Fresco, murals and whatever makes you feel good!

Last November I wrote about the fresco, Neptune Resigning His Empire of the Seas to Britannia by William Dyce. Last week I wrote about Henri Rousseau and a calendar I bought with twelve prints of his lesser known works on it. Dyce and Rousseau, one might argue, are at the different ends of the artistic spectrum, so surely can hardly be mentioned in the same sentence. But the two do link – albeit only in my mind.

The question, I guess, we all ask ourselves when we renovate, do-up, modernise a house is…are the plans for my enjoyment, or resale? How cutting-edge is the décor/ambience going to be? And, when does cutting-edge become too quirky thus shrinking the sale to a niche market?

My husband and I have renovated a lot of places and sensibility verses imagination always runs a muck!

I have, over the years, come to a decision for the New Zealand home reno scene; and it is this…if the house/flat/apartment is situated within the borders of Auckland, show restraint. However, if the reno job is south of the border, go for it!

My children have despaired over the years as I have ragged, bordered, decoupaged and stencilled, painted trompe-l’oeil, frescos and friezes through home after home, bedroom after bedroom, laundry after laundry. And that is before we even get to the topic of the cat I painted on the outside of the back door of our home in Gisborne on the East coast of NZ!

I have often stopped short of some of my imaginative projects as a direct result of raised voices in the home.

These are projects I was not brave enough to do: –

Paint God and Adam’s hand all but touching (in the same manner of Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine chapel) in the foyer our Devonport, Auckland home…


but I did get to do some ragging in a bedroom, paint a frieze in the nursery and atrompe-l’oeil downstairs in a sitting area!

By the time all the above was done, the children were older and we were organising the house to rent and move full time to our holiday home in the South Waikato. We had decided to give the children a rural experience, and of course renovate.

At this time, our second daughter had won an art competition through What Now television programme. The prize was, that an up and coming artist would come and paint her fantasy picture entry on her bedroom wall. Perfect! Our holiday home is supposed to be a fun place with all the great childhood memories we can fill it with. The artist duly was booked in.

Shamefully, I cannot remember her name and the newspaper article of the positive reviews of her exhibition from art critics is safely tuck away somewhere!

Here is the artist’s rendition of our daughter’s drawing.


Not quite the Osborne House Fresco, I admit but an excellent version of the competition entry!

The ‘fresco’ was such a hit that our two very young boys wanted a fantasy bedroom. They wanted a castle…and so their wish was our command. I painted the scene and our second daughter, a couple of years older by now, painted a dragon…



set of armour…



and dada…


a dungeon…

sleep well boys!!!!!

Rousseau? Well, last week’s blog gave you some context of how he fitted into my life; what I did not tell you was I wanted to do a fresco/mural of The football players (1908) on the lounge wall of our hydro cottage.


It didn’t happen. I still want to do it – It’s not Auckland!

Enter copy and paste for a virtual tour…



Hmmm, well I do like it, but softer hues will work better.

What do you think? comment below.

To tell you the truth, I am still doing my thing. Just can’t help myself. Our current kitchen…


Anyway, if you haven’t linked Dyce and Rousseau as eligible to be mentioned in the same article? One word should do it fresco.

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