Category Archives: Updates


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.


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

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 Louise Jackson, MDA, TDA

Louise Jackson, MDA, TDA
First Started Painting: 1965
Joined SDP: Early 1970’s

Louise Jackson always loved to draw. She wasn’t motivated to paint until one day in 1965 when she heard of a local artist who was teaching a class in the evening. So she and a few of her girlfriends signed up – Louise never looked back. Five decades later, Louise is a highly successful decorative artist, an experienced workshop instructor, both here and abroad, and has authored more than 23 how-to paint books. In 1976, Louise founded The Decorative Artists Guild of Southwestern Ohio (DAGSO). Her passion for painting is enhanced by her love of teaching. We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we have.

jackson_mugWhat do you love most about painting?
What I love most about painting is that I am always learning something new. Every painting is a challenge. I still make mistakes, but this forces me to learn how to correct things. Working the painting out gives me joy.

What do you love most about teaching?
Teaching motivates me to continually strive for new ideas and new techniques to share. We all love to see our students grow. I have seen many of them become better than I am and create some amazing art. When they have the skills and confidence to go their own way with their painting, it is pretty exciting to watch. 

What is the one main thing students will learn in your class?
One of the most important things that students learn in my watercolor classes is how to fix or correct things. It is tricky to make corrections in this medium and keep them unnoticeable. I also have some very good blending techniques because I like to be in control when needed, and loose when it pleases me.

What value would you place on attending the classes at the Society of Decorative Painters Conference?
Classes at the SDP conference offer the student the opportunity to study with teachers from out of their area. They may decide to travel to study with that teacher or invite the teacher to teach at their local chapter. Or they may simply learn something new. It is a great way to learn new techniques and get fresh ideas to enhance the way they paint. They may even get motivated to teach themselves.

When you’re not painting or teaching, what can we find you doing?
I spend a lot of time writing notes and photographing both my work and new subjects to paint. My favorite thing to do is helping my children and grandchildren with anything, especially decorating. I helped make some slipcovers. I paint frames, furniture and paintings to decorate their houses. I also paint a lot of family portraits for my family. It is weird to say my break from painting is more painting but it is different to paint just for fun as opposed to creating something to teach. Best of all, I don’t write notes for these.

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

Rose on Burgundy – Watercolor 

Plums & Lace – Watercolor

Butterfly Fun – Watercolor

Coming up next week on “Meet the Teachers”… meet Paula Leopold, CDA:
Did you know that when Paula first starting teaching she travelled over 100 miles round-trip so she could take Tole Painting Classes with Ann Kingslan in Omaha, NE?