Category Archives: decorative painting

Nantucket Mural


“By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea. You and I, you and I, oh how happy we’ll be…”

Sunshine, seagrass, sailboats, surf. The perfect subject matter for a peaceful family room mural. Especially when that was the setting for your wedding, as was the case for a Glencoe, IL family who contacted me recently to paint a Nantucket beach scene in their new family rec room.

The mural started with a small color rendering, laying out all of the details clearly.

mural layout

first a small color “sketch” is painted to plan the mural layout and details

Once the layout was approved, all of the elements were painted on the wall in stages…

First the mural is laid out on the wall...

First the mural is laid out on the wall…

the sky, sea, and surf are added

the sky, sea, and surf are added


more details are added

more details are added

Each day more details were added, creating a visual story for the mural.


beach mural detail

beach mural detail

Lots of fun details like families playing in the surf, Nantucket’s famous “rainbow fleet”, sea grasses, wild roses and one of Nantucket’s iconic lighthouses were added to give the mural character and personality.

mural detail

mural detail


beach mural

Nantucket themed mural

The finished mural was 22′ wide by 7′ tall. This was such a fun project for a wonderful family! I hope they enjoy it for years to come!!

To see more mural examples and ideas, please visit my mural gallery. If you are interested in commissioning a mural, please contact me for more information.




music nursery

Music Theme Nursery


This summer I had the opportunity to create a really fun mural for a lovely family in downtown Chicago. My client’s requests were simple and well defined with the help of local Interior Designer, Norma Zeiger of Entwine Interiors. She wanted something gender neutral, modern, and sophisticated. After our initial meeting, we decided on a large scale graphic approach which included musical notes, a treble clef, and piano keys on a textured background. I put together a few options for her. Her two favorites are featured below.

1) The first option was created with Faux Effect Plaster Tex and glaze. It was rustic in feel and neutral in color.

music mural ideas

sample for music themed nursery mural

2) The second option was more of a “modern” take on the same idea (see above) and featured the same elements painted and embellished with a clear “wax-like” product from Golden Decorative paints; “Smooth Translucent Glazing Medium” plus sheer color. The result was a change in sheen and a modeled effect over the painted elements.

The mural also included very subtle large scale musical notes “dancing” around the room.

music themed nursery

music themed nursery detail

To see more mural samples and ideas, please see my mural gallery page 

DIY Copper Pumpkins for the Holidays

Aged Copper Pumpkins

I was recently asked to paint and donate a pumpkin to Meadowbrook School in Northbrook to auction off at their upcoming “Pumpkinfest” celebration. I have had a ball coming up with ideas…now the hard part will be deciding which one to donate, which ones to sell and which ones to keep!! I thought I would share some of my ideas with you along with a “how-to” for my Aged Copper Pumpkins.

Pumpkin painted with the face of an owl
"rusted" pumpkin
back of “rusted” pumpkin
Old Tin Pumpkins


You will need:
-craft foam pumpkin
-spray primer (I use Bin 123) in white
-chip brushes
-Copper Schabin or decorative foil
Wunda Size or Faux Effects Aqua Size
-black paint
-Modern Masters metallic paints in copper, brass, and “reactive” bronze
-Modern Masters reactive paint activator in Blue, Green, and Black
-Modern Masters Permacoat Sealer

1) First prime your pumpkin
2) Apply 2 coats of black paint mixed with a little Brass metallic with a chip brush

3) When dry, coat with a single layer of size. Let size get tacky (about 15 minutes)

then add your schabin or foil. In this demo, I am using Schabin. I bought mine from Kathy Carroll at

4) Once you have covered your pumpkin, while leaving some holes or “holidays” use a dry chip brush to go over pumpkin and press down any loose leaves.

5) Now it’s time to “age” the copper. Using a combination of copper paint, and reactive paints, loosely scumble on paint with a chip brush, covering about 75% of pumpkin.
while the paint is still wet, pour the blue reactive and green reactive paints on top of pumpkin, letting it drip over sides, then spritz with the black reactor.

6) Let it dry and coat with the PermaSeal Coat to stop the reactivity.
7) I added some bronze carpet tacks which I purchased at Lowe’s

THAT’S IT!! Now go paint some pumpkins:)