In April of 2008, I had the opportunity to work in a new home owned by TV celebrity Judy Sheindlin (“Judge Judy”). The home was nearing completion, and we had 30 days to finish the faux work in this 20,000 square foot home. This was a lot of square footage in a short period of time and I needed to make sure I had a crew that could live up to this. Mike Sundell, my foreman, was more than willing to take on this enormous job, but we knew we needed the help of other professional artists. Local artist Holly Whiting was on board with the project, and through our industry site www.fauxforum.com I brought in artists from other areas to help us finish the job by our deadline. We were joined by Ryan Sentz from Maryland who would paint a 12 story building in NYC a few years later with me, Craig Walsh from Delaware, Tania Seabock from California, and Sherry Sparks, also from California. We lived in hotel rooms for weeks at a time, worked 12 and 13 hour days, and still managed to have a good time. These Forum members, fellow artists and friends, all gave 110% and completed the job with no real hitch.
From wood graining to decorative plaster work to a plethora of finishes, we had a home run on our hands. One of the perks of working on this project was working with father and daughter design team Martin Kuckly and Associates. This top notch design firm created, in my own opinion, one of the nicest homes I have ever seen. Their style was impeccable and they were really wonderful to work with.
Around two weeks into the project, the homeowner herself arrived and stayed for the duration of our work. It was so nice to meet Mrs. Sheinland in person. You see so much of her on TV that it creates a preconceived notion of who she is. In person, she was the epitome of class; a really nice person, along with her husband. One of the most amazing parts of the whole experience was watching builder Mark Mariano and his crew work. I have never seen a more efficient and hard working group of individuals. Mark is a tough man who gets things done! At the end of the day the decorator and client were thrilled with our work, and we all came away from the job with a new respect for each other, new skills, and stronger friendship.