The Most Challenging Piece, To Date.

I never said I didn’t like a challenge.

(at least not openly).

But this piece….this piece…kicked my butt several times.

It’s a beautiful piece.  Gorgeous mahogany veneer, beautiful serpentine fronted drawers. The woman I bought it off, just wanted to get rid of it.  It had been in a back room holding craft supplies

(Oh! the shame, shame shame).

I knew immediately that I didn’t want to paint over the veneer.  

However (and there’s always a ‘however’) I spotted a  ‘Georgia O’Keeffe’ over one of the keyholes.

 Truly unfortunate placement.  

And I’m funny because once I see something like that, I can never un-see it.

So, it was a prime candidate for image transfer.  

But, I needed an image that would play off the rich deep mahogany coloring. And I found this.

Sleeping Beauty by Thomas Ralph Spence.

C’est Magnifique.

Most of you know that I’ve done several *cough* image transfers.  They’re quite easy for me to do now, given the practice I’ve had.  But this one just did not work out as planned.  I’m not sure if it was the cold weather (I work out of my garage) or the curves on the bow front.  But, for whatever reason, the image just did not transfer well (understatement of the year)

SERIOUSLY??

Honestly, I could have cried. And chopped it up.  And thrown it out of a window.

So much work involved in trying to cover up the missing areas.  So.Much.Work.

And so I began.  Slightly beaten down. Almost whimpering.

Just me and  my tiny paint brushes and acrylic paints.  Dab, dab, dab.

(And trust me when I tell you this: I am not a painter!! Not even close.  This is my impression of a girl).  

So my version of painting is, in essence, just painting over someone else’s stellar work.  But it’s still not easy for me.

It took a long time to get from that to this.

Dab. Dab.Dab.

 And then an even longer time to get to here.

I knew that I wanted the image to look incredibly old.  I had deliberately painted the base color with lots of texture. I’d just read ‘The Velvet Hours’ and loved the idea of finding furniture in it’s original space.  

Old furniture at home, so to speak.  

I imagined this dresser to be aged, and browned by years and years of cigar smoke.  Because, seriously, any cool chick worth her weight would spend her hours at home puffing on cigars.  Right? Am I right?

And this is what I ended up with.

 Old, worn, nicotine loveliness.

That face.

I’m quite sure this is what a smokers lung must look like. Quite sure.

The detailing is gold leaf.  Because, why not?  But seriously, how could anyone paint over this veneer.

Oh the shame. Shame.Shame.

And so we have it: The piece that gave me a run for my money.

But, in all honestly, I think she’s my best piece to date.  The challenge did me good.

So to all my fellow painters out there, I guess the lesson here is make sure you have plenty of wine at hand  when a piece looks like it’s going to kick you in the butt.  Refuse to let it.

Because.

Kick it back.

And then drink.

 

{insert catchy ending phrase here}

Diane aka The Paint Factory

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47 thoughts on “The Most Challenging Piece, To Date.

  • January 19, 2017 at 8:14 pm
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    Absolutely Breathtaking, Diane…I am speechless.
    Thank you for yet another Masterpiece.

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  • January 19, 2017 at 8:56 pm
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    Wow! I could feel your pain with the “before” image transfer result and boy I have to give you serious props for pulling it together with your paint brush! Looks like a true masterpiece. Bravo.

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    • January 19, 2017 at 9:47 pm
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      Thanks, Cindy. I’m telling you it was touch and go for a while!!

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  • January 20, 2017 at 1:54 am
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    Seriously, this is such a magnificent piece of your work! Absolutely gorgeous! Love ❀️, ❀️, LOVE!!!

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  • January 20, 2017 at 2:29 am
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    This is what has happened to me every time I have tried the technique. I will now try it again and get some tiny paintbrushes!!

    I already have the wine🀣🍷🍷
    I use it liberally on everything

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    • January 20, 2017 at 6:16 am
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      I like your way of thinking πŸ™‚

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  • January 20, 2017 at 2:40 am
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    Absolutely breathtaking Diane! You have done such a good job . So glad you didn’t just chalk paint it!

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    • January 20, 2017 at 6:15 am
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      Sometimes I love chalk paint. Other times not so much πŸ™‚ I think the lesson I learned is to try next techniques. And there are a zillion of them that I don’t even know about yet!

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  • January 20, 2017 at 2:49 am
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    This is absolutely exquisite! And what a gorgeous surface to work on. I am in awe! Having been inspired by your work and generous sharing of your technique to produce a little triptych based on the myth of Persephone for my home altar recently (3 images related to various stages of the myth, by different Victorian painters) I know how difficult even a modest, straightforward assignment can be. I wore out my welcome at my local Xerox shop, I can tell you, as it took so many goes to get it right. But I love it; it means so much more that I produced it through my own efforts (the last time I had tried my hand at anything approximating to craft was 45 years back): so, my deepest gratitude to you.

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  • January 20, 2017 at 3:46 am
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    Really worth all the effort you put in to it. Congrats and thanks for the inspiration!

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  • January 20, 2017 at 4:11 am
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    Diane, you stand alone. No matter how many imitators crop up, they won’t even get close. I hope you charge a lot of money for this piece, a lot of money, because it will be worth every penny. You are, as we say in England, the goods.

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    • January 20, 2017 at 6:12 am
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      Crikey missus! That quite the compliment!!! I’m hoping that my pieces will grab the attention of interior designers. That would be a great audience to capture (people who spend other people’s money!).

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  • January 20, 2017 at 4:53 am
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    Thank you so much for posting this…. I went through something similar yesterday . I sanded for 3 hours, stained a lovely red mahogany and it looked terrible! My mind has been a whirl ever since trying to come with a way through this tunnel. I’m incubating in my sleep. I’m not on your level , but you are giving me a great push of inspiration and hope that’ failure may be brief .
    Onward ho….

