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Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Green of My Sea

I have been continuing work on my Grand Parlor. . . and here it is as it stands today.  Wild colors and textures reign in this room!

The Grand Parlor Progress

Some may wonder at my choice of color combinations, and at the wildly elaborate elements I am using as part of my work on the Grand Parlor in this miniature house.   So I feel the need to "splain" myself! 

Sea Squirt Courtesy of Anthony Pearson - Flickr

I absolutely love the beauty and wonder of the seas.   The ocean is just alien enough that it brings us a new appreciation of the earth and all that is in it.   The green seas teem with an alien and unique life that implies a glorious, intelligent and creative being behind it all.  

We feel the wonder and power of the Creation, and it connects with our souls.   This elevation of the uniqueness and wonder of nature, as well as the wondrous works of man, are fully a part of the Steampunk movement. 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!  Courtesy of Wikipedia

Fascination with the unique has been  popularized by movies like Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang, The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, and Lemony Snicket.   Some of these films were made well before the full recognition of "Steampunk" as a movement, yet set the foundation for this incredibly creative genre. Steampunk is a compilation of ideas from many, many references to unique, over the top, fascinating elements of nature and of industry.

Steampunk Airship - Second Life photo Courtesy of Torley on Flickr

H.G. Wells 'The Time Machine',  Cassandra Clare's "Clockwork" Series for Young Adults, and Gail Carrigers' novel 'Souless' (all of which I love!) successfully plumb the depths of these unique and absolutely enjoyable styles, and bring in the elements of fantasy and science fiction which thread throughout the genre. 

Along with the well known elements of the Victorian age, Grunge elements, and the Automatons that have crept into the genre, there are significant references to the wonders of nature, the seas, the skies and the earth.  

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Courtesy of Bryon Taylor

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne is one of the most well known literary references, but the Legends of Atlantis and visual references to the Roman God Neptune all have become well known visual cues for the Steampunk Aesthetic. 

Hence, the strong references to the ocean you are beginning to see in the Grand Parlor!  See, somewhere in my head it all makes sense. . .  but it may never to some folks, especially those not steeped in the Steampunk genre.  But there  you have it!

My Grand Parlor is inspired by these references to the sea in the Steampunk genre, and so, I hope you see not wild colors, but the beginning of those nautical references influencing the choices in this room.
To begin the process of addressing the walls for the Grand Parlor, I covered all of the interior surfaces with mounting board.  This was to help strengthen the walls, and to crisp up the edges of the window and door openings.  I ran out of card before I was had to piece the back wall together.

So I Spackled the wall, and thought for sure I had taken care of the problem. 

Jorge, my little helper, and I then painted all the walls a light aqua green.  I was careful not to completely cover the mounting board, to let some of that show through, as I knew I wanted a bit of variation in the wall colors.

I wanted more variation, and also to get a closer match to the paper I plan to use for the flooring, so I then took a metallic green by DecoArt called 'Dark Patina', and added equal parts of Floating Medium, which enabled me to paint the new metallic color over the aqua without complete coverage. 

I used a Sea Sponge to spread the color, allowing the original aqua color to bleed through, and twisting the sea sponge enough to distribute the color somewhat evenly...though again, since I wanted a variable wall color, I darkened here and there to help create movement in the wall color. 

Everything went swimmingly (forgive the pun!), until I was all done.   I loved the variation in the wall color, and the sheen of the metallic paint.

But lo and behold!  I see seams!  Grrr. . . 

So back to the drawing board I went, attempting to cover the seams....

And overall, I did succeed...but of course "THE CAMERA" picks up the seams anyway....sigh.  But it looks much better, and I think with the other distractions such as curtain treatments and moldings, we should be able to create a new "Feature" using those seams.  :0)) 

I leave you with a glimpse of the construction in progress.  I love the way the colors set each other off, while maintaining a very different look in the two modules.  I am very excited to move this forward more, and see the completed rooms together.  

Hope you've enjoyed the next chapter in the saga of the Steampunk Chateau. . .   

Until next time!

Doug S


  1. Hello Doug,
    That color is beautiful. I love the texture you created. It works so well with the platform and the floor and the ceiling. It really has a Steampunk/ aquatic feel to it. It really makes the copper tones pop and yet it has a very serene vibe about it. Excellent work Doug. I am more and more excited by this project. It is a great honor to me that someone who I consider to be a talented artist should have one of my rooms as a backdrop on his computer ;).
    Big hug my friend

    1. Thanks Giac,

      I am excited that you are That means as much as all the wonderful comments. It pleases me so much that you see what I am hoping to portray, I never do know if I am hitting the mark when I commit to those choices, so it is good when you "see" it for me. It is very encouraging.

      And I DO have your new Tudor room on my desktop. I seriously love it. The "renovation" made the already incredible details in that room really pop! We'll see how your assessment of me as a "talented artist" holds up over But it is kind of you to make the statement. I'll take that and be very happy with it!

      Thanks for being such an encouraging "follower"!


  2. Hi Doug
    Your choice of aqua green is perfect for this room.....after all, what colour does copper go in time? It is a perfect marriage of tones, contrasts and have it all in one space, brilliant! I am so looking forward to your next post.
    All the best and take care.

    1. Hello friend Vivian!

      Thank you for the wonderful comments! It excites me that you like the colors. I really was rather unsure of the final know how you sometimes do things, and you are sure you are right...until you get done...and just doesn't "look right". I was feeling that way about the choice of the aqua color for the walls when I finished...but it grew on me...sometimes I just have to walk away for a while, and when I come back, I can "see" it the way others might. I kind of like it now. Until tomorrow anyway. lol.

      Thanks to you too, for your faithful, sincere comments and for enjoying my "little" project. I find your comments so encouraging when I am feeling a bit unsure of what is appearing in front of me (it DOES sort of just appear...!) . You never fail to encourage me. Thank You for that!

      I am looking forward to my next post too! By then I will actually "know what I did"! Comforting when you don't know what you are doing, right? :0)

      All the best Vivian!


  3. Hi Doug! I've just found your blog, somewhere in the universe and I've decided to take a look :D!
    Your project surprises me (in a good way ;O), because I've never seen one like this before, it is great!
    The combination of tones, contrasts and textures is amazing! The red (copper) is the secondary color of green, so they are the opposite of each other and a good choice. I can't wait to see more in your next post.
    PS Forgive me my poor English, it is not my mother tongue ;)!
    Kind regards, Ilona

  4. Welcome Ilona! I am so happy to hear from you! Thank you for your thoughts!

    I kind of surprised myself with this project. :0)) It is a bit different, but then again, I am a connoisseur of the unique and different, so why should I be surprised? I hope it will be something folks enjoy over time. Meanwhile, I am having a blast!

    Do not worry about the English! Honestly, in the above, I would never have known it was not your mother tongue! You do better than you think you do! English is not an easy language to grasp all the nuances on, and you have obviously done that!

    Thank You for your lovely comment, and I look forward to getting to know more of you!



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