Tuesday, September 16, 2014


My altered cover of Veranda, October 2014.

Slow time, stop time, go back in time. Wadmalaw Island makes you think all of that’s possible. If you’re out on the island you've likely come from Charleston, an antique city that lulls you in to thinking time travel is possible. Forty minutes from Charleston it’s deeply rural, unspoiled, serene, and bucolic. The October issue of Veranda has the story of Birdsong, a farm on Wadmalaw Island, and the site of my largest mural to date. It’s been well documented on this blog but here’s a refresher.

Nearly 160' of hallway, 160' of mural.

The vaporous woods of Birdsong.

Looking toward the side door.

A view into the guest room.

Detail of mural and sconce, the wild and the refined.

The marshy low country.

Turning the corner on the kitchen wall.

Spanish moss? Yes, lot's of it.

One of my favorite passages, a little abstract corner outside the kitchen.

My first job as a muralist is to decide on the overall look of the piece to make sure it fits seamlessly with the architecture and interior design. At Birdsong the mural is soft and impressionistic and I chose to portray the kind of dreaming atmosphere associated with the magic hour and misty mornings. The result is a work that one will not tire of because it is minimal and calming.

View of the Wadmalaw River.

The hall outside the library.

I think that shall never see...

The kitchen hallway.

A tangle of nature.

The spread in Veranda Magazine, October 2014.

I've gone back through my pictures of the making of, the installation of, and the mural hung with the interiors filled. It’s much more than you can see in Veranda though they say the tablet version of the magazine has more. I revisited the architect, Glenn Keyes’, site which has some lovely photos. Use the search box on my blog and type in "Wadmalaw" for more on this project.

Monday, July 21, 2014

 Scott Waterman / no title / ink / watercolor / gouache /paper / 52" x 40" / 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sail away, sail away, sail away

Sales brochure for the yacht, now renamed and remade.

Here's something I've never done: sit in an airport waiting area and begin writing my latest blog post. Here's something else I've never done: paint a couple of murals for a yacht, a yacht in Palm Beach, Florida, fyi. It may sound rather luxurious and in fact it was. My part in what was huge project was small but what continues to hold my interest as an artist is how something so slight can have such a big impact. The two pieces I did for the boat probably amount to not much more than a pint of paint spread immeasurably thin and while in this case the designs were not my originals I made them my own by adapting them to the circumstances. Let's take a look.

Studio view of my "Matisse".

The panels in the background which will soon receive my painting.

Here' my work cut up and glued to the four panels.

The panels, back in place and covered with color.

John Nalewaja and his assistant Ed prepare the bath mural.

It's purely coincidental that the Matisse cut-outs, currently one of the best shows on the London art scene are the subject of one of my paintings for the boat. My interpretation is faithful to Matisse’s, (though the palette comes from his paintings not the cut-outs). It's in the dining area and its bold form carries through to the living area and the outside deck. This is the major visual note for what is the most significant area of congregation for the owners and their guest. I'm glad to be there and be really visible because my other work is in a most intimate space.

Studio view of my "Scene of India" mural.

Jim, John, and Ed getting the bath mural up and bubble-free.

Rub a dub, dub.

Turn to the left.

Now turn to the right.

Now get carried away.

Because you're with me you're admitted the inner sanctum of the master bath and what has to be one of the most luxurious bathing experiences one can have on a boat or possibly anywhere. Can you imagine? You're lying back in a deep soaking tub, looking up at a starry sky, surrounded by a languid procession of Indian royalty parading through the exotic subcontinent, while sailing steadily to your next port of call. Before the rehab of the boat this area had a 80s style hot tub. It's a big step up I assure you. And that's my job: to upgrade, to elevate, and to lift you up.

From Fiji to Tiree and the Isles of Ebony.  

Stay close.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Row row row your boat

A recent painting installed by Photoshop.

Gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Penny Lane

In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of...

From a collection of my paintings, part chance, part control.

athid sent me an email asking what I would suggest in the way of a painting for a restaurant they were putting together. Usually I’m given clues, a design direction, something, but in this case I was only told: brasserie. So, French, ok. I immediately go to the major French influence in my work, Duchamp, and assemble a collection of my paintings for them to browse. Included in the mix are works of my other bicycle reference which in my mind goes with the Duchamp oeuvre though it’s not of him; it’s the canopied penny farthing from the stylish 60s British import television summer replacement show, The Prisoner.

Another of my paintings in an imaginary installation. I wish.
My first painting that includes the penny farthing.
There it is, the Prisoner bike.
My recent painting for Brasserie Gigi.

