As I’ve mentioned here before, I loaded up my bookshelf back in the 80’s and 90’s with a plethora, (yes, a plethora) of books on stenciling and decorative painting. This century has been a bit of a disappointment so far, if only for a lack of new material on my favorite subjects. Well, I’m happy to report that there are suddenly two whole new books on the market, and I was fortunate to be involved in both.
Decorative Finishes Inspired by the South of France offers 12 step-by-step finishes that Barb Skivington and I created, taught and applied (we DO climb the occasional ladder) at our Brandywine project for the Art of Living series. Check out some good project photos here and here. I have to give Barb and her staff all the credit for pulling this book together, and GUESS WHAT?? We are going to announce the NEXT Art of Living project later this week. It will be A-mazing.
Mural Painting Secrets for Success is the latest book by my best bud, Gary Lord. He asked some of the best mural artists in the world to contribute and somehow slipped me in there with them. I like to think that at least my project, with NO hand painting involved, is achievable by anyone! This is really a beautiful book with lots of sage business advice to go along with the eye candy projects.
Lest you think I have abandoned my kimono and Japanese design obsession, fear not! I have written previously about being asked to participate in an upcoming mural compilation book that my friend Gary Lord is doing. Well, seems I promised the editor some “new” mural photos for the gallery section a few months ago and she suddenly surprised me by wanting to collect on that commitment!?!? If the sign of a true artistic soul is to produce under pressure, then my hand is held high. Sign me up!
I decided to try a different kind of “mural”. This one is on canvas (typically) but the Roclon canvas is cut into the shape of a hanging kimono. Everytime I have picked it up I have always gone back to this one page in the book,Kimono, Vanishing Tradition, to look at this lovely wedding kimono shown above.
The crunch-time mural commitment finally gave me the opportunity to reinterpret it using a series of stencils from our Royal Design Studio Kimono Collection.
I used Shimmerstone (a metallic plaster) as the base and to do the embossed stenciling over the glazed green area. I then simply used different colors of Modern Masters Metallic paints to add the colors through the stencils to the dried embossed designs. It is a much softer look than the original, and not quite as detailed, but I was pretty pleased with the outcome and now have something new to hang on the walls at the new building. The photography is by Gary Conaughton.
My dear friend Gary Lord is in the process of writing yet another book for Northlight. This one is on murals and will feature step by steps of a wide variety of mural projects. Taking a different approach, he has asked many different people in the industry to contribute projects, including me! Now, even though I wrote a book for Northlight myself back in 2000 called Trompe L’oeil Murals Using Stencils, I don’t consider myself a muralist. I actually much prefer 2-dimensional design and composing with patterns and textures. SO, I chose to do something quite simple and graphic (plus, I procrastinated and was really squeezed for time!)
I have long wanted to develop these classic Japanese Cranes into Modello patterns, so this was the perfect opportunity! For the book project, I used the Floral Lattice stencil from Royal Design Studio, but we changed it up a bit for the new Modello Panels that we are offering. I troweled Lustestone, a metallic plaster material, over a gold metallic basecoat that had been rolled on pieces of Roclon canvas, so these could be hung from rods or simply wallpaper pasted to the wall. I was quite pleased with the way they turned out! The book will be available next Spring.