Faux, Murals, Decorative Painting in Colorado
PO Box 717, Buena Vista, Colorado 81211
#619 517 8547 scar46Q@atmospherepainting.com
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Sheridan Opera House, Telluride, CO.
"Sailing the Mountains" PROJECT 2009
A custom mural I did for a private residence in Buena Vista, Colorado. One piece of muslin. Painted it stretched on a frame in my work shop i.e. garage, then wallpapered it to their wall when done.
KODI RAFTING MURAL PROJECTKen was commissioned to design and create this 10' X 16' mural for Kodi Rafting's new building in Buena Vista, Colorado. It will be an interactive mural for Kodi costumers as the faces will be cut out and hinged so people can put their own faces into the action and take souvenir pictures.
The Wheeler Opera House
Ken in Aspen's historic Wheeler Opera House. Atmosphere Custom Painting was hired by the City of Aspen to do major faux finish restoration on the faux wood beams across the ceiling, and also restored and refinished the proscenium and opera boxes.
A close look at one of the damaged seams on the ceiling beams before, during, and after restoration. There were over 70 of these repairs that needed to be done in a short amount of time. Each damaged seam involved repair, "floating", and then matching the colors and grain style perfectly from one side to the other. As the original paint job (done in 1984 by an artist named Henry Bresciani) is a masterful example of faux finishing, we were adamant about preserving as much of the original work as possible. Atmosphere Custom Painting is uniquely suited for these kinds of projects.
WHEELER LOBBY 2008:
In September of 2008 Atmosphere Custom Painting was hired again by the City of Aspen - this time to do a venetian plaster treatment and paint a mural in the lobby, which you see here.
Ken in the renovated lobby in front of the mural (of the Wheeler in the Wheeler). Atmosphere also did all the red venetian plaster treatment on the walls. The walls had been painted the same white as the lid Ken is standing under here.
A good shot of the venetian plaster we did in the Wheeler lobby.
The U.S. Grant Hotel
Ken was hired as a lead artist on the $57 million restoration of the historic U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego. Here you see the lobby just after the crew finished restoring and painting all the original plaster column capitals and soffits.
The lobby before restoration and repainting. Painting the column capitals and molding.
The story of the U.S. Grant's historic grand staircase:
The grand staircase of the U.S. Grant had been painted a hideous flesh-toned pink for nobody knew how long. When the decades of paint were stripped away we discovered the original, beautiful alabaster underneath. However, there were many ugly plaster patches where the soft alabaster had been damaged over the years. We believe these patches were the reason someone decided to simply paint over the whole thing at one point. As you can see in these before-and-after photos, we were uniquely qualified to make those patches disappear using our color matching and faux painting skills, leaving a seemingly pristine alabaster rail that sweeps seamlessly up three flights of stairs.
Here you see where a 12' section of the alabaster had been completely replaced at some point. We painted it to look like one seamless piece of stone.
Another before-and-after of the U.S. Grant alabaster grand staircase. In the first picture you can see the white plaster patches we had to paint out plus a lot of the terrible "flesh" pink paint that had covered the entire run of railing for decades.
Ken in front of a mural he painted for a private residence in Parker, CO. The mural was painted in the Old Globe scene shop on a piece of muslin, then transported to CO., framed and hung in the clients' home.
This was an instance where these doors were inadvertently primed over when the homeowner wanted them to be stained. I was brought in to paint them back to look like wood again - wood that matched all the other wood in the house.
Two paintings I did of my nieces Liz and Sophie. The one of Sophie is after she was jumping on a trampoline and her hair was frizzed out by static electricity, and the one of Liz is of her on a little tricycle I was flying her around on one day.
Ball, bat and glove in boy's room.
Replica of "Starry Night" painted at my wife's request for my son Alden's room. Look closely and you can see his name swirled throughout the painting.
Fish mural painted for a private bathroom.
"Dust Mite" - while the lead scenic at Image Events Ken oversaw this project, which involved taking a brand new VW Beetle and turning it into a road-worthy dust mite for an allergy medicine company.
Another shot of the "dust mite" as it appeared at a trade show.
This "door" was painted on a plywood flat for Qualcomm's employee Christmas party.
