This box was handmade by a man in the 1920’s as a gift for his new step daughter. He wanted it to be for her doll clothes. In the summer of 2017 I was asked to restore and brighten the box before it was presented as a holiday gift to the grandniece of the original maker. Although I was given free reign I did not want to ruin the integrity of the piece. I could see Pine trees and Native American influences in his precise geometric patterns. As you can see in the two “before” pictures, the gold colored edging was blackened or totally gone, and many areas of paint were also worn away. I matched and freshened the colors and put fresh gold paint on all the edges. The inside cover was lined with glued-on bright pink foil paper (not shown), and so too was the removable tray . Most of the foil paper was in bad shape and I removed it, but I chose to keep it inside the tray in tribute to the box’s history. A serious crack in the structure of the lid needed strong glue. I learned the box had been created in Oregon and I searched for images that would evoke its origins. I found multiple photos of a landscape attributed to the Pacific Northwest and used them to create a scene which pulls in the colors from the outside of the box. Sunflowers and Lupines are native to the area as is the California Dog Face butterfly.
This four drawer bureau is number 3 in my “Cloud Chest” series. The sun is hovering at the horizon with a a purple glow that bounces off the low lying clouds around all three sides. I painted three autumn leaves in Trompe L’oeil style on the cream colored top and tried to use only the colors from the sunset in the leaves while still having three distinctly different colored flora. There is a ladybug as my signature critter. The “slats’ across the drawer fronts are actually solid pieces of carved wood. Sorry but this piece sold immediately in the first show in which I presented it. It stands 37″ tall and is 26″ X 15”.
This is a portrait of a home which sits at the summit of a woodsy hill in Connecticut. It was a pleasure to paint! The front yard was of great importance to the owner of this house, however in reality this hill is so loaded with tall trees that the view of the architecture is severely obscured from the road. I simplified the trees but made sure to accurately depict and include all the huge boulders, the Mountain Laurel, Hosta, Hydrangeas, and of course the flags! I like to include critters where I can, so I placed a squirrel actively over looking the property as he clings to a tree trunk. I painted the deer, who are frequent visitors in this area, off in the distance. This piece is painted on a 20″ X 24″ wood canvas in acrylics.
This stone was commissioned as a memorial to a loved one. I painted the motorboat at its regular mooring with “Johnny’s” hat painted in Trompe L’oeil style. I worked from photoes of his boat and the lake where he moored it, but I had Johnny’s real hat sitting on my work table as I painted it. I tried to capture the feel of the canvas fabric and the stitching. It was such a big hat that I could not make it life size or it would have covered the whole surface! A simple message on the side says it all. The stone is about 16 ” in diameter and 2 inches thick. The shape of the stone suggested a heart to me; It was all I needed for inspiration. My first step in starting the piece was to block it in with chalk.