Saturday, August 25, 2007

Design Ideas

Where do ideas for designs come from? They can come from a number of different places. Sometimes you are inspired by a place you are visiting or that you pass by each day. Sometimes your inspiration comes from a beautiful object that you own. Other times you may be inspired by a need.

Today's project was inspired by a Red Hat project. We are going to have a traveling tea party. We have a teapot and a pair of cups and saucers that will be passed around among our members. The member who has the teapot will draw the name of another member who will be her guest for a tea party. Since I have been asked to be in charge of this project, I decided that it would be nice to create a "tea party in a basket". I found a basket that would hold the teapot and the cups and saucers. I added two red napkins and decided that a matching plate for serving cookies would be a nice addition. Then a package of doilies and a laminated card with directions printed on it complete the basket. By having all the necessities in the basket, all the hostess has to do is invite her guest, set a pretty table, plan her menu, brew the tea, and have a pleasant visit with her Red Hat Sister.

The plate is a bisqueware plate. I painted it with regular acrylic paints. The design is adapted from the design on the tea set. It if finished with several coats of a good varnish. This plate is not food safe and is not washable. However, it can be used to serve cookies or other dry foods and can be wiped with a damp cloth. Placing a doily on it before putting food on it is a good idea.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The last of the projects from HOOT

This is the last of the projects from HOOT. I was really pleased to get this class. It was taught by Barb Franzreb. Barb specializes in Early American art, although this project is not of that genre, and she has been commissioned by Colonial Williamsburg to design and paint items for the gift shops. I am hoping to bring her to our club for a seminar next fall.

Now, the project. Do you recognize it? First, it is a clock. I just haven't installed the clockworks yet. The surface is a 33.3 rpm record. This is about all these records are good for anymore. The theme for HOOT this year was Painting is All That Jazz. This design fits well with the theme. I am including an overall photo and a closeup of the instruments in the center. I can tell you that painting all the keys on the clarinet and saxophone was the very devil. The next musical instruments I paint will be larger! The piece is painted in acrylics. It was a fun piece to paint and what a great way to use old records!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More from HOOT

This is probably my favorite project from HOOT. This oil painting is from a class with Ginger Edwards. Ginger works in acrylics as well as oils. I have admired her work for a long time and was really pleased to be able to take a class with her. It was one of my Thursday classes. Since I did not know until we left on Sunday that we were not coming home until Friday, I had no classes selected for Thursday (a long story that it is not necessary to tell, call it a communication lapse). So, after registering on Monday morning, I went to the resale board and was able to find two wonderful classes. This was one of them.

Oil on canvas

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

HOOT, continued

Not every project gets completed in class. I took two Genesis classes at HOOT. The first was with Carol-Lee Cisco. It is an 8" wooden plate with a fruit design that can be displayed year-round. It has a pear, an apple, some cherries, and two kinds of leaves with ribbon twined around the design. There is very little left to do on this project. The stems need to be painted on the fruit and the background needs to be repainted in the center of the plate. Finally, the ridge on the plate needs to have gold leafing applied and the rim needs to have something done--I'm not sure how I am going to finish that part yet. Overall, this is a nice project and I was pleased to take a class with Carol as she has announced that she will be retiring this year.

The second Genesis class was an Intensive Study class with Mary Gibilisco. It was a 12-hour class taught over two days. I was a little disappointed in the material that was covered because we did not get to the aspects of the project that I had hoped to spend most of the class time on--the fine details that make a painting come to life. There is a great deal left to do on this piece. The background needs to be painted. You can see the beginnings of the background painting to the right of the vase. There is another morning glory on the left side of the flower arrangement and a number of small filler leaves that need to be added after the background is completed. The grapes need to be improved and a lot of time could still be spent on tints, shades, shadows, highlights, etc.---the "ooo, ahs" that make the piece a finished work. This one will probably go in the closet and not be finished.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Last week was the annual HOOT (Heart of Ohio Tole Painters) convention. It is held in the Columbus Convention Center and is a very large gathering of decorative painters. At HOOT, you have the opportunity to take a variety of different classes in different mediums. There is also a trade show where you are able to meet with some of the artists/teachers, see what various vendors have to offer, and purchase virtually everything you need and a lot of things you didn't know you needed. I took a number of different classes. The next several posts will be devoted to showcasing the class projects from the classes that I took at HOOT.

The first piece is a watercolor taught by Gayle Laible. This was a 4-hour class and the project was completed well before the class period was ended.You will note the leaves on the upper left of the design. These were done using negative painting. That is, the leaf was not painted directly. Instead, the background around the leaf was painted causing the leaf to be revealed.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Completed Tea Box

Last week I started a painting on a tea box lid. I finished the painting today. I still need to spend a little time living with it to make sure it is really finished, but here it is.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The pumpkin wheelbarrow

Remember the wheelbarrow box? Well, here it is sitting on the metal frame. We had the frame painted to protected it from rusting. Another member had that piece of the work done. It is a big hit.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Garage project finished!

We finally had a sunny, dry day with enough time to finish the garage. Would you believe it is all just paint except for the hinges and the handles? We've fooled a lot of folks.

Trompe l'Oeill Carriage House Doors

Friday, August 3, 2007

New Project

Some time ago I bought a tea box on clearance at TJ Maxx. I knew I wanted to paint something on the lid, but I didn't know what it would be. I just started working on it this week. The box is going to be included in a gift basket with a tea party theme.

I am doing this piece in acrylics because I don't have time to wait for the oils to dry and I don't know what will happen if I paint with Genesis and put it in the oven. The subject is a large white teapot from my collection surrounded by sunflowers and leaves. Obviously, the piece is not finished. This is a progress photo.

This box had a finish on it when I bought it. Unfortunately, the finished was marred and nicked, so I sanded it to remove some of the finish and painted the box Black Green. I removed the hinges so that I could paint without worrying about protecting them.

The top of the lid was taped off and then painted with a creamy white color. Then the design was transferred to the surface. With the tape still in place, I painted in the out-of-focus background, then proceeded to work on the teapot. Then I painted the table surface and blocked in the table cloth before removing the tape.

There is still a good bit of work to be done on this piece.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My latest effort

I have been spending a lot of time this week in my studio. What a treat! While I have spent a little time finishing up some little nothing projects that needed finishing, the bulk of my effort has been spent on this little box. The box is about 3x6 inches. It is painted in acrylics and water mixable oils. I recently started working long-distance with a teacher in Texas to learn some new techniques and hopefully improve my skills. This is one of the first complete projects we have done together. Working long distance over the Internet and with photos is frustrating, but we do what we have to do.

I don't know what this box was designed for. Something came inside it, maybe a pen or something so it has a finish. I am going to line the inside with felt and then--????

To paint the box, I first sanded the top to remove some of the original finish. Then I taped off the edges of the top and rolled on a basecoat. After that, I started painting. The background and the basecoating on each element was done with acrylics. Then I switched to the water-mixable oils to do all of the remaining work. I tried a quick dry medium this time. I'm not sure it really improved the drying time. I may need to try another brand.