Out of this world!

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Last week’s project was one of the most unusual I’ve ever tackled, and a first for me.

My client is slowly transforming his garage into the flight deck of the Jupiter 2 space craft from the old TV series “Lost in Space”. He has a long history of professional sci-fi make up and model making and is something of a technical wizard so his creations are extremely convincing, down to Robby the Robot himself.

As part of the project, scenery was required for the three large windows in the front of the craft so designs were produced to try and capture what he had in mind. With some adjustments we landed on the right composition.

Below is a before and after shot of the windows and some detail shots. This is the first time I’ve painted any kind of space mural and it was great fun. Upon completion and varnishing, the stars were over painted with glow paint so that when the lights are out, there is still the effect of a starry night sky through the window.

Thanks for the opportunity!

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To Idaho they go!

Tomorrow (Wednesday July 30th) I take eight paintings over to Idaho to The Painter’s Chair Gallery. Potentially the last chance locally if anyone is interested in any of these pieces. I’m here today if you want to see them.

flooded field acrylic on canvas 48in x 36in

“Flooded Field” acrylic on canvas 36×48

 

Settling in Birch Bay small 96x36, oil on canvas

 

“Settling in – Birch Bay” oil on canvas  36×96

andy eccleshall calm before

“Calm Before” Acrylic on canvas 24×30

 

 

arbutus2 16x20 oil on canvas $1,450 arbutus1 24x30 oil on canvas $2,250 arbutus3 16x20 oil on canvas $1,450

“Arbutous 1, 2 and 3 oil on canvas

 

 

hightower ampa, 48x60 oil on canvas 4250

“Hightower” oil on canvas 60×72

 

Shifting Horizons

 

“Shifting Horizons” oil on canvas 36×48

Show sales!

I’m proud and so thankful for all that Cole Gallery does for their artists. I’m thrilled that a third painting from the show sold today. Thank you so much!

convergence 20x60 oil on canvas

“Convergence”

barnstorm 30x40 oil on canvas 3,450

“Barnstorm”

 

calm 22x28 oil on canvas 2,150

“Calm”

 

The show is on until August 18th!

Ambiance- The Character and Atmosphere of Place

My new show “Ambiance-The Character and Atmosphere of Place” will Open at Cole Gallery, (107 5th Ave S. in Edmonds) on July 12th. I invite everyone to join us for a reception from 6.30 to 8.30 at the gallery to see the new collection of paintings.

This series continues my exploration of atmosphere and mood but puts more emphasis on subtlety.  Sixteen new pieces reflect a slight change in direction for me, becoming less concerned with specific details of the scene and more focused on capturing an overall sense of how the scene “feels”. Ambiance.

In conjunction with the new show I’m launching my new fine art website, www.andyeccleshall.com . Here you can see all the new and available work, together with past pieces. You can also stay informed about upcoming classes, demonstrations and events and can purchase paintings, order prints and commission pieces. There’s also a “first dibs” feature where you can sign up to be one of the first to preview new paintings as they are completed.

I’m also proud to announce that the new show is featured in the July edition of “American Art Collector Magazine” (pg. 132-3).

Below is a preview of the show, but I encourage you to see the new work in person at Cole Gallery from July 12th – August 18th. Hope to see you there on opening night!

 

morning blues 20x16 oil on canvas 1,450

 

“Morning Blues” 20×16 is the smallest of the collection and depicts Kingston harbor before sunrise.

Serenity 72x48 oil on canvas 6,950

 

“Serenity” 48 x 72. The timeless view of the Olympic Mountains from the top of Edmonds Bowl is shrouded in a golden mist in this early spring sunset.

san juan sunset 24x36 oil on canvas

“San Juan Sunset” 24 x 36, captures the last sunlight of the day on the west coast of Whidbey Island.

