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Category: Conferences & Trade Shows

04 May

The Imaginative World of Carlo Marchiori

World-renowned artist Carlo Marchiori

When you hear the word Ca’Toga, so much beauty, fantasy and artistry comes to mind.  Located in California’s picturesque Napa Valley, Ca’Toga is a replica of a Palladian-style Italian home — but one with a fun sense of humour mixed in with a strong sense of design.  Filled with trompe l’oeil murals, sculptures and wonderful architectural details, the villa remains an ever-popular draw to visitors. When you then think of the artist behind the masterpiece, Carlo Marchiori, you think of the singularly creative mind that created such an enchanting world.  He was born in Italy and after living for a time in Canada, settled in California in 1978.  Among his incredible world-wide projects, he has also been nominated for an Oscar and opened a second Ca’Toga in Thailand.

Mr. Marchiori was recently invited by the Museo Italo Americano to exhibit a curated collection of his fantastical works. The Museo Italo Americano, located in San Francisco, was the first museum in the U.S. entirely devoted to Italian and Italian-American art and culture.  They present incredible exhibitions and this wonderful showcase, entitled Festa Veneziana: The Imaginative World of Carlo Marchiori, is currently open through June 3, 2012. We had the opportunity to correspond with Mr. Marchiori to talk a bit about his inspirations, his tastes in other’s artwork and what he would do if he had two hours to spare in his busy schedule.  Let’s dig in…

Maestro Marchiori preparing for the Festa Veneziana exhibit

Pulcinella on Stilts No. 1

Do you have a personal artisan philosophy?

I grew up and attended art school in the 5os, there the curriculum was based on traditional, academic trainings: perspective, chiaroscuro, life drawing and practical work projects in the techniques of watercolor, fresco and tempera.

Professionally, who are some of your inspirations? 

As a figurative artist, I lean toward the spontaneous fluidity of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and 18th-century Venetian artists.

What’s the best piece of professional advice you have received?

My art teacher would say “good” but you should work “harder”.

(above and below) Beautiful peeks into the Festa Veneziana exhibit.  It includes paintings, sculptures and ceramics among the pieces.  You can see that whimsical, spontaneous, surreal and fantastical all come into play in his artistry.

In your travels, what have been some of the most inspiring spaces you’ve seen?

I like Greco-Roman ruins and some Renaissance or Baroque theatrics such as the Park at Bomarzo, frescoed Palladian villas, Roma Baroque churches, etc.

What subject do you most appreciate in art? 

People — the nude movements in figures — but I have recently moved toward the surreal and abstract.

Please Click to Enlarge

What figures do you doodle?

I like movements in animals in motion and the human figures. I have doodled all my life and it is faster to sketch anything than having to describe it with words.

If you were paid to write a new book on any subject you wished, what would it be about?

I would write about the general subject of creativity, how to invent something — to turn “a silk purse into a sow’s ear” (I mean it this way). Creating spontaneous inventions such as Picasso’s bicycle handle bar bull.  I use bones, old junk, antlers, absurd industrial gadgetries, left over this & that,  all assembled together with crazy glue.

What job would you like to have for a month?

To design, to plan and to build a terraced amphitheater on either side of a natural stream, using recycled rubbles to make it look like an ancient ruin. People would feel the combination of nature and architecture…but it would take more than one month to build.

 Finally, if you had two hours to waste on anything, what would you do?

Pruning, cleaning, doing laundry and cooking or taking my three Basenji dogs for a walk on the hills.

