Sometimes a client comes along with a furniture request that I just NEED.
Not a business need or a financial need......but a NEED from my soul.
This was this client....and this piano armoire was the project.
She delivered (well actually....she's not local so her niece delivered it) a boring and plain "blank canvas" armoire to me.....and had two requests.....to include purple and green....and include a piano theme.
That last request....the piano part....got me.
My mother was a self-taught pianist....a child prodigy if you will....and began TEACHING piano to others as a job.....at the age of 13!!! I was raised with the sound of piano music filling my home around the clock.
As I type this....just the memory of her playing.....brings up so much emotion in me that I can hardly see through my tears. I would give anything.....to hear her play just one more time. She left her heart on those keys daily....all of her emotions....her happy....her sad....her anger...her celebration....her salvation....and the rest of us received the benefit of her fingers on those keys.
She taught me to play. She taught all three of us (her children) to play. Not one of us had the ability that she did....but it made her so happy to see us clunk through pieces and perform in yearly recitals. There are many people walking the earth today that my mother nurtured their musical skills in both piano and theory.
My design plans for this piano armoire shifted greatly when the wallpaper that I ordered with musical scores all over it....did not arrive (and still hasn't).
I have no doubt this was on purpose...as it really pushed me to pivot and create from within. My art is always BETTER when I mix it with raw (or allow it to include) emotion.
I saw keys. Piano keys. So I drew them....
Note: There were several prep steps involved that are important but I don't want to speak technical just yet....so I will list at the bottom of this blog.
I then applied the WoodUBend rose swags and teardrops. These are not original to the piece but I really needed to add a feminine touch. I was clearly feeling my mother's presence at this point and the shape and style of this armoire was not dainty enough. She was a tiny woman at 5'2" and as feminine as they come! The roses added just the right touch to an otherwise very simple piece (but not for long). (upclose pic of roses only)
I began layering colors from the top to the bottom in shades of purple such as Aubergine and Lucky Lavender and Blueberry. I then introduced shade of green in Limeade and Evergreen and Palmetto. I utilized a lot of water from my misting spray bottle and allowed it to flow freely as I was after an organic drippy look.
This worked beautifully....but it was NOT speaking to me....not my creative eye nor my heart. So I just sat down in front of the piece and spent some quiet time.
I saw clouds.
Clouds, I asked??? I've NEVER painted clouds. Yep....clouds.
So I painted clouds.
And this was born....(full pic of piece with clouds but no words on it yet)
This is when it became spiritual and emotional for me! I stepped back and could not believe that art came out of my hand on the brush! Without even thinking.....the clouds and colors flowed freely.....and I could feel my mother's presence and God's smile.
I instantly remembered that I had a design transfer of one of my favorite scriptures Proverbs 3; 5-6!! I tore my shop up looking for that transfer tube....and I found it!! It was actually too wide for the center stage on the armoire....but because I knew it belonged there...I cut it apart letter by letter and rebuilt it for the tighter space!!!
I may have cried a time or two while working on this piece. I may have opened my heart and let God lead me through a memory or two. I may have danced when I finished.....as I stood back and took in the view.
I enjoyed tweaking the details at this point....by adding subtle shading around the molds....and adding depth and highlights to the clouds. I enhanced the roses with color washes and gilding waxes. I freehanded with paintbrush only the right and left side panels of a simple treble and bass cleff....because let me tell you....my mother had me drawing both of them in music theory at a very early age. I could draw them with my eyes closed!
I will call this piano armoire Phyllis. Phyllis Loraine. This furniture piece was painted for a trusting and dear client.....but it is dedicated to the memory of my mother who left this earth way too soon after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer.....and she 100% had a guiding hand in the creation of this piano armoire piece!
Thank you momma! I miss you.....
Applied Trust in the Lord transfer by ReDesign with Prima
Top coated with Clear Coat Satin
More Inspiration: Armoires
There is something about the large available painting space on a grand armoire that allows me to create something extra special. These are some of my other favorite bold armoire pieces. I'd love for you to take a closer look at my boho gypsy armoire or my "let them eat cake" armoire.
Remember, you can click on any picture below for a full blog with detailed steps, more photos, and complete supply lists.
Shop: Piano Armoire
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