Superbowl XXXII halftime show: these "helmets" were painted on plywood flats.
This back end of a classic caddy was painted on three plywood flats that were skinned with muslin.
A 50's diner mural we did at Image Events. This mural was 12' high and 20' long.
A 16' nutcracker I made at Image Events for a Qualcomm Christmas function
This was a curved wall that I airbrushed these hombre'd bands on with an HVLP sprayer.
Scott Holdredge in front of a "musical note" mural he and I did at Image Events.
Sea World: Ken was hired by Lexington Productions to paint the (then) new "Shipwreck Rapids" attraction. Here ken is painting rust and water streaks to make this cement structure look like a wrecked ship's metal hull.
Another thing we did at Seaworld. I love this because the fish are inside the sub!
"Trojan Women" world premier: This giant war mask was created by building a metal armature which was then covered with a two-part foam (the same stuff used for insulation in housing). The features were mapped and carved, and then the whole thing was painted to look like bronze patina.
Mapping out the features on the metal armature.
Carving the mask.
"Compleat Female Stage Beauty" - world premier. Ken painted all the "curtains" on plywood flats. This set was a beautiful example of forced perspective scenic design. This production was later made into the movie "Stage Beauty".
"A Midsummer Nights Dream" on the Old Globe main stage. The wall and the deck are covered with 2' leaves that we painted on muslin and then glued down, leaving wrinkles in the cloth to give each leaf texture.
"Julius Ceasar" on the outdoor festival stage at the Old Globe. All the broken and crumbling concrete was done with stirofoam and clay. The "grass" is carpeting that we painted green and brown. This production went on to Broadway with Denzel Washington starring.
Me on the Julius Ceasar set. You can see the great crumbled concrete effect we achieved with styrofoam, paint and Probond. Also, you can see my signature in the wall to my left.
"The Taming of the Shrew" on the Old Globe festival stage.
Here I am on the "Twelth Night" set on the festival Stage at the Old Globe Theatre. This set included a real lake upstage - under the bridge - that a gondola would float across during the show. It was several millions of gallons of water as I remember, and our stage crew had to reinforce the stage to hold all that weight. There was also a real stream with waterfalls that ran downstage into pools at the front of the house - and we put live fish in the pools! Definitely one of the more technically stunning sets I worked on during my tenure there.
With a costume design rendering and the mural I turned it into for the VIP room at the Old Globe Theatre.
The finished mural in the Old Globe VIP room.
Painting a large cloud backdrop for a production of "Pride's Crossing." This is how we'd often paint large murals - on the ground using bamboo sticks to hold our brushes.
Another mural from the "Enter the Guardsman" set, based on a Gustav Klimt painting.
"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" - Ken painted nearly everything you see here from the portal legs to the palm tree sliders. (That's John Lithgow and Cherie Rene Scott on stage).
Another shot of the "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" portals and sliders. Ken took this picture during on of the tech rehearsals - here you can see Jack O'Brien giving Sherie Rene Scott, Norbert Leo Butz and John Lithow direction. (Norbert won a Tony for his performance in this play).
Painting the show drop for "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels". We did this on the mechanized paint frame at San Diego State University. This allowed us to raise and lower the 20' high, 30' wide drop and airbrush, or "hombre" a color fade on it from top to bottom.
"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" - original production. This same musical now plays on Broadway every season, but director Jack O'Brien originally mounted it at the Old Globe in the mid-90's. Along with the significant amount of carving that went into this set, every stroke of Mr. Geisle's (Dr. Suess) brush was recreated exactly.
Another shot of me on the "Grinch" set.
One of the few pictures I got of the original "Full Monty" set. I'm standing between two of the portal legs and if you look closely you can see the other two laying upstage behind me.
I'm often asked, "How can you say you worked on Broadway shows in San Diego?" Well, these productions are actually designed to break down and fit into semi trailers so they can be shipped all the way across the USA to New York, where they would be reassembled on the Broadway stage. Believe it or not it can often be more cost effective that way than to have the New York union houses do it (IATSE Local #1).
The portals you see here actually played at the Eugene O' Neill Theater on Broadway for 770 performances - so when I say I've worked on at least eight Broadway productions, that's exactly what I mean.
