Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com

Second Panel

The second panel is finished.......pretty much.
You can see in the second picture that I made a couple of changes to the first panel.....changed the background mountain to island foliage. I taped the first panel to the second so that I can swing it out and see how things will actually look when its installed in the elevator. For example, when I bring the panel out at an angle to the 2nd panel you see the boat in its proper position, actually pointing in the same direction as the two boats in panel 2. (not shown here)
Started the new elevator mural today.....not quite finished yet, but this is one of three panels to do.
Finally finished the 5.5'x 25' elevator mural and delivered it yesterday...my client Frank McKinney, seemed very pleased.....I'm a happy girl. Now my attention goes to another project for him, a service elevator mural. This however is small in comparison, rather than lining the inside of the elevator shaft, it will be for the cabs interior.....the two sides 50"x 63" and the center panel 54"x 63". It will also be a tone on tone mural rather than full color. Following the theme of the home being built it will have an Asian feel to it. The story he wants told is of a working fisherman's day. I found a few pictures online that I will use as inspiration. I love this old photograph of a fishing hut.


I've cut my canvas pieces for the project and will begin the work tomorrow.....its still the weekend and the boys are occupying the room I work in.......back to school tomorrow :-)
When this project is finished (hoping for the end of the week) I will be heading home to Philadelphia(Narberth actually). I'm looking forward to getting home to my own space.
I'll be returning to Florida sometime around the Xmas holiday to do work at the Stuart, Fl. Hurricane Grill and Wings restaurant. Its a restaurant I had done work in about two years ago and they are expanding to the building next door so they need the theme carried through. We were hoping they'd be ready for me while I was here, but if you're familiar with construction/renovations you know things never really go as planned.
I'm sure after a few weeks of cold weather I'll be looking forward to my return to Florida :-)
Here's the best I could do to get the whole thing in one shot. It looks much better in person (if I do say so myself :-)
Still want to work on the sky a bit more, but I'm going to go ahead and put a coat of poly on to protect whats been done.
Don't forget to add some dead/dying leaves when working on foliage, it adds a lot of realism to the work.
Have to quit early today...will unroll the canvas and begin the constellations tomorrow. I'm also not lovin the bamboo on the right....too skimpy, will work it up tomorrow.
Overly optimistic. I got a late start today, it takes a lot of juggling to work around a family, so not as much done as I had hoped.
Theres another foot or so of sky done above what you see here, with another 3-4 feet that will be done above that....and the sky that you do see here is actually darker than its showing....theres a lamp shining on it causing a glare. Look to the left to see how dark it really is.
The bamboo is started, but still not finished......tomorrow.Above the palm tree is the beginning of the really dark sky that will hold planets, stars and galaxies. Some stars will actually start lower, adjacent to the palm tree.
Finally ready to move up to the sky. Made some subtle changes....added a few things.....a weeping willow to the right, I darkened the leaves on the bamboo remembering it wasn't bright enough (outside) for the leaves to be as pale/bright as they were......added some bamboo in the foreground on the right, changed the color of the mountains (I wasn't loving all the purple so I toned it down with a deep green).
Filling in the rest of the sky should be a simple task, then I'll top off the bamboo and palm tree and finally work on the constellations.
I'm finally beginning to feel like I'm getting this done. I'm thinking I may be done by the end of the week. (The colors here aren't showing as bright as they really are.)

I'm finally done with the lilies and lotus flowers and I'm concentrating now on the bamboo as well as the rest of the landscape which includes the bamboo on both sides, some foliage and the palm tree......that should be finished tomorrow, and then I only have the sky/clouds and constellations to do. Wait till you see the constellations.....I'm so excited. I love having a large project like this to get lost in......just focus on the art.....the day goes by in fifteen minutes I swear.
Wasn't sure I wanted to post this picture, so much is going to change. Most artists don't like to show unfinished work and I'm no exception :-), but its a way to learn from whats done right as well as from mistakes.
I was still working on the sky this morning when I decided to lay out some of the foreground scenery so I'd know exactly how much of the sky was actually going to need my attention......sunsets/sunrises are not easy to do. You can see I started laying in the bamboo that the client requested....its actually a blue bamboo (not what you see here yet, this is just a quick layout).....and you can see the trunk of a palm tree peeking through the bamboo. I'll also be adding similar foliage on the other side but set back further with a smaller scale to help with the depth perception.I also still have to finish the lilies/lotus, I want to put a couple of seed pods from the lotus in too.
The sky will start to darken soon and I'll be using some deeper pinks, turning to purples and deep blues as I go up, which will then turn into a midnight sky with constellations.

