Having a new kitten in the house inspired me to come up with a solution for our traditional Christmas tree. I knew that a real, or artificial tree, would only serve as an exciting thing for MoJo, our kitten, to climb. I was also afraid that she would break some of our most precious ornaments.
Because I am a faux finisher, muralist, I knew that I could come up with something that would be “kitten safe”, but still festive and fun. I chose a wall in our home that was, basically, a focal point for our major living areas. Using three different colors of green latex paint, I proceeded to paint a 7-foot Christmas tree on the wall. Next, I added dressmakers T pins and strung white lights, as if it were a real tree. I then took that concept a bit further, using the T pins to attach ornaments to the tree. On each ornament I tied a small ribbon bow. This allowed me to pull in the gold and silver for the real Christmas glitz.
What tree looks right without presents under it? So, I used my trompe l’oeil skills to add presents. Using metallic paint for the ribbons and affixing real bows to the top of the presents for that “3-D” effect.
Most Christmas trees have skirts, so I made a “half-skirt” out of the canvas that I use for my floor cloths.
My tree was such a hit at our Christmas parties that I decided to go commercial with it. Our local paper did a feature article on it, and since then I have been hired to recreate my tree, both in private homes, and commercial establishments. It is so much fun to bring a wall to life with a Christmas tree.
When it’s time to put out the presents, they look awesome stacked around the “faux” tree. I even attach a lighted star/angel to the top of the tree.
The question I get asked the most about my trees is: What do you do with them after the holidays? Which to me, as a painter, seems like a pretty silly question. You paint over them. My clients always have the choice as to whether they want to do it themselves, or if I should come back and do it for them.
I would have to say that these trees are most desirable in these locations:
#1 apartments, where there may not be room for a tree.
#2 homes of the elderly, where they no longer what to deal with the “fuss” of putting up a tree.
#3 Businesses….for the above same reason
#4 Homes that may already have a tree, but are looking for something new and different for their entertaining.
Of course, there are many other reasons, but my reason for doing it, is because it’s fun!