May 22nd, 2013
In this installment of our Stencil Star™ series, we feature the incredible artist Gracie Reed of Grace Designs Dallas. Based in Texas, she frequently designs spaces from ceiling to floor and incorporates her love of pattern and color with our wall stencils and stencil masking patterns in many of her design and decorative painting projects.
ABOUT GRACIE REED
Grace Designs in Dallas, Texas, offers a wide variety of of exquisite wall, ceiling, cabinetry, and mirror finishes. Gracie has been in business for over 10 years and always stays on the cutting edge of the most original and premier finishes. Gracie researches the latest products on the market and pattern application, antiquing mirrors, cabinetry, and putting a modern twist on antiques are part of her specialties.
Our Hearst Castle Stencil Collection for Modello™ Designs is in VERY good hands! A black and gold treatment goes über-glam with both a Hearst Panel Stencil (HearstPan108) and Hearst Allover Stencil (HearstAll100) designs. Gorgeous!
How do you determine which pattern will work for your project?
Usually, I can determine the pattern design for a project after understanding the client’s taste and viewing the selected areas of the job. After paying attention to the existing furniture, bed linens, art, flooring, etc., I study Melanie’s stencil patterns and compose the perfect fit.
Sensational furniture piece showcasing Gracie’s flair for balance, color and pattern! On this Japanese cabinet, she used one of our Modello® Designs Exotic East Stencil Panels with a beautiful color scheme.
What are your favorite surfaces to work on and design for?
Applying Italian plasters with Modello® Designs Stencils on ceilings is the ultimate for me! There is no end to the creative possibilities of types of surfaces, product mediums and Melanie’s designs!!!
Shimmery, elegant groin ceilings featuring a wonderful plaster treatment along with Modello® Designs Ornamental Center stencils (OrnCen193).
Jaw-dropping ceiling — but isn’t the whole room just lovely? Green and golds make for a perfect compliment to the room and she used a Modello® Designs Exotic East Corner vinyl stencil (EasCor102) to complete the treatment.
How does stenciling enhance your creative business?
Since starting my business in 2001, I have been constantly exploring every medium in the creative field to extend my sample portfolio for my clients. Every client has a unique design style, so the finishes have to be customized for that project. By using both Royal Design Studio mylar stencils and Modello® Design masking stencils, I can easily produce a “one-of-a-kind” appearance. At least 50% of my projects include stencil applications. They can transform an attractive finish into an exquisite form of art! Many of my retail antiques are adorned with stencil patterns to achieve a distinctive impression. All of my floors and mirrors can only be accomplished by using Modello® Designs Stencils.
Gracie creates stenciled canvas & mirror artworks as well. She frequently uses custom Modello™ Designs Stencils to fit the surface and style of each of her art and mirror pieces.
We are thrilled to share Gracie’s work with you! We’re so appreciative of having someone so talented using our stencil patterns so creatively. Be sure to visit Gracie’s website, Grace Designs Dallas, to see more of her incredible work and you can also find her on both Pinterest and Houzz. Don’t forget that you can pin these pictures for inspiration and follow us on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, too!
July 27th, 2012
This week’s installment of our Stencil Star™ series features the incredible works of Arizona-based husband and wife team, Anna & Scott Sadler of Surface Refinements. They use Modello Designs vinyl wall stencils and patterns in ever-creative and ways for many unique surfaces, such as mirrors and ceilings and also within their decorative paint finishes. Their love of design and patterns enable them to incorporate stencils in most all of their projects.
Anna & Scott Sadler
ABOUT SURFACE REFINEMENTS
Anna’s art business operated under different names for over 20 years, and had been based at times in Montreal, Naples (Florida) and Monte Carlo. She spent 5 years in the South of France and owned two art galleries in Monaco. She spent a summer in Tuscany studying fresco painting and took a watercolor and illustration class in St Paul de Vence, France with Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara Bach. The former Beatle and his actress wife were clients, as was Prince Albert of Monaco and several Formula One race car drivers. Then, talk about opposites attracting! Scott was a police officer in Toronto and personal trainer in Montreal. Anna was an accomplished artist who gave little thought to fitness. They met, fell in love and became successful business partners. Anna got interested in fitness and nutrition, and alternately, Scott in her growing business.
