Harness Park on the Connecticut shore was the inspiration for this intense, hyper-realism mural, a most ambitious project. I painted it on the wall of a small breakfast nook, creating the sensation of a garden being accessible right from the kitchen. In preparation, I took photos from all over the park and worked them into an imaginary ideal garden. I painted the path and the base board to match the real stone tile floor. The real gate you see is an antique wrought iron piece that the owner of the mural eventually attached to the wall so that it could swing open in welcome. The balance of the design is completed by the gate.
Many of the photos posted here were taken while the mural was in progress and you can discern my process in some of them. If you look close you can see differences between views such as unfinished edges, butterflies that were added last and white spaces for the Peonies which were not yet painted. Unfortunately these photos were taken in the days before I owned a digital camera, so I apologize for some fuzziness.
The client brought me her daughter’s old table and requested Trompe L’oeil pink Peonies.Although flat objects are easier to paint in a ‘Fool-the-Eye’ style, I was delighted with the challenge. Trompe L’oeil should tell a story, so I included a scissors which is still wet from cutting the flowers.A lady bug has come in with the blossoms by accident. Water droplets on the leaves, petals and scissor blades add to the realism.This table came to me in a dry, stripped condition with damaged areas and a request for a subtle color scheme.I pulled out the details of the table itself with simple taupe, grey and cream which also helped down play the missing molding on one corner. A peony is a flower with multiple layers of petals and is not exactly easy to paint.For those of you who are interested in my process, I included a photo here of an early stage of this piece.You can see that I have painted the leaves, but the highlights of the flower petals have been done in just white, allowing the background to show through for depth.The next step was a pink wash over the whole blossom.