One Cottage Design…Many Different Looks

Rocking Chair Seat

We are so flattered that people love our art furniture. For years we have been selling our furniture and, in general, we find that it moves fairly quickly. Our families have been very supportive in our artistic pursuits so we were not surprised when my brother Joe and his wife Pam commissioned us to paint a piece for them.
This wonderful couple is raising five very active children, building a lovely cabin, and working full time jobs.


Additionally, Pam is one of the most artistic and creative people that we have ever known. Their lovely home is filled with the fruits of her art. They wanted some very special furniture pieces for their cabin in the woods so they hired us. They supplied the furniture with the base painting already done and they wanted us to make these simple pieces in to art furniture. The problem was that they weren’t sure exactly what they wanted so they left it up to us. Their instructions – ‘paint something happy’. Now that is a challenge but one that we rather enjoyed.

I looked through the house for things that made me smile and were informal yet classy. Sunflowers! I love to design and paint them and I thought they would look great on the rocking chair. I have painted sunflowers for years and have taught and sold many pieces based around these flowers so I felt good about the choice.
And then I was hit with something rather profound, well at least it was profound for me. As artists we don’t always need to reinvent the wheel, we can look in to past pieces for inspiration. So that is what I did. Many years ago I designed and painted this large plate as an epacket for our website.


Sunflower Plate


I have taught this piece a few times and have sold lots of these packets. In fact, this has been an important piece for our Creative Legacy Art Studio, and if you are interested in purchasing this epacket and learning how to paint sunflowers click here and then click on the Pattern Packets link on the left.

This piece inspired me to paint another sunflower design on a wooden place mat. As you can see, the original design inspired this design.

Sunflower Placemat

I used a different background color and some different finishing elements but the same basic idea.

These pieces inspired me to paint “happy” on Pam and Joe’s rocking chair. I borrowed the design from the placemat as it worked perfectly on the seat of the rocker and I freehanded a sunflower and some leaves on the back panel. The warm yellows and greens look gorgeous on the black and this simple piece becomes art furniture.

Rocking Chair


Rocking Chair 2


Rocking Chair Back

Rocking Chair Seat


So, you see, we can pull on former artworks to create new pieces. Famous artists through out history would use the same elements over and over again but just staged differently to create a wonderful and new piece.

Sunflower Projects

Sunflower Plate


Sunflower Plate 2

Enjoy the sunflowers, smile and remember that “there is nothing new under the sun” therefore we can “reinvent the wheel” by borrowing from our past successes.

Until next time,


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