Several years ago I purchased a home in the Hudson Valley with a somewhat awkward entry hall. I was a subscriber to "Martha Stewart Living" at the time, and in one issue there was a
feature on painting a mural in the style of Rufus Porter (1792-1884), a fascinating man who in addition to being an itinerant mural painter in New England, was also an inventor and the founder of "Scientific American" magazine. I particularly liked his murals in a monochromatic style he called "clara obscuro" and thought a mural might provide a solution for my entry. While there were directions in the magazine, that wasn't enough for me to make the leap of faith to take on painting my own. I did, however, find a weekend course in Vermont on painting a mural Porter's style, which I quickly signed up for. One winter weekend a few months later, I had what is certainly my biggest do-it-yourself success. I never had much luck taking photos of the project (it was a narrow space) but the Realtor who listed that house got one that captures some of its flavor.