Self-doubt. Something every single artist experiences, almost on a daily basis…and for that matter, it is something that every human faces. I can usually work through my self-doubt rather efficiently, but every once in a while my self-doubt begins to feel like a huge ACME anvil that Wily Coyote dropped on me.
This time, the ACME anvil looked a lot like this:
Not so bad, you say? I agree. This antique buffet is like a dream come true for us furniture flippers. I mean, just look at those legs! And the apron! And the beautiful routed detailing! And those fantastic tear-drop-esque pulls on the drawers! What’s not to love, right? Well therein lied the self-doubt anvil. No, I wasn’t feeling guilty about painting this piece…it was pretty bad in some places and would have required a LOT of work and money to restore to a wood finish. I did, however, struggle with the direction I should take with such a beautiful and classic piece.
Self-doubt was puttin’ on the neon ritz: “NEUTRAL! NEUTRAL! NEUTRAL!” And that seemed like the smart choice, right? Appeal to as many people as possible by pairing a classic piece with a classic color scheme. So, time to get started! Uhhhh, just a tiny little problem…I don’t really do neutral. One of the reasons I started this business was because I absolutely love the energy and interest that a bold, colorful piece of vintage furniture brings into the home. And thus, the huge ACME anvil…
Does this dilemma sound familiar to you? I know quite a few business-oriented artists that have dealt with this struggle many times in their own form of creativity. We are constantly striving for the balance between unique, bold, inspirational art and practical, marketable, appealing design. The trick, is to not lose our individual eye…the creative and unique perspective that makes us the artist that we are.
So one day while I was pedaling hard into a fierce headwind and could hear nothing but the rush of air over my ears, I was lost in thoughts of self-doubt. And as I kept pedaling, I reached the penultimate point of my route and suddenly the headwind broke. Suddenly, all was quiet, and in that exact moment I achieved clarity on my dilemma: “Create what you love, create for yourself, and the rest will follow.” What does that mean?
It means: “I don’t do neutral!” I’m BOLD, and I’m beautiful. Just like The Apollonia!
Even before I overcame my self-doubt anvil, I already knew that I was going to strip and refinish the gorgeous, plank-wood, top of this antique buffet. There’s just something about the warmth of a natural wood finish paired with the beauty and color of a painted finish…it brings the smiles, for sure. And this buffet’s top did not disappoint. The age of the wood created this dark staining/mottling effect that, when paired with Minwax’s Provincial stain, created this stunning almost leopard-like pattern…
For the rest of the buffet I chose Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Flow Blue. It’s no secret that I’ve been having an affair with blue lately…and this color is so rich and so bold that my affair isn’t ending anytime soon! Just look at the depth in this finish:
And those legs…my, oh my, those legs!
Because this buffet has so many points of intrigue and interest, I used a few subtle, and not-so-subtle, techniques to draw the eye to them.
First is the use of white to highlight many of the recessed details and lines:
P.S. look at those fantastic, original pulls
And lastly, I loved the fluidity of the design on the two drawers…rolling from one right down to the other…so, I used a technique to streak and lighten the blue just on that area. The effect is this subtle color shift that draws your attention straight to the design on the drawers. In the picture below you can see the difference in the color side-by-side with the deeper blue that is on the door front:
What do you think? Do you love it? Let me know by commenting!
This beautiful buffet is for sale. If you are interested, please email me for dimensions and price.