Monday, January 29, 2018

Landscape Murals for RBW

We have decamped from the glacial freeze of New England to paint a sky mural and install artwork which Lena Fransioli & Brooke Sheldon painted in our studio on canvas. This installation is happening in the Raised By Wolves lounge at the Westfield UTC, San Diego. The landscapes in the lounge will be in the Hudson River School style and the art in the retail space is based on the French artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Once all the canvas is installed on the walls, our artists will continue painting on them in oils, adding the glazes that create the depth and beauty of a classical painting.

The images above and below are three quarters finished, painted with acrylic on canvas. Artist's oils will be added on location to refine and enrich the art. These paintings will go on the left and right of a fireplace in this "invitation only" speak-easy, hidden through a rotating fireplace wall in the retail space.

The retail space, which anyone may enter, with out being a chosen "hipster", will have a sky on the ceiling which blends down into the murals depicted below. These murals are also only partially finished, needing the addition of artist's oils, you can see Lena in the process in the last photo. 

Thanks for reading and happy spring.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Impressionist Panels

Lena and Brooke are painting three panels in the studio to be installed in the retail part of the Raised By Wolves lounge in San Diego. After this base coat of color which will serve as the background for the finished painting, Lena asked me to photograph it in detail before it was lost under many coats of paint. She thought they looked like French impressionist paintings and wanted to preserve the whimsical look. I liked the simplicity but saw the problems of using these images as a final product, since they were not painted with that in mind. After photographing, stitching and correcting the distortion, each of these files is a little over 10 feet high. Below is the end result.

Here are the problems & how I solved them. First, they painted a blue sky background color, but only to the upper part of the canvas. Not only is there a line across the image where the blue ends, but it contaminated the color of the upper part of the painting because it bleeds through the thin paint. The tree trunks transitioning from white to blue is an issue too.

I added the blue from the sky to the bottom half but the result was flat so I added texture mapping, which had the effect of lightening and creating a water like look. I made a mask for the top half of the painting and corrected the colors to match the bottom. The trees had blue sky color coming through them, so I added brush strokes to the trunks. The transition between sky and "ground" is now vastly improved and the color consistent from top to bottom.

This is the image I used to map the texture in the blue, with some added distortion and blurring.

Now I have three impressionistic panels in files that I can print 125”H. . Here are before and after my Photoshop “magic”. 

Lena and Brooke are very excited about this new technique and plan to paint lots more in this style in the future.

Happy holidays to all and a prosperous 2018!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Leaving On A Jet Plane

We are flying out to Sweden today to visit Zoë and, yahoo, Danielle is meeting us there. A mini family reunion in a beautiful place. 

We are wrapping up last minute work, Lena is painting a vent to disappear into the fancy wallpaper it is set in and I am shipping a mural paper I finished yesterday. Lena is standing in front of 4 of the 8 panels going in a 20 year old's bedroom in Manhattan. They are tacked to the studio wall to let them dry before shipping.
Thank you Jos for originally commissioning the girls to paint this beautiful mural.

Bon Voyage to us!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Making New Portfolios

In February 2017 Zoë Design and Dessin Fornir formed a partnership for representation of our Wall Coverings, in their New York, Chicago and Los Angeles showrooms. Since then, I have spent my spare time making new portfolios for all our showroom reps to carry on the road. My first set of books is almost ready and I wanted to share what I have learned.

This is the Murals wallpaper portfolio almost ready for binding.

Each page needed to have all the information about the pattern on it, including name, description or inspiration, approximate repeat, substrate type and size of rolls. 

Below are the all new metallics and an architect's tube, for transport.

The book was getting so heavy and thick, we decided to split the work into three books. Mural Papers, Patterned Wallpapers and Metallic Wall Coverings. The metallics can be transported in an architect's plan case because they relax fairly quickly (see above). This means, with our 5 showrooms, I need to make twelve portfolios! One down, almost. By the end of the month, I should be a master at the art of book binding.

Here are all the pages of the Patterns book, sans covers.

The Mural Papers and Patterns folios are almost complete, needing only the back covers. 

Soon to be the back cover and inside liner of the Patterns book.

Tea Paper on silver, from the Metallics folio. We love this because, when the reflection is dark, it has light lines on a dark background and when the light reflects it has dark lines on a light background. In the photo below, the white back of the next sample is reflected in the left hand side.

