Friday, June 22, 2012
I know that everyone has the same dilemma that I do. We all collect furniture for our future painting projects. My house is becoming filled because (a) I do not have a storage unit and (b) my garage has no more space for anything save gardening tools and other family collections and (c) I seem to find more space in my house these days for extra furniture. My three grown children are beginning to groan over the possibilities of my obsession and where this may lead for the long term. My objective in merely a timely list of future accomplishments. They fear I might be a "hoarder". Here is a piece soon to be painted in one of the more soft and neutral colors, maybe Country Grey or Old Ochre or maybe a combination of these with Old White. I am trying to match the beautiful old transferware tiles. I love this piece. When I was in my twenties and living in New England as a young wife and mother, nearly every weekend was spent antiquing in the rural towns of Massachusetts. Almost everything we purchased we refinished, stripped, sanded, stained and varnished. I nearly gasp when I think of the beautiful 1890 chest painted with original buttermilk paint that we stripped and refinished. What were we thinking? The funny thing about this is that when I would go to the decorative arts rooms of a museum, I was always drawn to the painted furniture. I would stand there and try to memorize every detail of the colors, design, and historical significance of it. So when I saw this wardrobe, it was love at first sight. I will not touch it or change anything about it. This piece most likely came from France, but it could have been from England too. I love the colors, hand painting, and the patina. I love painted furniture. Period. And I keep asking myself why most men don't like a piece of furniture painted when, in fact, the history of painted furniture is vast, rich, and fascinating. A few weeks ago I had the luxury of spending a few hours at an antique mall in Camas where Amanda of One Girl in Pink has a space and sells some of her beautiful painted furniture. I had fallen in love with one of her two-tiered blue tables and went back to see it. I walked around and returned to her space. This lovely, graceful little table is now in my shop. Every day I look at this piece, the details, the colors, the gentle way it stands on the floor. It is as if I have given this table a special persona. But I find the beauty of this piece so comforting and engaging. I keep staring at the details, the varying colors of paint, the way that it has become transformed by someone's eye and hand, and this someone, Amanda, has a very special way of deciding how an ordinary piece of furniture can become the piece that defines and delights a room or a shop. I am so inspired by this. I want to paint endlessly. I have a feeling the ideas and projects might never end, and I think this just may be the perfect way to master and find satisfaction in the hours of each day.