We express ourselves artfully everyday. Revealing our natural creativity, which is only limited by our own imaginations. We oftentimes display it in subtle ways, the way we wrap a scarf, or arrange a bouquet of flowers. The way we choose to feather our nests for a desired look. Combining talent and items that aesthetically express our personalities intrinsically. But sometimes when achieving a new look we must elevate our comfort level and relax enough to dismiss our fears of what other people may perceive.
"This world is but a canvas to our imagination."
~Henry David Thoreau~
Todays post invites you back inside our row-home for a share of some of my own artful expression. I've approached our interior design with a more textural feel than overall prints. But animal prints do appear. I prefer geometric patterns and I've hand painted a Harlequin pattern throughout our home along with hand painted Black olive branches. They appear in almost every room and very well may be my signature expression.
I am an artist who paints murals and does faux painting, besides writing poetry. I mix my own paint colors and make glazes to accomplish my intended expression for clients as well as myself.
In our Dining room my hand painted armoire offers an abundance of storage space for dishes, glasses and linens all used in entertaining. It is set against our checkerboard wall that was faux painted by me on 24x24 inch Kraft paper which we crafted into a wallpaper that extends into the kitchen. John was responsible for hanging all my 24x24 pieces and I think at the time of gluing and applying them onto the wall I was John's least favorite person! For you see Kraft paper has a mind of it own and when wet it stretches. Who knew! My intention in creating handmade wallpaper was to correct our old homes plaster walls multitute of sins from settlement and hopefully disguise fine cracks. It did - but oh my what a labor intensive ordeal!
We purchased this armoire unfinished, it is Red Oak as is our almost 90 year old hardwood floors. I love oaks open surface grain and for this armoire I made up two different glaze stains for the overall pickling/liming of the piece and then overlaid a taupe/grayish glaze/stain on top for the Harlequin pattern.
Then I painted my art of Black olives, in my imagination I (wish to) reside/retire one day in Tuscany. This photo shows an up close look at the upper olives...
Photo of the lower Black olive branch on the drawer, After curing my paints for at least 30 days I waxed the entire armoire 3 times with satin/clear Bri-wax.
A closeup of the armoire's side and of our metal chairs we use at our table as extra sitting. John welded together broken pieces of iron found in his Dad's basement. Who, to his final days could not remember how they ended up there! I faux painted them and we covered the seats with (sigh) Mongolian Lamb seat covers. Perhaps originally lawn chairs they intrigue us and seat guests.
Hanging on the checkerboard wall is my 2014 Christmas gift from John. A one of a kind Papier Mâché Creole Angel house created by Doré of Burlap Luxe. I love shadows at play and this captures them in a hauntingly beautiful way. I swear I've spent my life chasing the beauty of shadows as they dance and play and spark my imagination. On the very day Doré listed this amazing piece I had purchased a piece of jewelry and honestly was broke. So I showed it to John who was instantly captivated by the New Orleans charm and the shingles on the roof and said want it? Merry Christmas... Some art is meant to reside with us in our hearts and home.
Just thought I'd share my nearly 5 foot high (if you stretch out each branch) curly Willow branches in our Demi-John. I love the wildness of the branches as they add an organic layer against the Japanese wallpaper of hand applied leaves. Our little wine corner in the Dining room... I so wish I could magically say poof and turn it into an actual wine cellar. Ahhhhh the allure of dreams.
I've recently fell in love with all of Villabarnes hand cut metal shapes. On our antique olive oil jar we added one of Rosemary's very creative metal cut outs. We strung the handcut tag with triple wrapped picture frame wire. Always adding those industrial chic touches to our home we think the wire looks cool.
Our antique Olive oil jar has an up light in it and it sits left to our 300 year old Buddha. John drilled through it to wire for the light, which adds a romantic warm glow. In future posts I will share many more of Rosemary's creative cutouts made from salvaged metal and where I've placed them which add interest and curiosity to our home.
Up in our Bedroom you'll find my hand painted armoire with a Harlequin pattern and Fleur-de-Lis. This piece is a Pine piece and didn't have the beauty of the open Red Oak armoire downstairs. But no problem, to achieve the same effect I've always appreciated a challenge. After all I pride myself in my faux painting and ability to make art.
I first painted the entire armoire cottage White. Next step I mixed up a taupe/grayish color to paint the Harlequin pattern on. Then I mixed a glaze/stain the color hue of natural Red Oak to do a paint technique to "fingers crossed" look/resemble the grain showing through like the armoire in our Dining room. Closeup photo of the side.
Enlarged closeup up of my Fleur-di-Lis art I painted, it's actual measurement is only 3 inches high. It was directly painted atop the Harlequin and reflects the layering of it.
Oftentimes I will personalize the inside doors as a unexpected surprise detail. The walls in our master are faux painted in a calming Green in what I call my faux Rain finish. My mind never shuts up so it is important to me to have a soothing bedroom as inspirational thoughts and ideas follow me 24/7.
