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Meet The Artist: Meet Anita Morin

Issue three of this year’s The Decorative Painter magazine is in production and will be mailed to all active SDP members in August. Over the next several weeks, we will get to know some of the artists whose projects will be featured in the upcoming issue. Throughout this series, you will learn about their art and inspiration, and what you can expect from their projects. This week, meet Anita Morin!

anita morinTell us a little bit about yourself.
Today, I live in a small picturesque retirement community in Elliot Lake, Ontario. I’ve been married for 19 years to my husband, Luc, and we have two beautiful girls, Jessica and Jasmine.

When did you start painting?
I was introduced to decorative painting in the summer of 1997. After one painting lesson, I was hooked. I’ve taught myself different painting techniques over the years, practicing with methods and materials I found in magazines and online. I went from painting nonstop at my kitchen counter to a workstation complete with an area to paint and storage bins for my supplies. My art was first published in 2006. Now, you can find my work in many publications.

How did you learn about SDP?
I learned about SDP through the Internet. SDP was always discussed among members of the painting community.

Who is your favorite decorative painting teacher?
My favorite decorative painting teacher whose class I’ve taken is Debbie Cotton. Her paintings are always full of beautiful colors. She also uses a lot of dry brushing in her work.

What do you love most about painting?
Painting is full of different styles and techniques. I can paint anything, but I especially love to paint birds and during the holiday season. I haven’t adapted to a specific style, but rather a variety and mixture of painting techniques I’ve learned.

What is your favorite medium and surface to paint?
My favorite medium is acrylic. Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is one of my favorite woods/surfaces to paint on, whether it’s plaques or ornaments. I like to seal the wood with DecoArt Wood Sealer. I can easily smooth the surface by sanding between basecoats. I also like to wet the surface with water or by using Americana Drying Time Extender when floating and highlighting.

Can you give us a preview of what readers will learn from your project in The Decorative Painter?
When working on my project, you will use different brushes, colors and techniques. At the same time, it will get you ready for autumn!

What value do you put on submitting projects to The Decorative Painter?
The Decorative Painter is an excellent source for feedback. I like to hear readers’ comments and suggestions about my project. It gives me an idea of what painters are interested in.

When you’re not painting, what can we find you doing?
Summertime is camping season. I enjoy spending time with my family outdoors. You’ll also find me reading books.

What is your best advice for beginner painters?
Always choose something simple and gradually work your way up to the point when you feel comfortable completing projects with more details.

Not a SDP member? Click here to learn more about how to join SDP and how to receive access to four issues of The Decorative Painter each year!

Stay tuned for Thursday’s blog post where we will meet SDP member Janelle Johnson CDA, TDA!

Meet The Artist: Meet Linda Hollander

Issue three of this year’s The Decorative Painter magazine is in production and will be mailed to all active SDP members in August. Over the next several weeks, we will get to know some of the artists whose projects will be featured in the upcoming issue. Throughout this series, you will learn about their art and inspiration, and what you can expect from their projects. This week, meet SDP member Linda Hollander!

Linda HollanderTell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a mother of three boys, 40 year old twins and a 21 year old. I work as a property manager for an apartment complex for seniors. In my very valuable spare time, I design projects for craft and painting magazines and eZines.

When did you start painting?
I started oil painting in high school (I won’t say what year!), then picked it up again in my mid-20s. I was disillusioned when my painting teacher told me I was a born copier; I was devastated and convinced I didn’t have an ounce of creativity. In 1999, I discovered decorative painting and felt it was a perfect fit for a born copier like me! I scooped up all the books and magazines I could get my hands on and taught myself all the wonderful decorative painting techniques I could. Decorative painting awoke the true artist in me. Over time, I noticed my creative juices stirring and realized creativity is something that can be nurtured and developed.

How did you learn about SDP and how long have you been a member?
In 2000, I learned about SDP from advertisements in magazines and knew I had to become a member. My first copy of The Decorative Painter arrived shortly after I joined. I was very impressed with the beautiful projects and the high quality paper and ink. Around the same time, I became a member of my local chapter, the Buffalo Snowbirds.

Who is your favorite decorative painting teacher?
Ros Stallcup and Trudy Beard quickly became my favorite artists. I own every book they published and had the pleasure of taking a couple of classes with Ros, who is a wonderful teacher. Their color palettes and loose, impressionistic styles inspire me. I hope to take a class with Trudy someday.

What do you love most about painting?
I love everything about painting: the feel of the brush in my hand, the endless combinations of colors, and all the great techniques that decorative painters have developed! I dabble in many types of arts and crafts, but always come back to painting.

What is your favorite medium and surface to paint?
Vintage surfaces are my favorite things to paint on. All the great new formulas of acrylic paints and mediums make painting anything possible. You can buy old wooden bowls, picnic baskets, salt and pepper mills, silver plate tea services and so much more for a few dollars and transform them into beautiful one-of-a kind decorative items. Gourds are also wonderful to paint on and turn into whimsical decorations. In recent years, I discovered I enjoy working with polymer clay, and sometimes combine clay and gourds in craft crossover projects.

Can you give us a preview of what readers will learn from your project in The Decorative Painter?
Painting on old tea services can be challenging because the pieces are awkward to work with and the hard surface makes paint adhesion difficult. If paint does not adhere well, it will scratch easily. Readers who take on my project will learn how to get good adhesion to silver plates as well as how to protect each step of the project as they work. Readers will also learn how to apply graphic patterns to complement the main design of my project.

What value do you put on submitting projects to The Decorative Painter?
I have had the good fortune to have upwards of 200 projects published over the years. Seeing one’s project in magazine pages never gets old, but having a project published in The Decorative Painter is the biggest thrill of all. I value The Decorative Painter as the most prestigious painting magazine ever published and feel truly honored to be a part of it.

