One of the most challenging aspects of my paintings is the wallpaper. Sometimes I paint directly onto actual sheets of vintage wallpaper but most of the time I design my own. It is from my ever growing collection of wallpaper sample books that I gain inspiration. My most prized possessions are a 1941 Montgomery Wards Wallpaper Style Book and a 1902 Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog featuring 40 wallpaper samples!! To touch their covers is inspiration enough!
I not only gain inspiration from these books, I've also developed healthy respect for the designers. I thought it was about time that I paid tribute to two of my all time favorite wallpaper gurus.
William Morris is the rock star of wallpaper and fabric design. One of my favorites is Bird & Anemone. It is once again available for only $225 per roll. This design was used by Morris’ company prior to 1914.
One of the most controversial figures in the design industry was Florence Broadhurst. Her designs, if she designed them at all (this is one of the controversial parts), are insanely wonderful.
Of course one of my favs is The Cranes. It is once again back in production at a heftier price than Morris’ Bird & Anemone. Check out the book, Florence Broadhurst, Her Secret & Extraordinary Lives by Helen O’Neill. Scandalous!
As of right now I have about a dozen wallpaper designs, all on well worn sheets of tracing paper. It’s nice to have them on hand. One of my long term goals is to transfer these designs to something more permanent.