Monday, April 9, 2012

Painted Furniture

I have always been fascinated by Miniatures... both in the Dollhouse world (see my other blog) and in the world of Miniature Medieval paintings.... so it is no wonder that the majority of my paintings are TINY! Executed in tiny books...(see the above picture) on scraps of paper.... even paintings for the dollhouses.... the average size has been about two inches square. The exception being my annual Christmas card which fills an 8 1/2 by 11 inches with Tiny illustrations. So it was really rather accidental that I started painting on a larger scale. It happened because I bought an unfinished wooden cabinet for my kitchen of my former house. I had been looking for a large hutch and found one that just needed painting. I had never painted furniture before.... so I jumped in and painted it Black on the outside. When that was done I decided it needed a red interior .... and perhaps some red detailing of the exterior trims.... and then maybe I should paint the date on it somewhere like they used to on antique hope chests..... Oh, and maybe I could paint some vines on it..... and some Roses.... and and .... and... before I knew it I was painting the whole cabinet in Flora and Fauna both Real and Mythical! I got a bit carried away!
Here is a picture of the hutch in my Old farmhouse kitchen.

This is it in my new house... squeezed into a corner where you can hardly see the details! I have had to go through all my old photos to find good pictures of the details to show you....

The side panels host a Heron in a small pond on one side........

Along with hollyhocks and bees......

And butterflies amongst the Thalictrum.....

And on the other side..... Foxgloves, Delphiniums and Roses....

and a Faun playing his pipes amongst the Violets and Columbine.......

And a rare native Lady's Slipper Orchid......

And on the inside there are some mischievous mice.....
Hiding in the teacups...... I know my painted one doesn't look very real...
but it was the first time I had tried any trompe l'oeil painting....!

And hidden in the leaves at the base are some elvish pixies......

And Flower Blossom Fairies.....

And more little mice...... amongst the roses......

It was such a revelation to me that I was painting the same images on both my Miniatures and the larger furnishings.... the only difference was in the Scale! And then I thought...
Why stop at the edges of the Furniture????
And so I started painting the clouds on the ceiling......
here in a room all of sky with a bed of Painted Roses......

And started a forest going up my stairway.......

But always wanting the Details to be as precise as when I painted the miniatures.....
Which takes Forever.....

I painted lots of other furniture....
experimenting and playing with the three dimensional nature of the "Ground" but always wanting it to be a Garden......

I did a series of chairs representing the seasons.......
Here I am working on the "Winter" chair.....

A detail... nuthatch and grapevines....

And more details.... milkweed pods....
Queen Anne's Lace seedheads..... Holly.... Snow....

Close-up of the Beech leaves that cling to the trees all winter......

This is an overview of the "Autumn" chair.....

A closer view of the seat.....

You can faintly see the spider's web spun across the middle......
(remember to poke the pictures to enlarge them)

More detail of the Goldenrod going to seed....
Rose hips.... Japanese Beetle....

And this is the "Summer" chair......
a Riot of Garden bloom....!

Details of the Roses and Queen Anne's Lace.....

Foxgloves on the Back spindles......

And Delphiniums too.....

While most of the furniture was commissioned work...
I painted a few pieces for myself.....
So I still have them...
And I could Please only myself......
And cover them with Exotic Naked Angels if I wished.......
This is my desk.....!

Did I mention that I ADORE BLUE?

Here is a closer view of this Angel.....
Not your ordinary angel.......

And another one on the side panel of the desk......

Here is a closer view.....

The other side features a more ordinary Garden selection......
Birds and butterflies in the Honeysuckle and Roses......

I LOVE to paint on richly colored grounds.....
playing off the contrasting colors.......
and the subtle variants of blue on blue......

As with the Campanulas above...
and the Delphiniums here....

And playing with the three dimensions...
wrapping the Roses around to the interior too....

And hiding secret Trompe l'oeil treasures within......
such as this key on the inside of the door.....

It's the "Key to Happiness"... don't you know...?

And always returning to the littlest details.....
The stamens of the Honeysuckle blossoms....

The falling petals of the poppies......

The tiny hairs on the bent stem of the almost open bloom.....
The buttercup.....
the grasshopper......

Even a Firefly glowing on a rose leaf....
not that you can see the glow very well.... but just wait til dusk......!

I just wish I could paint the scent of Roses.......
Painted Furniture


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Please respect this and ask permission before using or copying these images.

11 comments:

  1. Oh gosh, Betsy!! I LOVE your painted furniture and walls!!!!And the detiles are incredible!
    I would LOVE to see your house! It must be an AWESOME place to live!
    And finally you gave us a chance to see YOU, beautiful Artist!!!
    Thank you for sharing your talents with us!

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  2. Hi Ewa! Thank you for your kind words! I only have managed to do a small amount of painting on the walls so far in my new house... and the picture of me is when I was five or more years Younger! :) But I am still painting on my walls... If I had more time... I would paint them all! After many more years this house Might look as beautiful as my old one in the pictures I showed here!

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  3. Betsy, I am enchanted, bowled over, amazed!

    That house, the chair, OMG The chair ! In the small pic, I actually thought that teacup with the mouse was real and wondering where is the trompe l'oeil!

    You are every bit a child of nature as I had imagined you to be :). I am so excited for you that you may be meeting Amy! I hope we have the pleasure of meeting one day too! :)

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  4. Fantastico, fantastico,que gran trabajo!!1
    Besos de las Malu´s.

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  5. All your creations ooze fun and eye for detail, a love for nature and the hand of a gifted Artist! Especially the 4 season chairs, I believe they are fantastic! All the detail you've put in... there is so much to see and admire. I'm left in awe and although I understand most murals are made in your old house (right?) your new place must be the most unique I've seen in ages. Love it!!

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  6. I'm in awe all over again. I think my favorite is the curled, dry beech leaves on the chair. So real. I am happy that I have two of your lovely painted bowls; wish they contained a key to happiness.
    Lots of love,
    Mom

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  7. Oh my I am blown away. Your butterflies are exquisite ;)

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  8. Wow, what beautiful work. It must have taken hours and hours! I love the four season chairs, the Autumn chair is my favourite, although thats not surprising as Autumn is my favourite season, the spring chair is very pretty too, the butterfly is lovely. I was momentarily fooled by your mouse in a tea cup, and astounded by the work on your cabinet. You must really enjoy it to dedicate so much time to it.

    I must say I just love your sound track, I adore the sound of small birds chirping, it is such a blissful sound, we have so many parrots flying around and whilst they are very pretty their screeching drowns out the little birds, it's only on rear occasion I get to hear them.

    Beautiful work,

    Fi xx

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  9. I came here to see if you have posted anything new and it was as if I thought this was it. There is such a wealth of beautiful details that I felt like I was seeing everything for the 1st time and I fell in love with your chairs all over again :).

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  10. Thank you, Dear Sans! :)
    I have several posts all lined up in my head... still waiting to get caught up .... it has been a crazy Summer.... maybe Fall will be more .... Peaceful..... :)
    I'm so glad you liked visiting here again!
    I am doing more painting in my New House... it is a Long way from being anything to show... but Winter is coming... I always think I will have more Time then.... but then it gets so cold and Dark.... so we shall see.... :)

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