This graceful small side table was brought to me by a client to embellish with Trompe L’oeil pearls and shells. She handed me a piece of striped fabric to guide my color scheme and I was off and running. I used a favorite bug pin from my own collection as a model for the ‘clasp’ on the casually piled string of pearls. The gold and garnet fly also represents my signature insect. The table top (27″ X 11″) is painted as faux marble in soft greens with just a few delicate lines threading through it. To keep the illusion of real marble, I even painted the underside of the tabletop, so it would look like an actual piece of stone when you turn the table upside down. Loose pearls of various natural hues sit in a shell on the lower shelf which is painted a solid Sea-foam blue.
The request for this vintage tray (provided by the client) was for “lots and lots of scallop shells”. I tried to paint them as if they were randomly scattered on the tray to avoid making the piece look like a summer camp project of glued-down shells. I included a star fish as well as a variety of sizes and kinds of shells, all facing many directions. I had an actual shell or critter model for every item I painted. One of my models was an enormous orange shell. If you look at my Scallop Shell Lazy Susan you will see the inside of this same shell which is actually purple and white! The tray has a glass insert that protects all my painted shells. I did not change the nice mahogany finish of the rim or the background surface, I merely touched up a couple bad spots and sealed the entire piece. I also painted the handles metallic gold.
This little child’s chair is painted as if it were a mural. The chair belonged to the client who gave me free reign to do whatever I wanted and this was the result. The beach scene wraps around all surfaces of the chair. The light house is a famous one, I am sure you recognize it. The model for the hyper-realistic copper sand pail was a miniature pail that I stuck into rice to capture the look I wanted. The seagulls were taken from photos a friend took at the beach. The sand castle which I painted on one of the sides was a particularly difficult challenge.
This was one of the most challenging subjects requested of me by a client. Scallop sea shells! I had no idea before doing research for this piece how varied Scallop shells were. A Special thank you to my seashell and starfish collecting friends for loaning me so many specimens as models! I especially enjoyed painting the insides of the shells. Particularly difficult were the grey toned shells from Cape Cod because the tops were dark while the deeper grooves were light colored. This made creating depth a real challenge. I am so pleased with the way the star fish came out, as well as some of the other kinds of sea shells! And the barnacles! They were great little details to paint. Since the underside of the lazy Susan (supplied by the client) was as finely finished as the top, it is just as easy to use upside down, therefore I painted it a faux pink marble as an alternative.