Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com
Back online....yeah!
Well, production continues, I should finish up all the boards for one of the party rooms today. Thankfully the second room does not have as many.
I'll be going to the site this weekend to paint the background silhouette part of the murals.
A sweet and charming Brazilian gentleman stopped by the studio the other day, he introduced himself as a retired sign painter and pulled this out of an envelope.
He and it were just too adorable not to buy it. After talking with him I learned he was actually a trained fine artist. Coming to the states, working in a print shop was the only job he could find and as his family grew its where he had to stay.....sound familiar.
My latest furniture find, a nicely made wood cabinet for a whopping $3. It will be my next project and will probably end up in my apartment.....my bedside table has been a folding tray table since I moved in, almost a year ago.
I've been working non-stop the past week or so on a couple of different projects. I finished the drop leaf table....
and then I helped out a fellow artist who needed some help getting a huge floral piece done. This was my first peek at the mural via email and it came to me on Friday afternoon....
and left like this Sunday afternoon after a bit more was added to the bottom.....
Its a perfect day to take some time off, stormy and rainy outside, but the deadline for the Ooza Palooza job is looming in the near future, so its back to the studio today. I picked up a bunch of panels to paint last Thursday, they are for the lower third of the walls, the part that gets all the decorative artwork, flowers, plants.......
the top two thirds (the silhouette part of the murals will be painted on site directly on the walls.
These are going to take some time to do.
This is the exterior of the studio by the way, you can see I still haven't done anything about the awning at the front door that was left by the previous tenant. I just need to get up there and cover the name....fabric paint perhaps??
I'm also trying to come up with an idea for a mural for the side of the building.......
something that will double as an ad for the business, not just something pretty. The previous tenant had a mural on boards that they took with them, which I'm grateful for.......it was pretty ugly.
Well.......better make a move, back to work.
Worked some more on the three panels for room two at Ooza Palooza , but had to step away for a while......sometimes you just need to take a break when you've been working on a project for days straight.
Towards the end of the day I turned my attention to that $10 table I bought a while back.
I decided to do a simple beach scene......something that will appeal to the locals. The scene will be the same on both leafs. Not sure if the scene is complete yet, I may add some seagulls in the sky. But tomorrow its down to Parkland to pick up some more panels and then back to the studio to finish off the three that I nearly completed today.
Continued adding bits of flora and fauna all the way down the wall and finally finished it Monday afternoon. I'm thinking I may go back and add a bit more to fill in spaces, it looks a bit disjointed to me. Although I have to keep reminding myself that a lot of this will be hidden by props.

Yesterday I began the three panels that will go in another room, one with a pirate theme....the above is for a princess themed room. The princess room will have live size sculptured trees added around the room and a large castle as well as other dimensional elements. The pirate room will have a tiki hut, a large shipwrecked boat, live size sculptured palm trees....etc, so really what I'm doing is what I call background noise....it helps create the 'feeling' but is secondary to all the elements that will be added to make the rooms really pop.
Tomorrow I pick up 10-12 more panels, but panels that will make up just the bottom part of the remaining walls (where the dark green begins).......the top part of the design will be painted on site, directly on the walls.

Ooza Palooza

Ooza Palooza is the name of the party rental place I'm working on. I finished the first panel of ten that I'm doing in my studio, I couldn't go any further until the owners came by to give their approval. That done, today I will go in and hopefully knock out the majority of them.
Keep in mind this is not my design, I would have done things a bit differently, but the owners are pleased that I was able to replicate the original and that's what counts here.
This is part of the original below.....mine is not exact of course, but close enough I think. You can see that a lot of props will be in front of all the walls.
Had an unexpected visit from my son and his family today...unfortunately they were in town for a funeral, but I was happy to see them (they live in Atlanta).
My not quite five year old grandson Ian playing a game on his dad's iphone. I'm pretty sure I wasn't doing such advanced things at that age.....I remember tinker toys and lincoln logs......they're growing up faster and faster.
Tomorrow I'll be in the studio all day starting one of the walls for the party rental place.

I don't get it

Do you go into a furniture store and make an 'offer' on something you want? I know I've never done that. I've had two 'offers' recently on two of the furniture pieces I painted. The first offer was for the large dresser. The dresser is priced at $495.........seem unreasonable?? After all the
work I put into it, it doesn't seem so to me......the offer was $350......that DID seem unreasonable to me.
The second offer came this morning (@7:30am) for this same dresser and "the smaller one that goes with it", which I'm assuming she meant this one (which doesn't go with the other one)
This cabinet is priced at $325......price doesn't seem off to me, but this offer was $550 for both! Let me think..................ummm, no?!
If I wanted 'offers' I'd put em on ebay. I'm not ungrateful for the interest, but where's the respect for the work (and me, by the way).

Got the job :-)

I'll be posting lots of pictures over the next week or two.....I got the job I was hoping for. This means I can pick up my truck from the shop. They called yesterday to let me know she was ready and added it wasn't what they thought after all (again!!) and they put in a transmission (which cost more of course). I've given up trying to figure out how things work under the hood and will pick her up and hope the issue has been resolved.
The job I got is to replicate the artwork done in a party rental space for kids. This new company has just sold their first franchise and that's where I'll be doing the work. The owners are very nice and really fun, so I'm looking forward to working with them. Tomorrow I'll pick up some boards that will make up a wall that will be concealing a wall of windows. Most of the work will be done in my studio on panels and when they're complete I'll do the background work on site, then the panels will be installed. They've also asked me to paint some of the props that help create the atmosphere in these fun rooms.
The wall art is pretty simple...the background being silhouettes
And the detail work at the bottom.
The only thing I will have to focus on is staying true to the original art and not drifting off into my style.
Finished off the bird cabinet this morning and came home to catch up on the laundry. While I was at the studio I got a call about a mural job....good thing, I'm out of furniture to paint lol. The job sounds fun and a good size too so I'm hoping to get it, I'm meeting with them tomorrow morning. This will help take off the pressure of paying for the truck repair. Oh....by the way I did finally hear from the good folks at Ford and after several days of searching they were finally able to locate a part they need. They are also only charging me for the part!..... still several hundred but no labor/installation charge, which would have easily doubled the price....thank you Ford :-)
After the meeting with the potential client I head over to a former client to do a bit of decorative painting for her in her kitchen.

