I became captivated with the artwork of John William Godward.
In particular, this painting called ‘Girl in Yellow Drapery’ (1901).
When I start looking for images for the furniture, it has to fulfill several requirements: It has to be an image that would look ‘authentic’ to the piece. I strive so hard to have my pieces look authentic: time worn. But more importantly, the painting has to stop me in my tracks. It has to have the power to keep bringing me back to it. I became obsessed with this painting and yes, it did take my breath away.
The dresser is post-depression. Solid, with nice trim work (although several portions of the trim are missing – I’ll talk about that in a while). In it’s original state, it was just very dark. Nothing special. A piece of furniture that you’d walk by without batting an eyelid.
The painting really became my inspiration for the paint colors. I’m known for using blues/greens, but she wanted to be bright and airy. Rich, creamy yellows. Layers upon layers of gentle blending on hues to get depth to the finish. As with all of my pieces, to achieve a respectful patina, I embrace the dings, the knocks, the scratches. To me, these are the things that create a sense of character. I never want my pieces to look refinished. I want them to look old, and worn; as thought they’ve been hidden away for years. And suddenly, the light found them. If you’re looking for a piece with a perfect finish, that’s lovely and fresh – may pieces are probably not for you.
Let’s talk about the trim work (the molding). I wanted the details to stand out, but rather than paint them a different color I wanted to copper leaf them. I love copper, and I thought with the creamy yellows, the copper would add another dimension of warmth to the overall effect. Rather than have the copper be bright and shiny, I gave it a dark patina. It’s quite delicious! As I stated, there are several areas where the molding is missing. I did think about replicating it (not a difficult task), but the eventually I decided that – if this piece was authentic, it would have been very difficult for the original owner to replace missing copper leaf detail work. It would not have been economically feasible. So, I have embraced the areas that no longer have molding. And I think it adds to the piece.
In short, this is a beautiful – stop you in your tracks – piece of furniture. Yep, it holds clothes. It’s good for storage. It has a purpose. But it’s main purpose in life is to make you STOP. And take in the beautiful young woman, draped in yellow finery. And once you see her, you will never want to take your eyes off her again.
Measurements are approx. 52″ H x 20″ D x 38″W
Local pickup from Portland, Oregon is always welcome. However, if you need shipping – please let me know and I’ll be happy to find a reasonable shipping quote for you.
As always, thanks for stopping by!
Diane aka The Paint Factory