|A rooster mural by Lynne Rutter crows cockily at Gilberth's Rotisserie and Grill in San Francisco, CA. The hand-painted oil on copper leaf diptych adds down-home warmth to the industrial-chic interior of the restaurant, which is built in an old cannery in the city's Dogpatch neighborhood. Photo: David Papas
" ... San Francisco artist Lynne Rutter, who has made murals for restaurants, casinos and hotels, sees her work as art. "People think of decorative painting as being somehow less about expressing oneself and more about decoration, but this is not true of many of us in the field," she says.
The award-winning muralist and colorist is passionate about historic projects. "On the West Coast, there is a lot of creative reuse of our older buildings, so even if the project isn't a 'restoration' per se," she says, "the period detail of a building can be celebrated in its new incarnation, and decorative painting is an excellent way to achieve that sense of history."
Rutter, who is inspired by the works of masters like Vermeer, Fra Angelico and Max Beckmann, travels extensively, picking up ideas along the way. "I collect images of ornament, or moments of great old murals and beautiful surfaces," she says. "Recently, I submitted a design for a dome based on something I saw in a beautiful place I visited in Bulgaria."
Murals are an ideal medium for Rutter, who studied architecture and design at the University of California at Berkeley before she opened her boutique atelier in 1990. Typically, she paints the murals on canvas in her studio and installs them on site. "This process — marouflage — is an excellent technique for saving valuable time and allows for more detailed work to be done in advance," she says. In some projects, like the 900-sq.ft. ornamental ceiling mural created for the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, only the stenciling was done on site "instead of working weeks on site, my team and I were only there for four days."
Rutter points out that decorative painting serves no one style, and that's what makes the work interesting to her. "I have been doing this since the mid-1980s and the popularity of decorative painting has gone up and down over the years, but mainly what I see is a change in the design of the work," she says. "The skills and techniques used are similar even as the definition of 'contemporary' changes from year to year. "
read the full article at Traditional Building Magazine