Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chinoiserie In a Church

This afternoon I received this charming email entitled "Thank You, Miss Beth" that I thought I would share with everyone.

I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your blog.  Fair warning...this is going to be a weird story.  Most people write you and tell you about a find while shopping, or the interior decorator who chose a chinoiserie pattern.  My story is a little different.

Just about a week ago our youth minister at church ( told me he needed help with the decorations for Vacation Bible School. 

Well, his theme this year is "Celebrities of the Bible" which, visually, lends itself to an Oscar party.  Which is often held at or near Graumman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.  Which leads us into chinoiserie.

Today was the work day...the day things get built, installed, painted, etc. It's not easy to turn an ultramodern church into a "golden age of Hollywood" movie theater.

Your blog, and its many pictures, inspired me to hand paint these traditional murals.  Nothing says Chinese like two twin 16 foot murals of a beautifully twisted dogwood tree, done in the traditional style.  It was inspired by a Chinese scroll from the 1700s.  Google image search is a Godsend in situations like these.

I hope the kids like it.  I hope their parents like it.  I know I do.

(Our church building is a wood paneled A-frame ultramodern building.  It's 37 feet tall at the peak, to give you a sense of scale.  The "little" balloon arch used 285 balloons and nearly 50 feet of PVC pipe as a framework.)

Chuck Knight


  1. What a nice gesture of gratitude!

    Romantic Domestic

  2. How flattering for you! Love the coral red he choose. Great job Chuck!

  3. Thank you for the compliments! Beth, and this blog, were definitely my inspiration.

    The murals were projected onto the walls using a DLP projector, and then hand painted using the projection as a guide. They're my interpretation of an 18th century Chinese scroll that I found on Google images. It took two of us to paint them...myself and one of the deacons of our church.

    Thank you Beth, and everyone. You've definitely injected a little style into our lives.