Thursday, August 5, 2010



I'm referring to Virginia Woolf and her novel of that name. In the book the protagonist, Orlando, defies time and has a miraculous sex change. It's the time travel I'm thinking about.

To be here to be now at last I am free
at last at last to be free of the past
and all the future that beckons me

2006 I painted the silver leafed room in Bel Air. The original plan called for a time-out before my painted work was sealed. We wanted the silver to have some time exposed to the air so it would oxidize a bit. How long? Unknown. As it turns out our onsite patinas expert had an itchy trigger finger and advised sealing before we really got to see some of the beautiful luster that time creates.

It's time, it's always time to reorganize and take stock which is how I came across some of my test work for the silver room. The sliver paper sample has been stored in one of my flat file drawers since 2006. Fortunately or unfortunately it has functioned as an unguided experiment in tarnishing. In this blog post I present several views of the silver paper under various lighting conditions. It's all so unscientifically controled but the point is you can see places of oxidation next to areas hardly tarnished. The untarnished areas had pieces of Plexiglas resting on them so presumably the pieces of Plexiglas blocked air flow and : no tarnish.

Why do we like the look of aged things? Or is that even the question? There's a mystery in this thing called time. We want it new, we want it old. Huh? Both at the same time? Something like that. I still want to create a project that uses this beautiful silver paper, let it tarnish and paint something referencing a much more recent time. Chinoiserie is fine but I want something closer to our lives today. I'm thinking Abstract Expressionism, Antoni Tàpies, J.M. Basquiat, Mad Men, Star, that sort of thing.

See you later Alligator.
After a While Crocodile

Click on Tumblr for more pictures of this and other projects. Thanks!


  1. So much to love about this post-Orlando, the book .the visuals of the movie-I could watch it one hundred times and still never get enough of it. And there is something extremely gratifying to know when to say NO. That silver leaf is heaven or close to it. I would have it in a heart beat-and deserve it-the mad men did not.(though some of the names you mention are admirable-I knew there was some reason I don't watch that show) Bravo-When my client decides to do her dining room in a Gracie paper- I will call You instead- if you tramp to NC. Your work is exceptional.Gaye

  2. Thanks Patricia. Thanks so much. To work on one of your projects? Nothing could be finer.

  3. i love what silver does and have wasted many hours trying to get aluminum to look like that.
    now feeling the need to lace into something with lots of blue silk. thanks for the beauty, scott

  4. Right, well, you might also try the lead into gold trick. That works just as well.

    Lynne didn't you wear something like this for you wedding?

  5. if i could only have one wish granted...
    it would be
    to be able to travel back into time.
    -preferably the 'georgian era.'

    lovely post.

  6. If your were wealthy during Kings George's time I suppose it could have been nice. You probably had someone to take care of your chamber pot at least.

    Thanks for reading Renee.

  7. Beautiful creations ...

    - Smita
    ( fun food ideas for picky eaters )

  8. what a gorgeous wall treatment -AND my favorite book!! I haven't seen the movie in awhile-it may be time for a rewatch.

  9. Thanks Smita! I like your blog. Never seen anything like it, actually.

    Thanks A.D. I've never read the book. It's meant to be a sort autobiography isn't it?

  10. Well, Scott, I've spent the past couple hours looking at every one of your posts, and just now realize at 9:12 PM that I haven't had my dinner! Your wonderful works have been my evening feast! Thanks for the inspiration ... Mark

  11. Thanks Mark! I'm so glad to hear from you.

  12. I melt in the movie and the music of Orlando. I am completely transported by this story of immortality. Is not it the purpose of every creator?
    These 4 verses correspond to my life now, after many transformations.

    Je fonds dans le film et la musique d'Orlando. Je suis complètement transporté par cette histoire d'immortalité. N'est-ce pas le but de tout créateur ?
    Ces 4 vers correspondent à ma vie maintenant, après bien des transformations.


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