Monday, 3 December 2012

a little bit of history and a mural

Last week I finished the second mural. I got my inspiration for both of them from books I had and some Laura Ashley wallpaper.

My favourite go to style is Regency or Adam style. I reference it a lot because there is so much detail - swags, flowers, bows, urns, cornucopia, the designs are endless.

Many architects and designers travelled around Europe in the 1700's and explored the ancient sites in Italy and Greece. The style they created became Neoclassicism, because it was classic style used in a new way.
Robert Adam was one such Scottish architect whose designs and influence have had far reaching effect. To quote Wikipedia - 'He influenced the development of Western architecture, both in Europe and in North America'.
Regency followed Adam style, and the rest of Europe were developing similar design aesthetics. The French were using classical designs in their Empire style. The Germans and Scandinavians also used similar themes and in North America the style was called Federal (according to Wikipedia).

Adam style mirror
Adam style fireplace

Robert Adam building
I believe there is a home in just about every street in Britain that has some sort of Adam style detail somewhere. Whether it's on a fireplace, a piece of furniture, or in the style of the building itself, it is the basis for so much of our design history.
So back to my recent mural. When I painted the first mural  I was asked to use a heart, so it was easy to 'grow' the design from there, and just use my references for the birds and flowers. With the second mural I was only asked to include flowers and butterflies, but I needed a centre, or something to start from.

I found a lovely Regency reference with a rod, floral swags and ribbons, which was the perfect design to include butterflies, so here is the second mural.

It sits above this bed, hence the choice of colours. My clients moved the bed out for me, but weren't there to push it back when I had finished, so I don't have a proper after shot.

You need to imagine the bed pushed back about 6 ft, between the two lamps, then the scale won't look so wrong.

I am feeling left out, just like I did this time last year, because I haven't done any Christmas posts yet, but I just wanted to get this done.
Christmas is coming here soon !
Disclaimer: I am not a Historian, so don't quote me on anything I have written above. I knew some of this stuff already, I looked some up and I probably made some up, but hopefully you will get the essence of what I am trying to say. Design is all around us, but somewhere, sometime, someone did it first !


  1. I love this! (I owned at least a dozen Laura Ashley frocks back when I was younger and thinner.) It looks wonderful. And congratulations on the baby (Duchess Kate's)!

  2. Besides the beauty of your paintings you are giving us a class! Thanks! I love the Adam Style! I love your painting.

  3. Your mural is just beautiful! How many hours did it take you to complete this one? I'm sure the homeowners are delighted with it!

    I know just how you feel. I couldn't even visit blogs with Christmas posts because I haven't unpacked a single thing. And probably won't this year. Our girls won't be home this year and Christmas just isn't the same without them, so I'm curing myself with a little paint therapy. After 8 years, I took the plunge and painted the dining room! Woo hoo!

  4. That is so lovely! Can I just fly you over here for a few days of painting?

  5. You better start your Christmas preparations Fiona, because if I remember correctly last year you decorated just a breath before Christmas! :-)

  6. Beautiful Fiona! No Christmas post from me either - I have just moved house, look forward to seeing your Christmas post though. CJ

  7. Don't feel left out, I mean really, the season is just beginning. I'll even read about your Christmas in February if that's when you post.


  8. Very the pink...and I love your blog title!! Just paint it white...isn't that so true? When we first bought our home I had not even seen the house until a year later when we moved from CA to CT. The first things we did was paint everything white including the stone fireplace that I would have loved to demo, but way to expensive...and now that it's's sort of growing on me.

  9. this one is a beauty, fiona! i love the colors:)

  10. I'm just glad you are working! Nice (beautiful) job. The swag is perfect.


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