At San Francisco's Museo Italo Americano until June 3, 2012

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

That sounds like a wonderful way to while away the time!  I loved learning about his leanings, a bit on how he perceives the world and getting a peek at the exhibit.  (Glad I found out about the park in Bomarzo, too — had no idea!)  Mr. Marchiori is a world-class artist whose work graces the lobby of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and Tokyo’s Disney Resort.  If you are in the San Francisco area, do visit the Museo Italo Americano’s Festa Veneziana exhibit (open until June 3rd!) and of course, take a tour of the unforgettable Ca’Toga in Napa Valley.  You can also keep up with the incredible artistry of Mr. Marchiori via the Ca’Toga Facebook page and Twitter stream. They also have a wonderful YouTube channel. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s profile and information — it was an incredible honor for me to put it together for you.  Many thanks to Tony Banthutham and JoAnn Locktov for facilitating the profile, so appreciated. May you have an inspired weekend, gorgeous ones!

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27 Feb

Welcome, Faux Design Studio!

Black Magic and White Wonders

Faux Design Studio Finishes: Left, from Black Magic Series; Right, from White Wonders Series

We’d like to extend a warm welcome and say thank you to sponsor Faux Design Studio.

Faux Design Studio is Chicago’s Premier School of Decorative Arts. They offer faux painting classes and workshops where they continually introduce new, cutting-edge techniques and products in the field of faux finishing and painting.

The owner of Faux Design Studio, Sheri Zeman, is an industry leader with vision and a true passion for faux. With her vast product knowledge and keen eye for design, she is always looking for ways to challenge her skills. Her sought-after “Innovations in Faux” educational program gives designers a new awareness to faux possibilities not imagined just a few short years ago. Sheri is currently developing national educational programs to share these techniques with other professionals.

The work of Sheri and her Faux Design Team has been featured on several episodes of HGTV programs, and numerous publications such as Luxe Magazine, Faux Effects World and Chicago Home & Garden. Their work can also be found in many high-end residential and commercial properties.

On March 10, 2012, Faux Design Studios will be presenting The Fifth Annual Spring Fling from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will be special guests, demonstrations, goodie bags and networking opportunities as well as savings on tools, supplies and classes. This fantastic faux event of the year is free, but you must register before March 1 to guarantee a spot.

Faux Design Studio 5th Annual Spring Fling

Sheri also has a special offer for all Fauxology Readers! You can save 10% off any class with the discount code Fauxfan101.

Faux Design Studio

Follow Faux Design Studio as they fascinate us on Facebook.

Welcome, Faux Design Studio – we thank you for your support!

22 Sep

Faux Expo 2011

A fantastic event shaping up for next week here in lovely Orlando, FL is the Faux Expo.  It runs from September 26th through the 30th and is being held at the Doubletree Resort at SeaWorld.  I think Orlando is one of the best places to have a show since there is so much to do outside of the events — you can literally make a vacation of it.  Not only the Disney Parks but the creative hubs of cities like Winter Park, the state-of-the-art arena we now have plus the nightlife in downtown Orlando.  Something for everyone!  Plus, I’m here to guide you so what could be better, right? ;)

The Instructors list is impressive and there’s so many great classes to choose from.  Incredibly, the registration is $75 which gives you access to all the show events, including the trade show, lectures and several live full-mural demonstrations.  The classes are very reasonable (ranging from $195 to $455) and run from Tuesday through Friday. Here’s the show schedule for you to check out.  (I see there’s a miniature golf tournament going on.  Might have to spruce up ye olde swing…)  Here’s a peek at some of the class samples…

 I seriously get so excited when I see samples like this. I mean, it’s just incredible to be able to replicate! This is the Aurastone class.

I met Bonnie LeCat at the recent IDAL convention and she is just a lovely person. This is just a small sampling of what you can expect in her Foliage & Flora class.

Faux finishes that keep up with current interior design trends — here are 2 of the samples from the Double Down class by Sheri Zeman and Donna Phelps.

My woodgraining acumen grew by leaps and bounds after taking Dean Sickler’s class at his NJ studio.  He teaches it here — this skill is a must in any bag of tricks.

Patrick Kirwin has a 2-day Realistic Water class. He teaches a photorealistic yet quick technique – the link has more incredible images.

