July Updates – the Art Edition

Since I’ve been trying to increase my posting frequency, I thought I’d pop in this Saturday with a July-ish update. This is a strictly art roulette edition, with a time frame from Mid-June to present. It’s more of a game of musical chairs with pictures, so if you’re looking for a DIY tip or special instructables – this post isn’t it.  We all have that one (or two or more) things we obsess over that other people just don’t understand. Art and antiques are mine.

But I have an excuse – this is what I do for a living – I look art art and doodads – buy art and doodads – and sell art and doodads. It’s my occupation, my interests and passion as well. So please  forgive my preoccupation and I’ll get back to making sawdust in the next post.

Back in April I posted this photo of a painting that I thought would be displayed in this spot along with my old wooden horse. I actually had this painting in mind when I designed this sunroom, with the wall large enough to hold this 4’X5′ painting. But as usual, after a couple days it was time to change things around.

The next idea was to make this a nature theme. So I brought in a large landscape and a couple more that my wife liked.

Here, clearly, I’m making progress. I’ve found some more paintings in storage and decided this combination would be a possibility.

But then I pulled this large oil by Robert Kingsley from storage and my wife said that’s the one she wants displayed. OK. Now something I just noticed.that the TV monitor visible just above this painting is showing the exact same image during a slide show. Coincidence?

And over in the corner was this Chinese Altar Table from the 1880’s. That might as well come home too. Time to make some more art adjustments.

OK – now they’re home. And the gymnastics begin. The painting is nearly 5X6 feet and wall anchors need to hold it up there – that I will move 3 times before I’m done.

I then added some little landscapes by artist Jeffery Little – so they were really Little Landscapes. But the arrangement looked a little uninteresting.

So to give my mind a little rest, I thought I’d work on the art in the living room. The sunroom painting was moved in here, along with a couple other single women paintings.

On another wall in the living room I added these two oil portraits of Indiana artist Kieth Klein’s daughters. Then promptly removed them to use upstairs.

And put these two paintings in their place. But I have decided the girls should stay with the girls so I’ll revert to my previous image. So you see how this art roulette goes? Most folks would hang something on the wall and call it a day, but not yours truly.

So I wrangled these big oil paintings into place and I’m OK with the placement. But now that painting over the fireplace seems out of place. Time to dig into the storage bins – some of these pieces have not seen the light of day for 30 years.

With a little more digging and a lot of re hanging I’ve got this arrangement I’m fairly happy with. A mixture of artists and mediums and subject matter. I’ll try to finish the pile of stair treads under the window sometime soon. And now I am contemplating painting this wall the color of the sample above the Altar table to give the art a little depth in presentation. So you see, this is the kind of tom-foolery that consumes my days.

Moving things around also allows the chance to see things in a new light. I’ve owned this old altar table for decades and never noticed the old red paint and gold leaf still visible when the sun illuminates it in the late afternoon. This makes me happy. Art is my life and livelihood, so I guess in some ways it’s a good thing.

Enjoy something beautiful today.

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A Mid-April Update

Greetings fellow renovators! Boy. look at the time! The 1st quarter of the year is over and the deadline to move in this 9 year renovation is closing in. I still think it will happen in 2018 – but it might be a squeaker. No major progress to report, as my real job has kept me from devoting full time here, but that should change soon. So here is a Mid- April update.

I finally got the TV mounted in the Sunroom. A 55″ OLED from Samsung. I needed the brighter picture quality due to all the windows in this room. Fortunately this thing fits in the cabinet I built. It’s retractable so I can add a piece of art behind this so I don’t have a black rectangle staring at me every day.

Repairing of small dents and painting trim in the stair area. It had some damage from the flooring guys going through here to get to the second floor. Trim is Impervo White and wall color is BM Sterling.The textured glass bathroom door allows light into this area.

My office area trim is also getting the final paint coats. I still have to cut the door bottoms off since adding the new 3/4″ oak floors.

I designed this place with lots of large windows. The paneled walls help add shadow and dimension to the mostly white and light color rooms. The black chalkboard paint above will have a TV mounted. The wall eliminates the ‘black rectangle’ I’m not fond of.

My wife has already claimed the bookshelf windows for her orchids. Even in April, there’s still snow on the ground some days.

