A mural in the style of Rufus Porter


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.
My mural in the style of Rufus Porter (via GaryDiMauro.com).
The Martha Stewart Living article that inspired me.
Detail of one of Porter's murals (via rufusportermuseum.org).

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3 of 27 comments
  • Inga Belozerova
    on Jul 27, 2014

    One of the best DIY I've seen :)

  • Diana Deiley
    on Jan 15, 2016

    Great job. This brings back memories for me. I was born and raised in New England and also studied Mr. Porter's style when I began my painting career. Just LOVE this mural. Thanks for sharing with everyone.

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