We’re redecorating our bedroom and I have decided to go with a Northwoods theme using a lot of blues and greens in the palette. I want it to be cool and soothing for summer and in the winter I can change out some accessories to warm it up a little while still going with the same basic palette. I have always felt that blue and green go with all colors. It’s in our “DNA” to accept those two colors with a wide range of other colors because in nature every flower has a green stem and in its natural habitat is always displayed against a blue sky. The human eye accepts this as natural and right, and so the combinations never give us “aesthetic angst”. Because I grew up in a very traditional New England colonial, bright pastel colors have always been difficult for me to use in my art. I am drawn to the more traditional colonial dark blues, dark greens, burgundy and barn reds that my family used in their décor in our home that was built in 1769, but combining brighter colors with green and blue in work of art always works for me.
I love to craft, and decorative painting has always been one of my favorites. For quite a few years, I designed patterns for the decorative painting industry and had projects published in a number of craft and decorative painting magazines. So when we start to remodel and redecorate a room, I am always looking for ways to customize and create personal and unique items for the room. One thing that I love to do is make custom switchplates for the light switches and the electrical outlets. I buy unpainted wooden ones and then stencil or hand-paint them to go with the room. It’s fun to change them with the seasons and holidays. I make them for all the seasons, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and even the 4th of July. The particular switchplate that I am going to paint for this bedroom is a Northwoods scene of a loon on a peaceful wilderness lake. It was inspired by a ride that Bill and I took into Baxter State Park a couple of years ago. We had stopped by the side of the Baxter Tote road as it passes along the shore of Grand Lake Matagamon to gather some driftwood that drifted down the lake and piled up against the shore. As we were picking through the wood, a lone loon came gliding along the lake about 30 feet from shore. It didn’t seem to bother him much that we were there. I love loons. They are such a graceful, elegant bird with their sleek iridescent bodies and their striking black and white “checkerboards” on their backs. I am sharing the instructions on how to paint this so if you would like to try this just click on this link- Loon Switchplate Pattern - and it will open in a seperate window where you can either choose to save it to your computer or print it out. This file will be a PDF file so you will need a PDF file reader such as Adobe Reader (available for free at Adobe.com).