In a previous post I was contemplating getting this old 4′ wood horse up on the wall. I made a test bracket to see if it would work visually. I was OK with it, but didn’t like the Victorian look of the cast iron brackets. A little too fancy for the style of the room I thought.

So I found a pair of wood corbels and made a few adjustments.

Painted it the same wall color, but finished with a waterbase clear finish.

I made the bracket wide enough so that it could be attached to three wall studs. The 5″ deck screws made for a very secure mount.

I thought the design of the brackets mirrored the sconces in shape. They have a more Craftsman look, which I think complements the ornate elements in the room.

Having finished that project, it’s time to get the second floor installed. This is 6″ wide rustic white oak.

Because I’m on a time crunch, I also hired this job out. This floor will have unfilled cracks like the Scandinavian floors I have seen. The job goes fast over my new 1/2″ plywood floor overlay.

The stair moldings create the smooth transition to the steps. I have old French iron balcony panels I’ll have to figure out a way to mount them.

Of course the floor guy didn’t think I would want the under eave closet spaces finished out the same way. He was wrong. We used 5″ engineered white oak flooring in here. You can’t really tell the width difference, and besides this will be covered with countless storage boxes when my wife gets done with the space. I’ll crawl in here later and add baseboards.

The white washed oil finish is on. It’s a matte finish with gaps in the boards – it drives me crazy and I want to fill them, but it’s authentic to the ones my wife likes, so the cracks and gaps will stay – for now.

The soft finish has a nice look. The gaps no, but the matte finish is a nice look for our bedroom and closet.

A while back I posted about the kitchen design. Many of you had wonderful suggestions and some have been incorporated in the design. I told my wife one day we’ll get some wood cabinets, but we’ll use the cardboard ones for now.

This mock-up has been very useful and several changes have been made as my wife can see exactly how the work space will feel.

Locations of pot and pan storage, waster and recycling pull outs and the shelf size and placement were finalized for the construction of the cabinets and counters.

Being an art dealer, some things take priority over even finishing the kitchen. The life size oil painting called Victorian Tea is in it’s final hanging place after having it in storage for 29 years.

As well as an oil painting of a local historic landmark building by Kentucky artist Harry Davis.

So there’s an update. Some flooring, some horseplay and a couple of paintings. Here’s wishing everyone a very Happy Spring.

 

 

 

A quick update

Greetings fellow renovators and spectators! Sorry for the delay in posting. I haven’t given up the ghost, or finished the MisAdventures project – just yet. As I have a real job (besides doodling around here). I’ve had projects for the last few months that have taken up some of my sawdust making time. So I’ll just post a couple photos of an art display project that I haven’t had time to finish.

My original idea of renovating this house was to have a place to display my collection of art and antiques. So this project is to get this up on the wall. This is a large wood and gesso Tang Style horse that was made in the 1940’s for export. It is my Chinese Zodiac sign and was the second antique I ever purchased when I was 17 years old – that was 46 years ago.

So the plan is to get this old horse to stay way up there where my cardboard cutout now resides. When I have time, with a little experimentation and some construction, we’ll have him hanging around. It will be nice to have this old horse displayed for the first time in nearly half a century.

I’ll be back here full time soon to finish up the inside of this now nearly 9 year project.

What’s that? 46 years to display an antique, 9 years to renovate a home – perhaps I’m a little slow – but then again, that’s all relative. Stick around.

 

 

Cave Art

Being a student and lover of art, I have been fascinated with civilization’s need to create a visual record of our existence. For some reason I have always been attracted to paintings – I suppose that’s why I do what I do at the gallery I am supposed to be running (when I’m not here at the Adventures Project). Since this is a woman cave- I thought I would present some cave art.

janfeb2016_f11_indonesiacavepaintings-jpg__600x0_q85_upscaleAn example is this painting that is thought to be the oldest cave painting in the world. Found in Indonesia in 2014 you can read about it here.

When the carpet was installed in the basement it was just hours before pieces of cast off furniture arrived from our house we currently live in. Oh, and some cave art as well.

1-cave-artIt’s been 6 years since any livable space has existed in this house – unless you count a bathroom. I plopped down some chairs and a coffee table and went to pull some art from storage.

