Featured post

“Meet the Teachers” Blog Series: Meet Erika Joanne

meet-the-teachers-1200x907-2Erika Joanne
Joined SDP: 1998
Teaching Background: Private lessons and various SDP events, including the 2013 SDP Conference & Expo

Erika Joanne is the next teacher in our “Meet the Teachers” series. Erika got the itch to paint during her college years. She enrolled in some art classes, but felt frustrated when she wasn’t able to translate her creativity to the canvas. After getting married and starting a family, she decided it was time for her to take her painting to the next level. She was invited to join a group to tole paint and the rest is history.

What do yoErika Joanneu love most about painting?
Painting is a great way to bring healing into your life and provide a healthy escape from the day-to-day stresses life can bring. I love how I can turn to my painting table, put on some beautiful music and paint myself happy! It has enhanced and blessed my life. Also, I love to put on my artistic explorer hat to discover new techniques and the works of all the wonderful artists amongst us and from the past. I find the more I delve into painting, the more there is to learn.

What do you love most about teaching?
It’s a privilege to teach and share in the creative experience with others. When a class goes well and people feel the creative spark, there’s magic in that! Time seems to stop and stresses melt away. That’s what keeps me teaching and sharing. Also, I enjoy seeing people go beyond their expectations, grow their skills and build their artful experience; that brings meaning and purpose to my work.

What value would you place on attending classes offered at live conferences such as the SDP Conference?
Having so many talented artists gathered in one place is extraordinary and a treat for all involved. It’s like a magnet for creative energy! You can feel it while you’re there. Not only is it fun to meet up with friends and take classes, it’s very cost effective to have the opportunity to take classes from top artists in one place. It’s a week of super learning!

What are the top takeaways that students will learn by taking your class?
Sharing innovative ways to paint and create is at the heart of my business. I’m excited to teach students how to use colored pencils to enhance a painted design. We will cover the basics of using both wax-based Prismacolor Colored Pencils and Jo Sonja Paint together in a mixed-media form. My class provides a unique and creative experience in painting on both wood and watercolor paper. You don’t want to miss it. It’s going to be fun!

When you’re not painting or teaching, what can we find you doing?
I enjoy spending my free time with my family. My children are grown and live in different states. My granddarlins are my bright spots. It’s so great when we can be together! Also, I enjoy going on adventures and experiencing new places. Learning about history and the world keeps me inspired and thinking.

Erika will be teaching the following classes at the SDP Conference & Expo taking place in St. Charles, Illinois from May 11-16, 2015. REGISTER TODAY


Coming up next week on “Meet the Teachers”…meet Tricia Joiner:
Tricia has been a member of SDP since 1976! She has every issue of the Decorative Painter, SDP’s magazine, since the year she joined!

Featured post

Hurry! Classes are filling quickly for the SDP 43rd Annual Conference & Expo

2015-conference-art_email_smRegistration for the SDP 43
rd Annual Conference & Expo – May 11-16, at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL – is off to a great start!  Due to popular demand, several classes have already sold out, and others are filling quickly.

The following classes are sold out!

  • 0125-Etched Silver Silver & Peony on Tuesday (colored pencil-Paula Leopold CDA)
  • 0185-Peter Pepper, Mint Painter on Wednesday (acrylic-Prudy Vannier CDA)

But don’t worry! We are repeating them on Friday, May 15:

Also, class 0060-Eastern Bluebird for 1st Time Oil Painter with Sherry C. Nelson MDA, TDA only has 3 openings available if you are interested in getting in.

Register now by CLICKING HERE. If you’ve already registered and would like to add classes or have questions, contact sdpregistration@decorativepainters.org.

For a full class list CLICK HERE. You may view the Conference Special as a downloadable PDF for viewing on your computer, iPad, Kindle Fire, or other mobile device. To order a printed copy of the Conference Special click here!

“Meet the Teachers” Blog Series: Meet Chris Haughey, Conference Artist

meet-the-teachers-1200x907-2Chris Haughey
Joined SDP: 1995
Started Teaching: 2005

Our Conference Artist, Chris Haughey, is the next teacher in our “Meet the Teachers” series. Chris has always been drawn to art, even as a little girl. Her older sister, a talented oil painter, was her inspiration. She would often watch her for hours as she created wonderful masterpieces. Even after her sister passed away at the early age of 16, she continued to be Chris’ idol and served as the motivation behind her love of art.

What do you love most about painting?
Painting always takes me to a happy place.  I love that it is ever changing, always exciting and almost mystical.  I love the thrill of watching the brushes create magic before my eyes.  I love the excitement that color can create.  I love the challenge of new designs and the triumphant feeling of happy endings.

