The summer of 2011 I worked on a church restoration at St. Francis De Sales Catholic church in Paducah, Kentucky. On this project I worked for Tony Kartsonas of Historic Surfaces. Also on the project were Susie Buchholz, Nick Pavlos and Jeff Wolfe. The project was about 5 months long and I was there for over 4 months.
Paducah is the nicest town in the western Kentucky region, with a small arts and nightlife district along the waterfront. There is a well done series of murals along the flood walls, and is generally a pleasant and friendly, if unexciting place.
The interior church walls had apparently been covered with a kind of acoustic tiling, obliberating the exsisting decorative painting. These were removed, the walls and plasterwork were repaired and repainted, and we completely re-created what had been there. Also the main alter mural had been crudely over-painted and this was stripped off and restored to it’s original appearance. Overall, it was a good restoration, because of the commitment of the entire crew and management to make it a really nice job. The local Priest, Father Roby, was very pleased.
I painted a new bottom to the main alter mural which had been previously covered by a higher alter.
I was lucky enough to get a commission for two paintings on this job, For a Remembrance niche at the rear of the church, which you can see more about by clicking here.
I also painted a small mural for a side chapel entranceway based on designs by Friar Mark Joseph Costello, a Chicago based Capuchin Friar who serves as a liturgical consultant for many churches , and did so on St. Francis De Sales as well.
Below here are a couple images of the progression of the Trompe l’oiel decorations. You can see how they are started first with a stencil and then finished with handpainting.
And below here is a progression of some very simple conservation of a stained glass window, but with dramatic results.
And finally below is a slideshow of more images from the entire church.