Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Water Lilies Mural Paper

Wilson Kelsey Design asked us to create a homage to Monet for a bath they were designing for the 2018 DXV Design Panel. Their design is based on the room housing Monet’s "Water Lilies" in the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris. Lena and Brooke used photos of Giverny, Monet's home, for reference but used the modern color pallet of Bonard. 

Zoë Design’s Water Lilies mural takes on a life of it’s own, emphasizing almost brash juxtapositions. It is, at times, bright and dynamic and at others calm and deep. Their aim was to wed the classical elegance of John and Sally’s design with the room’s equally important contemporary flair.

The Nymphéas [Water Lilies] cycle occupied Claude Monet for three decades, from the late 1890s until his death in 1926. He referred to this cycle as his "great decoration”, taking it’s final form in the l’Orangerie: a panoramic frieze laid out almost seamlessly enveloping the viewer. Two types of composition were defined by Monet. While the first includes the edge of the pond and its dense vegetation, Lena and Brooke chose to concentrate on the second, which plays on emptiness and includes only the surface of the water with flowers and reflections interspersed.

Water Lilies mural paper is available from select showrooms or directly from Zoë Design. Repeat: 261.5”W. at 114”H. (Customizable to your specifications). Zoë Design is a Boston based, husband and wife team of artists producing murals, wallpapers and decorative finishes, since 1984, for projects in UK, Jamaica, Tokyo, Sweden, France and all over the US. When you call us, you are speaking directly with the artist who can bring your ideas to life.

Water Lilies Mural - Lena Fransioli & Brooke Sheldon
Mural Paper - Doug Garrabrants
Oval Bathroom Design - Wilson Kelsey Design
Mosaic Lily & Water Floor Desgin - Artaic
Fixtures - DXV

Finished Mural
Preparing Mural Paper Panels
DXV Installation

And finally, a quick time lapse of the painting process.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Italian Renaissance Mural

Areen Design, in London, recently asked for a mural paper leaning toward the Italian Renaissance period and it made me think of a mural we did in 2009. Since a photo is worth more than my words, here is the whole story.

Preliminary Sketch

These murals represent almost two months of work for 5 people. The air, sky, angels, putti and landscape are anchored by the trompe l'oeil fabric, flute, sheet music and faux marble. The artists involved were Lena Fransioli, Brooke Sheldon, Doug Garrabrants, Natalie Gardner and Kasia Mirowska.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Ideas from the Waste Basket

As some of you may have already seen on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, I had a piece of damaged mural paper and decided to crumple it up & see how it looked with strafing light. We loved the look and the response from social media was great, so, I took it a step further.

I crumpled a piece of white paper and photographed it in high resolution, creating a pattern which repeats seamlessly at 65.5"w x 85”h. This is large enough that you don’t detect the repeat.

Then I started experimenting with the "Crumpled Paper" pattern as an overlay, creating the look without the crossing light. We are thrilled with the result and hope you are as enthusiastic too. Samples are available through our showrooms or directly from us.

Now any pattern in our collection can look like you just pulled it from the waste paper basket . 😄 You can have any color & I can fade, enlarge or reduce the size of the hills & valleys. Below, shows the same pattern, with and without the overlay. 

******  Happy Fall to All  ******


Charleston, SC - Fritz Porter
Boston, MA - Webster & Co. 
New York, NY - Dessin Fournir
Washington, DC - J Lambeth

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hand Painted Skies

It's a day of scattered clouds in the studio as Lena and Brooke finish painting a sky on canvas. 

Sasha, our new dog, presides over the proceedings.
We now have roughly 20' x 30' of sky available for your walls or ceiling in archival mural paper. I can also add it as a "ground" behind our Chinoiserie (MU2011).

You can have this Chinoiserie with literally any color or texture in the background. Customize your project with a paint color or fabric swatch as reference.


Thanks for reading / viewing & happy spring. Time to get a puppy.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Paysage Grisaille - Immersive Mural Papers

This is my second in a series about new scenic mural papers available from Zoë Design. All our scenic and figurative mural papers were originally painted by Brooke Sheldon and Lena Fransioli.

Technically, the word grisaille refers to the “grey scale”, but in art, over time, it has come to mean a painting done in a monochromatic palette, or a study of the relationship of values (light-dark) verses hues (colors). Thus, a grisaille painting can be anything from work all in white, gray, and black, to pieces in various sepias. In this case we have played with both “warm” and “cool” sepias, with the addition of just a hint of blue for water and sky, which adds life to the mural, while still letting it sit back in the room.

This French landscape in grisaille has a 530” repeat with more to be added in the future. 

Please enjoy exploring the GigaPan, or the photos below.

Cheers, Doug

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Immersive Panoramic Mural Papers

Today, I am talking about a cool site called GigaPan which hosts some exceedingly beautiful photographic work of enormous proportion. The images on this site create an immersive, high-resolution panoramic experience. You can find an image and zoom in, from a photo of the mountains to a man’s face as he stands across the valley. I am using this technique to record our murals and create Zoë Design mural papers.
I have several new additions to our line of scenic mural papers and I have placed the gigapixel images at the gigapan website. Today I will give you a quick lesson on navigating the site to get the most from the imagery. After you have seen our murals, I know you will enjoy looking around the site at the work of other talented artists. You can search by name, content or category.
Google “garrabrants gigapan” and click on any link starting with “gigapan”. From there, you can scroll through my images, mostly of Lena and Brooke’s murals. Find one you like and click on it. Or, better yet, go directly to our “Bella Donna Chionois”. On the right, you will see your image navigation, zoom in and out, full screen and zoom all the way out. I like to make it full screen, preferably on a large monitor. On the bottom left are “snapshots”, this is a good place to start, or just double click or use the + - navigation tools to find your own favorite spot to zoom in to. If you want to go back and pick a different image, click on my name (top left) . Feel free to leave a comment below the description.
If these links are just too much, here are some pretty photos, with out the "bells and whistles". This mural paper has a repeat at about 27'.
Entire mural

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.