Painted Chair Project

Started work on my 1930’s folding chair today!

Painted Chair Project - picking my chair at the woman's Club of Palo Alto- Marie Cameron 2013

Picking up my chair at the Woman’s Club of Palo Alto last November. Photo compliments of Fleur Sopidor who was picking up one too.

I’m painting this chair as part of a joint fundraiser for the Pacific Art League and the Woman’s Club of Palo Alto. There will be a gala fundraiser in March where some 100 chairs all painted by different artists will be auctioned off.

Painted Chair Project - Vanitas by Marie Cameron in progress 2014

Thorny Rose Branches added to the legs and stretchers.

So far my favorite part was adding real rose branches to the legs and stretchers of the chair. I love how it looks like they’re growing out of the wood, and even with the thorns they seem to soften the geometric look of the chair.

Painted Chair Project - Rose Branch Detail - Marie Cameron 2014

Thorny detail.

A chair is a great vehicle for the human form as it’s an easily anthropomorphized object. I decided to do a vanitas – you know, life and death, two sides of the same coin.

Painted Chair Project - Vanitas by Marie Cameron in progress 2014

Painting life in full bloom.

The front side will be about life in full bloom the reverse will depict the passing of that life. Still loads to do but I think I’m off to a good start. Stay tuned for the back- expect something dark!

Day 2

Painted Chair Project - side in progress - Marie Cameron 2014

Trying to figure out how to handle the sides.

Painted Chair Project - Backside begining - Marie Cameron 2014

The side should be a transition form the from the back, maybe some rebirth and decay?

Painted Chair Project - Backside in progress - Marie Cameron 2014

The skeleton on the backside.

The skeleton on the back corresponds with the torso on the front. I’m adding moths, with low light photography they look like vertebrae to me. They are thought to symbolize death. I’ve painted in a few thorny branches on the edges and will work some into the central panel. I’m trying out a metal rose on one of the holes from a brace I removed.

Rose Vanitas Assemblage Options Chain


Rose Vanitas Assemblage options - roses


Rose Vanitas Assemblage Options - Nest

Nest among the thorns?

With assemblage you can try out different options before you commit to any one thing. The problem is I kinda like them all, including the restraint of paring things back a bit.  The chair already has a lot going on and I don’t want my added elements to compete too much  with those lovely thorns. The great thing is that I will file away the ideas I don’t use for a another time where they may just perfect.

Rose Vanitas - Marie Cameron -oil and found objects on wood  (front) - 2014

Here’s the front of the finished Rose Vanitas chair.

The little butterfly I’ve added to the front symbolizes the soul and to have one land on you is considered to be good luck.

Rose Vanitas - Marie Cameron -oil and found objects on wood  (back) - 2014

Back of chair all but done.

As you can see the chair is pretty dry, all but the rose hips on the side. I can now go ahead and drill into the sacrum for the final placement of my metal rose and leaves.


This was such a fun project, one that clearly relates to my work but is also a playful step into something new! Can’t wait to see all the chairs at the preview, Friday March 28 at the Woman’s Club. It’s a free public event with all the artists in attendance. The Silent Auction will follow on Saturday March 29 at the gala fundraiser which is $35 a ticket and can be ordered though this link: where you can take a sneak peek at what the other artists have been up to.

Painted Chair Flyer 2014


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