Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TAH DAH, Part 5

Here are some more detailed photos. There is a lot going on in this little community. The stairway wall faces the front door and will have a mirror in the center of the wall over a writing desk. The only details on this wall are to the right and left sides of the wall. On the left side is a school house. Since my husband is a school administrator, it seemed appropriate to include a school in the mural. Notice the swing in the tree for the children to use at recess.

On the right side of the wall, you will find a little cabin nestled in the woods on the side of the mountain..

Sunday, December 21, 2008

TAH DAH, Part 4

Here are a few more details from the mural. Moving back through the main wall from the grist mill and to the left, you see a farm house and a barn.

On the hillside behind the farm you will find a herd of sheep grazing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TAH DAH, Part 3

There are a lot of details in the mural that are not easy to see in the full photos. Here are some of the detailed pictures. One of the important aspects of Rufus Porter's murals was that he made an effort to keep perspective in his work. Hills and mountains that are further away from the viewer are more blue and lighter. Buildings that are further away are smaller and those that are closer are larger. The trees and bushes are sized to match the buildings one the plane in which they appear. The whole mural is framed by the foreground trees that are as tall as the wall and the foreground bushes that are nearly life size. If you look at the previous posts, hopefully you will be able to pick out the various planes in the landscape and notice how the foreground trees and bushes frame the entire work and help establish perspective.

Here is the Grist Mill. It is the building that is closest to the viewer in the mural. Notice the detail in the stones that make up the building wall and the swan in the mill pond.

As you move further back into the mural, you will find a small grove of trees and the farmer's dog is wandering by.

Monday, December 15, 2008

TAH DAH, Part 2

Here are some additional pictures of the mural. These pictures show the entry alcove. Because the wall areas are narrow, I chose not to do a lot of background landscape and instead just used trees and bushes to fill the spaces.

This entire mural was painted using DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint in 2-ounce bottles. It took 2-3 bottles of the greens and golds, but far less than a bottle of each of the other colors. The foliage on the foreground bushes and trees were painted with sponges. All of the rest of the work was done with a variety of types and sizes of brushes.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Big TAH DAH!!!

The mural is finished! It covers every wall in my foyer. Here are the two main walls. These are the walls you see as you come in the front door. There will be a mirror in the center of the narrow wall and a small writing desk in front of it. The large wall will be home ot a Windsor Bench. More photos to come.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum

Each year the city of Franklin holds a festival called Light-Up Night. It involves the Christmas parade, decorated store windows, lighting the City Christmas tree and fireworks. It is a wonderful night and always very well attended. One of the annual activities associated with Light-Up Night is a Christmas tree display in the Barrow Civic Theater--our downtown jewel, We are very fortunate as a small community to have a theater that is home to an active community theater group and that sponsors performances by traveling groups as well as our community Silver Cornet Band and the community orchestra. So, before Light-Up night various community organizations put up trees in the theater lobby and decorate them. This year, I did the tree for the Franklin Fine Arts Council. Since I just joined the Arts Council, I didn't have a lot of time to plan the tree. I went through my small paintings and decorated the tree with ribbon, paint brushes, and a number of my small works in oil, watercolor, and colored pencil. The tree topper is a clean (fancy that) wooden palette and the small painting featured just below the palette is an oil painting of the County Court House on Light-Up night with fireworks behind it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Today I taught the Snowman Fleece Throw Make-It-Take-It class. This design is painted freehand and part of the fun is dressing you snow person once you have the basic shape. Today, my demonstration piece was a Red Hat Snow Lady. She is wearing a feather boa and a flashy red hat. It is difficult to paint fine details on fleece, so this snow person is pretty basic If I were painting on a smooth surface (cotton, wood, metal, ..), she would be carrying a red purse. After all, Red Hatters like to shop! The snowmen might be holding a birdhouse or a broom. My students had the option of dressing their snow person any way they wanted. You can see the original sample piece in my posting of November 15, 2008.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Foyer

We have been working on our house ever since we moved in 3 years ago. There have been big projects and small projects--difficult and easy. One of our current projects is the foyer. Several months ago I started a mural in the style of Rufus Porter but had to stop as we started a construction project in another part of the house that required putting furniture in front of my work. Over the weekend we removed a tile floor from the foyer in preparation for laying new flooring so the mural MUST be finished. Today I started working on it again.

Rufus Porter was an itinerant artist who worked in New England and traveled as far south as Virginia between 1820 and 1840. It was less expensive for people to have a mural painted than to import wallpaper, so he found a lot of work. Some of his murals are still in existence and have been preserved. His style was what we call today New England Primitive. In addition to being an artist, he was a teacher and an inventor. He also founded the Scientific American magazine. He was a really interesting man.

So, here is my mural so far. It still needs a lot of trees and bushes, some sheep on the hillsides, a duck in the millpond. Once all the details are painted it will be time to paint the foreground bushes and trees to finish it off.