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soft landscape dresser | part two


I will fully admit that I still feel out of my depth with this whole landscape painting phase of mine.  I’m inspired by it and moderately terrified all at the same time.  I waffle between loving the piece I’m working on and wanting to put it on the burn pile.  This may be how I always feel, but I hope this internal conflict goes away as I gain some confidence and discover my style.

Or at least it isn’t so in my face!

Here’s how the piece is looking as I left it this afternoon…


If you want to know the milk paint colors I used for the base coat, you can find that info in part one.

You can see that the milk paint is chipping some, which I think will end up giving this piece a really unique look once it’s finished.  It wasn’t “the plan”, but I’ve learned that some furniture pieces like to have a greater say in how they look than others.  They’re like children.  Some are mild mannered and go-along-to-get-along while others are strong-willed and opinionated.

They’re actually a lot like adults too, come to think of it!


While I try to steer the strong-willed ones in the direction I want them to go, I’ve learned I like the results best when I don’t fight them too much.

Here’s a video showing how I painted it up to this point…

You can see that I really work and rework areas.  That’s one reason why I love paint.  I know it’s intimidating for many people, but it really is so forgiving.  So, I just brush and fiddle until it’s looking how I want it to.  I’m sure speed will come with confidence, too.

Now, I’m a little stuck.

Do I want to add trees or leave this barn as a loner on the prairie?  Do I want to add some sheep?  Hay bales?  Fencing?  A tractor?  What would your vote be?

Since I was stuck on what to do next, I decided to try on knobs, so whatever I add would work well with those.

I do this with every piece.  I try a bunch of different knob options from my hardware stash, even if I don’t think they’ll work well.  Sometimes I surprise myself and select a knob that I tried on a whim.

These are the four knobs I tried…


I immediately liked one of them.  Can you guess which one?

More to come on this piece…

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  1. Rebecca says:

    Shocked to see all the green votes! I thought the white was a clear winner! Just got to show how a piece can speak to people in different ways! None of which is bad. In fact, how wonderful that a piece of furniture can strike so many different chords in so many different people? I think that is the definition of good art or music. Everyone can find something to appreciate! Thanks Marion!

  2. Breezy Mason says:

    I’m voting for the green,and would love to see horses instead of cows.?

  3. Ashley says:

    I really like the green knob on it, I think it’s a little different from knobs you’ve used in the past, but it blends with the peice so perfectly.

  4. How about a creek? I’d love a water feature.

  5. Connie says:

    John’s “robot” sparked an idea. A scarecrow in a field. You could add some birds obviously ignoring the scarecrow. Or zombies.

    • marian says:

      LOL… John is my brother, by the way. :) I didn’t even think of taking it in a Walking Dead direction, but if Pride & Prejudice can do it…

  6. Kathryn in Snohomish says:

    It needs a fence out behind the barn & some chickens pecking in the foreground. With a watering trough & hitchin’ post. Definitely the green knob (which I thought were antique brass until I read all the “green” posts). Lovely so far!

  7. I love the small clear knobs, on upper left! I feel like those blend with the landscape, and don’t distract from it at all.

  8. B Folk says:

    As much as I like the white knob, I think it detracts from the focal point of the piece, which is the painting. So, I’d go with the green or clear knob.

    Since this is such a small piece, I would maybe add just a few horses, maybe a fence of some type or corral. Or, maybe…a farmer riding a tractor. An old car? Just not too much “stuff”. I also vote for a barn quilt on the next barn that you paint onto a piece of furniture.

    Beautiful, so far!

  9. Debbie V. says:


  10. Sherry says:

    I would like to see trees and bushes. Leave the animals out of this one. Let this one be calm and soothing. And the green knobs are great. They blend in and don’t take away from anything.

  11. I love how it’s coming together, Marian!

    “I waffle between loving the piece I’m working on and wanting to put it on the burn pile. This may be how I always feel.” I could have written those words. That’s precisely the way it is for me with everything I write or create. Ugh. More often… I spend more time in my mind wondering why I even thought I could “do” something. Thankfully my husband has more faith in me than I do.

    P.S. I love the green knob “on” the roof. 😉

  12. Gorgeous!
    I like the crystal/glass clear knob :)

  13. Eleanor in NW Montana says:

    I like Katherine’s idea of chickens, and I think B Folk’s idea of a farmer on a tractor is a good idea for a future piece. And I vote for clear knobs! Green is my second choice.

  14. Jennie Leeper says:

    Ma’am, you are amazing! So many people, including myself, are blessed by you running with AND sharing your unique, God given gifts and talents! Thank you!!!
    Thinking outside of the box, I prefer the dangle pulls. They separate from the painting, showing their purpose and not taking from the scenery.
    How about a clothes line with quilts hanging to dry? Maybe a pet dog or cat running around. Just a simple day of every day life. Hmmmm….sounds surreal!

  15. Julie says:

    My vote would be the clear knob. If your landscapes weren’t so sweet and pure then distractions wouldn’t matter. As for what should appear outside this little barn/shed? When you close your eyes and imagine yourself walking in through the doorways, what do you envision inside? I am guessing that while you painted you must have been thinking about the interior. It looks like the small goat barn down the street from me and when I drive by it there are always one or two goats peeking out of the doorway and it makes me smile.

    Just a sidebar. Once a people becomes too confident and feel they have all the answers or skills they need, it closes them off to new opportunities and information that will continue their growth whether it be as artists or any profession. Part of your brilliance is because you seem to love learning and growing and kindly sharing your knowledge. It is a joy to read your posts.

  16. Natalie in Ohio says:

    The green knob is my favorite. It looks right “at home” on this landscape dresser.

    I vote for having a mix of animals (1 of each)… a dog, horse, pig, chicken, sheep, and cow.

    A little red tractor would also be sweet.

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