Here's the finished mural I was working on last week.... in place. Professional Faux Finisher (and muralist in training) Randy Keller did the installation and the faux stone work around the mural.

HAD TO SHARE THIS...

Yesterday I was perusing the internet looking for video cameras......I'm thinking of doing some new instructional videos when I get back home, and I want to improve the quality of them.
Anyway while searching I came across this really cool little..and I mean little!.....projector and had to share it with you all.
Go check it out... http://www.aiptek.com
You hold this in your hand people!
It projects up to 42" wide, and it also hooks up to your computer if you want to display something from your screen onto a wall(for example). I'm thinking how cool to use this on job sites for projecting smaller images rather than lugging around my big projector....no more $30 packets of transparency film! Its about three hundred bucks. I see a new toy in my future :-)
My friend Linda (where I'm staying while working in Florida) is not only generous to her human friends ....... every morning she puts out a handful of cat food for a neighborhood stray...... little does she know where its really going. I caught this shot this morning.I finally started working on the sky yesterday and there's a reason I'm only showing part of it here......I'm probably going to redo it. To me its more reminiscent of a sunset than a sunrise(requested by the client), so I want to rework it a bit. I want it to be perfect. This is going in a 30 million dollar home folks, it needs to be perfect.
Its the weekend and I think I'm going to spend it thrift shopping, one of my favorite past times. Linda's boys are here plus one of their friends and since their computer games are in the room I'm painting in........ well, lets justs say its futile to try and work in there. Its ok though, its good to take a break from your work so you can see it with fresh eyes.

I saw something this morning that made me think more than twice, a quote by Degas. I'm always saying paint what you see, not what you think, and I do think thats true when you're learning to see shapes and colors etc.
But now I also believe this to be true....a quote from Degas:
"The artist does not draw what he sees, but what he must make others see." Edgar Degas
I love that!
Still no sunset :-) Getting my second installment check for the elevator mural project was delayed, and as I was out of funds I was fortunate to be offered a quick commission (project seen below).Now with the financial pressure off I will get back to the elevator mural.
OK......I'm pretty sure in a past post that I said I was starting the sky......well, I haven't yet. I did opt to finish the bottom first before moving on, and this is where I am so far.
I added some dead leaves under the surface of the water
and a few laying on the bottom. I also added a few more rocks, and another small school of fish on the left.There's a hidden key..requested by the client.
There's probably more detailing to do, but I'd like to wait now until the entire mural is completed. I'm now ready to begin the sky and landscape.
Yes.....I am still working on the elevator mural :-) but yesterday I took some time to help out a new artist friend with a project. His name is Randy Keller and he is based here in So Florida. Although we were working on a small mural project I had the opportunity to view some samples of his extraordinary faux finish work and wanted to share some of them here. Randy is relatively new to the area and trying very hard to build his business here. This is my way of trying to help him do that.
So here are a couple of pictures I took, but for much better and more examples of what Randy can do visit his website.
Oh.....and Randy is going to be offering classes in faux finishing and you can find out more info about that through 'contact' on his website.

Look familiar? This is an acquaintance of my friend Linda whose house I'm staying in while working on the elevator mural. He had stopped by her house and was wearing this t-shirt.This was taken from a mural I had done for the Old Key Lime House restaurant in Lantana, Fl.
Needless to say I was a bit surprised. When I asked the owner if since I wasn't receiving any of the profits from the sales was I getting a pile of t-shirts at least....he replied no, but I could pick one.....generous uh?