Tomorrow, I will finish the cracked plaster samples and get the book assembled. After that, I can relax because I only have 12 more. 

Thanks for tuning in.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Mural for the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm

Our daughter Zoë attended the Beverly Waldorf School for years. Since then, the school has moved their campus to a larger and better facility at Moraine Farm in Beverly. 

Our friend and client Jonathan Poore of Poore & Co. assisted the Waldorf School with campus planning and interior design at the new facility. The concept for the lobby / hallway, depicting shadows cast from children at different life stages in a color wash was a story telling exercise meant to convey the “Developmental Journey” from early childhood to eighth grade. 

The entry tree is a welcoming and sheltering gesture.

The first box and mural images represent early childhood.

Second box and images portrays grade school.

And finally, the box at the end of the hall and happy teen shadow illustrates middle school.

We love working with Jonathan because of his impeccable taste, keen sense of conceptual design and especially color.

Lena was assisted in bringing Jonathan’s vision to life by Kasia Mirowska of Miro Art & Design.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Bring Nature Inside With Biophilic Imagery

At our cottage in Maine, we have continued the biophilic theme by installing one of our mural papers in a bedroom. It is a scenic mural originally painted by Lena in Lincolnshire, UK, depicting the fresco "Villa of Livia" (Circa. 30-20 BCE) housed at the Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome, Italy.

Here is a link to my 18 second video of the finished installation.

We flew to UK and I photographed the painting in detail, stitching together many hundred photos into the final wallpaper mural measuring 28’ 6” long and repeating from the right edge onto the left. The entire mural is delivered on 15 - 24” drops. 

Original Mural in Lincolnshire, UK conservatory.
While we were installing the mural in the bedroom we had the fabulous people of Stone Surface Granite & Marble, Bridgton, ME, installing new counter tops in the bathroom  and kitchen. Most of the stone was a gift from our generous friend and client Lisa Cunningham of Warner - Cunningham (Chestnut Hill, MA). It was removed from a remodel project in Brookline, MA. Every time either Lena or I wash a dish, we relish our new farm sink.

Also new at our Crystal Lake getaway is another wallpaper installation where we bring the outdoors - in. It started in the driveway a few years ago. While raking one fall day, I looked down and noticed that the worms had created a fine tracery pattern on most of the leaves. I got a few old books and started gathering and placing them between the pages to flatten and dry. Months later I took them out of the books and photographed them, turning them into a variety of leaf patterns. The color of the leaves is perfect with the pine paneling in the house and the slight opposing color in the background really brings out the warm hue. It seems quite fitting that the wallpaper was created, using leaves collected just outside the door.

Lena's grandfather, Thomas Adrian Fransioli, an artist of some note, painted and glued the shells on this piece in the hall.

We can deliver “Fall Leaves” on any background color. The size and color of the leaves is also customizable.

We have two bedrooms and the living room remaining as open pallets for our wallpapers, finishes or murals. Because I want to keep to the theme of bringing the outdoors in, we are planning wall coverings. 

We are thinking of using “Passion Flower” in the master bedroom. This pattern was created from a fragment of historic Swedish wallpaper.

And for the kids bedroom we are installing “Cherry Blossom”. I envisioned the blossoms floating down with a beautiful sky background but Lena thinks the small, cut up nature of the room requires something less complicated and requested a simple greenish blue ground. I was inspired to create the Cherry Blossom pattern during a client meeting, in a Washington, D.C. back yard during the height of “cherry blossom season”. I was enchanted by petals floating down into our portfolio. We were brushing out dried flowers for months.

I will post more when we have finished the next two rooms. Thanks for your support.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Paradise Lost Mural and Crete Wallpaper Install

Lena Fransioli and Brooke Sheldon painted this 20 foot long mural a few years ago for a Wiccan meeting room in New Hampshire. The other walls in the room really needed to be upgraded from the primitive sponging on the walls. It was unanimous that our "Crete" wallpaper pattern had the look, color and style for the mural and the room. Our friends Greg Kahler and David Morse of Paper Hanging and Design do the super fast wallpaper install you'll see at the end of the video.

I reproduced the columns on either side of the mural to complete the corner and added a drop shadow over our Crete pattern to wrap the room. Everyone is completely happy with the end result. Thanks to PHD for an excellent installation.