Monday, August 23, 2010

Color - The Series...Rusty Robins and Canvas Floorcloths

So, what do rusty robins and canvas floorcloths have in common?  Absolutely nothing but their color for the purposes of my post!  I realize it's still summer, but since its only 68 degrees out and grey and drizzly, I'm in a "Fall" kind of mood.

Photography By Rosanne Palazola

Robins - harbingers of spring...but their coloring is more suited to autumn...rust, black and gold.  This pretty momma perches on my deck every morning and greets me for breakfast.  Actually, she usually has a worm in her mouth waiting to feed her babies in their cozy nest above my outdoor stereo speakers.  Guess I won't be cranking Lady Gaga music in my backyard anytime soon!

Momma Bird's coloring reminds me of two family room curtains and the demonstration I saw several weeks ago on creating floorcloths.  (My mind works in mysterious ways!)

The fabric of my family room curtains, Schumacher 820142 Hide and Seek in Black Stripe, takes all its colors from a robin.  The gold of her beak is the background and her rust colored breast and black back make up the other stripes on this fabric.  Just one of the many patterns I've used to "feather my own nest!"

Now to the part about the floorcloths...  Just what is a floorcloth??  Basically, it's art you can walk on!  A heavy canvas sheet is cut to size, hemmed, prepped, and painted.  Use them as you would any area rug.  They are long lasting and durable and make a great design statement!

Photo taken from Canvasworks website

A few weeks back, I attended a High Tea (how civilized!) at  Glen Magna Farms in Danvers, MA.  Part of the program was a demonstration on how to paint a floorcloth by Lisa Curry Mair of Canvasworks in Vermont.

Lisa sponging the painted canvas

Lisa gave a step by step demonstration of the techniques she uses to create the designs on her floorcloths.  Starting with a heavy weight canvas she had prepared, she painted, sponged, and stenciled.

Here she is using a stencil to create a Greek key design border around the floorcloth.

The above pictures shows samples of completed floorcloths.  Our demonstration cloth has the same design as the cloth laid out on the floor, closest to the building. 

Some close ups of finished floorcloths.  Notice the "robin theme", rust and black.  Lisa gave a very informative demonstration.  She inspired us all to want to go home and try this for ourselves!  But some things should be left up to the experts!  Just in case you want to be adventurous, visit Lisa's website at  You can view a 5 minute video on the process of floorcloth making, browse through her gallery of wonderful designs, place an order, and yes, even find out about creating one yourself!  You can contact Lisa at:

Lisa Curry Mair
326 Henry Gould Rd.
Perkinsville, VT  05151

"One robin doesn't make a spring, but one lark is often responsible for a fall."  Author Unknown

1 comment:

  1. Rosanne... you are right about it feeling like "fall" today! We have gotten very spoiled & used to warm temperatures & abundant sunshine! The earthy colors that Lisa chose for her floor cloth designs are very traditional & natural looking... & they do indeed compliment your resident robin's 'outfit':). I feel like a cup of warm spiced cider all of a sudden... I guess that will come soon enough!


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