Cozy up with a beautiful wall | Deep, green, moody inspired by nature.

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May 2017

This project, the wall, really materialized in Florida in May 2017. We stayed at a beautiful Airbnb. It was a beautiful family filled trip with lots of rest and relaxation.

The gate to the backyard among other features of the small footprint flat, won my heart over. The gate was draped on one corner in bougainvillea  (click to see IG post on this at the time) purple variety and it reminded me of nature. It was only after returning home that that seed that was planted started to germinate.

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“Observing nature is seen as an opportunity to enter a mind state of gentleness, of oneness, belonging, a foregoing of absolute control over the operation of our lives, simply by being reminded that we are indeed not in control over nature, and beyond this, that nature operates perfectly, in balance and harmony and beauty, without our hand.”
— http://theplanthunter.com.au/culture/musing-natures-mysteries-pathway-mindfulness/
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Shop My Mini Prints Here. This one is part of the current and Limited Edition Collection.

Shop My Mini Prints Here. This one is part of the current and Limited Edition Collection.

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When I returned in June, I decided that I'd paint one of the few walls in my open floor plan studio apartment in the liking of that Florida gate.

July 2017

I visited the closest paint store to my office and got to it. Picking the swatches was hard, but not a lengthy process. I am usually slow, deliberate and thoughtful to decide but once I have decided on something there is no holding me back. This was one of those cases I knew what I wanted and I was following my heart.

I shortened the deliberation with a game of "Eeny, meenyminymoe"  (click to see IG post on this at the time) and made a decision in no time. I settled on billiard green.

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The wall brightened my spirit. I felt so imspired. Simply because of the change. I reminded me of my brief time playing with shooting Chiaroscuro style Photography, translating Chiaroscuro into Photographs. Over two days, and after three coats of Billard Green I was satisfied.  Someof my house plant collection against the completed wall at the time, are shown here.

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Why I share the imperfect

Some time after this I wanted more dimension in the wall. So I set out to make it appear more distressed and worn. I used online searches for DIY'S, saved some photos of other spaces for inspiration and spoke to others. I decided I was ready to try my hand at it. It was in December 2017, just before Christmas when I got to painting, dabbing and staining, and failing. Big Fail. The wall looked a hot mess and I eventually painted over my attempts with white, this left me with a wall mostly painted white and a quarter the deep Billard Green. I spent the Entire Christmas season with this eyesore and all sorts of thoughts and mental discussions with myself on what my next move should be. 

It inspires not only me, but others.

One of my mantras is that nothing is perfect, and this wall surely was imperfect. I loved it.

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February 2018

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Sometime between that DIY catastrophic I had a conversation with Moylan. A creative I met at one of our local farmers markets. 

When she learnt about my wall dilemma, she assured that my issues were none issues, it was an easy fix and that she'd help me. 

Turns out her career is multifaceted and not only does she make gluten free baked goods (the one thing I knew her for) she is also an Interior Design and into Art. 

We set a date, for the first Sunday in February. This became my February Collab when she called me the week beofre and remind me of our painting date. I set out to do more meaningful work in 2018 and set a goal to do a creative Collab each month this year. 

Moy guided me and I bought the paint she advised me to buy. Three quarts each (Billard Green, Jasper and Minute Mauve). The partition wall is approx. 8'x8'.

On the Sunday, as we planned, she came over, with all her tools, supplies and Anand (who also helped) and we spent the better part of Sunday morning painting the wall.

I'd asked her prior to her coming how much I 'd have for her and she suggested we exchange. She's always wanted to have my photography work on her walls (She loves and collects art) and I agreed. We exchanged art for art. I loved her suggestion. It thought it was a beautiful exchange. I can't wait to see how she uses the pieces in her space. Read about that here and see which prints she settled on.

I've heard on occasion long time stories of the bartering system, an old method of exchange, where people exchanged services and goods for other services and goods in return. I've also been part of conversions among my cousins and I where we jokingly listed all the professions, skills and items among us and we end up questioning why do we even seek external services, goods or services. Do you ever think about this system and wonder what a wonderful life setup that would be?

It was a pleasure working in this way and that day and the days after our painting date I learned that Moy was not only an Interior Designer but also a U.S. Trained Faux Finisher. Moy started off in the field of Faux Finishes and that led her to Interior Design, which she absolutely loves. Along the way she's taken design courses and merged the two passions into a component of her business. As with many inspiring stories on creatives Moy had a corporate day job, desk, chair and office. She was never considered artistic and her studies as a teenager and young adult was no hint that this is where her career path would meander. One of Moy's love is to paint abstract work.

Moy poured a little of each shade in the roller tray to fort something of a strip, with each colour about 3-4 nches wide

Moy poured a little of each shade in the roller tray to fort something of a strip, with each colour about 3-4 nches wide

The first step was to use all three colours like this and a roller and randomly apply the paint to the wall. We used letters to guide our direction. Tracing out A's, N's, C's, W's etc.

The first step was to use all three colours like this and a roller and randomly apply the paint to the wall. We used letters to guide our direction. Tracing out A's, N's, C's, W's etc.

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Yellow. Used to give the appearance of depth randomly along pieces of the wall. She'd dab little blotches of yellow and Anand and I would blend these in. This was also done with the Mauve

Yellow. Used to give the appearance of depth randomly along pieces of the wall. She'd dab little blotches of yellow and Anand and I would blend these in. This was also done with the Mauve

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Moy is also a colour specialist. Which worked well for me, cause I love muted versions of most colours, pastels, blacks, shades and tones of white and blues. 

The result of the first couple passes of the roller.

The result of the first couple passes of the roller.

If you look closely you'd see a sharp distinct line, with light on the left and deep green on the right. We used a roller with three shades as a start on the white side and a brush with the deep green. 

If you look closely you'd see a sharp distinct line, with light on the left and deep green on the right. We used a roller with three shades as a start on the white side and a brush with the deep green. 

Moy at work on the wall, Blending. I asked to have something dark and moody. I wanted a gradient from the East to West going darker as we moved West, further inside and away from the eastern wall of windows.

Moy at work on the wall, Blending. I asked to have something dark and moody. I wanted a gradient from the East to West going darker as we moved West, further inside and away from the eastern wall of windows.

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One of my favourite things about the wall is the ability to, depending on the available light and settings I choose, capture so many different looks from one piece.

One of my favourite things about the wall is the ability to, depending on the available light and settings I choose, capture so many different looks from one piece.

Moy at work.

Moy at work.

Moy at work.

Moy at work.

You can find Moy's on Gluten Free Kitchen on Instagram  and Facebook, and here Designs for you on Facebook

Moy at work.

Moy at work.

Anand assisting

Anand assisting

One of the things Moy guided us to practice while we were painting the wall was to leave the space. Walk outside. And come back in with fresh eyes and then continue working. I found that interesting because it is something I practice unconsciously with my photography. Leaving some works and ideas for days and, returning with fresh eyes to complete over time. 

With love from Freeport;

Chan