28 March 2008

Italian Painted Ceiling: work in progress

Work in Progress at Lynne Rutter Studio
Our current project is a large ceiling divided into coffers, for our client's home being transformed with a Northern Italian look. We are painting the panels in the studio on medium weight canvas (Sierra and Melka, pictured above)
ornament sketch- a first step

The design takes its inspiration from a mix of Florentine paper and grottesca ornament, and uses a cooler palette of roses and blues from our client's fabulous oriental carpet.

As each of the ceiling coffers are slightly different in size and shape, I designed a simple and colorful foliate ornament which when repeated (112 times!) will help make the ceiling look more symmetrical.

We started by developing the corner element. This sketch was copied to a master drawing, and then separated into a simple stencil design. We used the stencil to transfer the basic shape or the ornament to the canvas using four colors of matte acrylic paint.
Each element is then hand-shaded with four more colors, and lined with burnt sienna.

finished panels awaiting installation
The canvases are then overglazed, and some areas gilt with a fine line of 22 karat gold, for that little glint of a highlight.
We hope to install this ceiling in early June.

27 March 2008

Faux Marquetry Ceilings: Rathaus, Vienna

detail of a faux marquetry ceiling panel, Rathaus, Vienna
In September 2008 we traveled to Vienna, Austria, where Erling attended the ISMIR conference, and happily, a banquet organized by the city of Vienna for them in the Rathaus- the city hall built in the 1870s in the Gothic Revival style. It is spectacular inside, loaded with graceful arches, stenciled vaulted ceilings, and encaustic tile floors. A large number of rooms have stenciled wood faux marquetry ceilings.
ISMIR conference dinner. There were some other women there, you know, waiting tables.

My enthusiasm for the ornament in the building must have been somewhat contagious, as a number of the banquet attendees accompanied me as I snuck from room to room shooting ceilings in the dark.
And to think, I was worried I'd be bored at this event!

These ceilings are made from a light colored pine, that has been beautifully stenciled with pigment or stain to give the look of marquetry; the wood looks richer and the room more grand. The ornament itself is relatively simple and repeated to give an opule
nt surface without looking too cluttered.

In this room, the lacunaria have been gilt on the edges, I believe with a low karat gold or sliver and tinted varnish.

Some of the stenciling appears to have been done in reverse- pigment is applied, and then removed through the stencil.

These are great borders which could be applied to wall paneling, floors, or furniture as well as ceilings.

More images are posted at my flickr account.

15 March 2008

Gilt highlights

I found this very sweet little trompe l'oeil molding with gilt highlights, in a small passageway of the Hofburg, next to the Empress Sisi's novel indoor convenience. It mimics the grander gilt plaster ornament in the adjoining apartments.

Click on the images to view larger.
This is very simply painted, and the highlights are gilt with a lemon-colored gold leaf. Notice the burnt sienna accents which create reflected highlights. In this tiny dim hallway, this trompe l'oeil is perfectly scaled and very effective.
photos by Lynne Rutter, 2007

09 March 2008

Spring Forward

Today really feels like spring. Having the sun out all day, and light well past 7PM
just makes me want to paint my toenails pink.

03 March 2008

Miss March

This month I have the honor of being the featured artist at "House of Faux"
a website dedicated to providing resources for decorative painters and faux finishers. The site is building up an archive of articles, blog entries, artist profiles, and information useful to the student as well as the professional painter.