Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kathy Sandler's Furniture Painting Workhop

Last Thursday, Kathy Sandler who has been a featured artist in my shop since I opened hosted a workshop at Thea's Interiors in the Pearl District of downtown Portland. I went over to take a few photos while everyone was playing and experimenting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Waxes.
Kathy is such a great teacher. She has a remarkable sense of the history of paint as well as an artist's perspective on color, texture, and shading. Her background in Mixed Media as well as her love of color and collage brings insight and passion to her love of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and her various ways of interpretation.
We had a variety of paint colors available and everyone created unique inspiring pieces.

Kathy will continue to teach at Thea's and she has so many wonderful ideas to share so stay tuned and I will feature some photos of Kathy's next amazing workshop. I want to take her next class if I can manage to break away from my store for a few hours!

Friday, February 17, 2012

An Oval Mirror

Before....thank heavens I remembered to take a photo of the piece, something I often forget to do. I just realized later that it is unnecessary to put tape between the wood and the mirror because you can always use a razor blade later to gently remove the paint.
After......this piece went through many paint color transformations. The first coat was Henrietta, then Coco with clear and dark wax. It wasn't the look I was striving to achieve, so I then re-painted it with 3 parts Old White to 1 part Louis Blue. This made the most exquisite color called "Pompadour" which I then covered with clear and a little dark wax. Again, I was not satisfied. Finally I took some Duck Egg Blue from a can that was nearly empty, added some water to thin it, mixed in some Chateau Grey from a small plastic container that I had leftover from a workshop and poured in some Pure White from a nearly empty can to lighten it and came up with the color I wanted.
I love pieces that have this kind of detail because it allows you to layer colors, distress, and define details. Adding the clear and dark wax takes this one step further and adds to the patina and character.
The mirror itself has some worn character as well. I am always looking for imperfect mirrors that show a little age in the reflection.
I like the way the paint looks like it is chipping away from years of use.
I really am loving the dark wax these days. I love the way it sinks into the pock-marked wood.
The mirror found a perfect spot to reside and actually looks like it might have been there forever. Now I am on to the next project, a small table for my bathroom to match a well-loved wallpaper.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thinking About Color and Light

I think that sometimes it is important to look at color and design and not necessarily see the setting or the object, but rather explore the sensory qualities, the emotional appeal it may generate. I also think this experience is entirely unique for each individual because we each come to this vision with our own set of values and criteria and expectations. Think about color and light in a new way, explore the vast possibilities. They are infinite, just like a snowflake.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

French Wallpaper Screen

I found this screen at an estate sale. I think screens in a room are beautiful as well as functional. I knew this one could be painted in ASCP and re-wallpapered to give it a whole new life.
I had purchased some very old French wallpaper about a year ago in one of the antique malls and it had some form of French identity on the back. I saved that part. I made one lampshade and sold it on etsy, one I featured recently in Pinterest, but I wanted to use the wallpaper in something larger to show the beauty of the design.
I painted the frame in Old Ochre and waxed it, but now I am thinking I will add some dark wax and distressing to give it more character to match the old French design.
I have many design books in my collection and this has currently become my go-to book for inspiration. If you can find it, it is well worth the investment to own a copy.

Annie Sloan keeps a book like this primarily to show the gradations of color change when Old White is added. She also puts in inspiring photos as well as fabric swatches. Ever since I saw hers, I determined to make one too. Currently I am writing down paint recipes. I buy the thicker mixed media art books so the pages can be painted. It is a great way to remember inspiring paint combinations too.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A French Chair

Recently I took a trip down to the delightful community of Aurora that has the most charming collection of antique shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. I seldom get a chance to get away and do this, but it was Sunday morning, and I did not have to be back to open my store for two more hours. My errand was to pick up a ladder in one of the antique malls, South End Antiques and Collectibles, that I wanted to use for my store display (they also have great things!). I also popped into Main Street Merchantil to take a quick look and found this French chair. It was marked down, and I probably paid too much for it, but I could not leave it behind. The carving and patina is beautiful. The upholstery is simply dreadful.
I am always drawn to chairs for some reason. They have a certain presence, perhaps a touch of some kind of mysterious persona. In a room they seem to settle in and make their presence known in a very discreet manner.

I will definitely get rid of the upholstery. This chair is far too elegant for a velour-type of fabric. Yet, I am having a certain dilemma.....

How do I decide to finish the rest? Do I paint it (my original intent)? Now that I look at the carving as well as the natural wear and patina, is it simply too good to paint over? I could scarcely do it justice by painting it and trying to create this kind of perfection. Maybe I will just re-do the upholstery.

How could one not possibly fall in love?