Author Archives: Webmaster

Why I Serve On the SDP Board of Directors

By Kathy Swigon CDA

KathySwigon

Kathy Swigon CDA, Vice President/President Elect

I’ve lived all over the United States. My husband’s job required us to have a flexible living situation. When my son was one, a neighbor/babysitting co-op friend asked me to join her for a mom’s night out at a tole painting class in Vancouver, WA. My family and I were only there for a short two years before we moved to Lebanon, PA. The move meant I had to find another place to paint, which I was able to do pretty quickly. After all, we were in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. After living in Pennsylvania for 14 years and becoming addicted to painting, finding a SDP chapter was the first thing I researched before “agreeing” to my husband’s job transfers. Of course, we relocated to some great locations where SDP chapters were available and welcoming. Before our move to San Antonio, TX, I was teaching a workshop in Charlotte, NC when a student (now a good friend, Barbara Hammett CDA) walked in wearing an Alamo Decorative Artists apron. What an omen! I knew I had painting opportunities to look forward to, no matter where we ended up. Now, permanently located in Tampa, FL, I am within driving distance of several chapters. I can attend a meeting or workshop every weekend and sometimes have to choose from more than one.

I serve on SDP’s Board of Directors because it’s a way I can give back to the organization, which has become a lifeline for me. Through interacting with so many members and establishing everlasting friendships, I feel like I have a good handle on what the membership likes and dislikes. Furthermore, I know change can only happen through action. I have this saying painted on a plaque in my studio; “If it is to be it is up to me.” It’s a reminder that we need to be active in the causes that are close to us. Really, if you think about it, what would SDP be without me – we the membership?

2014 SDP Board of Directors

2014 SDP Board of Directors

Consider nominating yourself to join me on the 2016-2017 SDP Board of Directors. As the current Vice President/President Elect, I will become the Board President for the next term. My colleagues and I are searching for members who can bring innovative ideas, creative outreach, a problem solving mindset and excellent communication. If you have any experience on a chapter board or with a non-profit organization, you are an ideal candidate for the job.

This is a win-win situation for both you and SDP. Board member experience will enhance your skills, career and satisfaction in life – you’ll feel good about yourself. For SDP, your involvement will help our painting community that has been around for over 40 years be around for another 40, and beyond.

Login the Members Only section of SDP’s website to view and download the Nomination Form. The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2015. If you have any questions, please contact the Nominating Committee Chair Donna Frost at Dfrost49@hotmail.com.

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!