New Dining Room, New How-To, Part I

It all started last year down on the farm with Ann Marie Gardner and her Gucci dress.  Those hand-drawn (looking) flowers made me a little itchy to start messing with my walls again. I had wanted to paint the walls of my dining room, but did not want to repeat the mural I’d done before. It wasn’t until this flaxen-haired milkmaid appeared in her $2000 frock and Hunter boots that I knew what I wanted.

The flowers on the dress reminded me of the happy blooms of Paule Marrot.  I liked the idea of the flowers feeling more like illustration than representation. Still, I turned it over for a while before I settled on a plan.  I wanted to paint flowers on my dining room walls and I thought I would paint them in white silhouette as I had before, but I did not want to do what I’d done before.  Because, well, I’d done that.  It was time for something new.
For several years I’d wanted to paint a room with flowers so big that it made you feel as if you were in the midst of a flower bed.  I didn’t think I could quite pull off my fantasy, but I knew that I would, at least, enjoy working in that scale.

I began as I had before.  I gathered a few tools and I practiced.

This is the second time I’ve shown one of my tests of surface and brush.  I know you’re thinking, “She should have stopped right there.” But the point of the practice is not to get it exactly right.  Rather, I just try and get a feeling for the movement that the shape will require.  Once I have that, it doesn’t matter so much what the poster board-with-the-book-report-on-the-back (saved for just such an occasion) looks like.  Once my hand knows what my eye wants, it’s time to begin.
More, likely tomorrow.  But, you know how things go around here.  No, really, I’m aiming for tomorrow.
Image, top, Harper’s Bazaar, date unknown, photography Christopher Sturman. The image of Marrot wreath is from Natural Curiosities.  It is no longer on their site, but many other charming pieces are.  You can find them here.
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3 thoughts on “New Dining Room, New How-To, Part I

  1. PAULE MARROT WAS THE ARTIST WHO DESIGNED ALL OF MY FAVORITE FABRICS WHEN I FIRST STARTED AS A DECORATOR! SHE WAS SUBLIME!

    AND MAYBE BEFORE YOU START….GOOGLE LILLIAN WILLIAMS…..WHO BOUGHT A SMALL CHATEAU IN FRANCE AND HAND PAINTED THE INSIDE! SHE SAID…."JUST KEEP GOING…DON'T MAKE IT PERFECT!"

    I THINK YOU WILL LOVE WHAT SHE DID!!!

    RIGHT UP YOUR ALLEY!

    XXOO

    PENNY

  2. THE COMPANY WHO PRODUCED ALL THE PAULE MARROT FABRICS WAS CALLED MARGOWEN.
    (MARGARET OWEN WAS HER NAME). SHE LOVED PAULE MARROTS DESIGNS; AND SOLD THE FABRIC EXCLUSIVELY!!

    THE RESTAURANT "THE IVY" IS WHERE THE SHOWROOM WAS IN LOS ANGELES. I BOUGHT SO MANY FABRICS FROM HER LINE……THEY WERE GORGEOUS! I WISH I HAD TAKEN MORE PICTURES!!

    AREN'T YOU SO SMART TO FIND HER!! THERE IS A BOOK ABOUT HER! HER NAME WAS PAULE…AND SHE WAS AN INCREDIBLY SMART AND TALENTED ARTIST WHO WAS A WOMAN! (LOTS OF PEOPLE THINK AND THOUGHT SHE WAS A MAN!)

  3. Oh I am dying to see the new walls!! I'll b ehere first thing tomorrow morning 🙂 I was so in love with the beautiful design you did in your previous dining room, it was perfect. You never cease to amaze me with your creative ideas..

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