Knocking em out...

The project for today...scroll down to see the before. Almost got this done today, just have to do the sides and she'll be ready for a price tag.


Big dresser finished

I got a lot done today. Here's the big dresser finished and put together...
Then I started one of the little chests (decided the twin of this is not usable, too warped)...I think I'll add a small boat in the distance and perhaps some shells in the sand....then age and distress.
And......... a new piece came to me today....I see Florida birds standing in tall grasses :-)
A previous client stopped by the studio today to loan me a most wonderful book. Its a very thick, hard cover directory of all the high society folks from Palm Beach down to Miami and up the Treasure Coast to Central Florida.....names, addresses, phone #'s..... I couldn't believe it, what a mailing list!!! :-)
I think its time to introduce high society to me, my mural work, and the new painted furniture being created at My Studio.

Oh....and I emailed Ford, they're still searching for the parts for my truck, apparently I have a mazda made transmission "kind of rare" according to them......sigh.

Todays progress

Great....the bodies done, now to tackle the mirror and its holder that goes with this piece.
Still haven't heard from the Ford folks, guess I'd better give them a call tomorrow to see whats going on.
Here's how the progress is going on the larger chest of drawers. The artwork is not finished yet, I plan to add some Florida birds to the scene. The body will be painted white, aged and distressed. Hope to get this one done tomorrow.
Then these will be my next project........
The magazine that has a picture of the mural I did for the Acqua Liana mansion built by Frank McKinney.
And the picture of course :-)
I was a little disappointed that I was not listed among the long list of sources :-( it feels like a huge missed opportunity....but I've got the magazine.

My week for broken things

I had the truck towed to the Ford dealership yesterday with the promise that "I'll get you in a car and take care of this personally" from the head of the service department. And another promise of "I'll call you this afternoon"........of course he didn't. Anyway I was able to get to the studio and finish up the small chest.
Now today I'll wait for the repair man to again try to fix the hot water heater at my apartment. It was fixed on Friday, but Sunday morning again, no hot water. Then I'll head off to buy the latest Florida Design magazine!! I got an email from a fellow artist yesterday telling me the mural I painted for the mansion builder Frank McKinney was pictured in the new issue.....no mention of my name of course......damn......but a thrill none the less :-)
Then its off to the studio to work on the larger dresser I got a week ago. I started on the drawers yesterday.

A New Day

Well today I decided to try and drive the truck to the studio, its not very far at all, but about half way there the truck would get stuck in gear........I made it there, but knew that once I got it back home I could not drive it anymore.
I needed to go to the studio today, I was so upset and angry about the truck that I knew if I went to the studio to work I'd feel a lot better.....and I did.
I bought a piece of furniture from Craigslist yesterday.......wouldn't have if I'd realized the truck needed more work......expensive work!......but no matter, its a sweet piece and it will help me pay for the repair work on the truck once it sells. Here's how she came to me....
I started working on her this morning....removed the peeling veneer from the top, took off most all of the design work on the doors (bits were missing anyway), sanded and primed.....
and began to paint a landscape on the front.
I consulted with the girls in the shop next door (tons of experience:-) and it was decided I'll distress the chest as it is in the light color, and stain it to give it an old world feel.......love it!! That's just a gray primer on it now, but they think (distressed and stained) it'll give it just the authentic look that I'm after.
I ended up just painting and putting the board back in the counter of the small cabinet I painted rather than spend more money (on copper for the drawer).....I guess it still can be called an herb cabinet based on its decoration.
I put it and the small end table with the birds in the shop next door to the studio to sell.
I came home, very anxious about the truck, and decided to write to the head of the service department at the Ford dealership I went to (its also where I bought my truck). The letter was to express my disappointment (ok, and anger) in not having the truck thoroughly examine the first time I brought it in for service to fix the problem. Within ten minutes I received a reply asking me to come in Monday to get a car to use and that he would personally get involved in the situation.
I'm not really sure what that means, but its encouraging yes?

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The good?..........I have no work scheduled for several days. The bad?.............I have no work scheduled for several days. The ugly?..........the problem with my truck was NOT resolved and it will be another thousand and change to fix it. There is still a problem with shifting gears and now they've decided it is a rod and bearing issue. To fix the problem apparently involves pulling the transmission (hence the hefty cost, labor intensive)....oh, and that's if they can get the part they need......lol......its on back order!
I have no work to pay for this and no truck to get to it if I did.........perfect!
I will try to at least get to the studio each day, I can take side streets and its not too far, but as far as getting to mural jobs or even to the cleaning jobs, they are too far to take the risk of breaking down and possibly causing an accident, or even just having to pay for a tow. Yesterday I was rounding a corner and when I went to shift from second to third I got locked in neutral...thank goodness there was no one behind me and I could drift to the side of the road.
I've got three more pieces of furniture to work on, I'll focus on them right now and see if I can get them sold.
The stress of this chosen profession is just beating me down. I'm worn out and feel like crap!

A re-do

Here's the re-do of the 'princess' room I was hired to do.....big difference, but I confess these sort of fantasy rooms are not my favorite thing to do, preferring to do more realistic situations.
Before:
After: (she really is smiling:-)