Al Fresco

Al Fresco


I was commissioned to paint this mural in a modest-sized dining room. (The view above is composed of 3 photos pieced together; the room was not large enough for an unimpeded view of the whole painting.) My client wanted the feel of a European street-side cafe. I was concerned that the close buildings of Europe would make the small room feel oppressive. We decided on a plaza with a distant vista to open up the space. You will notice a lack of blue in this painting. In this case, the rest of the room was a pastel fushia color. I limited my blues so the rest of the walls would not turn into a screaming hot pink.

I do a lot of interviewing so that I can personalize the space in a meaningful way. Michael liked the feeling of age in Europe and wanted something elegant. The church followed the lines of Romanesque architecture, but shapes and textures were simplified for a more elegant feeling. When I asked him what it was about the cafe that was most important, he said it was having a contemplative glass of wine at the end of the day.

This was enough for a basic idea, but I wanted something even more personal. I asked him what he read, and discovered that he was facinated by the history of early Christianity. He had no desire to make obvious statements about religion. Various elements of the mural were designed to quietly reflect this interest. The use of orange in this painting signals three aspects of spirituality: the goldfish on the table representing the personal experience, the two fish in the stained glass window (the astrological sign Pisces is also associated with Christ) representing the social level of organized religion, and the thin line of orange on the horizon representing the unknowable and infinite.

See the details below for more about this piece.







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Contact Carol at info@carolannnewsome.com

Copyright© 2005 by Carol Ann Newsome

Rhododendron
Rhododendron

These are Michael's favorite flowers, as they grow wild at Red River Gorge
Bread and Fishes
Loaves and Fishes

Five slices of bread and two goldfish represent the miracle of loaves and fishes; water in the fish bowl and two glasses of wine remind us of the transmutation of water into wine. There are two wine glasses for a companionable feel, and a literary reference: a loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou...
Windos
Windows

The mural has a flat finish, except on the goldfish and windows, where opalescent paints were used to suggest illumination in the church and life and movement in the fish
Catapiller
Catapiller

It is tradtional in medival artworks to insert a small object that holds special meaning for the client and is not apparant to the casual viewer. I chose a catapillar for Michael, for its symbolic reference to spiritual metamorphosis