Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Wetlands Floor

Miss Kitty is wondering where her favorite chair that USED to be in this spot went to.

When last we spoke, my living room was empty and the floor had been stripped down to the concrete. Friend Matt came over Monday night and pulled out those nasty carpet tack strips (ouch). Frank Rao, muralist extraordinaire, arrived bright and early Tuesday morning. We vacuumed one more time to be sure all the dust was up, he fixed some of the more obvious floor flaws, I penned up the cat and the dog in my bedroom (much to the dog's disgust), and we were off to the races!
For a person like myself that thinks in terms of words, not pictures, knowing that the end result would be wonderful is a matter of trust (and having other mural and faux painting work done in my house by Frank and his father, Al).
After Frank applied a base coat, we identified "big picture - this is water, this is marsh" stuff, and he started blocking in colors.

Once the floor was taking shape, Frank started bringing the art up the walls. What fun! (Thanks to prodigiously talented friends like Charlie Corbeil, Jim Angy, Matt MacQueen, and Wayne Matchett, I had some wonderful reference photos for Frank. I pulled them into a PowerPoint presentation on my laptop that Frank could move around with him.) His first scene was a wetlands view behind the 20 foot curly willow tree that stands in one corner. After I saw that, I was hooked into more wall art, so I now have an anhinga in nuptial plumage drying his wings by the dining room table area, a great blue heron with his neck curled around a light switch by the sliding glass door, a pig frog by the guest bathroom, and a dragonfly in another corner. (We sea-bean symposium folks think that Cathie Katz comes back to us as a dragonfly, so of course there had to be a tribute dragonfly.) An alligator on the floor will peer at guests sitting on the couch. Grasses coming up the walls tie the whole thing together. (Ignore the African art - it will get moved into the Safari Room.)

Yesterday, the final clear sealer coat went on - we're done! Well, at least with the art. Furniture can go back in place mid-week, after everything cures for the appropriate amount of time. (Frank worked extra hard to come up with products that were pet-friendly in terms of limited outgassing - we kept a lot of fans going, and it was not smelly at all.) Rope lights will go along the baseboards. Artificial water lilies will be scattered on the floor. A frog statue that I've had for years will now sit on a lily pad. I gracefully turned down a friend's offer for a canoe that could be used as a couch - we certainly don't want to go over the top here :)

DONE! Matt came over yesterday and shot a short video - when that gets edited, I'll post it and you'll get a better idea of the finished product - a thing of beauty! Frank's new web site is in work - when that is up and running next week, I'll provide you with a link to it so you can see some of his other creations. Meanwhile, if you need a mural or faux art, Frank is your man!


Caroline said...

WOW! I love the idea of an alligator peering at folks and frogs and dragonflies in the house.
Can't wait to see the whole scene. Sure beats boring carpet or kitchen floor.

Florida Beach Basics said...

Caroline - you'll notice in a couple of the pix you can see a sort of rough trench coming from the wall outlet to the floor outlet. when the electricians put that in there years ago, they didn't do a wonderful job of smoothing it out - however, it is the perfect texture for an alligator, so that's where he is.

Sylvia said...

That is amazing, I could sit and stare at your floor for hours...great job!!! Can't wait to see more.


The Florida Blogger said...

Great mural! What are you going to use this room for?

Unknown said...

What a great idea! (Hi! Stumbled across your blog from another. . .) Looking forward to seeing the whole thing . . .