Thursday, October 09, 2014

"Emergency" Cabinet Redo

I am often asked to update or makeover cabinets and furniture, but I'd never had anyone call their cabinets " a total disaster" and ask for my opinion, and then my services, as an EMT.

I had just finished a glazing/distressing job with my painting buddy Carol, and was headed out the client's drive when the interior designer who had hired us called.  She said that if we weren't too far down the road, she'd like us to go back to the newly constructed home next door and offer a critique of finishes their cabinet contractor had done in the master bath and the kitchen.  Apparently the results were disastrous and the homeowners distraught about what to do.  As you can see from the "before" photos, the cabinets were pretty awful.

Kitchen "after" repaint and refinish.
Aged distressed cabinet detail.
I've seen quite a few amateurish distressing and finish outcomes, but never anything so outrageously unacceptable done by a professional.  I asked if the cabinet maker had been paid. When they said he was still owed a substantial sum, I told them not to pay any more until they were satisfied.  If he would not or could not fix them, they should get bids on the cost the cost of refinishing and subtract that cost from the balance.  I took a few photos as they indicated I might be called to give an estimate.  I ended up with both "emergency" fixes.
The disastrous "before"
Another portion of the "before"...
When the cabinet maker was confronted, he first got angry - then admitted he had lost his "finisher" - and so he'd done the work himself.  He admitted they were not like the sample he'd shown them (which was similar to what I did).   But it's lucky I took photos, as his cooperative attitude was short lived. He had carpentry work yet to finish there, and when they called me to re-do the jobs, they warned me he might be "unpleasant."  He was.

Suffice it to say, I am glad I am a rather laid back person as he kept snooping and sniping about the owners as I worked; trying to see how I did what I do and having the nerve to ask me what products I use.  It's really not much about what you use, it's how you use it. 

And for a little lighter mood:  Here's a couple of my most recent fosters:  Briggs and Stratton... Well they have great motors...  purrrrrr....
Briggs - with his nursing mustache...
Foster kitten "Stratton" at four weeks of age.  I love her spotted nose.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Ch- ch - ch - ch - changes... And an Altar that is a series within a series...

Recently I posted this 24 x 24 landscape that I had finished quickly for an event.  Bringing it home and living with it a bit, I found it lacked something.   A friend suggested horses, and at first I couldn't see them.  But like the figures in a Harry Potter photograph or painting, they entered the frame and moved across the surface until I found them lolling there.  There was a Dylan song with the line: All the tired horses in the sun, how'm I s'posed to get any riding done...   Yes, these could be Dylan's horses, basking in the sunny golden grasses.
Fields of Gold - 24 x 24 acrylic on deep cradle panel - now at Sautee Gallery for the Fall show.. 
I also softened the tree's foliage.  It looks complete to me now.  I do love those "empty" spaces in landscape, though.  I'll prolly be doing another version of this - sans equine - until I get it right, or the horses move in again.
Original version. 

Friday, September 05, 2014

New Altar: From Every Dream - And it's SOLD!

Finished another.  I really love making these and I've only two more pre-constructed - er- constructions.  Can't wait to work up some new ones in different sizes and configurations.  I made twenty of these 28 x 23 x 2 - and all but those last two have been sold.

I continue to love grape tendrils as additions.  They are each so unique, spiraling and reaching out.  They can be bouquets, branches, decorations, twigs, and even tiny trees.  They are tough and paintable, and can be woven into quite strong and resilient forms.  I've even made jewelry from them... (now there's a post I should do).
Acrylic painting and mixed media including pine, cedar branches, grape tendrils, feathers, wire, found objects.
And being a person who loves poetry and recombinant verbiage (my term), I have made the piece fun to read out loud.  Listen, glean, glisten, gleam... Ideas come from every dream.
The painting in detail.  Acrylic on wood panel.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Crush Fest - An outdoor show - my first in years..

With a borrowed canopy and racks, along with a few things of my own, I set up a booth at a local Winery for their 2nd annual Crush Fest.  It was really hot, but weather stayed clear till about 4 pm when it thundered and rained for a short while before clearing again until time for load out.  Good crowds who paid $30 each to attend and sample several wines made here. 
 There were bagpipers!  About scared the fire out of me before I realized what that sound was. There's a large population of Scotch-Irish descendants hereabouts, so pipers are really popular.
The winery (Yonah Mountain Vineyards) exhibits art from Sautee Galleries, where I often show.  I sold a piece out of the winery which made up my mind to attend Crush Fest as a vendor.  I shared the booth with my good friend Carol - who sold 4 pieces! I would do the Fest again, even though I didn't sell anything, because I met a gallery owner who wants work - and two previous clients who want additional art!  Good Day!
Fields of Gold - 24 x 24 acrylic on deep panel.   New for this show.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Still painting!