"Don Juan" - this set had three sets of portals, all painted as trees and sky. Here you see the muslin stapled to the ground in the scene shop, which is how we painted many of our large scenic pieces.
Alden in one of daddy's trees.
A LARGE airbrushed color-fade, or "hombre'" drop that I painted on a 20'X40' piece of scrim using and HVLP sprayer. This piece was done with dye, instead of paint, since scrim is such an open material.
Large cloud drop painted with HVLP sprayers for the touring production of "Stones in his Pockets". We actually painted two of these so they could have two sets hop-scotching from city-to-city as they toured.
On the set with the original cast of "Stones in his Pockets", Bronson Pinchot and Christopher Burns.
Painting a large mural for the world premier of "Pentecost".
This shot shows how large these murals really are.
In front of the finished mural. (The diagonal lines are unfortunate shadows from a tarp we had strung overhead for shade.)
The mural as it played on stage.
This mural was a replica of Giotto's famous "Lamentation" fresco. Ken wrote an article about this mural that was the cover story of the Spring 2005 issue of the Painters Journal (Our country's only periodical dedicated to the scenic arts). You can read it on the "Ken's Published Writings" section of this site.
Large wall mural in an Italian restaurant in downtown San Diego: once again, this mural was painted on a piece of muslin in the shop and then transported to the restaurant and wallpapered to the wall. It gave the feeling of space to a small restaurant.
Mother's Bistro. Ken painted an "Italian plaster" finish on the walls - and also painted the sign seen here in one hour for the grand opening.
The Evergreen Cafe:
Before and After - Evergreen Cafe: Ken faux finished the plain walls of this cafe to look like brick and barn wood.
A close-up of the "barn wood" in the Evergreen Cafe, Buena Vista.
Ken on the set of "Veronica Mars". (This photo was taken for an article he wrote for the San Diego Reader.)
Ken was a lead scenic for two national TV shows from 2004 to 2007: "Veronica Mars" and "Point Pleasant". Here he is on one of the sets for "Veronica Mars", season 2.
This was the deck for one of the main sets on "Veronica Mars" - the Mars Investigations office. The original deck was made from real 1/4" plywood strips, but the seams between the planks would make the camera's shake as they dollied over them so the producers asked for the original deck to be skinned with 3/4" plywood sheets, which we then faux painted to look exactly like the original deck underneath. This way, the cameras had a smooth surface to roll across and the original look of the floor remained. Here you see me doing finishing touches to the faux planking, and a close up of the finished floor.
One of the many, many banners I created for the Neptune High School interior set on "Veronica Mars". I think this one was advertising an Asian culture class or something.
Another banner for the Neptune High set. I think we lettered "Junior Audubon Society" on it or something.
This is a school bus used in season 2 of "Veronica Mars". The script called for one of the High School buses to careen off a cliff, then be retrieved from the ocean depths a few weeks later. A wrecking ball was taken to one of the prop buses on the studio lot, and then we painted it up too look like it had been submerged in the sea for a few weeks - and, as you can see in the second photo, I even go to paint the blood splatters all over the interior.
We did many abstract art pieces like this on the fly for location sets. Usually I'd have less than an hour to crank them out, and often the home or business owners would ask to keep or buy them!
This was a location set for th season two season finale of "Veronica Mars". We went to a run-down Mexican food place and made it look even more run-down. Here you see me in front of the classic "Dolphin/Lobster Cross" mural I painted and aged on one of the walls. As a scenic artist you are often called upon to paint something new and make it look old. I aged this particular mural using the "block" technique.
These two graphics were part of a large mural that played in the final scene of "Veronica Mars" second season. As usual we were under the gun on set, so the designer asked that I set up and paint the whole thing in one work day.
A shot of the finished mural as it played on national TV - designed and painted in one day!
*THIS SITE IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION - MORE FILM AND TV WORK PICS TO COME.*
To arrange a meeting or consultation with Ken please call 619 517 8547 or 719 395 2399 or email:
Ken has also had many articles published about being an artist and working "behind the scenes" in showbiz. We are working on bringing access to those writings through this website in the near future, so please check back in regularly!