Pierre Finkelstein is also on tap as well as Nicola Vigini, Sean Crosby, Henri Menendez, Gert-Jan Nijsse and a few other great artisans and manufacturers.  I’m also very excited about Tuesday’s William Cochran lecture on the importance of trompe l’oeil as I missed hearing his lecture at IDAL.  True to form, part of the event will help benefit both the Ronald McDonald House and Give Kids the World – love that!

I am excited to have the opportunity to meet those who are coming to Orlando.  I will be there on some days (finalizing the schedule to see if I can take some classes) and I know my friend, Mary Childs, will be there as well.  We’ll be posting some info and images for you as we can but I’m sure there will be great coverage on the Faux Expo Facebook fan page, too.  See you there!


25 Jul

IDAL Conference 2011

In the decorative painting industry, one of the most popular conferences is the IDAL convention.  (The organization has the cool digital online magazine, Artisphere Online.)  This year it was held in Hampton, VA.  It was my second time attending and my first time teaching.  Dana Tucker and I taught Building Your Online Brand to a class of 27.  It’s amazing how fast the time went — you prepare so much for it (Powerpoint presentations, research, fun giveaways, countless Skype & phone conversations) and then you look up and it’s done.  We tried to pack so much into two hours (and of course, went a bit over…). The students were a really fun bunch with great questions.  I can’t wait to hear of their progress!

If you are a fan of my Fauxology Facebook page, you’ve probably already seen the two notes I wrote on my IDAL experience.  I decided to write this one as well for those who do not have access to the fan page. I was truly excited to meet with many of the artists I correspond online with as well as see what the expo was all about.  The following are some of the images I took during the two days I was there.  BTW, brace yourself — this post is a bit on the longer side.

IDAL Convention 2011

This is how most of the classes were set up. Nice, large rooms that were organized and well-protected.  This is the Faux Impressions class given by Ed Mattingly of Sherwin-Williams.  BTW, do you know about our contest to win $200 worth of product from Sherwin-Williams?  All it takes is a picture of a space you created that makes a great “Impression”.  Enter the contest here.  Deadline July 29th.

IDAL Convention 2011 Pierre Finkelstein

Live demonstrations were conducted throughout the conference.  Here, keynote speaker Pierre Finkelstein demonstrates his considerable skills with woodgraining.  He is very charming and gracious.

There were several faux studios who had fantastic booths at the show.  I didn’t get a shot of one of my faves, Dundean Studios, and a few others but here are some I came upon…

Wonderfaux Studios TexasGorgeous samples at Houston’s Wonderfaux Studios. That feather had crystals and was SO pretty – I’d love to do that one in a powder bath.

William CochranHad a great chat here — am considering taking a class by William Cochran.

THE Studio DestinTHE Studio Destin. Fantastic samples all around and they had some of the best counter finishes I’ve ever seen.  (Ye Olde Jaw dropped. Not kidding you.)

Gary Lord Prismatic PaintingGary Lord’s Prismatic Painting Studio. Even though a “rock star” in our industry, he is totally approachable and friendly to everyone who comes up to him.  Wish I had better pics for you of those great samples in the back.  Totally dying to go to his Greece tour.

SSDASarasota School of Faux & Architectural Finishing is one of the studios I frequent the most.  Donna Phelps’ samples never fail to impress and I’ve sold quite a few.

Royal Design Studios

Saying there were amazing samples at the Royal Design Studio booth is almost a given, no?  I took this pic before the expo opened — it was paaacked afterwards.

patterned foils

Patterned foils by V-Mask. We’ll be doing some cool stuff with them on the blog soon!

IDAL Convention philanthropic mural

This is the philanthropic mural in progress during the convention.  It’s final home will be the Virginia Living Museum.

After the convention days, artists would gather for drinks and also to firm up dinner plans.  Here is a nice mix of newbies, up-and-comers and well-known Masters at the convention hotel, the Embassy Suites.

BTW, do you remember the gnome whose pic was taken all over the world?  Well, take a look at Faux Buddy…

Faux Buddy at the Chalk Paint booth

Faux Buddy hanging out at the Chalk Paint booth...