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    • January 20, 2017 at 6:09 am
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      Sometimes it’s a good idea to just step away from a piece. I’ve had to do that several times. Regenerate. Then go back with the mindset of ‘taking no prisoners’!!!

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  • January 20, 2017 at 5:55 am
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    What an absolutely stunning piece! I am in awe of your work. So beautiful!

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  • January 20, 2017 at 6:00 am
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    For not being a painter, you’ve out done yourself! Awesome work!

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  • January 20, 2017 at 7:38 am
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    I do not usually leave comments but OMG! This is exquisite, truly a masterpiece! Well done.

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    • January 20, 2017 at 9:05 am
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      Happy to hear from you, Valeri!! And thank you πŸ™‚

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  • January 20, 2017 at 8:19 am
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    When I first looked at it I thought Oh another beautiful piece by that young women. Then I read and looked and thought Oh No. I think it is truly amazing that you/we can look at something and make something even more beautiful from it. You just (haha JUST) need the desire and will. You my dear have both. I think it turned out far more magnificent than your original plan. Again, the tenacity it took to get through all those dark moments. Congratulations. It is beautiful.
    L. Oh and the talent. Amazing. But I think you know the talent is a given.

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    • January 20, 2017 at 9:05 am
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      I think you’re right about it turning out better than my imagination would allow me to believe. I guess sometimes you really do have to keep with it!!

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  • January 20, 2017 at 10:29 am
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    Diane, you say you are not a “painter” and I believe it if you say so. But you are an ARTIST. Your innate sense of color blending and placement is so special. This is another spectacular piece. Thank you for sharing it with us!

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    • January 20, 2017 at 10:49 am
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      Such a sweet comment, Cathie. Thank you, my friend!

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  • January 20, 2017 at 11:13 am
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    Ditto to all the above beautiful comments. I am a “new-be” getting ready to start my first “simple” project. Looking forward to getting on the path are following your advice, examples, talent, and of course your wisdom — with lots of humor!

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  • January 20, 2017 at 1:33 pm
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    Wow, just wow! This is so awesome and so very unique. I love that you go beyond the usual type of projects so everyone can see what can be achieved with time, patience, vision, and lots of artistic talent. I am just a beginner and haven’t attempted much in the last twenty years or more. Now that I finally have some time to start my attempts your work shows me that there is so many roads to take as my experience increases. This piece looks as if it was found in a small back bedroom of a manor house or palazzo. I can imagine what it would be like to lift the dust covered fabric cover off and discover this beautiful chest. Thanks for giving so much inspiration to others. I hope you can break into the Interior Design realm. Have you considered a mailing (or emailing) of some type of ‘brochure’ of your work showing the Befores and Afters, to the designers in your area?

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    • January 20, 2017 at 4:48 pm
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      General Finishes used my artwork for a class, showing people how to reach out to business. They suggested sending postcards etc. And do you think I’ve done that? Nope. #worstbusinessowner

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  • January 20, 2017 at 5:12 pm
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    Absolutely beautiful! It looks like an old master with the crackled finish-amazing. I tried AS cracquelure but it didn’t come close to your finish. What did you mean that you saw a “Georgia O’Keefe”??

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    • January 20, 2017 at 8:21 pm
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      It’s a euphemism for a vay-jayjay πŸ™‚

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  • January 21, 2017 at 7:08 pm
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    What a lovely, unique idea! You did a beautiful job. I can see why that beautiful veneer was left untouched. Kudos! and thanks.

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    • January 22, 2017 at 7:54 am
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      Painting over beautiful veneer makes me a little nauseous. I know many painters do it and now I’ve started looking at painted furniture a little differently from when I first started. I now consider buying painted furniture to strip back. Interestingly, the piece that I made the biggest profit from was a painted dresser that I completely stripped back to the original finish.

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  • January 21, 2017 at 8:05 pm
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    It’s gorgeous. I truly appreciate your patience. I want to meet you just because of your patience. You are the only person I’ve ever met that has as much or more project patience as me. Not that nothing licks you in the ass, but you get it done. There are so many that won’t even try.

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    • January 22, 2017 at 7:51 am
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      Trust me. If it wasn’t for the wine stops, I would have given up!

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  • January 22, 2017 at 1:30 pm
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    I’m always blown away by your masterpieces. I don’t know anyone else who does this kind of work it’s so unique and just beautiful. Every time I see one I feel I really want to try this some day. . I’m stocking up my wine in preparation too! I love your work Diane. Unique and gorgeous. Cheers from Eire. Marie:-)

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  • January 23, 2017 at 9:34 am
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    This is one of the few truly magnificent pieces I have ever seen. Your talent is amazing! Can’t wait to see your next masterpiece.

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    • January 23, 2017 at 12:12 pm
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      Thank you! I’m working on an antique buffet, with an English theme πŸ™‚

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  • January 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm
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    I love this. And yes, more creativity is used to get someone out of a real doozy. My at work is proof. Most great artists and pets had difficult lives or tramatic childhoods which caused them to think outside the box. Yep… Me too. You did really amazingly. Bravo!!!!

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    • January 26, 2017 at 2:31 pm
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      See…Typo doozy. Artwork not AT work,. Not pets!!! Poets!!!

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  • March 2, 2017 at 4:24 am
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    Love…adore…covet…so so much….by the way where do you sell and where do you blow up your prints?????

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    • March 2, 2017 at 8:05 am
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      Roxy, I go to Office Depot. You need to do them in tile form (11×17).

      Reply

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