Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com
I mentioned a few posts ago that I decided to return to doing work I had done years ago before I began painting....house cleaning.....just a couple of days a week to keep a steady stream of money coming in. Anyway I finally remembered to take a picture of the exterior of the 'house' of my first client....the one with the wonderful murals in the formal living room,
and I just wanted to show you what I first saw driving up the driveway.......I think my first word was "yikes!"
Today I start a new family who needs some help....three kids and a big lovable hairy dog, oh boy....happily though a much....much smaller home :-)
I'll resume working on the portrait tomorrow, and I have a new mural job on Monday. This is the sketch for that job, its for a nursery.
I started working on a portrait of a young boy today. This is the photo I'm working from.
What I had to do first was create a background and because this family lives in Atlanta, Ga., I decided to use Piedmont Park with a hint of the Atlanta skyline for that.
I still have more work/detail to add to this, but wanted to get started on the boy before stopping for the day. I just blocked in his sweater and need to work on his arm on the left because its actually longer in the painting than in the photograph.
In the photo the cuff of the sleeve just begins to show at the bottom and I'm concerned about lengthening the arm unnaturally, or needing to add a bit of hand showing..........I'll work on this next session.
Fortunately, the client has asked me to do another mural for them because that will give me the opportunity to go back and do about another hours work on this mural.....I FORGOT TO DO THE HARDWARE! It was after three and I was out of steam, the family was gathering around and I was loosing focus. I packed my things, took a final look and realized I'd forgotten to add the hardware....hinges, latches, etc. I'd also like to add a few more nails in the boards that make up the wall, and maybe some diagonal pieces of wood on the top doors to better match the style of the bottom doors? I wanted the outside of the doors to be different that the inside, but I still think they should be added. The client will be deciding whether to add any trompe l'oeil tools or to just hang real objects on the artwork.
First things first...the canvas is put into place.....

This child's playroom is just part of the finished basement. There is also a great family space/den/office/bar.......not sure how to describe it, but you could fit my entire apartment in it probably three times. Its beautifully done, lots of texture, stone work, very warm and inviting.
This is the wall where they are thinking about having a mural done, its in the bar area. Notice the ceiling?......it is texture wallpaper that resembles a pressed tin ceiling finished with a 'copper' paint technique.
The client would like a woodland scene, the husband is an avid sportsman. This will be another project done on canvas. With the amount of detail that will go into it, working on it at home (aka my studio) is best....the client also lives about an hour away, so it will save on commute/travel expenses....this will not be a one day job.
Ok.....I couldn't resist...it was just hanging on the wall staring at me.....I fatten up the tree. Its a subtle difference but I like it better. I may have gone even fatter but I don't want to cover whats behind it.
This morning I'm off to do one of my 'side' jobs to keep the income stream moving. I'm so looking forward to tomorrow.........its installation day for the newly completed mural. The client sent along some sample photos of some things that she thought might look fun on the wall after its painted around the mural to look like an old barn wood wall. So it will be a totally trompe l'oeil day, my favorite style of painting.
I'll have to try and select a few objects and find larger pictures of them..these are obviously too small to work from. I'll of course post pictures at the end of the day....woooooo-hoooooo can't wait!!
Well, I think this is about it. I'm just struggling with whether to make the large tree a little fatter???? The rest of this job will be done on location.....rustic wood doors and walls surrounding the scene.

Well......I didn't finish today, I got caught up in a few errands and got a late start. I'm going to add a couple of more chickens in the foreground and some back by the chicken coup behind the house. I am going to put deer near the pine trees to the right of the house and I'm going to add another tree to the left of the house but closer to the road so it'll be a good size......all this tomorrow. Oops......gotta fence in those cows too.
OK......thats it for today. Should be able to finish this up tomorrow after I add some chickens, maybe a sheep or goat, and a deer or two.......finish up the house, maybe another tree or two????
I decided to add this fence to put some distance between us (the viewer) and the house. I think it worked rather well. Now to focus on getting some more animals in.
Here's what got done today.....
It took a few conversations to work out the details, but today I'm beginning a farm mural for a new client. The mural will be going in a play area in a private home. The client has asked me to incorporate the old family farm into the scene. These are some of the images she sent me.

This is a sketch I had prepared for her before I received a third building that needs to go in, and it's also minus all the animals that will be added. She requested the middle building be red.
After more discussion she also decided that she wanted this 'window' scene to appear as though you were standing in a barn looking out and she wanted it to be a substantial size (5.5' wide). It was decided a stable door (or dutch door) would work well, so now the pig will be replaced with a rooster sitting on the lower half of the door, since the pig would not be tall enough to be looking into a half opened door. Five and a half feet felt too wide for a single door, so I'll be doing a double dutch door. Part of this will be painted on canvas (the scene) and once I installed it the surrounding wall will be painted to look like barn wood walls and I will add the open top doors.
I sketched the door opening last night (sorry, hard to see).....the green tape on the sides represent where the opened doors will be...so partially on canvas and partially on the wall.
I was also commissioned to do a child's portrait yesterday from a previous client in Atlanta.
Isn't he adorable. I'm looking forward to starting this.
Here's some information on the artist who painted the murals in the home mentioned/shown in the previous post.
Some more of his work.....

Lots Going On

Finally got my computer back with its new hard drive. Lesson to all.........back up, back up, back up! Its devastating opening my iphoto and finding all pictures of my work ......gone....years of work....gone. I still have the old hard drive and can look into seeing if the data can be retrieved, but that takes money, so it'll have to wait.
Meanwhile I've decided to start doing some housecleaning on the side to try and get a more consistent flow of money coming in, mural work is just not paying the bills right now, and the stress is getting old. It wasn't easy deciding to go back to doing this kind of work again....a slight bruise to my ego, one month I'm painting murals for a $29 million dollar mansion on the ocean and the next I'm cleaning one, go figure. But I'm looking at it this way.........I'm getting paid to exercise! I hate exercising but I need to badly, all this inactivity from lack of work is, shall we say.......showing..lol. I'm also working on sketches for two mural clients, so that keeps my spirits up.
Actually I got lucky with my first new cleaning client, a really cool young couple (with new baby) oh, and four dogs. A gorgeous huge home, and I wish I could remember the history of it. I remember she said it was built by a senator.....was it around 1900?...not sure. Most recently though it was used as a dorm for students from Bryn Mawr College. This couple bought the property almost two years ago to save it from demolition.....can you imagine. When I drove up the driveway the first time, I said out loud......oh, my god!
Anyway........I took some pictures today. I'll have to ask the owner again who the mural artist was, but I think I remember her saying he had done some work in the Panama Canal? I'll check on that. I was just so busy trying to take everything in visually that I wasn't really listening.
This is the formal living room where the mural work is.
And here are some close ups of the work.

Here are some photos of the ceiling in the room that is used as an office. This little seating area is at the far end of the large room.
The ceiling

A shot of some of the beautiful stained glass windows in the hallway.
And this is a shot of some of the original wallpaper that is in the family room.

Bummer!

Won't be posting for a few days.................my hard drive died on April Fools Day..perfect timing eh?
If anyone needs to reach me call my cell at 561-351-9548 Thanks :-)
Gosh....what am I going to do with myself, yikes!