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06 Jan

SociaComm

Hi, Everyone!

Well, it’s been a while since I have written but believe me, I have not been idle.  There are many changes that have occurred in my life and I’ve been meaning for so long to sit down and write this note.  As you know, I learned a ton about social media and blogging by simply starting this blog back in 2007 and being immersed in promoting it.

In time, I was asked by several companies to help them with their blogging and social media and this coincided with the general downturn of the economy.  But the defining moment came when I was doing a 40′ x 20′ long ceiling, all glaze.  You know what happens with glaze, right?  You can’t stop because you’ll get those dreaded lines.  There were 3 scaffolds side by side with 2 team members on each scaffold and we all worked in a line glazing.  Well, at about 35′ down the line, I was exhausted and I literally stumbled on the scaffold.  I barely made it to the end and it hit me — what was I going to do as I got older? It was at that moment I realized I needed to start finding a way to still work in this field  that I am SO passionate about but actively get away from the physicality of it.  As I filled in the empty slots of time in between decorative painting projects with social media and blogging work for creative companies, it became a new reality for me.  Plus, I loooove to write and research and have been dreaming of making both a bigger part of my life.  Thus, SociaComm was born.

These days I help my clients — all revolving around the Decorative Painting, DIY and Interior Design industries — maximize their digital marketing and blogging efforts.  I count among them Royal Design Studio, Modern Masters, Annie Sloan Unfolded and have helped design companies such as Roos International and bloggers such as Perfectly Imperfect as well.  Garay Artisans (both the decorative painting and the mirrors) are being managed by one of my most trusted friends who is an amazing artist and it’s going strong.  I still paint, finish and draw as I’m revamping my house and love the pace and consideration I can give it!  I use my decorative painting experience daily and am so passionate about this industry — I still look for the latest and greatest, still scout out great artistry and design trends, still love learning beautiful new finishes and products. But now I do it from a more personal and creative marketing point-of-view.

So, on that note, I am formally “closing” Fauxology. BUT. I will still be writing about decorative painting and design over on SociaColor, the blog for SociaComm.  There will also be social media, digital marketing and blogging posts too — all tailored to help the Creatives. I will be writing at the SociaComm Facebook page and you can still join me on Pinterest, Twitter and Google+PLUS. I’ll be writing regularly over at the new Paint + Pattern blogazine launched by Melanie Royals of Royal Design Studio.

So c’mon over to SociaColor and Paint + Pattern as I look forward to writing for you regularly again on all things decorative painting, DIY, design and creative marketing.  I hope you’ll join me.

Warmly,

Regina

22 May

Portrait of an Artist: Causer + Lai

 A few years ago, I read an incredible four-part series on the artistry of Benjamin Lai and it was easily one of the best interviews I’d ever read with a decorative painter. Fast forward a few years and I meet the hugely creative designer Alison Causer by chance on Twitter and find out that she and Mr. Lai are partners in Causer + Lai! Kismet. They are based out of Brooklyn, NY and working as a team of Designer and Master Painter, they create unique and exclusive, decorative finishes for a variety of surfaces within private residences and commercial interiors. I hope you enjoy this feature on their beautiful collaboration and artistic work.

Benjamin Lai finished the highly acclaimed Van Der Kelen in 1995 and was immediately immersed into the high end residential sector after returning to his hometown NYC. He spent the better part of his career continuing to fine tune his skills, learning about the other aspects of decorative painting, job management and also adjusting and creating new techniques. Alison had gone from wanting to be a fine art painter to majoring in Interior Design at The Columbus College of Art and Design. Alison continues, “Soon after graduating I had a successful career in Ohio and even garnered several awards for my interiors work, but working for a large firm was wearing thin and moving to NYC was enticing.” She then worked with a few designers in NYC as well as doing independent work.

Alison shares their fated meeting, “Ben and I crossed paths via NYC Craigslist! He placed an ad to meet creative people, chat and hopefully collaborate on an experimental level.” Of all the intriguing personalities that he met, one person stood out: Alison. After many cups of coffee, Alison and Benjamin knew that there was a unique connection between them. Meaningful design and philanthropic resolutions were the initial subjects that inspired the two, but also the realization that the unique skills and ideas of both could translate into a great combination.

Alison and Benjamin spent more than a year developing samples, concepts and ideas. During this time they were able to collaborate on several jobs together by bringing each other onto their own jobs. This helped them to really establish the logistics for their working relationship and fortify their beliefs in each other. Now Alison is the Creative Director for Causer + Lai and Benjamin, the Technical Manager.

 

Where do you see decorative painting headed?

Decorative Painting is a very misunderstood field in America. In Europe, decorative painting is a skilled trade and there are very serious schools that teach it. I think the widespread understanding of it is basically whatever sells in Home Depot. It’s amazing how even a lot of interior designers and architects don’t really understand what it is. Most people think that it’s this weekend craftsy thing that can be done by most do-it-yourselfers because of all the ready-made stuff. I think that there will better exposure and understanding in years to come. The trend will incorporate much more complex modern color themes and active layering techniques.

