Celebrating 37 Years in Business!
Hand Painted with Imagination!

  ART SHOWS schedule

MARCH 1-10, 2019
Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show upper level, booth #3138 downtown.

Nov. 3 & 4, 2018
National Aviary 
Wings & Wildlife Art Show

 Nov. 16-18, 2018 
Gtr. Pittsburgh Arts & Crafts Holiday Spectacular 
( Monreoville Convention Ctr.)

Nov. 27 thru Nov. 29, 2018
US Steel Tower 
Downtown Pittsburgh 
600 Grant St. lower level near food court

This is the 90 foot long wall before the murals.
Another before photo of one section of the wall
After meeting with the Sarris family and hearing of  their wishes for the space I went to the drawing board to design a one of a kind mural for their approval
Giant rolls of canvas to get started
measure, measure again and again to be sure I had the window areas in the correct spot, measure again and cut!
With the canvas in place I worked in sections laying in the backgrounds. Many layers of blocking in then details.
Once the background was painted I lightly painted the chosen design for each section
This is the second step in the process for the chocolate waterfall section
The waterfall is coming to life on this one, complete with ice cream sundae boats matching the Sarris Candies bowls actually used to serve their fabulous , homemade ice cream!
I incorporated the cup design Sarris Candies serves the milkshakes in, this ice cream cone castle also has peppermint striped steps and ice cream sundae urns!
Here is the  chocolate road which originates at the top of the mountain from  the upside down ice cream cone dripping it's yummy treat. The cakes are also patterned after the delicious cakes sold at Sarris Candies
The front door of one of 3 ice cream cone castles. This shows some details before I added the Swarovski crystals and embellishments.
There is nothing like a fun dip in the chocolate river!
This castle was painted like the famous chocolate Pretzel package. The little candy man is fishing for Swedish fish and using gummy worms for bait. The artist is happily painting a portrait of the pretty castle.
A colorful rainbow road leads to the ice cream cone hot air balloons & blimp. The bash cakes are painted like the treats sold at Sarris Candies. The ice cream home with ice cream sandwich sidewalk appears to have a little resident in the window peeking out the window
The murals finished, we started the installation process. This is the first day on site. The walls needed prepped and the murals pasted and hung. My team of professionals are the best! Thanks for always doing such a fine job!
liner up , the next day is Mural time!
I delivered the murals in rolls, measure again- measure twice, cut once!
 Trimming the mural, one of 9 sections.
You'd be surprised the work and skill it takes to install a 90 foot long mural!
This section is up, ready to rehang the TV and add glitter and adornments.
A view from the main entrance area before all of the glitter, Swarovski crystals, jewelry and butterflies and more are added.
These two little vanilla pretzels have not dipped into the chocolate river yet, but they are enjoying one of those yummy shakes!
Working with what the area gave me, 6 windows and 1 doorway, I couldn't ignore them,  had to figure a way to make them part of the art project, integrating them creatively. This is my paper template I presented to the carpenter Keith of Zoom Corp. to make them of wood.
I took advantage of the nice weather, primed and painted multiple layers of paint on the window and door toppers.
6 large hand made paper mache ice cream cones drying in the sunshine before I primed and hand painted them, adding glitter too!
Adding texture to the paper mache cones
The back side of 14 small ice cream cones drying, I primed and painted the front side adding glitter and crystals.
I needed to figure a way to attach the large pointed back Crystals. I used vintage cookie cutters to make clay settings for the gorgeous stones. Primed, painted & glittered the pieces prior to gluing the crystals. I kept them organic in form, not perfectly flat, to appear as if made of cookie dough
As you can see here the clay settings worked well for the crystals
The paper mache cones primed and painted, drying in the warm sunshine, waiting for their glitter accents before I added them to the wooden window toppers.
Window toppers waiting to be installed, once up I added more crystals!
creating the topper for the doorway. Hand painted, texture added, glitter and crystals.
Door topper waiting for installation, the iconic Sarris Candies logo front and center adorned with many crystals!
Keith and Jason of Zoom Corp installing the window and door toppers. I presented them paper templates, they cut from wood for me to paint and decorate.
With murals installed and window toppers up I got busy adding Swarovski/Austrian crystals one by one, jewels, silk flowers, findings, candy pieces and little characters. It took over 40 hours to add the adornments! The friendly employees and ice cream treats made it fun!
The murals were adorned with thousands of authentic Swarovski /Austrian crystals, each applied one at a time.
As you can see here the Rainbow Princess is waving her ice cream cone wand as she greets the little Frog Prince resting on the rail. Her castle is made of yummy treats and embellished with many crystals and fun trinkets!
The ice cream land mural starts at the left end with a giant chocolate waterfall. I do believe this is how Sarris Candies pretzels get their yummy coats of chocolate. The little pretzel characters are jumping into the chocolate river!
You can see the chocolate waterfall is where the fun is! The ice cream sundae boats were patterned after the actual sundae dishes used to serve the delicious home made ice cream treats.
The Candy Man and his wife represent Frank & Athena Sarris and how they began with a copper pot , some blocks of chocolate and some holiday candy moulds.
A close up of the ice cream sandwiches enjoying themselves on the shoreline of the chocolate river.
This is one of THREE ice cream cone castles in the 90 feet long mural.
The rainbow road leads the eye to the ice cream cone hot air balloons, guided by Gummy Bears and little candy characters. All embellished with jewels and crystals.
A close up of some ice cream cakes available at Sarris Candies!
The ice cream boats were painted to resemble the actual sundaes served in the ice cream parlour.
This photo shows how we incorporated the window toppers and tv's into the design.
An ice cream cone blimp pulling a banner that reads: Every day is Sundae , chosen by from the online post, the lucky customer won a gift certificate to Sarris Candies!
The chocolate road is complete with chocolate Moose crossing sign and chocolate Moose!
This is one of 3 castles in the mural, this features turrets that resemble the large cups Sarris Candies uses to serve their giant yummy shakes.
I had to take a second for a photo op with Athena Sarris, a FABULOUS client and sweet friend! I've had the pleasure of working with Athena and her family for 20+ years at Sarris Candies and their gorgeous homes.
The little red Sarris Candies truck traveling down the chocolate road. The Easter bunny along the road was painted to resemble their Bunny available at Easter.
This is one of the ice cream cone hot air balloons complete with sweet characters, gunny bears, candy characters and beautiful decorations.
This is one of 3 castles in the mural. I designed the patterned walls to match the very popular chocolate covered Pretzel boxes. The door pattern was inspired by the chocolate Break Up candy sold at Sarris Candies. A chocolate lab wearing fireman's hat with address # of Sarris Candies
The doorway was decorated with the custom wooden topper, I could not resist adding bling to the exit sign!
A glimpse at the process and many steps it took to create 90 feet of one of a kind mural for the Ice Cream Parlour & The Castle Room 
  CLICK ON the first photo for description, tap arrows to view next photo, tap arrows to view next image. Scroll down and do this for each gallery section. 

