the landscape wardrobe

Marian ParsonsBefore and Afters, Furniture Makeovers, Hand Painted Furniture, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint53 Comments

There are some pieces that are screaming to have a landscape painted on them.

This was one such piece.

And how can I ignore the pleas from an old piece of furniture?  One that’s been around the block, but has a lot of life left?

I can’t.  And I didn’t.

I have been terrible about taking proper before pictures with the most recent pieces I’ve acquired, so here is the best before shot I have of this wardrobe…

I found it on craigslist at a nice price, but like most of my finds, this one had some, shall we say, problems.  There were some odd modifications and it had clearly been exposed to some moisture.  So, we unmodified the odd modifications, cleaned it up, repaired the damaged parts, and added some shelving to make it a more functional piece.  We (and by “we”, I mean my dad) also installed a bead board back to cover up the cedar veneer that was peeling off in sheets.

Jenn from Eight Hundred Furniture, came to the studio for a few days to lend a hand and I tasked her with sanding and painting this piece.

After a light sanding to scuff up the glossy surface, she painted the outside in two coats of Shutter Gray and the inside in Mora, both MMS Milk Paint.

And then I let it sit until I could hear it screaming that it needed a landscape painted on the doors.  I tend to crank my music and am somewhat oblivious to things going on around me when I’m focused, so that must be why I didn’t hear it for a few weeks.

I was inspired by a landscape painting by Lovis Corinth and decided to work with a large brush and try to keep it loose.  I used the Corinth painting as inspiration for the general composition.  Obviously, I’m not even in the same talent universe as him as an artist, but I could see my milk paint colors in there and I felt like it was worth a shot!

I painted most of the scene with a 1 1/2″ flat brush…

I used a palette of Linen, Lucketts Green, Mustard Seed Yellow, Boxwood, Flow Blue, Kitchen Scale, Eulalie’s Sky, French Enamel and Trophy, all from the MMS Milk Paint line.

I added some matte acrylic paint medium when I needed more workability and body.

Once the landscape painting was dry, I distressed the piece with 120 grit sand paper to wear down the edges and knock off any chipping areas.  I then finished the piece with Hemp Oil.

And here is the finished piece…

I thoroughly enjoyed playing with such a dramatic sky!  I can find plenty of things to pick at, but I’m happy with it overall.

The chipping and crazing in the “fields” is really lovely.  I think it happened that way, because of the multiple layers of milk paint I applied, one right after the other.  The texture along the bottom panel is from cracked veneer.

I think the piece is whimsical and pretty…

…with loads of storage!  (For all of your pillows and hemp sheets and bird cages.  It’s just what I had on hand!)

This piece will be for sale at the Lucketts Spring Market in May.

PS – Did you notice my new box easel?

the landscape wardrobe

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53 Comments on “the landscape wardrobe”

  1. I wanted to take a minute to thank you for your posts. My kids go off to the bus at 6:48am sharp and I immediately settle in with a cup of tea and your latest post which typically shows up on Bloglovin’ at right about that time. It’s a morning ritual for me….so thank you. By the way, that piece is gorgeous.

  2. Seriously, is there NOTHING you can’t do? You create a line of paint for crying out loud. You are a true artist painting furniture. Then you decide to try watercolors. Your very first paintings are good enough to sell. You have made your own businesses from a garage. You are my hero in so many ways. You have all these accomplishments, and yet you seem like probably one of the sweetest women on the world wide web. Yep, you are someone I really look up to.

      1. Thank you, both!

        And, yes, there are many things I can’t do. Geometry is one of them, which was evident when I tried to make a tree skirt! 🙂

  3. Absolutely stunning! I adore this piece – your painting is gorgeous. I think this piece would be perfect for a small apartment – those times when a large piece is counter-intuitively perfect for a small space, *especially* because your landscape visually expands the space. It’s all kinds of perfect!!!

    1. I got them as samples from a wholesale company, so I’m not sure where they can be purchased retail. They are pretty cool little brushes! This was my first time really using them.

  4. Marian,

    This is just beautiful! I had my eye on a small dresser that would have been perfect for a landscape but it sold before I worked up the nerve to buy it 🙂 I just love all of your blues and greens in the milk paint line.

  5. Oh, how I love this! And please don’t take this the wrong way if it comes across the wrong way because this movie is one of my favs so this is meant as a compliment…. but this reminds me of that scene in Forest Gump where he is running… and running…. and running….

    Today is another one of those days you inspire me to go big, Marian….. thank you!

  6. I know what you mean about the wardrobe talking to you. All that blank space! A tip for getting the impressionism vibe right – you need to dab more and use shorter strokes. I know this is not a piece of artwork or going to hang in the Louvre, but I think you would get more depth if you went over it with quick dabs of deeper color. Remember that watercolor you did where you smeared water on it? You *need* to experiment; don’t play it safe (that’s the wardrobe talking, not me). Go for it!

    1. Yes, I know I brushed this one way too much! I need to take an impressionist painting class, so I can learn the technique.