Some of the intricate work that goes into the decorative painting process.

 

What is your personal artisan philosophy?

Surface Design Collectivism! We love collaboration. Every job is an extension of not just us but the client as well. Art is a form of expression and our roles are pretty well defined when clients hire us, but it is this need to express that a client feels when desiring to redo their home. Our projects and spaces are shaped by this type of social environment. Working together, respecting and understanding each others ideas is our philosophy.

What are your favorite go-to materials?

All of our techniques vary a lot but you would be amazed at what we could create with metallics, some beer and shellac!

A few of the gorgeous finishes created by Causer + Lai.

What is the best professional advice you have received?

We believe strongly in Clean. Clean. Clean.  I first got this advice while studying with Monsieur Van Der Kelen in 1994. Monsieur’s smock was always pristine and white. All the student’s smocks, on the other hand, were filthy from paint. One day he told me that my smock was a reflection of who I am as a professional.

The majority of our work is in private homes. We like to treat their homes with respect like our own homes. We arrive in clean clothes, work neatly, clean up and organize at the end of every work day. Our tidiness is a reflection of who we are as professionals.

What is your ideal job for a month?

We would love to do a boutique restaurant or hotel in a Biedermeier style. Or really any style… We would also really enjoy working on a job that is giving back to the community such as a whole shelter, with murals and texture work.

Professionally, who are some of your inspirations?

Klimt, Picasso, Clyfford Still, Graffiti as a movement, Katsushika Hokusai or anything during Edo Period, Sol LeWitt, Mark Rothko, Imi Knoebel, Pollock, Chuck Close.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at an innovative, forward-thinking studio that still respects the disciplines of artistry.  You can see more of the work of Causer + Lai on their website as well as their Tumblr, Facebook fan page, Twitter account and Pinterest boards.  I thank both Alison and Benjamin immensely for their time and for sharing their projects as well.  Hope you have an inspired day!

01 Apr

Spring Inspiration!

Spring is here! I actually feel like humming the holiday song “It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year….” as soon as I wake up. Trees are growing leaves again, flowers are blooming, bees are visiting our garden, birds are singing and the sky is a sunny blue. (I understand it may not be this way everywhere, but it is the current experience in Florida. I don’t have the pleasure of seeing snow during the Winter and so I guess it all evens out, no?)  I thought I would share a few images with Spring in mind…

We kick off with a colorful and fanciful canvas by New Orleans artist Gretchen Weller Howard.  This particular image was feature in the book Big, Easy Style by Bryan Batt. Her earliest works included graphic design and decorative painting.

This striking mural in polystyrene is in an attic apartment and mimics the exterior foliage.  Just so amazing and I love it in black & white. Do you? It was was featured in Livingetc.

Wall & Deco is one of my favorite wallcovering lines. They have such inspiring and creative works! This one is called Poppy.

The shadow mural of the bird on the branches is just so sweet! I think this dresser is adorable — and perfect for a spring-inspired guest room!  It was finished by the studio of Gypsy Barn. They didn’t do a reverse technique while masking the design. Instead, they chipped the finish off to showcase the mahogany underneath. Very cool.

Aren’t these gorgeous? LOVE them! They gigantic graphic flower mural is the work of Metro Finishes in Orlando’s Suite B Lounge. Below is a closer look.

I spied the picture below a few years ago in House & Garden magazine and have always enjoyed it…

I love how elegant and simple this sgraffito finish is — especially when paired with its inspiration.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our welcome to Spring with birds, trees and flowers!  I look forward to sharing more ideas, inspiration, artists and information with you as well.  Have a beautiful day!

24 Dec

Happy Holidays!


Photographed by Janis Nicolay for House & Home

Wishing you and your loved ones a beautiful holiday filled with laughter and love!

21 Dec

Foyer Ceiling at Ca’ d’Zan

I have quite a few decorative painting pics to show you from some of my mini-vacations! This one is from a quick jaunt to Sarasota, FL, where a visit to the Ringling Museum was a must on the list.  We’ve previously seen their gardens and a bit of the Ringling family home, Ca’ d’Zan (Part 1 and Part 2).  This is actually a very special ceiling in the Ca’ d’Zan foyer.

To give you an idea of its space in the home, here is an image from the living room (an interior court). The foyer itself has glazed walls and Moroccan-inspired arched windows.

Here are a few close-ups.  According to archive records, the “ceiling beams enclose areas of canvas painted with conventionalized foliated motifs in red and gray. That decoration…[was] created by Robert Webb“. Mr. Webb was an artist who studied under John Singer Sargent and he mastered gold leafing and mural work while assisting him.  After a few years and solo projects on his own, he moved his family to Florida. It is said that while Mr. Webb was working on the grape leaf design on the foyer ceiling, his client John Ringling said, “Webb, hurry up! I’m running out of time and money!” to which Mr. Webb immediately put down his brush and said “I’m finished!”. The panel to this day remains uncompleted.  Here’s a few close-ups.