A couple of photographs of Where Horses Go, acrylic on mahogany headboard.  48 x 24.  I posted both of these as the color is more accurate in the first one, but the focus is better in the second.  I'm having a lot of focusing trouble with my little Panasonic digital.  Painting is currently being shown at the Sautee-Nacoochee Galleries.

The writing at top is this quote:  
"Somewhere... somewhere in times' own space, there must be some sweet pasture space,
where creeks sing on and tall trees grow -some paradise where horses go.      - Stanley Harrison

Where Horses Go

Friday, May 02, 2014

Good Clients Make the Process A Pleasure

I've been working for several months now with the same client as she moved into and furnished/decorated her new home.  Cynthia hired me as an artistic consultant based upon our working together several years back on projects for her former home.  We had a good working relationship that has turned into friendship. I am honored that she trusts me to advise on - and then to execute many paint, finish and art projects for her.

I would never call myself a decorator.  What I do is ask questions, offer courageous color options, and often just explain why something will or won't work in a given space.  My philosophy of one's living space is that it should make you smile every time you enter.  Serenity and comfort are important - but just feeling good in the space is paramount. I don't follow any rules, nor do I advise decorating for "resale" value.  It's all about making it personal and meaningful, and understanding how our perception of our environment works physiologically gives courage to decision making.
60" round table with three leaves.  Ordered unfinished and painted with a soft white glaze that lets the wood grain show.  To give the table smaller scale and interest, a black ring with filigree was added.  The pedestal legs are aged slightly to show off the curves.  All the chairs are mismatched natural wood.  In the background you can see the refinished kitchen cabinets and part of the faux/decorative hallway.  More on these next time.
Detail of painted circle.
Granite countertop was added to the island, replacing tiles.  The soft dark gray is brushed with black tones and some of the wood left showing through for a casual rustic look. 

This sofa or side table was refinished to work with other furniture in the room - apologies for this photo.  Definitely not not properly set up for a photoshoot!
And because no posting is complete without one of the kitties - here is a pic of Mr.Cheddars at four weeks of age.  Cuteness overload.  I started fostering him at 3 days old and now I can't give him up!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring = Hard work

I picked up a biography of Paul Simon last week for $1.00.  Brand new book, found it at Dollar Tree of all places, and I figured how bad could it be?  Filled with photos and way too many (for me) music facts (I listen, but am ignorant about studio musicians, processes and lists of songs) but a really good read, nonetheless.  As I read, and between reading sets, I find myself singing and humming the great Simon and Garfunkel songs of my generation.
Bridge Over Troubled Waters was "my" song when I was wed many years back.  And today I can't get Graceland out of my head.  There are worse things to have stuck there...  Just as good - only different!

When did the days get so short?  Seems like I'm just getting started and it's 7 o'clock, and I'm all tired out - and hardly anything is finished!  Time seems to slip on by.  I know I'm not as quick - nor do I have quite the same stamina as twenty or so years back, but really!

So much yard/garden work to get done, furniture jobs to finish, house needs Spring cleaning, painting,,,  and then there are the kittens I am fostering.  Add to that a huge project for a local animal rescue and it's no wonder I've not been painting for myself as much as I'd like.  Going to remedy that; put myself back on a schedule. Otherwise I tend to just putter in the yard, pulling up poison ivy, planting, weeding, burning brush - all the things that I can find an excuse to do because the weather is so beautiful.

Power and Glory . 24 x 24 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas . $475.
Found time to finish this for the current Sautee show.  Finished a couple of animal portraits, and have three more to do in the next couple of weeks as well as a commissioned landscape.  So I'm busy!  Just not getting to do much "personal" art.    

Rescue Dog - 12 x 12 acrylic on canvas
Rescue dog - 12 x 12 acrylic on canvas
Out walking last week - still lots of Red Bud in bloom...  no Morels, though..sigh.

Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Madison Square Garden,...