 

old barn sunset 40x30 oil on canvas 3,450

This beautiful old barn on Lowell Rd., just east of Everett, WA, looks out over the Snohomish River Valley as the sun rises on a summer morning. 30 x 40

new light 24x30 oil on canvas 2,350

 

The Skagit Valley never ceases to provide fabulous lighting conditions and opportunities for minimalist landscape. This series of paintings are drawn from numerous visits to the area and reflect some wonderful northwest weather! Above is “New light” 24 x 30

barnstorm 30x40 oil on canvas 3,450

“Barn Storm” 30 x 40

after the rain 28x22, oil on canvas 2,150 (2)

“After the Rain” 22 x 28

Jack's pass 30x30 oil on canvas 2,950

“Jack’s Pass” 30 x 30 shows a serenely misty view from around Stephen’s Pass. So why Jack’s Pass? My son (Jack) snapped the reference shot for this painting from a moving car as we headed over to Eastern Washington. Nice job Jack!

The following two paintings show the view looking west from the Saanich Peninsular in BC. This particular body of water is sheltered and shallow and makes for some fascinating misty mornings.

morning mist 24x36 oil on canvas 3,250

“Morning Mist” 24 x 36

calm 22x28 oil on canvas 2,150

“Calm” 22 x 28

headed home 18x24 oil on canvas $1750

Of course, the Puget sound is our own constant source of inspiration and this painting, together with the one below are both based on some remarkably still and chilly mornings journeying back and forth from Edmonds to Kingston. Above is “Headed Home” 18 x 24

 

 

evening blues 24x30 oil on canvas 2,350

 

“Evening Blues” 24 x 30

 

 

 

electric blue 36x24 oil on canvas 3,450

My Fascination with clouds will never die. “Electric Blue” 24 x 36

 

copper sky 20x24 oil on canvas

“Copper Sky” 20 x 24

 

convergence 20x60 oil on canvas

“Convergence” 20 x 60

 

cloud 40x30 oil on canvas

 

“Transcendence”   30 x 40

sweep 12x24 oil on canvas $1,450

 

“Sweep” 12 x 24

If you have any questions about any of these pieces or if you’d like to see any work in person please contact me at andy@themuralworks.com or at 206 579 3211, or visit Cole Gallery in downtown Edmonds. Thank you!

 

Harpsichord Lid Art

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One of the most unusual projects for sometime was completed last week and involved the painting shown above. Below is a statement by the painting’s owner.

“[The original of this painting] was purchased in a shop in Hong Kong in the 1920’s or 1930’s by my great uncle who was a scholar of Asian art and an art historian with a specialty in Chinese and Japanese art; he worked at the Fogg Museum at Harvard. The painting was mounted on a scroll, and was somewhat damaged by the time my great-uncle found it.  I believe my parents were given it in the early 1950’s, and hung it on our living room wall. My uncle wrote my dad that he didn’t know much about it, but that it was obviously painted by an anonymous Chinese artist for the British trade. Judging by the style of dress, it might date from around 1780-1795. In the 1970’s or 1980’s the scroll (paper and silk) had begun to tear from the rod that held it, so my parents had the painting cut from the scroll itself and framed with a Plexiglas covering, to protect it. My mother gave me the painting about 15 years ago, after my dad died.

The painting has characteristics of both cultures, with a folk-art touch as well. It features the Renaissance-type perspective with imaginary buildings reminiscent of M.C. Escher, a great tree in a more Chinese style, men with big feet and women with tiny feet. The ships are in full sail headed in different directions.

Around 25 or 30 years ago my dad inquired of experts at the British Museum, who wrote that they had not seen such ‘hybrid’ art and didn’t have much to say about it.

There is actually quite a lot known about some of the slightly later Chinese artists who did portraits of American traders, beginning around 1800. The Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts is full of curators knowledgeable about the China Trade.”

The project involved the adaptation and recreation of the painting onto the inside of the lid of a harpsichord. A thoroughly intriguing prospect not only from a logistical standpoint, but also for a stylistic one. Anytime I have to paint in a style which is not natural to me, it’s an interesting excursion beyond my comfort zone and is always an education. Also, the lid of the harpsichord is a very different shape to the original painting and in order to retain some of the most interesting elements the composition would need to be altered.

Below is a series of photos which show the progression of the project from beginning to end, culminating in the re-installation of the lid on the harpsichord.

