but chalk paint for my furniture and walls. Now I am going to explore the possibilities of using the paint and stencils on my collection of textiles. Please visit me at my textile blog for further stories on this possibility.
Thanks, Anne and Kari for such a great and inspiring and exciting workshop!!!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
It seems to me that elegant paint needs elegant storage. Somehow cardboard boxes do not do justice to this beautiful paint.
It is nice to be able to see the names of the colors and reach in for one whenever I need it. Speaking of the colors, I really love going over the names of each one and memorizing and connecting each color. Now I am discovering that these colors and the names are so embedded in my mind that I find I am identifying them in nature and objects all around me. 'Oh, that car is "Graphite" or that house is "Chateau Grey" or that rose in my garden is "Scandinavian Pink", the sweater I am wearing is "Greek Blue"'.
And I think this rose just might be a combination of "Emperor's Silk" and "Old White".
Friday, June 3, 2011
Today was a new beginning....my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint arrived! To say I was excited was an understatement. And I happened to be on the phone with the person who got me into this exciting venture, none other than Anne Skougard, the whirlwind stockist from Southern California!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
My first project with the paint was a small table using Annie's "Old White".
I started with the table upside down as Annie suggests and continued painting until all the wood was covered, no sanding or prep. The color was beautiful, a very soft and creamy white.
I painted the inside of the drawer with "Paris Grey" and then stenciled some birds inside. I liked the idea of the drawer having another color and surprise element.