Throwback To Conference: Gearing Up For An Artful Journey

This year, Chris Haughey helped us “Gear Up For Art” at the 2015 SDP Conference & Expo. Her Conference art took us on an adventure into the world of mixed media.


Next year, Debbie Cole CDA, the 2016 SDP Conference artist, will take us on “An Artful Journey”!

Read what Chris said about her 2015 Conference experience, and what Debbie Cole CDA has in store for everyone in 2016!

Chris Haughey, 2015 SDP Conference Artist

Chris Haughey, 2015 SDP Conference Artist

“I wasn’t sure how receptive students would be to the unusual techniques that were involved in my special event, “Gear Up For Art.” This class took a different approach using DecoArt’s new Media line. Everyone loved the fresh, saturated paints; they had so much fun applying them to the background, layout, color and dimensional embellishments of the design. I was beyond thrilled! In addition to traditional painting, we scraped, stenciled, flicked, and even finger painted! My thoughts to sum it up – don’t be afraid to venture outside the box. Try new techniques, products and mediums. It will open many creative doors and the possibilities are endless!”

Debbie Cole CDA, 2016 SDP Conference Artist

Debbie Cole CDA, 2016 SDP Conference Artist

“I am thrilled to have been selected as the 2016 SDP Conference Artist. I love the theme, “An Artful Journey”! My head has been spinning with design ideas ever since I heard the theme. What can you expect? New techniques that everyone will enjoy; a project that incorporates innovative products that you can take home; an experience that will take you on “An Artful Journey” like no other. I know that the SDP Board is working hard to make the 2016 SDP Conference & Expo a wonderful event. I look forward to seeing you all next year!

Did you participate in Chris Haughey’s special event, “Gear Up For Art,” at the 2015 SDP Conference & Expo? Send a picture of your finished artwork to and it could be featured in a future eZine or here on the SDP Blog!

Throwback To Conference: Family Fun Day & Continued Art Education

By Darla Foreman, Turtle Hollow ArtistsDSC_5002_lightened
Children learn best when creativity and color are part of the curriculum. This is a proven fact. Through second grade, students are given a blank sheet of paper and encouraged to draw whatever they want. By third grade, they are given pages with printed designs and told to stay in the lines. They are also told to stand in lines and wait for water breaks, lunch, the bus rides home, and etc. By the time these kids are in high school their learning is controlled to the point they are not being creative with anything. Continued arts and crafts education helps keep students thinking and creating. Children don’t care what the activity is as long as color is involved.

Painting is one of the attractive art activities. Most children love to use paint, whether with a brush or their fingers. This “playtime” tends to bring more benefits than just fun. I participate in an “Artist in Residence” program, which is designed to bring art education to middle schools with low performing students. One time I handed each student a sheet of paper with a printed geometric design; I asked them to extend the design in order to create a picture using the entire piece of paper then to color it. Next came a square of fabric; they transferred their design to the fabric and painted it with fabric paint. Each square of fabric was sewn into a quilt and presented to the principal. This project was completed over the course of nine weeks, working only 45 minutes a week. The result – each student’s academic grades raised one to two levels.

There are many creative ways children can learn through the arts. And that doesn’t always mean paint – there are many colorful tools for kids to explore. The arts can help with listening skills, public speaking esteem, writing skills, and much more.

During Family Fun Day at the 2015 SDP Conference & Expo, I taught everyone from three year olds to adults. Several mothers and grandmothers painted with their middle school aged children. There were also a few painters attending Conference who had never painted on fabric and wanted to try. This experience was a little different with there being so much diversity in age; yet it was rewarding to witness creativity spark in everyone.

As decorative painters, we can stimulate the ideas in young people by continuing to introduce them to different types of creative thinking through color. Let’s make that one of our missions in life. Whenever you see an opportunity to inspire a child, take it.

Click here to relive your favorite SDP Conference & Expo moments.

Visit the SDP Blog again next Thursday, June 25 to read our final throwback to the 2015 Certification (for now) and a sneak peek at the 2016 Conference art!

Throwback to the SDP Conference & Expo: Hear From Our New CDAs & MDAs!

After one long year of practice and discipline, and even longer for some, 22 candidates passed the 2015 SDP Certification Program. Some of them shared their experience with us. Read what they had to say below!


– Naomi Shimanuki, MDA (Still Life)

“I was amazed when so many SDP members stood up and congratulated me when I passed at Conference. I am grateful to the devoted Certification Judges’ efforts throughout the Certification Program. I learned so much. The Program is a great way to grow as an artist.”
– Naomi Shimanuki, MDA (Still Life)

“I studied the critique from the Certification Judges each year that I’ve been in the Certification Program. This year, I demonstrate that to them.”
– Kimiko Maeda, MDA (Stroke)

“While I was up for the challenge of the Certification Program, I got discouraged so many times. I had to remind myself, ‘don’t throw in the towel.’ My efforts paid off. I am glad, speechless, and I will continue to study the decorative painting art form.”
– Kyoko Matsui, MDA (Stroke)

“Passing the CDA Still Life Program is a great honor in my life and it was a very valuable experience. Although it was a difficult task to complete, the work and trial and error it took enabled me to grow. I will keep enjoying my painting and trying to grow my painting skills.
– Taeko Tanaka, CDA (Still Life)

“Persistence will prevail. I will continue on to the next step.”
– Sachiko Kimura, CDA (Stroke)

“I am so glad that I achieved MDA this year. It took me several attempts. Looking back, I view those failures as invaluable experiences. They helped me grow and develop the confidence to face more tests in the future. Thank you SDP!”
– Chun-Chuan Wu, CDA (MDA Floral)

“It is hard to put what the Certification Program has meant to me into just a few sentences. I am thrilled to have finally passed the MDA Still Life! Each board brings challenges and a lot of work; however, the reward is growing and learning as an artist and the wonderful feeling that you have reached one of your goals. I am so thankful for the Society and their teachers! They have given me wonderful lifetime friends, a valuable learning experience, and wonderful feedback on where I need to study more.”
– Coleen Jones, CDA (MDA Still Life)

The 2016 Certification Program is open! Click the links below to view the design samples and download the application!