Now, the Scottsdale, AZ residents and native Canadians are a couple in every sense of the word. Surface Refinements specialize in hand applied finishes, encompassing every surface in a home, from walls, ceilings, mirrors and some furniture. Each project they undertake is a team effort. Gypsies at heart, they have enjoyed living in many destinations, having a transportable business that has afforded them many opportunities to explore the world. Their vision is what drives them to undertake what might be considered the impossible, and it is that vision realized that is so rewarding to them — the magic is when tape is pulled and the vinyl, the plastic and the furniture gets placed back in the room. Today, they are two individuals successful as one in a partnership that encompasses both their business and personal lives.
(above) A Modello Carpets & Panels vinyl stencil (Chateau CC118) is applied here over a chocolate and cream base along with several colors of leafing and tamise flakes.
How do Modello Designs vinyl stencils enhance your business?
Modello decorative stencil patterns enhance our creative business by giving us the ability to create old world craftsmanship with a modern application. We always approach every new project as an opportunity to enhance the spaces with the use of a Modello. Every surface from the walls to ceilings and mirrors are opportunities to create stunning visual and complex depths of pattern and color, with the use of leafing, plasters, glass beads, glitter and foils. The beauty of Modello masking adhesives is the ability to achieve these results without the need to spend months of time creating them.
Antique mirror and patterned surfaces are a specialty for Anne and Scott. (above) The mirror was aged and then patterned with a Modello Ancient Motifs stencil (AncMot312). It was the finishing touch to a Chicago penthouse foyer. The entire project had a Greek theme to it and the pattern set the tone perfectly upon exiting from the elevator entry. (below) The first image is a bath mirror with a Modello Ornamental Pattern (OrnPan186) which customized for the niche shape. The second is a customized ornamental panel stencil from the Modello Hearst Collection (OrnPan 108). “Melanie Royals was instrumental in tweaking that pattern to work for the space. We used gold leafing and shellacs, and aged the mirrors to give a more antique and masculine feel,” Anna shares. “The client was ecstatic!”
What are your favorite surfaces to work and design Stencils for?
Well, our necks may not agree, but our favorite surface has to be ceilings. We are fortunate to work in homes that have some pretty outstanding architectural surfaces just begging to be showcased and enhanced with pattern. Ceilings are definitely a focal point and are ideal places to apply a design, setting the stage for spectacular dramatic effects that compliment the rest of the interior. If I can slide in our second favorite surface, it would be mirrors. We are so enjoying the creativity involved with applying pattern to mirrors. They have become our canvas of choice! It’s a fascinating process where we are able to take brand new mirror, and by using the antiquing solution to the reverse side of the mirror, we are able to create the look of old tarnished antique mirror. Further enhanced by pattern, every piece is truly unique in the creative partnership we have between Mother Nature and ourselves!
(above) The large dome was done with a designer foil in a copper green gloss, with the double borders done with a combination of celestial leafing for one of the borders and a three-color metallic finish for the other. Both are Modello Ornamental Border vinyl stencil patterns (OrnBor101 and OrnBor154). (below) The dome ceiling was an Old World plaster technique using various Faux Effects products, and then the team at Modello designed a custom Modello Ornamental Motif pattern (OrnMot176) for the insets.
What is your top Stenciling tip?
Number one rule with us is measure, measure, measure! One can never be too accurate and we triple check ourselves to be absolutely certain we are bang on with our measurements that are submitted to the design team at Modello Designs. One tip that has been helpful in the numerous odd shaped ceilings and domes we do, is to use tape to measure around the perimeter for the border. We run the tape around the circular border, then remove the tape, lay it on the ground, and measure the tape. Works perfectly every time!
(above) The beautiful groin ceiling was done with a custom 4-color plaster treatment over a coppery-gold designer foil. The pattern was customized and based on a Modello Architectural Center stencil (AchCen206).
Another tip we use when working on groin ceilings or niches, is to make a template out of Kraft paper or lighter weight Rosin paper, in addition to all our measuring, and send that along to the Modello team. We also like to order a paper plot of the design on more complex groin ceilings, to get a good visual prior to finalizing the Modello order in vinyl. If there is any tweaking or adjustments to be done, it’s WELL worth taking the time to double check with that paper plot at a fraction of the cost of the Modello vinyl stencil.
(above) This dining room stunner was created with a Modello Carpets & Panels vinyl stencil (ChavallCC105) which is perfect for ceilings, too!
