Artists Travel Across Country to Help Overwhelmed Family with Flip That House TV Project

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Artists from around the United States volunteered time and talent to help a bereaved Lake Elsinore family finish their home to be featured on TLC's Flip That House. The Fisher family had just begun a major renovation project on a house near downtown Lake Elsinore when Brian Fisher, a former special education teacher who did most of the renovation work himself, became ill and suddenly died.

Artists from around the United States volunteered time and talent to help a bereaved Lake Elsinore family finish their home to be featured on TLC's Flip That House. The Fisher family had just begun a major renovation project on a house near downtown Lake Elsinore when Brian Fisher, a former special education teacher who did most of the renovation work himself, became ill and suddenly died. The family felt overwhelmed by this loss and by the project itself--the house still needed walls torn down, plumbing and electrical work, a whole new kitchen, paint, fixtures, flooring, landscaping, pool repair, and more.

Faux artist and author Adrienne van Doren gave new direction and hope to the Fisher family by inspiring Jeanette Fisher, Brian's wife and an author, to decorate the house with faux art and to write a book about the project to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Van Doren, who wrote a Habitat for Humanity benefit book The House that Faux Built, flew to Elsinore from Alexandria, VA, to visit the Fisher flip and arrange for artists to volunteer their artwork.

Award-winning mural artist Arlene McLoughlin of New York painted a large ceiling panel with a unique bamboo flower design and paid to ship it across the country. Modello Designs of National City, CA provided a custom stencil pattern for faux finishing that Fisher applied to the pool floor. Rose Wilde, of Wood Icing™ in Foristell Missouri, donated specialized products that mimic carved wood that Fisher applied to furniture which she'll use for staging the house.

Faux Masters Studio of Yorba Linda, CA, donated faux art supplies and a team of artists from their studio took on individual projects at the house. Melissa Fryxell helped coordinate the artists and contributed to the project design. Faux Master artist Camille Caballero applied layers of plaster to the dining room walls and Evan Dahlke transformed the living room with a faux wood finish on the ceiling, Italian plaster on the walls, and faux rockwork around the fireplace.

Christina Johnson of Valley Faux in Menifee transformed the bathroom with verdigris and bronze finishes, painted antique panel art on the bathroom ceiling, and faux-finished the wood cabinets to look like elegant wood. Sherwin Williams of Murrieta donated faux paint products and HobKnobinc.com in Murrieta donated supplies for Johnson's bathroom transformation project.

Local muralist Kim Schaffer created a "bamboo bistro" off the kitchen with 3-D textured walls and an inspirational quote on plaster surrounded by faux exposed brickwork. She painted a Koi pond on the floor. Orange County artist Jennifer West painted chickens bringing vegetables to a pot for a vegetarian chicken soup on the kitchen walls.

Mark Mason, faux artist and fine finish carpenter of Wildomar, CA, created an open archway between the living room and dining room, constructed and faux-finished the dining room buffet, and helped prepare rooms for other faux artists. Mark's unique combination of carpentry and art can be seen throughout the house and pool area.

Local blacksmith artist Thomas Schwaiger donated a hand-wrought natural brushed iron console table from his Fleurance collection. Schwaiger Designs, based in Murrieta, is represented by the finest design showrooms from Florida to San Francisco. Oil painter Jayne St. John, of Hacienda Heights, CA, donated three large landscape paintings that feature natural Lake Elsinore scenery.

Chris Jackson, landscape artist from the Washington DC area, flew across country and stayed for a week to help the family. RZ Nursery, a family-run nursery in Rainbow (Fallbrook area), donated dozens of beautiful drought-tolerant and California-friendly plants for the landscape project. With Jackson's help and the plant donations, the family designed and planted a butterfly garden with a pond, a poolside landscape, an edible garden, and a succulent garden. The front-yard landscape includes flowers that attract hummingbirds as a tribute to Brian Fisher, who loved hummingbirds.

Landscape Architect Robert Esch and Tim Grotefendt flew from southern Illinois to complete the landscape work and learn about flipping houses from Jeanette, who has written several books on the subject.

The house, which a few months ago seemed like an average small home needing lots of TLC, is now a showcase of incredible art and design work. After the final film day May 29, Fisher plans to host several open house events during which community members can view the transformative work of all of the volunteer artists and possibly meet some of the artists in person. Fisher is not sure she wants to sell the house now because the emotional and artistic investment outweighs its financial value. Fisher is currently finishing her book Flip That House with Faux, which features the work of the artists and offers advice on flipping houses with faux work as an edge in today's real estate market. She hopes the book will be published by the time TLC's show airs in mid-summer, and will donate the proceeds from the book to Habitat for Humanity.

Contact Information: Ted Blake, Family Trust Publishing, 951-775-2021, 18475 Grand Ave., Lake Elsinore, CA 92530.

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