Issue four of this year’s The Decorative Painter magazine is in production and will be mailed to all active SDP members in November. Over the past several weeks, we have been getting 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 Erika Joanne!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in the northwest corner of Washington State where it’s green and wet, but beautiful! My husband and I raised four children here and now have three fun grandbabies. I consider myself an artistic explorer and feel I’m always on a painting adventure. I really enjoy the many different styles of decorative painting; there are so many possibilities, I can’t handle it! I love everything from colonial art and frakturs, to nutcrackers, to whimsy and realistic painting. My designing business currently includes teaching, exhibiting at painting conventions, and creating instructional patterns and videos.
When did you start painting?
Way back in 1986, a friend invited me over to paint a large apple with a group of other ladies. All it took was a few hours of introduction to the paints and brushes to have me hooked – line and sinker!
Who is your favorite decorative painting teacher?
Oh gosh, I love them all! I love how Jo Sonja has contributed to our industry over many years. She is a beautiful prolific painter; a brush in her hand brings beauty to our world. There are also many other teachers and artists I truly admire.
How did you learn about SDP and how long have you been a member?
I attended my first painting convention in Portland on a whim. I walked in and felt at home. I was then introduced to SDP by my publisher and friend Prudy Vannier, who was heavily involved in SDP. I’ve been a member since the late 1990’s.
What do you love most about painting?
Painting can give you a little break from the hard things in life – a breather, so to speak. There’s something magical about being in the creative process. The only way I can describe it is that it’s a happy place that I like to be in often.
What is your favorite medium?
It’s a toss-up between acrylics and colored pencils. That’s probably why I like to combine them and use them both in my designs.
What is your favorite surface to paint?
I enjoy all types of surfaces. I think it really depends on my mood. Wood, metal, paper, canvas; they’re all great!
Can you give us a preview of what readers will learn from your project in The Decorative Painter?
First, I hope you can just enjoy the process of painting and decorating a nutcracker. As you paint the different elements of the design, you’ll notice the personality of your nutcracker come through, which is delightful! Also, if you haven’t used the Jo Sonja Artist Colors before, you’ll get to experience their richness and unique qualities. Embrace the process and have fun! If you have any questions or need help, don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What value to you put on submitting projects to The Decorative Painter?
The Decorative Painter has an audience with a focused interest in our very cool art form. The photography is super; the staff is easy to work with (with a built in appreciation for what we do), and; my projects have been handled with care and returned in a timely manner. It’s an all-around awesome magazine!
When you’re not painting, what can we find you doing?
You’ll find me taking care of life at home. You know, the regular stuff; spending time with family and friends; watching documentaries; traveling; time at church; etcetera.
What is your best advice for beginner painters?
Love each moment of learning. Ask lots of questions and explore the various brushes, paints and surfaces. Everyone has to start somewhere, so be patient. Have fun, and don’t give up!
Thank you for tuning in for our “Meet the Artist” series for the fourth issue of this year’s The Decorative Painter! Reread you favorite artists’ stories here.