John as an artful expression a few years ago built me this Dracula Castle as a gift. I am fascinated by Vampire stories and actually I'm currently writing a short story/fable about a young college student who becomes a Vampire. One day when finished I will share it on my blog. But I warn you in advance its different from any of my normal/other shared poetry. To me the fable is passionate and erotic.
John purchased plans for the Dracula Castle on etsy and then decided the size, turrets, roof and floor architectural design were not what he envisioned. So he redesigned his own plans. Yes, John too is very artistic. He printed it onto canvas and assembled the Castle in canvas, cardboard, foam-core and wood. It is displayed in our built-in bookcase in our sitting/reading room. Inside Amber fairy battery operated lights let us use this as a nightlight, OK perhaps a scary fantasy driven nightlight but indeed one we adore.
John gifted me with the handmade fully articulated Vampire and hand carved coffin made in England for the castle.
Close up inside the Dracula castle. The mice are my personal touch! Vera ... Mice ... Really? !!!
Staying in the sitting/reading room John printed onto canvas a Lamb photo I found and fell in love from Google images to help us celebrate Springtime. The Papier Mâché and plaster technique Believe banner was created for me by Méa of Méa's Vintage in Germany. Believe is one of the most magical words I know, it resonates in my soul.
For a moment just conjure up what the word truly means.
One of my most precious Springtime childhood memories involves going to my Aunt Vicky's (Mom's sister) and Uncle Otto's home. They raised Sheep, Sheep usually mate in the Fall and Lambs are born in Spring. When the new Lamb's were born I would pester, seriously torment my Mom to drive my Brother and I over to play with the baby Lambs. I can be very convincing,,, My brother Mike would tire before me with playing outside and go indoors to build with his Lincoln Logs. I would feed the Lambs with a baby bottle and play for hours on end until I was dragged inside.
I remember Aunt Vicky always baking pies when we would visit and the smell of freshly baked pie cooling on the countertop was enticing enough to get me away from the baby Lambs.
Méa's Believe banner is art that will constantly move about in our house and always remind me to just believe. The i is enhanced with an Rhinestone. I adore bling. Do you like me hold special words near and dear?
Meet Curly Lambeau. I asked Penny White of Angelsdoor to please create a Lamb for me for this Spring. Penny in an email asked me if I had a name picked out, after Penny had sent me a photo of my little Lamb headed to dwell in Philly. I replied no - but tonight I will go to bed and dream of his name.
Which I did, awaking in the morning feeling all cute and clever over coffee I googled Curly Lambeau. Guess what??? Over my morning Nespresso Cappuccino which I truthfully almost choked on, I discovered I'm not so clever! There was an Earl Louis "Curly" Lambeau. Founder, player and the first coach of the Green Bay Packers. Regardless, I've keep the name.
When I first saw Penny's little Lamb I was instantly smitten. To me he reminded me of my Mongolian Lamb pillows that add warmth and beauty throughout our row-home and brought back endearing childhood memories. Isn't that what oftentimes art is meant to convey? Recalling and triggering emotions in life we treasure most.
On our oval coffee table John cut out and I hand painted a Harlequin pattern in the same colors and glaze/stains as used in all our rooms and yes it truly is a signature expression in our home. The cross is a huge vintage piece purchased off etsy and pickled by me.
The eggs are faux and real quail eggs blown out. I chose not to do a lot of Spring/Easter decorating this year. I've keep it simple but in my next post I will share more of myself and it will be my Easter post.
Currently in our guest room Cheetah and Zebra mingle and play,
in hopes that our guests will have a fun and a relaxing stay.
I've learned long ago to never take my decorating style or myself too seriously and I always try to introduce the unexpected in accessories but remain true to what delights me. Trends come and go but classic's endure.
I'll be back in two weeks. I'm working on my Easter post. Hope you enjoy my poetry of Artful expression and underneath it I've included links to the artists I've shown in this post. Their artwork compliments and graces our home and their talent truly speaks to my soul. I feel enriched in the knowledge that these incredibly gifted artists I can consider friends.
The creativity you express comes from passionate emotion's deep within your soulful heart.
It is difficult sometimes to convey your inner thoughts as you begin to expressively start.
Brushstrokes, poetry, fashion, music, sculptures all are energy of expression that flows in harmony and awareness in your mind's perception.
Almost becoming an obsessive chaotic process as you hold onto your ideas and for me there never is any exception.
Yet the biggest obstacle I've found in acheiving artful expression always has been the dreaded fear of acceptance.
It limits the creative process and honest expression cannot capture your true intended heartfelt essence.
The energizing freedom you feel when you create from within is certainly worth the initial fear and feelings of self doubt.
Satisfaction and pride is the biggest reward for artistically creating in an abundance of energy you joyfully put out.
So please remember to never lose sight of your passionate expressive artistic side ...
For it truly is where your heart and soul desires to explore and will always reward with inner pride.