What do you love most about teaching?
My favorite part of teaching is the “Ah-Ha” moments.  That is the moment when all of a sudden everything clicks and the student “gets” it.  Whether it’s a new technique, new angles to an old technique, a different way to hold or load the brush or mastering new tools…when I hear that wonderful “Ah-Ha”, my heart does a little flip-flop. I am especially excited when someone that has been painting for years tells me that they have never been able to do that before now!  Wow, it doesn’t get any better than that!

What value would you place on attending the classes at the Society of Decorative Painters Conference?
The Conference offers classes with a wide variety of subject matter, mediums, surfaces and skill levels. What an awesome opportunity to expand knowledge in any of these areas while learning from the best teachers in the industry. This kind of education is invaluable.

What are the top takeaways that students will learn by taking your class?
Learn to relax and enjoy the process.  Guide the brushes, but let them create wonderful results.  Take prior knowledge of design, color and layout and apply it in unusual ways.  Dare to be creative and bold.  Loosen up and let the paint flow.  Art is flexible, there is never just one way to do something.  Continually look at the overall design and evaluate the possibilities.  Always be ready to try new things.

When you’re not painting or teaching, what can we find you doing?
Between painting and teaching, I am owner of Cupboard Distributing and the Pixelated Palette E-Zine.  All of that keeps me pretty busy, however, I always manage to squeeze in time for hubby, family (especially grandkids that melt my heart), church, reading, gardening in the summer, hiking, biking and camping whenever we can sneak some time away.

Chris will be teaching the following classes at the SDP Conference & Expo taking place in St. Charles, Illinois from May 11-16, 2015. REGISTER TODAY

Gear Up for Art – DecoArt Media

Artistic Amphibian – Acrylic

Coming up next week on “Meet the Teachers”… meet Erika Joanne:
Did you know that Erika has been a member of SDP since the 90’s? She discovered the Society while attending a Raindrop Convention in Portland.



A Guest Blog Post By Sue Bowers, Volunteer Committee Organizer

Many years ago I went to my first Chapter meeting and when I got home I told my husband that I would do something, who remembers what now, but I do remember telling him that if I was going to be part of this organization then I needed to be part of it and not just watch from the outside. Unfortunately, he didn’t realize what he had agreed to at that point, but it has just grown from then. I guess this is something that I learned from my mother, who had for years been part of many organizations and groups and was always active in what was going on. I started very young, following in her path by doing the job that was necessary. My pay was knowing I was helping.

I have many times said that I have a very bad case of “Helium Hand”. If someone else doesn’t or won’t volunteer to do something, my hand rises to volunteer. You don’t have to have an extreme case of “Helium Hand” to help out, even though there are many of you out there that could give me competition with this.

The dictionary definition:

Volunteer (noun) a person who donates his time or efforts for a cause or organization without being paid.

When you think of volunteering you most often think “I don’t have time to do that”, but nowhere in the definition of volunteer does it say that it has to be for a certain length of time. You can volunteer for as little as 1 hour, or as much time as you have available.

Putting on a conference the size of SDP’s requires a number of volunteers. Most of the people you see doing things involved with the conference, big or small, are volunteers. Each year as we figure out everything for the conference, we have to think about how many volunteers it will take to get all of the jobs done. In San Diego last year, less than 9% of those who attended the conference volunteered. We could use a lot more people stepping forward to help with the multitude of things that need to be done.

Even though the rewards of volunteering are not monetary, you do get the reward of knowing you have helped with an accomplishment. A side benefit of volunteering is making new friends. Getting to work with people you’ve never worked with before can lead to new conference friendships.

As we all prepare to attend the SDP Conference at Pheasant Run this year, we are scheduling our classes, planning our travel and thinking about the friends we will see. Please think about where you can give a little time to help make the conference a success. Even if you only have an hour to spare you will receive a volunteer wristband. If you have 5 hours, you will get a charm and be entered into the week-end painted pieces drawing, which will take place on Friday at noon. This year, starting on Tuesday, we will be doing a daily drawing for some fun prizes for those who volunteered the previous day. Volunteer each day for your chance to win the daily drawings.

You can find the volunteer form here. Even If you don’t know what to do or when you will have the time, send me your name and contact info so I can contact you.  We’ll figure out a time for you to help.

At Conference, stop by the Volunteer booth for a chat, I would love to visit. While you are there, check the board for any help we need. There will be a list of where you can help out.

“Volunteers make a difference; Volunteers are the only human beings on earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience and just plain love for one another.” ~ Erma Brombeck

The SDP Annual Banquet is taking place at the 2015 SDP Conference & Expo on Friday, May 15th at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL. 

The SDP Chapters Committee invites members to paint decorations for the Annual Banquet tables. A table includes the centerpiece with coordinated oval placemats and a small favor for 10 people. 

Click here to learn more.