I wanted to create something elegant enough for dinner and comfortable enough for breakfast. The furniture and lighting are on the formal side, but the small size of the room keeps things cozy, and I hope that the murals warm things up.
Before anyone calls me crazy, let me say that the chairs are covered in what looks and feels like white linen but what is actually outdoor fabric that wipes clean. So far it's held up to pizza sauce and chocolate icing.
The murals were completed under the influence of performance-enhancing drugs. Caffeine sensitivity has it's advantages. While my work could stand some editing, I can live with this for now, and I'm proud to have completed it even in the midst of Peter's break from school.
I worked from pictures of the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham. At first, it was just because I thought they were pretty. As I painted, though, I realized how these gardens represent each segment of my life for the 14 years I spent in that town.
I came to these gardens as an art student in college-- and for the occasional bridesmaids' tea. I came here when I was single in the city for brisk walks and long talks with girlfriends. I came as a mother when Peter and I just needed to get out of the house.
Most significantly, though, it is where Tom and I walked one November day in 2002. We had been dating for several months. As we talked in the Japanese section, the one which I chose to paint, I decided that he was, in fact, the man that I wanted to marry.