We are back at the Ronald McDonald House once again working with the incredible team from Marriott Hotels. This time it is a “jungle” themed room, which Karen is designing. It has morphed into a sort of safari/circus room, full of animals and color.
piles of inspiring animal photos
I have joined Karen in the painting, and here is what we have done so far – the big ribbon-cutting ceremony is next week!
Beds Go Here
Karen’s zebra, and chimpanzee in a tree
We both worked on the cabana effect over the bed areas, and I have painted the lions, giraffe, banana tree, and the monkeys, while Karen has added the zebra and chimpanzee in the tree.
My friend Carrie Knapp has a beautiful mid-century home in California, and with it came the quintessential pink bathroom! She and her husband got inspired to keep the perfectly good tile when they were doing some remodeling, and had fun embracing their “Mamie Eisenhower” pink room, so fashionable 60 years ago. (Check out Save the Pink Bathrooms!)
They picked up a vintage poster while traveling, and needed another piece of art that would keep the retro vibe going, make that pink work, and complete the whole room. We looked at other vintage posters, but none were just right…. so I said “I’ll paint one for you!”
Carrie is an avid swimmer, so I found some good ideas from some old swimsuit ads,and played around with those, until I found this old Vanity Fair magazine cover and we both loved it.
So that’s the long story of how I ended up painting this vintage-style “poster” for my dear friend’s “new” pink bathroom!
I shipped it off yesterday!Here are a few images of the painting as I worked on it. You might notice the disembodied pair of legs that are so charming on a small magazine cover… well, they really creeped me out in a large painting, so you can see what I did…..
Here’s a little detail. That’s it! It was SO much fun to paint! Dames de la mer!
We are back at the Heathman to complete this first phase of the Secret Passage! Here comes Karen with her first load of supplies through the kitchen….
Now its time to start adding in details and making the surfaces richer with layers of paint and tones.
The only color detail is some yellow in the windows and on the marquee, so we want the grays to be nice and warm and deep.
In addition to the color, we have quite a few details to add – here is the progress at the top of the stair area:
The fun part of this project are the “signatures” that indicate some of the luminaries who have stayed at the Heathman, then travelled this passage to get to the Schnitzer Concert Hall to perform or appear. We will add more over time – these are just a few of the long list of artists and dignitaries who have passed this way. (In fact, Hugh Laurie appeared last week, and was our first celebrity visitor to the mural! Who knew he was a blues musician?)
We added more black sky and glued Australian crystals for extra sparkle – it is finally complete. So that’s how it turned out!
Here’s Josh, the “Beefeater” doorman who has stood to welcome guests at the entrance of the Heathman for over 11 years, and here is Zelda, or rather, Zelda’s likeness cast in bronze, sitting next to Josh. She also welcomes guests – dog guests.
Thank you Heathman, for a fun couple of weeks!
Last week, I started painting a hallway at the Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland. This hallway and staircase is the “secret passage” between the hotel and the performing arts center next door, and I have the privilege of making it a little special for the people who get to use this hidden space.
We went through many design revisions until everyone was happy with the final version – a black and white streamlined vision of Portland at night.It is a pretty slow and meticulous process as there are an abundance of straight lines, perfect angles, and type and logo reproductions. I started with a long day of measuring and drawing, then put the night sky in for the first layer. Then we (I am assisted by Karen Carman) carefully tape off each successive layer, of buildings, windows, signage,
and more and more detail until we will get to the final few days late next week of putting in all of the words and final finishing touches – there is a lot of work left to do.
Of course, we are enjoying the delicious muffins and coffee that the waiters deliver to us, and I even got to listen to the symphony practice all day Thursday and Friday – what a splendid treat. So here is how it looked on Friday afternoon – stay tuned for the finished work in about a week.
Of course, I can’t resist stopping in to visit the Train Station in the dining room, to see someone having a little fun with it on my way to meet the new room adopters!