Grape tree close-up (above) and within the panel (below)

Do click here to see a visual tour — walk straight ahead and you’ll run right into the foyer. It is interesting to note that the artist, Robert Webb, had a daughter named Thelma who wrote his biography and filled it with his life story, experiences and anecdotes about his peers and projects. She called it Tramp Artist. I’ll be needing to purchase that.

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20 Dec

Holiday Sponsor Love: Robyn Story Designs!

Meeting Robyn Story of Robyn Story Designs is meeting a dynamo — plus, you feel like you can do anything after you’ve spent a few hours with her!  Her eponymous shop is 5,000 square feet packed with great design and beautiful finds. She is one of our beloved sponsors and we always love to catch up and see what is new and fabulous!  Shall we dig in?

NEW PRODUCTS

Robyn has quite a few delicious new offerings in her shop. Not only is she one of the top stockists of Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, she is also carrying Annie’s new Workbook and fabric line!  The wire-bound Workbook is an interactive notebook for home design enthusiasts featuring hand-drawn illustrations, ruled and plain pages, expandable inner pockets and an elasticated tie-closure — it’s a personal book to keep your decor ideas, colors and inspirations right at hand.

The Annie Sloan fabric line (some featured below left) has eight different patterns in toiles and tickings that come direct from factories in Belgium and France and have been selected to complement the colors of Chalk Paint. Brilliant!

Bella Notte Linens (above right) is also a new collection series! They are the world’s first easy care, garment-dyed luxury linens. Irresistibly soft and gloriously colored, every order is custom dyed using low-impact, non-toxic dyes. Don’t they sound sumptuous?

Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint is a new paint product that is also available at Robyn’s boutique!  Milk Paint is an ancient all-natural paint containing basic ingredients including milk protein (casein), limestone, clay and natural pigments. It is interior and exterior rated for many surfaces and is naturally mold resistant. Very pretty!

SUPER SALE

Robyn Story Designs is having a store-wide Pre-Christmas sale — so they are the perfect stop to visit while doing your last minute shopping!  Here’s more information to have on hand while heading to the shop.

HOLIDAY DESIGN SERVICES

Robyn’s team is so well-known for their fabulous interior design services, that even Tampa’s International Airport had them do all their holiday decorations!  At this time of year, the design team is super-busy helping everyone prepare for the holidays and their decor is always fresh, inspired and oh-so-gorgeous.  It’s truly a joy to see the warm and festive results!

Holiday Works in Progress at Tampa International Airport

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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Robyn Story Designs — a visit to Tampa, FL means a must visit to her beautiful shop to see every charming nook and cranny. You’re sure to take home something perfect for your space, trust.  Do check in with their lively Facebook page and blog as they always have something new and wonderful to share!  Thank you so much, Robyn, for all your support of Fauxology!

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19 Dec

Holiday Sponsor Love: Royal Design Studio!

Royal Design Studio has been a long-time supporter of Fauxology — and goodness knows I love their stencils, techniques and products! Their president, Melanie Royals, continues to dream up ever-so-wonderful ways to make decorative painting and finishing easier, not to mention the application of beautiful patterns to a myriad of surfaces.  They have so many good things to share and I thought I’d pay it forward!

VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS

Imagine learning amazing finishes and techniques in the comfort of your own home, wearing your favorite pajamas with a nice cup of hot chocolate at your side — all at your own pace, without travel and lodging costs. That’s the beauty of Virtual Workshops.  There are four classes available: SkimStone & Modello® Stencils, Antique Mirror & Glass, Metallic Foils and Stencil Impressions. Each class comes with video lessons and a complete, illustrated manual. If you see each of the class descriptions, they come with informative videos and module lessons.  As the classes are ongoing, you can start a class as soon as you register!

Special Pricing on Virtual Workshops through December 31st!

NEW STENCIL CREME COLORS & STENCILS

Stencil Cremes are a fantastic stencil paint with opaque coverage and creamy, dreamy application. Eight new colors were introduced just last week and they have special pricing through the end of the year!  In addition, a few new stencil patterns were added to the Royal Design Studio collection — you can always see the latest additions in the New Stencil Designs area of their website.

 COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS

For ten days until Christmas Eve, Royal Design Studio will feature one selected stencil per day at 50% off!  They are on Day 6 and have a few stencils to go — will your favorite be among them?  Be sure to use the code given for your half off savings!

The daily selected stencils will be showcase on their Facebook page, Twitter account and Pinterest boards.  Do be sure to follow and “like” them for plenty of inspiration, too!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more the latest and greatest with Royal Design Studio!  They also have the Design Amour and Stencil Ideas blog with creative artists and fab projects showcased regularly — great reads!  A nice, big lush Thank You! goes out to Royal Design for the Fauxology support!

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