3-cave-artJust a few pieces to finally get something on the walls – after all, that’s one reason for doing this crazy project in the first place.

4-thorpThis was my wife’s first request. This is an acrylic on canvas  painting by a regional artist Cynthia Thorp titled ‘A Moment of Him” – well it is a woman cave after all.

5-mary-louis-schrodtThis oil painting is titled “Fire Fighter” by the late Mary Louis Schrodt of Louisville. It’s wonderfully realistic, but unfortunately not functional You can read about her here.

6-grace-coleShe selected this Oil painting by Grace Cole titled ” Requiem of Frozen Tears”. Grace is still a working artist and you can read about her here.

7-deb-boyerShe picked this little watercolor by regional artist Deb Boyer. My wife came from an island, so this is a reminder of home for her.

8-chris-thomasAnd this little oil painting by the only male artist in the cave. This rose study is by Chris Thomas, an artist we helped develop many years ago. His web site is here.

 

8-coffee-artOf course, to my wife, the best art is her coffee cup sculpture.

It feels nice to have someplace that’s not full of sawdust and has art on the walls.

I’m happy.

 

 

 

Painting The Wife

OK, OK, I know this is a renovation blog – but when you just physically can’t keep up with all of you wall moving, closet organizing, and bathroom fixture refreshing maniacs out there – what can I do?

So this is my best effort given the circumstances – but it does involve painting – that’s close enough, no?

When I first got married, I was just a few weeks away from my 50th birthday. Even in my advanced bachelor years, I was fortunate enough to win the heart of my beautiful wife, Francia.

Francia Wedding DayI knew that one of the first things I would do as an art dealer/married man was to commission a portrait of my wife. In my mind, it was the perfect way to combine my love for art, and the love for her.

Being anal about stuff like this I decided the artist and my wife would end up hating me if I micromanaged this project. So my requests for the portrait were that he create it the way he thought best and I wouldn’t see the painting until it was completed. I had a few specific requests, but the rest was up to the artist and Francia.

Chris Thomas


Self Portrait – Chris Thomas

The artist I chose was Chris Thomas an extremely talented professional artist that I have worked with for many years. Although he is nationally known and exhibits throughout the country, he still lives across the river in Henderson, Kentucky. I guess you can live where ever you want when you have that kind of talent.

I requested her portrait to be more like a fine work of art and less like a traditional portrait – no gazing out from the canvas allowed.

I Love You Mona

Mona_LisaThe other elements I asked for were that he incorporate the following into the finished painting: The number ‘6’ – for our wedding day of March 6th.
A full moon – as it was on our honeymoon night.
A Pear shaped box – which was made by an Indianapolis artisan that held our wedding rings.
A white rose – that was in Francia’s wedding bouquet.
A carved table – a possession of Mr. John Streetman III- the past Director of the Evansville Museum. John was gracious enough to be my Best Man, and allow our wedding to be held in his beautiful townhouse.
And some detailed stuff – because he’s really good at that.

Here’s how we painted the wife:

Francia painting photo mockupFirst came the photo mockup – getting the elements together for my requests – I see a book is involved.

Background elementsThen the mockup for other design elements – the table, and pear box are there. See the covered wallpaper in the background?

Francia's painting in preogressChris Thomas with painting in progress. He paints mainly from life, so my poor wife didn’t realize she’d be standing there for so many hours (several sessions).

in-progress-detailIt is amazing to see artists work. I’ve watched him paint before and the color blocks look like this for most of the painting – It’s OK, but you wonder if they’ve lost their touch.

Let’s breakdown the list of requests.

fran-painting-diagramLooks like everything’s on the list – and he threw in a wedding dress too! One thing is he originally left out was the wallpaper design. He’s a really busy painter and he was reluctant to add the wallpaper in the background. But after some persuasion he decided to add the detail.

Francia painting closeupFrancia Finished PaintingBeing in the gallery business, I have hundreds of works of art and antiques, but this by far is my most valuable possession. The memories and symbolism, the connections with the artist and friends, all frozen in time on the surface of linen. It is to me the tangible token of the intangible – of love and friendship. Chris, if you’re reading this – thank you old friend.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend.

Oh, here are a couple of new paintings by Chris Thomas –

Pear-and-Emerging-GrapesPink-Peonies-with-Green