June 20th, 2011
In the fall of 2009 I began introducing Virtual Workshops as a way to teach decorative painting techniques to students around the country (and world) through web-based methods. To date, hundreds of students have enjoyed learning new techniques such as metallic foils with Foilin’ Around, Stencil Impressions, and the popular patterned finishes for mirror and glass through a series of recorded video lessons, detailed manuals and review webinars. These have been very successful in this current economy where funds have been limited for travel to participate in hands-on studio workshops. Recently, we began production of our 4th Virtual Workshop which combines our Modello Masking Pattern stencils with one of my favorite concrete resurfacing products: SkimStone. This new workshop will be available in late summer. One series of video lessons will guide students through the process of competing a beautiful floor project from start to finish. I am joined in this video series by Katrina Johnson, technical sales director for SkimStone, and her wealth of product knowledge from her ten years with this amazingly simple yet versatile product. Would you like a sneak peek? Well…..ok….and to celebrate this upcoming workshop, we are offering super pricing on our current ones for a limited time here!
It was a lot of work trying to do this project and film it well at the same time, but it will be SO worth it to be able to show a major project from start to finish, in addition to the basic studio lessons and Modello finishes. I think it will really take the intimidation factor out of tackling a floor project that incorporates pattern work, as I get the opportunity to show how easy it is to make adjustments with the Modello stencils. Oh, and I love my new floor! Look for more info in this new Virtual Workshop coming soon! Meanwhile, you can check out quite a few previous SkimStone posts here.
June 8th, 2011
This year’s annual IDAL (International Decorative Artisan’s League) Convention is right around the corner. It will be held in Norfolk, VA July 20-24. I have taught there now for every year for the last 17 years. I guess you could say it’s a tradition! Last year, I taught a hands-on workshop that incorporated our Modello masking patterns and Royal Design Studio stencils with plasters from the Vella Venetian plaster system. My absolute favorite finish of the five that I taught was a distressed Provence plaster finish in French red and blue colors. In case you missed it, which I KNOW you did, the step-by-step outline of my Provence Plaster finish featured at today’s edition of Artisphere Online-with photos!
The Artisphere Online, the official publication of the International Decorative Artisan’s League, is a relatively new digital magazine that has just gone to a daily (Mon-Fri) format. Each week there will be a feature article, an IDAL Update, a blog report, a featured product, and a step-by-step tutorial, so you will want to sign up for the feed so you don’t miss anything! You don’t have to be a member to enjoy the magazine, but we would sure like to welcome you to “the family” if you’re so inclined to join!
Speaking of THIS year’s convention, I believe that there are just a couple of spots open in my hands-on class Shining Up Your Portfolio, where I will focus on metallic finishes with stencils and Modello patterns.
I will also be joined by the lovely Helen Morris, of The Stencil Library once again to reprise our lecture/demo from last year, Double Vision. I wrote about this last year, and am looking forward to working with Helen to show you all the ins and outs of the amazing stencil. Hope to see you there!
June 3rd, 2011
Regina Garay, of the awesome Fauxology blog, posts daily about all things related to decorative art and inspiration. One of her regular features is “Fauxcus on the Pros“, and I am proud to now be included on that list with a two-part post that ran yesterday and today.
One of the questions that Regina posed to me related to how I got started in this business *cough* 20-something-something years ago. That led ME on a mind trip down memory lane.
One of the things I share there is what an influence the book, The Art of Decorative Stenciling by Adele Bishop and Cile Lord, had on igniting the interest passion that I have had for stencils for the better part of my life now.
This book by these two women literally put modern American stenciling on the map in 1976 (coinciding with the bicentennial), and their commercial work in the 60′s and early 70′s elevated stenciling to an artform that is rarely matched to this day.
As I spoke of in the Fauxology profile, it’s sad that their body of work occurred before the digital age and so little is known of them or can be found through normal online channels.
The book, however, remains-though out of print. I suggest you snatch one today on Amazon!
June 1st, 2011
Every year for the last 3 years I have had the great fortune to lead a different group of “Peacock Painters” on an amazing journey of art, culture, and discovery to one of my favorite places in the world: Marrakech. Each trip has been unique in the projects that we have done with Maryam (of My Marrakesh) at the increasingly lovely Peacock Pavilions. On our first trip in 2008, this chic boutique hotel was still a major construction site, but we were able to stencil some amazing graphic ceilings and henna-inspired stair risers. In 2009, we returned as Maryam and her family had just moved in to the main house there-with much work still to be done. This trip featured stenciled floors, more stair risers, and a dramatic, Art Deco-inspired mural. In 2010, we inaugurated the hotel as its first guests while we stenciled a beautiful entertainment tent there. As many projects as we have done to floors, walls, ceilings, fabric and stair risers, there are still spaces that are calling for an artistic touch.
And so, I am happy to announce that in October 2011, we will return to make more magic and more memories! And the memories ARE magical. In order to prepare for planning this upcoming trip, I spent a couple of days reliving our past journeys. Each person, each group, each project lives happily in my heart. I wanted to honor that with a special video that (I hope) captures the mystique and the joy that these trips have brought to me and all who have joined me….
Would you like to join me in Marrakech as well?? You can find more trip information here, and download a pdf with all the juicy details here. Space is limited, so don’t delay, OK? See you in Morocco!!