May 21 2010

JJ BorderLast week, I worked with two other artists in Room 219 at Edgefield. I painted a border in the bathroom of that room, because it had been painted over due to water damage.

For the bath border, I used a pounce pattern. Here, I adapted a Persian design, and drew it onto a piece of brown masking paper. jj boderThe design is about 8" in height. The rest of the process goes like this: I use a small spiked wheel called a pounce wheel, to perforate the paper, and lightly sand the back of it to clean it off. After drawing a level charcoal line around the room, I hold the pattern paper in place on the line and rub it with a pounce pad filled with charcoal dust. The dust travels through the perforations and leaves behind a clear image of the pattern.  jj borderI continue around the room until it is completed then I mix the colors I think will work in that room. Sometimes this is the most time consuming part of the process. After color decisions are made, I can paint the total border.

As time goes along, we find the need to repair borders and wall decorations increasingly necessary.  jj borderI really enjoy decorative painting, probably because there is one simple goal and that is to make the space more beautiful.

About the author: Jenny Joyce is one of our McMenamins artists and has worked with the company since 1993. Visit her website at
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Comment on this Posting:

#1 aniko Samu Kuschatka

I love your stenciled work but I have a question for you. Some borders and designs over the beds seem outlined in black or a darker complimentary color. Do you paint that freehand or is that another stencil? They seem to be the same thickness throughout each project. And how do you write the history of the person on the wall? Do you use a brush or some sort of special paint marker? Your work is just amazing. I can't get over the art at McMenamin's!

#2 jenny joyce

Aniko,Thanks for your enthusiasm. First, let me assure you there are at least 5 artists who do decorative work in the bedrooms. We each have our own "handwriting" as it were. I almost never use stencils, because I prefer to create a pounce pattern which I transfer to the wall with charcoal dust. It's a very flexible system, you can go around corners and when you paint, you are essentially painting freehand onto the wall, following the pattern. All the outlining and lettering is done with a brush, and we all have distinctive lettering styles. I usually go through books of decorative patterns of different historical eras ans cultures, finding them very inspirational. So, sometimes I'll do lots of Chinese inspired work, then Persian, then Egyptian, Romanesque, etc. I owe a lot to the army of brilliant anonymous artists who have preceded us. Jenny

#3 aniko Samu Kuschatka

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I did pick up on the different styles of stenciling techniques at Edgefield and did know there were several of you. I just thought perhaps you have adopted outlining some of your stenciling at one point or another. Do you stencil at all McMenamin's establishments? If so, are you anonymous artists all from Portland or do they hire artists locally near the establishment that is being worked at? For example, in Forest Grove, did they seek artists locally to help you?
Thanks so much for all answers. I so wish I was part of your crew! I can't get over the art there. Perhaps because i can relate to it so much. It seems somewhat similar to my work.

#4 jenny joyce

Hi Aniko, I will be away from a computer for several days, and I cannot answer all these questions right now. But I will get back to you early next week, I hope that's okay. Good questions, and lots of times we do outline patterns to make them pop. Jenny

#5 Aniko Samu Kuschatka

No worries Jenny. Looking forward to hearing back from you!

#6 Kathy

I LOve Love Love McMennamins repution from building to building and am totally estatic that the girls have a reservation at Edgefield the 11th and 12th of July!!! It is my absolute fav place to go in the whole world. Thanx for the colour!!!!