Anna and Scott are so creative with patterns and designs on any surface — it’s no wonder their artistry is exemplary! We have profiled some of their more unique projects before as well. Do be sure to keep up with them on their Facebook page, Surface Refinements. Many thanks to them both for their enthusiasm and design savvy with our Modello vinyl stencil patterns and innovative finishes!
July 5th, 2011
I have been super fortunate to have been given the opportunity to plan and lead painting adventures to many beautiful cities and countries of the world: France and Italy with my friend Gary Lord, and Marrakech with the help of Maryam Montague. These trips have now actually become an integral part of my business AND personal life. I love doing all the research and planning for both painting and enjoying the local culture, and most especially introducing new experiences to the students who sign on to these trips. With the help of my friend in Barcelona, Paul Deprez, I have just returned from a 2-week stay in Barcelona and the Catalunya region.
This was my fourth visit to Barcelona, and each time my love for this city grows exponentially. So much so that I am already planning a return painting trip for September 2012! But back to THIS trip….I have so much to share, but thought I should start with the primary reason *cough* for the tour-the decorative painting classes.
The trip was planned to include a 6 night stay in the city and 6 nights in a former monestary in the hills nearby.The monestir, Sant Jeroni de la Murtra, was partially burned and sacked in the 19th century during a widespread backlash against the corruption and power of the church. It is now run by a private foundation that maintains it as a place for solitude, silence, and encourages artistic pursuits.
We were able to set up some small, low-ceilinged rooms as studio spaces to work on a range of projects. I wanted to take the opportunity to incorporate some forthcoming stencils from The Hearst Castle Collection, as these were designs created by Julia Morgan to decorate Hearst Castle in a Spanish/Mediterranean Revival style.
The Delphine Panel sample was done on smooth textured plaster background. We laid in the initial color and pattern with a simple dry-brush stencil technique. I was inspired by the amazing work of Italian artist, Carolina d’Ayala Valva, to overpaint the stenciling with washes of color to create a luminous look.
Some day, I would love to have the opportunity to study with Carolina in her Rome Atelier, but in the meantime I have her wonderful book, which I highly recommend! After painting with watered-down acrylics (as opposed to the traditional egg tempera) the painting on plaster was sanded to distress, and given a soft toning glaze.
Here is lovely Nancy showing off her own completed panel.
Another panel that I have taken from Julia Morgan’s amazing architectural drawings is the Pescado Panel. It is full of whimsical birds and fish that appear almost happy to have been caught-ha!
This panel is stenciled with three colors of our new Royal Stencil Cremes over a background of composition gold leaf. The gold leaf has been patinated and distressed with a safe chemical process that I am still perfecting-as much as you “can” perfect a chemical process! Once I have it a little more “under control”, I will surely share the details.
Another project that we worked on was a faux tile mural. For this we again used upcoming Hearst Castle Collection stencils. In this case we simply used them as patterns to trace and then add loose hand painting to create the look of classic Portuguese tiles. My sample above shows the mural in various stages of completion. I hope to finish the mural in the next couple of weeks. It was thrilling for me to have the time to actually pick up a brush and paint, as it seems my hands are most often attached to a computer keyboard these days!
This study shows the final effect of the last step-adding a China Crackle layer (from Modern Masters) and rubbing in a toning glaze to reveal the cracks and add depth and aging.
Here is a completed mural by Debbie Hayes, who was the fastest painter of the bunch of us! It’s quite beautiful, isn’t it? All of the stencils featured in the projects above will be available soon from Royal Design Studio stencils!
Another decorative style that is synonymous with Barcelona is Modernisme, the uniquely Catalunyan version of Art Nouveau. I wanted to honor that heritage, and so we also did a tecnique using metallic foils with a new Modello Marquetry Masking Pattern stencil from Modello Designs.
On our way from Barcelona to the monestir, we stopped at Espintura Studio to do an embedded tile pattern technique with SkimStone and a Modello masking pattern.
Now that I am back, I’m continuing to work on the videos and lessons for my next Virtual Workshop combining these two mediums.
I hope you enjoyed seeing our painting samples from Barcelona! As I said above, I am already planning a return trip in Sept. 2012, so drop me an email if you want to be the first to get those details when they become available!. The details on this recent trip are still available here.
You can view more photos from the Barcelona painting class and trip in my flickr sets!