Transformation of an Art Deco style Cabinet

A Cabinet Commission

Last year this time I received an email from Max, the owner of the Oakdene guesthouse ( in Oudshoorn.

Max bought an Art Deco style cabinet that he wanted me to transform into an artwork. He sent me some photos of the room to get the feel of the space and I was given carte blanche to come up with an artwork.

“Handle it as if it was your own”

Max had the cabinet delivered to me in Mossel Bay where I was situated at the time. “Handle it as if it was your own” was all guidance he gave me.

 It took a few days for me to get to the cabinet as deadlines for other orders held me up a little bit. Seeing the cabinet every day and connecting with the object when time allowed me, prepared my creativity  for the challenge: To take it under my hands (brush). I was ready for it.


Guidance from Furniture

When I paint furniture objects like this I prefer to keep at least 80% of the wood in the original state. I sanded down only the areas I was going to paint.

Seldom knowing beforehand what I’m going to paint, I let the forms, the grains of the wood and imperfections on the furniture lead me. I usually start out by thinking about visual balance and do the “layout” of the areas that will be painted. In this commission I visualized figures back to back on the doors and used that as my starting point. I got my daughter to pose and took a few pictures of her as a reference.

Final Touches

Creative Rationale Inspiration

I go through phases of themes and at this stage I liked using girls with blue and white stripped socks since they are innocent but also a bit naughty-looking at the same time!

I used a painting of Escher, who was one of the world’s most famous graphic artists  as inspiration for the hand I painted on top of the cabinet. Escher said: “I could fill an entire second life with my art”, that is the way I feel about the ideas I have for artworks in my head, if time would only allow me to do a fraction of what is in my head…

Thank you Max, for entrusting me with painting your cabinet!

Detailed Photos

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