Murals, Architectural Ornament, Restoration, Design

What is Trompe-l’oeil?

“Trompe-l’oeil”, pronounced “tromploy”, is French for “trick the eye”. In art it refers to painting that appears realistic and three-dimensional. In the photo above, the stone moldings on the side walls are real. The moldings on the wall below the round window and in front of the lift are painted - look for the blue or yellow masking tape to identify these moldings. The stone blocks are also painted, with shaded “grout lines” adding to the 3-D (trompe-l’oeil) effect. The painted stone moldings are indistinguishable from the real stone moldings, “tricking” your eye into believing they are real.

Explore the Grand Mural “In Communion with the Angels and Saints”

In the Narthex of St. Augustine Cathedral in Tucson, AZ, a monumental mural greets visitors as they enter this historic edifice. One year in the making, measuring over 5000 square feet, and containing some 30 life-size figures, this mural is dedicated to the life and work of Monsignor Edward Ryle and was funded by the Ryle Foundation.

“In Communion” Gallery (slideshow)

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Explore the Assumption Mural

Located in Oro Valley near Tucson AZ, this mural graces the newly constructed chapel of St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church. The mural measures 15x25 feet and integrates the tabernacle into the composition.
Click on the image for a list of the saints included in the mural.
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From left to right: Pier Giorgio Frassati, Josephine Bakhita, Theresa of Avila, Katherine Drexel, John Paul, Maria Goretti, Augustine of Hippo, Therese of Lisieux, Martin de Porres, Jose Luis Sanchez de Rio, Kateri Tekawitha, Joseph, Junipero Serra, Thomas Aquinas, Mark the Evangelist, Lorenzo Ruiz
Click on the image for a list of the saints included in the mural.
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Click image to enlarge

Incorporating Symbols

The columns on either side of The Assumption mural represent “pillars of faith”. For this church the pillars are Mary and the Eucharist. Symbols are woven into rich ornament here - the letter “M” for Mary, wheat stalks, and grape clusters with leaves combine to enrich the message of the mural.

Current Projects

In addition to smaller works for private clients, we are currently working on the restoration and renovation of the 100 year-old Blessed Mother Chapel at St. Augustine Cathedral in Tucson, AZ. The mix of adobe construction with late-renaissance/early-baroque ornament makes this building wonderfully unique. Major changes include an all new HVAC system that will eliminate vents on the walls and ceiling, all new lighting and flooring, and complete coverage of walls and ceiling with ornament and murals. Work should be completed by Easter 2016 - stay tuned for updates during the project.
Click on images to enlarge
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Current condition
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Proposal/Rendering for ceiling and upper walls
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