VA

Not your grandma’s stencil

I’ve recently warmed up to the idea of using stencils. To me, they always felt like ‘cheating’ a bit in the custom painting world- but the fact remains- they look amazing! Stencils afford you the ability to create just about any intricate pattern in an endless array of color combinations. However- anyone trying to sell you a stencil kit will tell you ( and show you ) how easy it is… and the OTHER fact is- it’s not!

Sure, it’s faster than hand-painting this bad boy- but stenciling requires effort to perfectly align the design both horizontally and vertically. In addition, the right amount of paint must be applied and the stencils eventually fill with paint and must be cleaned. This particular one soaked for 45 minutes and then I carefully scraped off the soft paint with a credit card for another 45 minutes. You can see in this photo below that I had to individually stencil on each ‘loop’ of this ornate dining room design. The other difficult part is the corners- often I had to hand-paint the corners to get the pattern to line up perfectly.

 

This next nursery project kinda plays an optical illusion on you. If you didn’t see the blue on the other walls, you’d think the blue pattern was the stencil, when in fact, it’s the white paint that was applied over top. Either way it goes, it looks great!

I really like this next pattern- the marrakech trellis. I’ve done this several times by hand, but really liked how the stencil version of this turned out as well. I used metallic silvers on a light beige paint to create the desired effect.

And finally, I had a lot of fun creating this custom design on a stairwell using a medallion stencil. I used the same stencil to create 3 distinctly different medallions and alternated the paint colors for even more of a variation. The random layout makes this pattern super fun!

 

 

School Spirit

I thought in honor of that Back-to-School time of year and the onset of fall- a SPECTACULAR season to live in Virginia…. I’d highlight some of my previous school mural projects.

Most recently, I completed this Success Pyramid for Lakeridge Middle School in Lakeridge, VA. What an inspiring wall for all these young athletes!

Gym-blank wall

Success Pyramid Mural

Success Pyramid close up of lettering

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Next, is the cafeteria stage at Baldwin Elementary School in Manassas, VA.

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This was painted during the summer, so needless to say there was a lot going on- it was difficult to get a good picture!

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Here’s a close up of their logo:

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For Stone Hill Middle School in Ashburn, VA, I painted their Stingray mascot to label the various areas in the hallway.

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The gymnasium mural at Sycolin Creek Elementary in Leesburg, VA proved a little more challenging due to the acoustic boards that surrounded the gym.

SycolinCreek_ES_gym-before

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For Congressional Schools of Virginia, I keep adding to the mural in the reception area. Here’s a before and after of the front desk area- showing the outside of the Early Childhood Program building.

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Congressional_Library_right_side

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Lastly, I had the privilege of painting the Senior Cafe at Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, VA. It was a gift from the class of 2012. You can see from the before and after pictures- this added some much-needed color and excitement to the Senior-only area… afterall, they worked hard to be there!

MVHS-SeniorCafe-before

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MVHS-left_wall-before

MVHS-left_wall-after

A Tale of Two Fish

Once upon a time there was an awesome sport fishing mural that was loved by all. Several years later, the family welcomed a home remodeling project to add more space to the youngster’s bedroom. Hooray!… But as the builders tore down drywall and smells of sawdust and fresh primer permeated the air, everyone thought- “What will become of this wonderful mural?!” The old half of the room looked great… while the new half looked…. well… empty.

SportFishing_mural-1

Fortunately for these fishing fans, help was on the way!.. It was great to see my old friend from 2008 again- one of my favorite murals to date!… And so I began the task of re-creating what the seas- or rather, the new plaster- had worn away!

SportFishing_mural-2

Once the initial colors of sea and sky were painted, the main objective was to re-center the mural as it once looked in the smaller room. The Pottery Barn Boat bed was in the other room just WAITING to be docked here once again!.. And so began the copycat-painting of my own work!

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First I needed to recreate the boat on the left- making it slightly bigger than the first time… then moving on to the fish.

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I like to call this one, “Sycronized Sailfish.”

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Ahhh, but the fish’s friend wasn’t there for long… soon it was out with the old, in with the new!…

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Lastly, I needed to move the boat on the right to re-center the room. Beep beep!..

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Finally, because there was more space then the first time, I added some fun new touches- like the lighthouse. And under the window I added a marlin chasing yellowfin tuna.

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In the end- this fish tale ended up just as it began- a mural as wonderful as it was the first time.

On Safari in Leesburg

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If you’re ever visiting Leesburg Sterling Family Practice on Riverside Parkway, you can see this adorable safari-themed waiting room for kids.

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The entire African landscape centers around a gigantic baobob tree and miles of grassy plains. A few staff members even contributed their personal photos for my inspiration.

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One of the reasons we decided on this theme, as opposed to others, is the way the colors already complimented the earthtones throughout the medical center. And the carpet pattern is perfect!

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Complete with elephants, zebras, giraffes and even a pesky warthog, this fun, engaging mural really brightens the space and I hope brings a smile to everyone waiting to see the doctor!

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