Sometimes, the inspiration for a project is often disguised as a need to finish something. After buying a Victorian storefront, circa 1896, for our home and photography/art studio, Bob and I decided the renovation should begin with the kitchen. We spent months planning, designing and redesigning in between photography jobs and building web sites.
We dismantled the eclectic island, removed the cabinets, sanded floors, put up drywall, installed new cherry wood cabinets in a coffee finish. The island and counter features a white Brazilian marble that glistens like newly fallen snow. We ordered ceramic tiles in a metallic finish with blue glass accent pieces for the backsplash. Bob used his skills with photoshop to place the tiles in position on a photo he took of the wall so we could agree on the final design. Then we took a hiatus from renovation.
Fast forward 13 years. After spending the past few weeks doing very detailed, commissioned pencil drawings of cats (Lady Rohan and Magnet) and dogs (Zamira and Ollie), I decided take a break and do something different to 'loosen up', a phrase often used by artists looking for inspiration.
It seemed like a good time to work on the kitchen and install the backsplash.
My youngest sister Molly had recently tiled her new shower with a blue and green mosaic pattern. Her beautiful project convinced me to use mosaic tiles on my kitchen backsplash. It also meant I didn't have to make over 60 cuts with a tile saw.
Like my painting process, I sketched the design, researched tile patterns and colors, viewed numerous how to videos and then plunged into the project. After many hours of applying thin set mortar, trimming around electrical outlets and holding sheets of small square tiles in place, the backsplash was finished. I have a deep appreciation for experienced tile setters.
The next morning, I sat in my favorite chair enjoying a much needed cup of coffee with lots of cream and gazed at the sparkling backsplash and kitchen wall. It's like the practice of stepping back from a painting to judge colors and values. Suddenly I realized the green paint clashed with the color of the glass tiles. I pulled out my phone and went to the web site for St. Louis Photos and Fine Art to try the AR (augmented reality) tool to see what color would work well with the tiles and compliment Bob's photo of the Fourth of July Fireworks at the Arch. I found the perfect color. And, in that serendipity moment, I also remembered there was paint in the same color in the basement left over from another project.
It was exhilarating to 'sling paint', another phrase beloved by artists, and see the amazing transformation. Dragging an 8' ladder to paint the 11' wall was not so much fun. Still thinking about the grout color for the tiles.
With that project nearly complete, I'm ready to go back upstairs to the studio on the third floor to finish a commissioned portrait and start working on a new series of paintings. Stay tuned.
P.S. If you are considering redoing a room and need something special to pull it all together, visit stlouisphotos.com and try the AR tool to see how one of our photos would look on your office or home wall. For suggestions or help with your selection, just reply to this email.