When you’re not painting, what can we find you doing?
When I am not painting or crafting, I relax with computer games such as Words With Friends, Scrabble and video poker. I adore traveling and all the planning that goes into cruises, fly-a-ways and road trips. Spending time with close friends is also something I cherish.

What is your best advice for beginner painters?
Reading directions thoroughly before attempting a design is very helpful. If you are unsure of a technique or step, look to online videos for assistance. Another very useful piece of advice is to have a scrap surface handy to practice a step before painting on your surface. When I see a student become frustrated with a project or fears adding a step, I often remind him/her that it’s just paint. If he/she is unhappy with something, he/she can just paint over it or sand it off and begin again.

Not a SDP member? Click here to learn more about how to join SDP and how to receive access to four issues of The Decorative Painter each year!

Stay tuned for Tuesday’s blog post where we will meet Anita Morin!

Meet The Artist: Meet Vicki Alley

Issue three of this year’s The Decorative Painter magazine is in production and will be mailed to all active SDP members in August. Over the next several weeks, we will get to know some of the artists whose projects will be featured in the upcoming issue. Throughout this series, you will learn about their art and inspiration, and what you can expect from their projects. This week, meet SDP member Vicki Alley TDA!

Vicki Alley and Spanky

Vicki Alley TDA and her Yorkie Spanky

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
You’d like to know something about me? Well, I moved to Florida from the snow belt of Ohio about 25 years ago. I love it and can’t imagine living anywhere else. I live in a cute little town called Frostproof with my hubby Reno and two dogs, Max and Spanky. I work full-time, but I am planning on retiring (Yay!) in December 2016. Then, I will be able to teach more classes. Currently, I teach decorative painting and glass etching in my home studio and plan to start teaching social artworking classes in my town in the fall.

I am a SDP certified Teacher of Decorative Arts (TDA), a Priscilla Hauser Accredited Teacher, a Master Certified Etchall Teacher and a Decoart Helping Artist.

Something not too many people know about me is back in 1973 I was on “Truth or Consequences” with Bob Barker!

When did you start painting?
I started painting in 2004, taking One Stroke classes. I fell in love with painting and went on to be a certified instructor with Donna Dewberry. Afterward, I spent a couple of weeks with Priscilla Hauser (Love her!) and became a Priscilla Hauser Certified Teacher.

How long have you been a SDP member?
I have been a member of SDP for almost 10 years now. There was not a local chapter in my town, so with the help of other SDP members I started a chapter six years ago.

Who is your favorite decorative painting teacher?
My favorite teacher? I would have to say there are two: Priscilla Hauser, who is a great role model for teachers (she has the patience of Job), and Janelle Johnson. Janelle has a wonderful method of teaching with colored pencils, so even a novice can take away a project he/she is thrilled with.

What do you love most about painting?
I’m not a very creative artist (yet). So, I love it when I paint something that someone else has designed and I feel my finished project turned out just as nice; it gives me a great feeling of accomplishment.

What is your favorite medium?
I learned to paint with acrylics, but colored pencils are becoming my favorite medium. I am anxious to try and start designing some of my own projects with colored pencils. I do have to add though, I love etching! I love etching on glass and mirrors – you can add such elegance or whimsy to any surface!

What is your favorite surface to paint?
If I had to pick one favorite surface to paint on, I would have to say etched glass. I have always loved to paint on glass. The slick surface makes it challenging, but once the surface has been etched the paint goes on so much easier. Etching the surface gives it “tooth”.

Can you give us a preview of what readers will learn from your project in The Decorative Painter?
Oh, you will learn how to etch on glass! You will see how the painting on the etched surface is so much easier and how it is more opaque.

What value do you put on submitting projects to The Decorative Painter?
I feel it’s very brave to submit a project to The Decorative Painter. You’re telling yourself, “I’m ready. I’m good enough now.” Not all projects are selected; you have to realize that up front. So, if your project is selected, it adds to your credibility as an artist.

When you’re not painting, what can we find you doing?
If I’m not painting or teaching painting classes (which is my favorite thing to do), I’m playing with my dog Spanky, who is the cutest Yorkie in the whole wide world – just ask anybody!

What is your best advice for beginner painters?
Follow the instructions, whether you’re taking a class or painting from a pattern packet or tutorial! Once you know what you’re doing, venture out and change it up a bit. The designer wrote the instructions for a reason; they work. If you’re painting from a packet or a tutorial and don’t understand something, contact the artist to ask questions. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve emailed artists and they’ve emailed me back with very helpful answers or suggestions. I can remember the first time I did that and the artist emailed me back with a helpful suggestion – I was thrilled! “This famous artist actually wrote back to me,” I thought! Many of them will also critique your work if you email them a photo of your project. They want you to be successful!

Why did you pursue SDP’s Certification program?
I pursued and accomplished the TDA program because I’m serious about teaching decorative painting classes. I want to be the best teacher I can be. I want people to walk away from my classes knowing that they have learned something, they have accomplished something and they had fun doing it. I believe by becoming a Teacher of Decorative Arts adds credibility to my teaching skills. It shows everyone that being an effective teacher is important to me.

I highly recommend the program if you want to teach decorative painting and/or you want to be known as a good teacher. It makes a difference, and it shows you care about your students and that you have the skills to help them grow.

Not a SDP member? Click here to learn more about how to join SDP and how to receive access to four issues of The Decorative Painter each year!

Stay tuned for Tuesday’s blog post where we will meet SDP member Linda Hollander!