Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Call of the Wall


Every summer I get a call from someone who wants a room lazured, it is very much a seasonal activity. When I have gotten requests for lazuring in other seasons the jobs have always fallen through. I find this fascinating. I have special pants that I wear for such jobs ( I like to be able to wipe my brush or hands on something convenient), they have served me for all large scale painting projects for the last six years; from classrooms, to stage props for "As You Like It", to various offices. Last week I wore them to paint a room in a home deep in the woods. The room was for a girl who finally got her own room and she wanted it to be pinky orange in the back ground with a sort of Japanese motif, like some paper she had in a patterned paper book. I said OK, I'll see what I can do.
The light is failing a bit here and the pinkness doesn't show very well. This is the wall in action, if you will, with the girl's music stand and a part of her funny little cello chair. Below is a closer shot of the part above her bed, the Japanesy botanical motif is outlined in gold so it flashes  with the light and floats away from wall in a sort of exciting way that seemed appropriate for a cello playing girl who also loves Hannah Montana. She was happy with the end result, phew!
Two years ago I painted a room for the girl who just got her own room and her sister, at the time the girl who just got her own room wanted an angel on her wall. And I said OK, I'll see what I can do, I usually paint rabbits. I did paint an angel that doesn't even look like a rabbit, not much at any rate.  Now the girl who remains in the room doesn't want her sister's angel to be overlooking her and wants a sunset instead; Project Angel Disguise will commence next week or so. Here is the angel before the sun sets on her.
Without getting too much in Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophical theories (for it was Rudy who developed lazuring, he did it with two brooms!) on lazuring, the general idea is to create a soft color environment that minimizes the sharp corners and flat surfaces of most architecture. This helps the body and and the mind relax into a natural and more expansive state. Lazuring is done with many coats of very thin paint that is buffed into the wall with a large brush. Some folks use watercolors, some acrylic and some very expensive organic glazes. The desired effect is one of breathing clouds. Below is a portion of the dining room wall I did in the house that is deep in the woods, the pictures of the whole wall really didn't show the cloudiness very well. In this case I used a few different colors and went in with smaller brushes to bring out the clouds. You can see more examples of lazuring here and here.
I am pleased to report in the recently completed job I did not spill any paint on the carpet or smudge furniture. The only casualty was a blop of pink paint on my shoe. It goes rather well with the blue laces.

16 comments:

PJ said...

I don't have any of your gifts but I have pants for all the brute strength painting, caulking, tiling, et al, that I do. By sheer coincidencs, when I finish catching up on line in a few minutes I'll be putting them on for the rest of the day. Maybe we should do a meme for work clothes?

PJ said...

...and your work is beautiful. I had never heard of lazuring but being a contemplative I'm officially a fan. Lovely.

Casey and Crysti said...

What a great way to paint. That angel was beautiful!

mum of critters said...

what a gorgeous way to express your art. man when i get rich i'm gonna hire you to do my whole house :-) you are incredibly gifted

FrecklesandDeb said...

The wall paintings are beautiful -- you do a wonderful job. Those girls are VERY lucky! (And we love the pants!)

Rabbits' Guy said...

Oh My ... that is nice! I got house siding stain all over my tennis shoes and the kids think they are just some new fancy design!!!

Speaking of 6 degrees of whatever from Kevin Bacon .. or whatever ...
we once rented a cabin from a lady whose grandaughter painted the designs on the bedroom walls of the first baby of the Bill Gates's in their famous house on Lake Washington!!!

Crafty Green Poet said...

what beautiful work, especially the Japanese flowers...

Karen Jo said...

What a really neat way to paint walls! I really like your Japanese flowers and the clouds. I like your pants, too. I used to have a similar pair.

M.Kate said...

BEAUTIFUL artwork, love the details in the painting, so delicate and pretty, seriously I wish I have your talent!!! Ha.. a blop of pink but that's what makes it so cool and funky too, I hope :D ah..the lops are improving, the ears are less redder, more activities and old/dead skin falling off. Tks again for the support. Hugs :D and happy bunniful week ahead!!

PG said...

Oh how interesting, I've never heard of that technique...what a pity the lovely angel had to go...maybe a shadow of her will remain like a ghost in the wall underneath the sunset?

furrybutts said...

I love your art work!! If only I could get you to paint my room some day... :)

Rima said...

Aha! So that's how you do it!
Great to see some pics and, yes, a shame about the angel departure :)
Must have been nice painting in the woods.. I love the cello room. I wonder if there's a particular way of photographing lazuring that can capture the effect?

Annie B said...

Wow, nice work. You've given me my first encounter with lazuring, too. The thinking behind it makes sense (softening the sharp lines) and makes me want to give it a whirl in my own home.

tlc illustration said...

I've never heard of it either. It is gorgeous - and what a good idea (feng shui wise in addition to beautiful). The 'moving' gold line in your Japanese motif is my favorite I think. I love that it comes and goes with the light.

Candy said...

Great work.

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