Welcome ! 
This page features the Murals & Art Projects 
Custom ​Designed & Painted by Pittsburgh Artist: Maria DeSimone Prascak
Exclusively for Sarris Candies 
 The World's Best Chocolates!
Scroll down page for step by step 
Ice Cream Parlour, Castle Room Murals,
 & 3 other areas in the store. 
See the Special Art boxes too!

Check back - we are adding more images !
The Ice Cream Parlour
The Chocolate Castle Room
Athena Sarris asked me to create a mural for the castle room. She requested a Candy land themed mural complete with a train. I started with this rendering.
My Mom Anne loves when I bring her to Sarris Candies for some sweet treats!
This big red Candy train is carrying the animals as they travel to the sweet chocolate castle for their treats. You may notice the animals appear much happier after they exit the candy castle, they are enjoying their yummy treats!
This big red Candy train with 3D cars decorated with carved adornments and crystals is carrying the animals as they travel to the sweet chocolate castle for their treats.
The giant chocolate castle was a team effort. Created and built by many talented employees at Sarris Candies.
These cute frogs and turtle are happily relaxing in the moat under the chocolate castle.
The fun 3D train cars are often filled with cute merchandise. The stuffed animals and fabulous gifts are changed seasonally in the castle room.
The section above the entrance to the candy store features another train carrying candy treats. The smoke from the train spells Sarris Candies!
This is one of two ceiling domes custom painted for the store. I painted this back in the 1990's. It too has many beautiful crystals.
The Sugar Plum tree in the corner is decorated with hundreds of candy pieces that I made, painted and jazzed up with glitter. Yes, the tree has crystals too!
This is one of 2 ceiling domes that I painted for Sarris Candies. This one has over 1,000 crystals and is personalized with significant names, dates , pets and their names.
I designed & painted the mural, train cars & 2 ceiling domes. The Castle Room is next to the Ice Cream Parlour. With the help of my professional friends, we were able to create the train & install this mural in a short time once the new walls were ready after the remodel.
Another viewpoint in the chocolate  castle room
The right side of the Candy land train mural.
The Frog Prince guides the Candy train through Candy land. The whimsical animals are complete with fancy headdresses, crowns and jewelry.
The head train car is adorned with hundreds of authentic crystals on the Sarris Candies logo.
Three of Sarris Candies Deluxe Assortment Chocolate boxes feature the amazing art by

Pittsburgh's "Sand Man" 
Johno Prascak

The Pittsburgh skyline in Black 'n Gold, Pittsburgh Daylight 
& the American Flag!

Pick one up at Sarris Candies, at a local participating store or online 
click on the Sarris candies logo:

Great gifts or treat yourself!
Johno's boxes are also available as 
Corporate Gifts with custom logos during the holidays!
Maria's Ideas 
is celebrating 35 years in business!!!
Christmas Mural 
This mural features many of the Christmas items.
 I made many clay pieces that look like real chocolate too!
See images below for step by step process
We are updating this and other pages
 on this site
 Please check back in the next couple weeks to see more!!