Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Step Three, Then Step Two

I wanted to share the process of painting my secretary with my Blog friends!  This is actually step three.  I will show step two next time!
I didn't paint the exterior with Annie Sloan Graphite and Dark Wax until I applied the paintings.  I wanted to be certain I would love the color.  The Graphite is the color found in the background of Rembrandt van Rijn's paintings, as well as many other Old Masters.  I think it is perfect!

I guess we can call the style of this secretary Venetian?  Baroque? Florentine?  After much research I found many secretaries that inspired me, so I chose characteristics from each that I admired...

Niccolo dell’Abbate, Chimney breast 1552, Château, Écouen, France Painting...

Petite Painted Antique French Louis XVI Ladies Secretary...

This Venetian secretary is stunning!  I actually got the idea for the panels when I noticed how lovely the painting looked next to it in this photo!

This color combination was an inspiration. 

Though I love this panel from an 18TH century French secretary, I really don't have the time to copy it!

I was also inspired by this Dutch Baroque inlaid walnut secretary cabinet. It sold for $77,000! 

They are calling this a Venetian, Rococo, Baroque secretary.  I love the details and even considered applying acrylic mirror panels to the doors of my own, until I came to my senses!  It was challenging enough to cut the posters to shape!

The exterior paintings are (L) Birth of the Sun by Corrado Giaquinto,  (R)Triumph of the Seasons by Baldassarre and The Triumph of Flora (Bottom), by Nicholas Poussin.
The entire piece will be painted in Annie Sloan Graphite and the trim, including the finials will be Old White.

This putti is five inches across...it will go near the crown.  I may apply a convex mirror under it but I don't have one here.  Once all the paint and decoupage is done I can look for a suitable mirror if I decide it needs one!  I am still recuperating from the cost of the torch finials on ebay!

I think Annie Sloan Aubusson with Dark Wax for the interior.
These posters are reproductions of allegorical paintings entitled Spring and Autumn, respectively, by Christian Bernhard Rode.

As you may have guessed, I chose a garden theme.  The secretary is in the corner of the Breakfast Room and the paintings are great conversation starters.  It faces the Sunroom and the back gardens.

I cherish your opinions!  What do you think of these choices?




  1. Andie, you amaze me! Your choices are perfect. Don't know how you find the time to accomplish all these incredible make overs.

  2. Fabulous choices, my friend. Great inspiration as well.

  3. I love your choices because they are perfectly you. I admire the way you stay true to your style...always. Amazing piece for sure!

  4. I think it looks incredible!!
    You found some fabulous inspiration to draw from !!!!!
    Go for it

  5. WOW! You are a master, Andie! I just finished my first chalk paint project, and I am really pleased. This is going to be just an unbelievable feat of imagination my dear. I hope you got my Etsy message/email. I am just waiting for your final say!


  6. Oh Andie,
    I am so excited to watch this transformation. I am always intrigued with decoupage techniques, especially when the finished project is given an aged look. I wonder how you will do that? Scratch the surface of the posters a bit? apply some sort of crackling technique? maybe just mute the pictures somehow with paint? I just can't wait to see what you do so I can learn from the master!!!
    Regardless of how you do it, I know it will be breathtaking!

  7. Love those season paintings on the inside of the doors, so much fun and very inspirational Andie, I'd love to take on a project like this!

  8. Ficou belíssimo com essas gravuras. Amo sua criatividade. Tu sempre com ideias maravilhosas para embelezar seus móveis.
    Tenha um ótimo dia.

  9. this will really be an interesting piece! I sort of like the interior as it is now with all of the other decoration you have.....no?

  10. Andie,

    You have discovered how to create your own Joy in Living through these endless artistic adaptations and reinterpretations of classical themes. Transforming the mundane into the magical is a wonderful way to spend time. More than anyone I know right now you exemplify the maxim "A Woman's Home is Her Castle." My Aunt Alice, a highly successful school principal in her day, was a lot like you. She radiated glamor and could make a pitcher of iced tea served on her wicker-filled, well-ferned front porch seem like a trouble-free Visit to Oz.

    You have much in common with my aunt -- and also with Thomas Jefferson, who made his life a marvel with the constant exercise of boundless creativity.

    Having Vision, Daring and being able to summon the Energy to put forth the Effort to make your Dreams Come True is a great combinations of qualities -- a wonderful gift.

    And if you're lucky, your task will NEVER be completed. There will always be MORE you'll want to accomplish.

    Have you considered going into business? You have the talent to help others less gifted create and fulfill THEIR dreams. Or would that take all the pleasure out of it for you?

    At any rate, KEEP ON! What you do is just great -- one of the most encouraging things I've encountered on the net.

  11. I am in awe of you, your talent and your amazing projects, I want to be just like you when I grow up (I just had My 60th B-day!) Please keep up the inspiring work! I love you!!

  12. What a piece. Jaw-dropping gorgeous and once it is finished with your magic touch, it will be priceless. You are one talented woman, very worldly. I agree with Cathie above, I want to be just like you when I grow up!



  13. Andie,
    I love the fitted interior with all the compartments, drawers and galleries. So cool!!


I love hearing what you have to say!


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