We wanted everyone back home to get little glimpses of the IDAL convention so we gave him out so that he could travel with everyone and showcase little snippets of all the different classes and locations.  Imagine where Faux Buddy could go and what we all would be able to see with him!  The pics were to be shared on the Fauxology Facebook Fan Page but also on the IDAL page and personal pages, too, of course.  The bonus for our students is that each time they posted a pic, they would get an entry into our contest…someone is going to win their class fee back!   For those who were not in the class, there is a prize, too!  Robyn Story Designs out of Tampa, FL is a fantastic distributor of Chalk Paints and she is giving away a quart of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to the person who can come up with the funniest caption for a Faux Buddy pic.  Plus, the pic taker wins a quart as well.  Yeah!

IDAL Bag Faux CalendarHere’s the cool Faux Calendar sponsored bag that was given out.  It’s fantastic to reuse as an extra carry-all for a jobsite or as a green bag for going grocery shopping.

What I love about conventions is that not only do your fellow peers provide inspiration but also just being around so many artists excited about the industry make it easy to tap right into the love and enthusiasm you possess for it.  Unfortunately, I had to head back early since I did travel via car and needed to head back over the weekend.  I did miss meeting so many but I hope to see them soon.  The attendance improved upon last year’s and many of us felt next year would be even better.  BTW, next year’s conference will be held July 25 – 29 at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, Nevada.  It looks fantastic!  Until tomorrow!

15 Jul

IDAL Bound…

Dana Tucker and I have been knee-deep in preparing for the IDAL convention and our class, Building Your Online Brand.  We’re SO excited to see fellow artists and also to teach the class together.  We sent out a survey to those who have registered to gauge what information they wanted most of and it was great to have that feedback readily available.  We don’t want anyone leaving without the information they need to have to enhance their business!  In fact, trying to pack all the information we can into two hours is the challenge!  We’re also planning a fun surprise for those who have signed up for the class.  You’ll see soon enough… ;)

IDAL Convention

I've even been seeing IDAL in my dreams...

Speaking of social media,we had a great Twitter #DecArts chat last night!  It was more of a “cocktail party” where everyone could e-meet fellow tweeters, discover new blogs, see a few great links… It was truly heartwarming to see those who came by for a bit.  In fact, one of my co-hosts, Barbara Rocha of Paint a Lifestyle, wrote a great follow-up last night.  I think it was a promising start to the regular chats we’ll be having with great topics and special guests.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted.  BTW, Marketing and Social Media were two of the topics suggested for future chats.  We love all suggestions!  Of course, you are invited!

Next week we will have Column Week — I do hope you enjoy the five projects that are set to be profiled.  I’ll probably be giving updates on the IDAL  conference on Twitter and on the Fauxology Facebook Fan Page.  Are you going?  Look me up if you are!  Have a fantastic weekend, dear Readers!

18 May

Fauxology Updates

Hello, hello!  Well, I’ve been busy testing out several things and wanted to update you on the results. You ready?

First up, our Fauxology Fan Page on Facebook.  Are you a Fan yet?  WHAT?!?  No, no seriously.  It’s cool…no worries.

OK, enough shenanigans, we need to get through this post. ;)   Our Fan Page features a lot of links to stories and profiles that I find around the Internet that don’t necessarily translate to an entire post — but they’re still very cool to look at and read.  I also post (what I think are) amazing images, too.  I try not to cross-pollinate much because I like fresh content on both the blog and the fan page.  But I did do this…

fauxology facebook fan page
Screen Shot of Fauxology FB Fan Page

The updated menu on the side has an All About Fauxology tab which links to our Mission Statement and other cool things, including a Contact Us form. We’ve added our Twitter feed and the brand-new YouTube channel.  Best of all, there is a Contests & Giveaways tab which can keep you updated on all the current opportunities you have to win a great prize. It’s divided into three categories: The Deets (which is currently showcasing info on the gorgeous Royal Stencil Crèmes and a Giveaway), Week-long Series opportunities (only a few days left to submit your Column projects!) and the Photo Contests. The next Photo Contest is in June and it is a great prize.  I hope these enhance your Fauxology experience on Facebook!

