The Birth Of A Hallway.....
Two years ago the very talented designer and my dear friend Thomas Wiggins asked if I would come to France and work on his latest project - a period 18th century chateau in the south of France. Well, what girl wouldn't want to live in a castle in the south of France for a month? Of course I got my but and brushes on the next flight!
The hallway of the chateau was originally painted in the 18th century with fabulous faux marbe panel murals. Over the next couple hundred years, some unfortunate additions had been made, touch ups done and expected damage to the panels had ensued, in short the murals had been touched by many a hand over the years.
A couple of the unfortunate additions were a badly appointed bathroom and kitchen which Thomas ripped out so as to permit the flow of the hallway straight through the first floor of the chateau. This area would be my "office" for the better part of a month. Working in a country where materials differ from what one is used to is no mean feat let me tell you! I couldn't get the glazes I would usually work with here and the paint is a completely different consistency, we did stumble upon a fabulous shop where we were able to get a myriad of dried pigment - so I set about mixing!
As I mentioned the murals had been worked on over a 200 year period by various artists so I had the added challenge of wearing a few different hats as it were, the panels couldn't all look like they were done by the same hand.... Much measuring, drawing of lines and taping took place with layer upon layer of transparent washes of colour and freehand brush work.
It was a huge job but well worth it, the hallway runs seamlessly now from one end of the chateau to the other and looks like it has always been there.
There have been whisperings of something fabulous in store for a tower bedroom in the near future so my brushes and I may be heading back for another round sometime soon.