If Walls Could Sing: How to Capture a Modern Mural with Old World Charm

By Marjorie Magazine

Photos Courtesy of Cecelia Claire, Feature Photo by Grace Dupuy

Enter a room, and it just might feel like home. But taking it a step further, Cecelia Claire creates a work of art. Inspired by her work as a translator in Europe where she sketched gardens and stunning architect of the Italian, Spanish and German designs around her, Cecelia’s just beginning as a muralist on a mission to turn every space into inspiration.

Drawn to colors of gold and sepia, Cecelia’s murals evoke ancient Tuscan walls, elegance that transcends the trends, and decades. Paired with neutralized pastels, the resulting effect gives off a faded charm that surprisingly energizes the room. “My typical clients have a grand sense of imagination,” she muses. “[They all share] a love of things historic, and eschew bare minimalism in favor of spaces that are immersive and pay homage to the decorative traditions of the past.” Just recently, she was tasked to paint a gold-green botanical that reminded her not unlike those commissioned by the Medicis of Florence.

Florence meets the 21st Century. Alicia DeSario @thechicshot

She won’t say that getting the vision from her head onto the canvas of a blank wall is a piece of cake– drawing, then scaling and projecting for the size of the wall or furniture can be a runaround especially when the space is significantly small (free-handing saves the day!). But it gets easier with practice, and her creativity drives her forward. Thinking back to her time spent in Berlin or Barcelona, there couldn’t be a more perfect muse than Old World elegance, for the 21st Century. Art is simply part of the architectural framework, from the windows to doorways, and even the carvings of modern fixtures like elevators.

“Germans have the word ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ to describe something that is a ‘total work of art’ in every aspect. Murals are the fastest way to bring artistic expression directly into spaces as an integral part — no kiln, woodshop or blacksmith’sforge needed.”

“I had the absurd luck of ending up living in a maid’s quarters of Gaudí’s Casa Mila,” Cecelia recalls. “There amid the hand-carved elevators, forged leaf-shaped doorknobs, figurative marine-themed molding, I saw my own creative destiny for the first time.”

Samples of Cecelia’s work. Alicia DeSario @thechicshot

But here in our own backyard, American cities like New Orleans or San Francisco serve up just wonderful local inspiration as well. The more stately and eccentric, the better. More pristine palettes come from Museum research, especially now with so many archives being published online. “It’s important to get off Pinterest and Instagram to find fresh material from more obscure and older sources once in awhile!” Cecelia reminds us.

The artist with her most recent work: florals on gleaming gold “tea paper.” Photo by Grace Dupuy

Cecelia’s move towards the grandeur of mural design fits perfectly in with the ongoing gravitation towards granny chic, known across social media as Grandmillennial design. Minimalism move over, we’re here for a bold new world where the more intricate makes the magic– but the blank space of tomorrow’s maximalist aspirations needs to begin somewhere. So let’s start with the walls, and let’s look to Cecelia for something old that feels so fresh and new, and truly beautiful.

A handpainted dresser with Chinoiserie bird life and flowers. Photos by Alicia DeSario @thechicshot

See more of Cecelia Claire’s work at ceceliaclaire.com and follow her on Instagram at @ceceliaclaire

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