  7. Marian, you are so very talented. This piece is beautiful. Love ❤️ everything you do. Also, love your sweet spirit. You are such an inspiration.

  8. I think this is your prettiest landscape yet. I think it would be lovely at the end of a upstairs hallway to house extra linens and pillows, etc.

  9. YOU are such a tease! Lucketts! It is magnifique!! I am retiring in less than a month and just might have to make the trip to Lucketts this year. Thank you for sharing your talents.

  10. If I had even an ounce of artistic ability I would love to try something like this. But, considering I still draw people as stick figures and trees as two lines and a squiggle or cloud on top I know better than to push my luck. By the way, do you still have a decent collection of iron stone to sell, in particular a rectangular platter about 16 x 10 or in that general area. I’m guessing at the size, it may be be smaller. I broke several pieces of family ironstone and some of my Longaberger serving pieces in a crash one day. Talk about feeling sick. The Longaberger can be found, its the ironstone that’s more difficult.

  11. I am in the middle of an impressionistic workshop to expand my painting skills and I am loving it! You did a wonderful job. I really like that you show how the medium (milk paint, artist acrylics or oils) you work with is not what is most important in art, it is what you do with it.
    You managed to get some great depth in those clouds!

  12. BIG step forward in creating depth, Marian!! And in such a short time! Very impressive. Thanks for sharing your supplies!

    1. Your work is great! I really enjoy pastels, but I get frustrated with them! I need to take a class on those, too, because I really like the medium.

  13. I love this! I would have to position this in my bedroom so I could see it while laying in bead. It would stimulate beautiful dreams. Did I miss a post, is Kriste no longer working w you?

    1. She’s still working for me, but she’s about six months pregnant! So, I have her doing more computer work, etc. and not furniture prep. 🙂

  14. The colors are amazing on this piece. It has that “trompe l’oeil” look to it. What a transformation!

  15. I am planning on making the drive to luckets to may. It will be my first time since I’m from Georgia. Could you by chance tell me a price for this piece? I absolutly love it! We are closing on our first house next Wednesday and I am going to have quite a time fixing it up! There isn’t much closet room so this would be perfect!!! I still wish I could have bought the sofa you did last year…

  16. I so need to move so I can hang out with you, paint and shop at Luckett’s. This is gorgeous!! From the comments above, I have many soul sisters out there. Nice job!

  17. What a beautiful job you did of painting this antique! It’s so pretty!

    You are so gifted, Marian! Love all your posts! Always look forward to them.


  18. Marion, I think that is the best so far! Love the way the cracking looks as if it is the soil coming through the grass. Wish I was closer but Brisbane is a bit far to see your things in person 🙂 So talented!

  19. What a GLORIOUS piece, Marion – It is wonderful! Thank you for always providing a daily dose of inspiration and sunshine to my day! Oh and the box easel is to die for? Where did you find it and is it for sale or are you keeping it? I have been looking for one for a very long time and this one is gorgeous! Blessings for a wonderful day!

  20. Marion,

    You are such an inspiration to us! you amaze with your ability to visualize the possibility of these old pieces. Thanks for sharing your talents with us!
    This piece is lovely, and the landscape fits it perfectly.

  21. Love, love, love this wardrobe! This is my favorite piece to date! I’m always impressed with your work, but there’s something about this one that just makes me “oooh” and “aaah”!

  22. Soooo Pretty! I love your choice of colors, that you chose to put neutrals inside to display, and the way you can love a piece of furniture back to life. This piece will make a fine statement piece in any room. Bravo !!!!!

  23. Once again, Marian, you have created a stunning piece! And so different from the others due to the size of the piece. But I keep looking around the landscape for one or two sheep or cows! Could you just add them for me?

  24. It’s a Narnia cabinet! 🙂 You could just walk right into the landscape and have a beautiful journey along the path. As always, you bring beauty to the homely pieces. Such talent!!

  25. Oh that is stunning! I have the perfect place for it in our upstairs hallway for linens. I’ll see you at Luckett’s Spring Market and maybe I’ll get to take it home with me! Fingers crossed! 🙂

  26. I love your style, I’m an artist and I wouldn’t change a thing if I were you.
    I think this would be perfect in a bedroom across from the bed, especially a room which is short on light or lacking windows. It gives the effect of gazing out a window.

  27. I could teach You but too far away. Karen Margulis has a blog and she has lots of YouTube Videos. In the missdle of all you do maybe check her out.
    Thank you so much for your kind compliments re my Pastel paintings.
    Best wishes and thanks for all the creative ideas you give.
    I made a slipcover fo my antique wing back chair with drop cloth by watching your videos. I would have never attempted if not for your help.

  28. I think the thing that I admire most about you is your ability to take a piece of furniture that looks like it should be on the junk heap and breathe new life into it, because you have an innate ability to see what it can become with a little paint and patching-up. You have so many God-given talents and are truly an artist. These talents and the fact that you have such a down-to-earth personality that makes all of us feel we know you so well are what make you so successful in your ventures. Keep following your heart and doing what you love to do, because you do it so well!

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