Our YouTube Channel is new but we will be updating it with videos on both decorative painting in design and online marketing bites.  There’s a very cool announcement coming up about Twitter as well.  That’s all I can say for now since there’s so much more to come to compliment our Building Your Online Brand class at IDAL.

A personal triumph for me is that we sent out our first Fauxology newsletter this morning — it rounds up the current goings-on here at the blog as well as a sneak peek into what’s coming up in June.  If you’ like to sign up to receive future issues, the form to join our mailing list is on our Fauxology home page.

As a final, I wanted to let you know that yours truly is being featured in the Faux by Kathy website as both a blogger (home page profile) and as a Preferred Decorative Artisan with images of our work.  On the blogger article, you find out exactly what jumpstarted Fauxology.  (It involves the word “Intervention”.)  Faux by Kathy is a fantastic site for faux finishers as they post info on products, workshops and offer a slew of resources, including a free Finish of the Month series.  It is run by the lovely Kathy Carroll and is definitely worth checking out.

Any thoughts on the improvements and coming attractions?  Have a great day!

28 Apr

IDAL Class: Building Your Online Brand

Have you made your travel plans yet to attend the IDAL Convention this Summer?

idal conference logo

IDAL is the International Decorative Artisans League and they hold their annual convention and conference each summer. It is an opportunity to network with colleagues and peers, brush up on techniques by taking classes from the pros and check out the latest in products and tools at the Expo. This year’s conference is being held July 20-24th in Hampton, Va. I am excited to announce that Regina Garay and I will be teaching a class at the convention called, “Building Your Online Brand”.

Regina and I actually met “online”. I found her blog (this blog) and started leaving comments here and following her on Twitter and friending her on Facebook. (Does that make me a stalker?) Anyway, we became fast virtual friends and started talking about techie stuff like social media, search engine optimization, website building and blogging. I have a marketing background and have spent my entire adult life helping businesses “get the word out” about what they do. So, it was a natural progression for Regina and I to start talking about how we can help people in the decorative painting industry use technology  and social media to grow their reach, expand their customer base and have their brand show up in a BIG way online.

We have invested a good amount of time studying the best online practices and putting into action what we are preaching in the class. We have networked, taken online courses and both attended the Design Blogger’s Conference in Los Angeles in February. Regina has poured her heart, soul and brain into this blog, Fauxology for the last 4 years.  She dove right into the pool of social media in its infancy and now is a high profile Twitter-lebrity in the Design Community. I personally have spent the last five years of my day job helping clients brand their businesses, writing marketing plans and developing strategies and tactics for successful campaigns; All online. Regina and I are so stuffed full of tech stuff that we can’t wait to unload some of it on all of you guys.

We decided to offer a class at IDAL so we could help the artists in our industry navigate the web independently and show them some of the important places where they need to be found online. Some of the topics we will cover in the class are:

  1. How to set up and grow a blog
  2. How to use social media to promote your business
  3. How to set up Google Places
  4. How Google’s changing algorithms are affecting  Search Engine Rankings
  5. How to monitor the web for mentions about your business
  6. How to use Linked In, Twitter and Facebook effectively
  7. How to use analytics to track results
  8. How to create buzz without spending any money
  9. How to use long tail keywords to show up in organic search
  10. How to get the referral engine cranking

So, for a small investment in time (2 hrs) and money ($85) you’ll be ready to conquer the on line world. Well, maybe you won’t be able to conquer it, but we will at least give you a road map to get you started on your way. Check out the other classes, too.  There are lots of great teachers assembling in one location for the week offering classes on everything from stenciling to counter tops. Why not take some time off, come and network with your peers and learn a few new tricks? I hope to meet you all IRL (In Real Life) at the conference.

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