One of the best things about painting for so many years has been revisiting my clients over time, seeing their style evolve, and helping them as they redecorate or move into new homes. Most rewarding? Painting something sweet for a new baby or young child and then coming back as they grow older to repaint something new! Here are a few of my favorite examples of kid’s room murals that I have painted for clients in the New Jersey and New York City area. Click on any image for a broader view, and please excuse the pre-digital-era quality of some of the photos.
Walls are covered with an array of light switches, electrical outlets, vents, and speaker covers. Kitchen backsplash areas are loaded with switches and electric receptacles. Sometimes my clients ask if I can paint these outlet covers and light switches to help blend them into the surrounding wall. What is my approach to painting, with these “interruptions” of the visible surface? On a tiled surface, painting outlet covers and light switches can make them appear to be part of the tile pattern. On walls, I include them in the mural or paint finish. Otherwise, they’d stand out and distract from the overall look. Here are a few pictures of some outlet covers I have painted.
Every so often it’s nice to take a break and re-connect with some colleagues and get inspired by some new ideas and materials. October 16th-17th I attended the PDCA Convention 2014, the 60th Annual Convention and Tradeshow of the Middle Atlantic Council of the Painting and Decorating Contractors Of America. (That’s a mouthful)! It’s better known as the MAC/PDCA. I used to attend this convention regularly and was even an officer of the Decorative Artists chapter in our region for a few years. Now I attend when it is local, as it was this year, in West Orange at the Wilshire Grand Hotel. Thursday there were seminars all day, and Friday was the trade show. I didn’t take advantage of the dinners and shows since I am local and wasn’t staying at the hotel.
Of course, I went to the seminars on the “Decorative Track” versus the ones mainly for General Painting Contractors. Two of them were given by long-time colleagues of mine. Dean Sickler gave a seminar on Color: how it works with light, how the spectrums are broken up, how colors relate and play off of each other, and how to make color corrections with paint and pigments.
Andre Martinez gave a seminar on Decorative Textures for Fun and Profit, and explained the Proceed line of materials and how to market the exclusivity of your work.
Aliya Riaz, also a long-time colleague spoke about Gilding and Gold leaf from an international historic perspective. At the Trade Show on Friday she demonstrated some Gilding techniques.
There was also a lunch-and-learn seminar, given by Ross O’Neal who described his 12-year long restoration project at the Oaks Cloister, built in 1900 by Joseph Huston in Germantown PA. No photos, I was busy eating, meeting new contacts and catching up with old friends while watching his presentation!
The trade Show on Friday was fun. I got to play around with some new products in the demonstration area, visit with my friends from Dundean at their booth, watch a demonstration on paintbrush construction (by hand!) at Purdy, check in with Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and other distributors of paints, brushes, rollers, tapes, and other supplies.
Not only did I participate in the inaugural Greta’s Run as a runner and donor, I was honored to lead the art program that was funded by Greta’s Run proceeds!
Greta’s Run is a 5K run/walk event held in memory of Greta Schoenemann, a Westfield High School student who died from injuries sustained on 9/11/02. Greta’s Run was created as a tribute to the Schoenemann family and as a fundraiser for programs for people with special needs. This event would have been close to Greta’s heart because her sister Elise has Cerebral Palsy.
All proceeds from Greta’s Run are used to develop and implement programming for young adults with special needs. Young adults aged 18-26 group, including Greta’s sister Elise, age out of most organizational school-based programming. The mission of Greta’s Run is to fix this in Westfield at the Westfield Area Y. A series of sample programs took place in the spring, and I led the Art Program at the Ducret School of Art in Plainfield, NJ
I decided to help the young men and women create a composite mural. Working with Ben Nanna, who founded the Greta’s Run and programs with his friend Jayne Ruotolo, we decided that the mural would be a picture of the Westfield Y building. We took a variety of photos of the building and decided on one. So how did we make this mural with so many students of different abilities? Here’s a step-by-step depiction…..
The participants had a lot of fun. Some worked alone, some needed help from aides. As you can see from the finished project, all of the participant’s different abilities, techniques, and interpretations came together in a creative depiction of the Westfield Y building!
Many of my clients know that I am also a runner and triathlete. But paint colors for runners? Here is a link to a humorous article from Runner’s World I found, featuring some exciting paint colors to consider if you are also a runner. If you are a runner — and even if you are not — you’ll find these creative and imaginative paint colors entertaining. Although many of these paint colors sound painful and maybe a little gross, and you may not necessarily want to use them on your wall, they are good for a couple of laughs. So enjoy!