Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Primitive and reality

I'm not really much of an art buff and neither is Johnnie. I like all the common, you're-supposed-to-know-it stuff but beyond that, I'd be hard pressed to discuss artwork intelligently. However, I like folk art/primitive Americana. It's simple and it just speaks to me in some way.

So a few weeks ago, I had a brainstorm, probably right after having some wine, and broached the idea to Johnie of painting our 4 foot by 4 foot lavatory/powder room as a folk art mural. Since Johnnie had had some wine too, he was amenable to looking into the idea further.

The four walls to be painted were roughly 4 foot by 4 foot and the lower part is tiled in a neutral beige-y/taupe color. I had seen the work of a couple mural artists in the area and contacted them to see how much my brainstorm would cost us and whether we could actually do what we were thinking.

One artist called me back, came over and, although she had never done folk art before, was willing to give it a go. She came back a week later with scaled sketches and we were in business.

Here are Jill's sketches of how the walls would look.

Each wall is a season: summer is directly ahead as you enter the lavatory, spring is on the left, fall is on the right where the toilet and vanity are and the fourth season (rhymes with splinter*) , my very least favorite season, gets the least space because it has the door. Even the ceiling is painted with clouds that reflect the seasons.

We added some homey but relatively anonymous touches (just so future owners won't feel immediately compelled to paint over it to get rid of us:
  • I'm carrying sunflowers (my favorite)
  • Johnnie is holding the tether of a donkey (we used to have two donkeys - Clover & Festus)
  • Erin, Mike, Emily and Lucy are in the splinter-rhyming scene
  • Holly & Mike and Daisy & Juniper (our two dogs) are in the summer scene 
  • There's a school bus in the spring scene (because Johnnie drives a school bus)
Here's how it looks as it was painted.
Summer - Holly & Mike are sitting at the table on the lawn; dogs are barking at the birds

Spring with the school bus in the foreground

Fall - Johnnie and me lower left/center

Fourth season - Emily making angels in the white stuff, Lucy sledding, Mike finishing the **owman (rhymes with yeoman) and Erin decorating the Christmas tree (up by the light)

How cool is this, right? It's one of those things where you find something new and different every time you look at it. It's difficult to take pictures of because there's no room to back up and get far enough away from the walls and the lights caused a lot of glare so they're turned off. The ceiling didn't photograph well at all, unfortunately but there are lovely clouds all over it.

The artist is Jill Doser, www.jilldoser.com. She's local to our area and she's amazingly talented, according to us. We love what she did for our little lavatory! Imagine spending all week in that little 4 x 4 space. She earned every penny! Thank you Jill!

*For the second year in a row, I am refusing to acknowledge the official name of the fourth season (the one that rhymes with splinter) and the white stuff (rhymes with blow) that often covers the ground during that season. It worked pretty well for me last year so I think I'll try for a repeat.

1 comment:

Employee No. 3699 said...

Every season looks great (even Splinter!), but I like the Fall the best. Very, very nice!