Friday, November 28, 2008

A Nod To Trompe L'oeil

Some years ago, during one of my settled periods - that is, a time when I stayed put for more than five years - I began doing Trompe L'oeil murals, for my own home and for friends. I sold illustrated furniture as well. I don't call my pieces decorated, because that implies flowers and bows, and things all pretty for a girl's room. Mine are a bit different. Most of them were sold, some are still in the family. One chest of drawers was painted over with white paint by a family member who will remain nameless here. She was "bored of" it, as she put it. I was heartbroken that she could be so offhand about something I had painted, but I said nothing. But it hurt. See, I still think about it.

Now, while we're at it, the English language crank within me would like to pursue the common usage of the preposition "of" in that expression, "bored of". It only turned up around 20 years ago. Prior to that, it was unthinkable to use anything other than "bored with". It irritates me to hear it, especially when somebody on the BBC used it recently. I wonder what poor old Fowler would think, were he here. Language is constantly changing, rearranging itself, otherwise we would still be speaking Ye Olde Middle English, but I just can't accept that usage. Does anyone share my crankiness? Am I turning into a curmudgeon? (Look it up!)

So I've just slipped a few "fool the eye" pictures in to show you. I like this kind of art, and - except for that amazing Twisted Tree at Etsy (link on the left) - you don't see much of it around. In the olden days you had to be rich to have a mural in your house. English country houses (and the White House) have murals that continue around the room. Today, you will still need some serious cash, because it stands to reason that the artist is going to take a long time making your living room look as though it's facing out over an ocean. But there are simpler views, easier options.

The following pair of pantry size doors are 6 feet tall, each about 20 inches wide. I did them for a very modern and minimalist kitchen. The client wanted something to cover the old fuse box on one wall, but he still needed to get to it, so doors were the thing. One door opened, and you'll see what I painted inside, and the other door was fixed, with no reason to open it. I found it refreshing that the man who commissioned them, although he loved his modern room, wanted something to soften it. I was happy to oblige.

I'll show you some more tomorrow.


  1. OMG! that is so beautiful! i could never do something like that! wow!wow!wow! ...about the english thing... i can't really say anything about that, english is not my first language... i always thought "bored of" was correct too :P hmm... that was interesting...

  2. Thanks, Luthien. Such nice responses are always really welcome.