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Martha Leone Design: The blog is where I share thoughts on the creative process and share lots of pictures of each finished piece of painted furniture. Critiques are always welcome!

Introducing Waterfall

Martha Leone

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Do you ever have the urge to create something fresh, new, unexpected? I do... all of the time. Frankly, it's something that happily plagues me as an artist. However, to design or create unconventional art just for the sake of it doesn't seem like a good idea. Instead, concepts that make meaningful connections between two things tend to communicate stories that are worth pondering.

It's that driving desire for the unconventional that drove me to paint this art deco piece. I spent some time reading on the history of waterfall dressers and then took a look at some of the two dimensional art of that same era. (History lesson below if you're interested.)

Waterfall from

An idea was born:  Emphasize the signature curved front edge of the dresser by "dropping" strong asymmetrical lines from top to bottom. The brown lines start on the horizontal top and fall down to the bottom of the vertical front. The brown lines mimic poster design of that same era as you can see below.


Waterfall from

Painting Tutorial 1. Painted the entire piece Annie Sloan Coco then used Frog Tape to tape the outside edge of the diagonal sections. 2. Sanded the inside areas of the diagonal sections then removed the Frog Tape. 3. Didn't like the entire piece in Coco, so I taped off the diagonal sections again (this time I taped them off from the inside). 4. Painted the piece homemade white chalk paint and removed the tape. 5. Sanded. 6. When it was dry, I sealed it with Minwax Wipe-On Polyurethane using a lint-free staining pad.

Waterfall from

Waterfall from

Waterfall from

So, I'm wondering, what inspires you when brainstorming new ideas? How do you generate ideas? Do you sketch, sing a song, read a book, take a walk???

History lesson on waterfall dressers This style of furniture was mass-produced from the 1920s through the 1940s. It was inexpensive furniture in its time. Generally, there is no "frame" -- the molded plywood sides and tops are supported by edge moldings. Some is absolutely terrible, and a small amount is breathtaking. Things that look like Art Deco are classed as "modern". Note that it is only in 1939 that sears calculated that there would be a mass market for "modern" furniture outside the bedroom. Source:

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