Cut to the finished restaurant, Brasserie Gigi in Charleston, S.C. where my painting hangs just barely two weeks after first getting wind of this project. If that’s not a rush job then you tell me what is. And it’s remarkable. Amelia has again assembled an interior using such a deft touch that there’s hardly any notion that it’s been decorated. And you can scarely believe it hasn’t been there since, I don’t know, the 20s?

There's my painting, framed and hanging in Brasserie Gigi!

Tempting, n'est c'est pas?

Now, had been up to me I would have used the straight up rendering of the Duchamp Bicycle Wheel for the restaurant. That'll keep them talking! But I didn't campaign hard for that idea. It’s 2014 already and our culture has not yet fully absorbed the impact of Duchamp’s work -created in the early 20th c.! Still I love the absurdity of The Prisoner high wheeled bike; delightful and preposterous in equal measure and that's Duchampian.

My rendition of Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel.

My flowery rendition of Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel

It's really my painting but (le sigh) another one of my fantasy installations. 

Brasserie Gigi, where they say the oysters are exquisite. Will someone please confirm that for me? 

Bon au revoir, Gigi.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Palm Beach cont'd.

More pix from Palm Beach and my commissioned painting at Bricktop's Restaurant...

"Crazy Fun" is what a client of mine called this commission.

Patio of Bricktop's Restaurant, Palm Beach. There's my painting at the end.

Click on images to enlarge. See previous entry for some back story. Add a comment will you?


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Water, water, everywhere

Xmas tree seen on the Winter Park Scenic Boat tour.

Here’s how it works: I think up a subject, gather the pictures then write words to go with it.  I had one subject in mind, a recent painting project but when I viewed my images for this post I realized the real subject is water. It should have been obvious to me since I just got back from Florida, a peninsula surrounded by water, and as it happens I spent every day looking  at water (in a lap pool), crossing over water by car, paddling on water in a canoe, standing on water in a yacht, and oh yes, I painted water. The painting is the main reason I brought you here yet the water depicted in it is hardly noticeable -but you can decide that for yourself.

The Winter Park home of Mr. Rogers of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood fame.

So,  picking up where I left off last blog post, yes, I spent the final days of 2013 in Orlando with side trips to Palm Beach and Wekiva, (from the Creek Indian word for "flowing water”).  All of Florida sits on top of water that is often just barely underground and in many cases is at the surface in the form of ponds, lakes, and rivers which are often connected, chained they call it. Getting in and on that water means you’re visiting the real Florida as far as I’m concerned.  On my last full day in Florida I took the Scenic Boat Tour of the Winter Park chain of Lakes, established in 1938.  The boat drivers give a kind of schmaltzy description and there are moments that feel like a Hollywood tour of stars homes, “straight ahead the twenty-two thousand square foot lakefront home of…” but the scenery was so lovely and the weather so beautiful that a little drippy chatter hardly mattered.
Google map view showing the start/end point of our canoe trip (race).
My canoe mate.

Great blue heron as seen from my canoe. Can you find it?

Let’s Active! Even better to be active on the water, we chose canoeing. And with two pairs in two boats it became an impromptu race: out to our furthest point and back to the start. My boat won, btw. Along the way I saw some would be subjects for my painting, water fowl:  the Florida ibis, a great blue heron, a number of vulture, alas no roseate spoonbill which is what I painted. Conveniently I relied on Audubon rather than direct observation for my work.

These are the elements that made up my painting.

“Paint the Roseate Spoonbill but with a twist” –that was my directive for the commission; a painting for Bricktop’s a restaurant in Palm Beach. Optimistically they initially scheduled an opening for Thanksgiving. I easily made that deadline and actually another deadline, a seemingly impossible deadline, to create four more paintings, more about those later.

Here is my (almost) final collage before I started painting.

I added these words which makes almost as much sense as "Let's Active".

The completed painting in my studio.

 Here I thought you might be interested in some behind the scenes of how I often put my projects together so I included the separate disparate elements I collaged to create my final composition. I think this is one of my strangest commissions to date but let’s hope it will keep diners and imbibers entertained and returning to solve the riddle wrapped in an enigma surrounded by a mystery.

My work is hung on the open air porch and this shot is so new the dining tables haven't even arrived.

My little side trip to Palm Beach was partly to view and photograph my work installed at the restaurant which unfortunately was a little behind schedule so my work was not yet up. However, the manager, John Becker, very kindly emailed me a couple of photos today that show my big painting hung. Later I’ll show you the rest of my work there when the restaurant is in full swing. It’s the perfect time open a new bistro and catch the wintering crowd. Balmy South Florida is the place you want to be in the U.S. when it’s winter. Current forecast predict 36 hours of frozen fury for about 100 million Americans.
Related Posts with Thumbnails