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In the studio, the outer, dark green border is measured and painted in.

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This is followed by the finer, golden pin stripe border inside of the dark green, measured and taped off using yellow frog tape.

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The borders are then masked off and the image is drawn onto the lid. The composition is altered slightly so that the essence of the painting can be incorporated into the shape of the lid. The left hand side of the composition is largely unaltered but the right hand is lowered and brought closer. Interestingly, this does not affect the overall character of the image and works quite happily with the original’s distorted perspective.

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Painting begins, working from the background to the foreground. Close attention is given to the subdued pallet and subtle watercolor characteristics of the painting.

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In this image, you can see the beginnings of the distressing. Water-staining and suggestions of cracking in the paint are added to create a patina similar to the original.

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In the studio, the lid is complete and clear coated ready for installation.

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Back in the client’s home, the lid is re-installed onto the harpsichord.

A really fun project and a challenging one in many positive ways. Thanks for the opportunity!!

Model Train Backdrops

The last two weeks were spent in complete indulgence. I had the opportunity to paint my favorite subject matter, Northwest Landscape, on a pair of facing walls. The room is fairly small and is occupied by an exquisitely created model train layout built by Progressive Model Design of Romeoville, Il. . The layout is freestanding and the attention to detail is quite mesmerizing. The walls are painted as a backdrop to the layout so that the scenery depicted in the model transitions back into the walls. Being given the opportunity to engross my self into such subject matter is nothing short of luxurious.

 

You can see the before and after shots below. Thanks to Barry and Melinda for a delightful couple of weeks and to Kevin Kurbs of Kevin Kurbs Interior Design for the introduction.

 

Before

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After

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This is the fourth backdrop I’ve painted since being in the northwest and it’s a terrifically fun thing to do. By far the largest backdrop was painted for a private client whose layout occupies the entire basement of his home. Such is the attention to detail in this project that the painting of this backdrop took just over a year to complete. Below is a series of photos of the backdrop details.

The layout encompasses the entire western side of the country from the mountains of British Columbia to the deserts of the southwest.

The backdrop was painted on site before the benchwork was installed, as you can see from some of the photos. The colors were matched to the material (gravel/sand etc) which was to be used for the foreground modeling and viewing angles were taken into consideration so that the vistas worked seamlessly with the layout. The layout was built by David Hikel and some videos of the finished result can be seen on his website.

California desert

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Montana

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Butte, Montana

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Colorado

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Anaconda Mine, Montana

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Northwest Cascades

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British Columbia

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Kicking Horse Pass, British Columbia

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A video of the backdrop is available for viewing by following this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nym45geDiz4 

As you can see, at this stage it was early in the construction phase of the layout.

 

Niche Market

 

 

 

A mural doesn’t necessarily have to be the center of attention. Nor does it have to occupy the entire room. Sometimes a mural can be a small touch of interest or merely a supporting backdrop to something else. The tromp l’oeil niche has been a popular request over the years and is always an interesting talking point. It’s a great way to utilize an awkward corner and can be personalized however you want.

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The trompe l’oeil niche can be filled with anything you like! The image above shows a niche painted on a curved wall. The decorative paneling below the niche is also painted. The following examples show a few delicate examples.

 

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nicheh jug

Of course, flowers are always a popular theme for such pieces, especially when you don’t have to water them.

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In the piece below, this difficult wall section is painted to look like stone block with a handy cubby beneath the stairs for urns, logs, herbs and garlic!

 

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Or perhaps a model ship?

 

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If all else fails, hit the bottle!

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If you already have a niche you can paint that too. Art niches do better with some context.

 

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And some niches aren’t niches at all. This tromp l’oeil curio cabinet houses an array of personal memorabilia.

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As does this rather more involved tromp l’oeil book-case designed to match the real ones adjacent to them. This is what the wall looked like before the mural was painted.

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And after.

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This elaborate mural was recently completed and was filled with items which had personal significance to the home owner.

So have fun with your awkward corners. There’s always room for a niche somewhere.