My partner, Karen And I had so much fun working with the zany and awesome crew from four local Courtyard by Marriott Hotels – they swept in and re-did one of the older rooms at the East House, turning it into an undersea fantasy for RMHC families. They started by scoping it out with us one day, and then, like I Dream of Jeannie, they got busy and quickly transformed the whole space, even adding a ceiling fan, and doing all the remodel work themselves. Yes, we were actually painting while they ironed curtains, installed the lighting and new blinds, and put in a brand new carpet. And yes, they actually showed up in their nice dress clothes, and never got a drop of paint on them.They threw a big party and ribbon-cutting ceremony, and fit 28 people into the rather small space, to celebrate.
We think everyone is happy with the new room, full of color and light and joy, just waiting for the first family to settle in. We can’t wait to team up with this group again!
The completed room is full of nice details – they had fun shopping – and we had fun adding sweet touches, like the painted sunken treasure toy chest, which began life as plain, white and waiting for paint.
(Once again, I have to say it – I love Ronald McDonald House and all the people I meet there.)
April brought us the annual Community Warehouse gala fundraiser, this year held at the Left Bank Annex in Portland. The collection of handmade, hand painted or otherwise creatively decorated furniture was provided by local artists, and eventually bid onby the happy diners. After the painting and before the lucky auction-winners took their tables and chairs home, we all ate yummy food, toasted with delicious drinks, mingled with fellow artists and philanthropists, met some lovely recipients of the Community Warehouse services, and enjoyed the live auction hosted by local TV anchorman, KPTV’s Pete Ferryman.
Here is my partner, Karen Calcagno, with her fabulous rocking chair. She even met the lucky buyer of this wonderful piece.
And here is the trompe l’ oeil table I painted and donated to this valuable cause. Portland has an important partner in improving the lives of so many citizens – check them out, and consider donating your used but still usable household items, or shopping in one of their Estate Stores. I love the Community Warehouse!
Recently I have been painting some unusually colorless walls – but while they feature only shades of gray in their palette, they are certainly color-full in their visual impact. This bedroom, when it is done, will be completed with all white bedding and crystal chandeliers for a powerful but romantic urban space painted to mimic aging concrete. We washed pearlescent and silver metallic paints over the gray and white to soften the hard, edgy look with some feminine romance.
Obviously, I love color, but I also appreciate the bold and simple impact some straightforward black and gray and white can add to a space. In this house, the vast walls were all painted the same benign tone of beige, and the client was going crazy (the house came this way.) She decided to choose a couple of areas to cover with a dynamic combination of simple shapes, and dramatic contrasting black and antiqued white/cream. It completely changes the feeling of the rooms, and was a wonderfully neutral way to add a backdrop to whatever else she wants to bring into her home – new colors, textures and decor can all work well with these walls, and can change without competing. The office, seen here, has 14 foot walls, that really needed something other than more beige! We painted the opposing wall solid black, and then did this harlequin treatment. You can see in the detail we added a little bling because… well, why not?
A surprising, but lovely place for some gray and white paint was this sweet nursery. We added a touch of color with bird silhouettes, and a crown, but otherwise, the room was a super simple gray and white tree motif.
All month long at the fabulous Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters in Vancouver, Washington, I am the featured artist, and I am showing my 12″ x 12″ mixed media paintings. Please come on by and check them out while you are sipping on Vancouver’s most delicious espresso, and nibbling on a scrumptious treat from the incredible Sugar and Salt Bakery.
Shop for locally made goods, or purchase a pound of fresh-roasted coffee!
Here is Paper Tiger owner, Kenny!
The March Art Show features my mixed-media paintings of collage, acrylic, pencil, pastel, image transfer, photography and wax on 1/4″ plywood, recycled from the large panels I worked on for last year’s bonsai exhibit. Please enjoy the show, and if you’ve never visited Paper Tiger Coffee, you are in for a treat!
After I completed my project for the bonsai exhibit (see previous post), I found myself with 100 pieces of 1/4″ x 12″ x 48″ boards that were leftover from the large display. What to do….. I decided to chop them up into many 12″ square pieces, and have been making little paintings and mixed media pieces in my spare time between mural projects. They consist of a variety of collage, acrylic, pastel, paint, photography, wax – whatever I have on hand that seems like a fun idea. I like playing with color, texture and pattern. I’ve really been enjoying time in my studio working on these tiny projects, giving my arm and shoulder a little time to rest after all of the big walls!
Here are a few of them, I hope you like them: