Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Pool House

I thought I'd send a little sunshine and warm tropical thoughts to the frozen north and everywhere else. I'm sitting here in Jacksonville, FL right now listening to the rain pouring down, while I'm bundled up under a down blanket. I'm thinking I need some tropical weather! So I pulled out the only thing I have right now -- a painted shed.

Several years ago, in a land far far away, there once was a pool shed that was drab and dingy. The little brown pool shed sat behind a little brown house in the woods with tons of strawberry plants, lots of weeds and just a couple of deer. While doing dishes in the never-been-updated kitchen with the bright blue laminate countertops, the focal point of the backyard was the pool and the little drab pool house.

Then one day Kristin discovered the paintings of Thomas McKnight and she had an idea! Why not ask her very talented sister, Alison, to come and put a little pizazz on that pool shed. So we poured through the McKnight book that I had and picked out a few paintings that we liked and Alison merged them all together into one picture. One really incredible picture.

I really wanted to have a porch in the painting. I love how McKnight puts the viewer in one space and then with the use of columns or windows he frames out a completely unique space on the other side. Alison married these things beautifully on this odd shaped building.

I loved watching her work. She is the only one in our family that has painting and drawing talents, so watching her is always fascinating.

Wouldn't you just love to sit on that porch, with all of that beautiful molding around the windows and the fancy scroll work framing each view. ...and look at the fancy molding in the ceiling area of the cool.

Doesn't it look like you are standing on the porch, looking over the pool of that grand mansion in the background? When I was inside doing dishes in the winter time, this gorgeous work of art shined like a beacon out from the sea of white. I loved this pool shed from the very day she started on it.

I also enjoyed having my sister come visit every day for a week or so. I lived about 30 miles away from her, so her visits were a lot of fun. My husband who is quite the sandwich maker, would make her these fabulous lunches as I recall. I know we used as much leftover paint from our projects around the house as possible and Alison also went bargain shopping at the Home Depot for Ooops Paint (paint that was the wrong color for a particular customer - and rather than toss it, they sell it for cheap - $1-$5 usually.) When she was all finished, I put on 4 or 5 coats of polyurethane to keep it from chipping and peeling.

I couldn't find any real close-ups of the pool house - so you can't really see that there is a boom box on one of the blankets and that the straw hat is just identical to the little straw hats that McKnight had in so many of his paintings.

I am fortunate to own two McKnights - they are Serigraphs, not actual paintings. One of those my husband bought for me in Chicago one year and we hauled it all the way back home on the train.

Anyway, having a painting in my backyard was great. I hated that I had to leave it behind when we sold that house. The new owners loved it though - and the wife, I remember, said that it was the deciding factor on buying the place. Thanks goodness something was a deciding factor because it sure wasn't that kitchen!

If you are interested in contacting my sister for some custom artwork, let me know!

Have a fabulous day!


Leigh said...

That. Is. Beautiful.

SHe is amazingly gifted.

"J" said...

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE for sister to come to Texas and make our shed a bait store!!!!! Wouldn't that be a CUTE idea!!!! It's just a shed that we store tools, bird feed and our bikes in but it would be CUTE to be a BAIT SHOP!!!! I wished I could draw/paint!!!! I would paint little windows on the side - with fish and worms and wording....sooooooooooooooooooooooooo cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"J" said...

PS - Your shed looked soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!!!! Your sis ROCKS!!!!! She has it going on for sure!!!!!!

Ruth Ann said...

Beautiful pool shed! She is soo talented! It's soo realistic too! I bet it was hard to leave that behind! I went to Target today and bought you some goodies!!!!! I'll probably put them in the mail on Saturday, I'll let you know!
-Ruth Ann

Ann Kroeker said...


I want the shed.

And a pool, too, that would require a shed.

Clever, creative people!

Enjoy the view!

Anonymous said...

How cool is that?! Love it!!!

Alison said...

Thank you, all. It was a fun project. What I always think is strange when looking at my mural projects that are created to mimic someone's painting style, is that it doesn't look like my work. Does that even make sense? McKnight has a quirky, titled, illustrated and graphic sensibility to his work. I don't paint that way intentionally but it is fun to test myself and see if I can pull it off. I have painted murals for a couple people who have moved from those homes. I always wonder if the new owners enjoy them. I'm glad to know my sister's buyers did. There is a running joke in my family about a mural I did for our mother in her kitchen. Our cousin saw it and said it would take, "seven coats of Glidden white," to cover it up. I let that one roll off my back : )

Kirby3131 said...

I think it is a testament to your talent, Alison, that you can paint in another persons style. and yes, you can pull it off!