Inspiration for a New Painting – Getting Started

Sometimes when I take a photo, I can just see a finished painting inspired by it. I took this photo of a burro in Hackberry, AZ on a side trip while attending the Creative Painting Conference in Las Vegas a few years ago.  I’ve wanted to paint a sign using it as an inspiration ever since.  Hackberry was founded when a mine was discovered in the 1870’s. A large Hackberry tree grew by the spring and gave the town its name. The mine died out, and Hackberry is now a ghost town on old Route 66 which attracts tourists.  Well, I finally got up the nerve to try it, and started the pre-work over the past few days. First I had to come up with the line drawing and layout.  I did this in Photoshop. I’m using at 12″ wide x 30″ long pine board for my sign.  Today I start painting… Will keep you posted on the progress. Sharon Chinn

Traditions Artist Acrylics

If you haven’t painted with Traditions Artist Acrylics, you should give them a try.  They are rich, creamy and full of pigment which means you use less paint for coverage.  And they never need to be shaken!  A sample pack of 1 oz. bottles includes 10 basic colors and 2 mediums for only $21.50.  I have them available at The Decorative Painting Store.  Here’s a 16×20 canvas I painted from the Traditions Art School Tier One Class… It’s is an interpretation of a cave painting discovered in the Cave of Chauvet in southwestern France… Chinese Horse #3.  The background is painted to resemble the walls of a limestone cave.  I taught this to my beginner students and we had a lot of fun with it! Sharon

Painting Classes

I’m starting my first painting classes in my home studio on Tuesday, so I’ve been busy setting up my classroom and trying to get organized. What a lot of work! I’ll be starting out with 5-6 students and our first project will be my Autumn Harvest Scarecrow on a small ironing board/pelt board shape.


Give ePatterns a try… get instant gratification and save money! I’ve added lots of patterns in downloadable ePattern format. You can download the pattern as a pdf file as soon as your payment is completed… pay by Paypal and it’s instant. Pay by credit card and you’ll have to wait until I process your credit card and mark your order as completed. I charge $2 less for ePatterns to offset your cost of printing the pattern on your home printer, and you don’t have any shipping & handling costs. Either way, once you’ve downloaded your pdf file, you just open it using Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free program that comes standard on most computers. But if you don’t have it you can download it at Print the pages on your color printer and start painting right away. If you want to try an ePattern at no cost, just download one of my free ePatterns to see how easy it is. I have a couple available at:

Decorative Painting Sometimes Means Painting a Room

Even though I’d rather be painting a new design, sometimes things have to pause while you take care of housekeeping chores. Our office has achieved the title of “disaster area”, so it was time to shut down and re-group. I’m giving us 2 days… hubby says it might take 2 months. Yesterday we started pretending we were on the HGTV show, Mission-Organization. We went shopping for paint and new shelving. Then came home took everything out of the office and painted the walls. This took until about 10pm last night, and we were exhausted. (How do you get the crews from one of those shows to actually come in and do the work for you???) Dinner ended up being grilled cheese sandwiches, instead of the steak and baked potatoes I had planned earlier in the day. But this morning it was satisfying to get up to see the new fresh taupe wall color (a big improvement over the pale white-with-a-touch-of-mauve color… the previous home owner had a passion for pale blue grays and mauves and we are slowly covering them up with more “Pottery Barn-like” colors. Today’s job is to start putting things back together. Rearrange the desks, put up …

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Decorative Artist Uses For Hand Sanitizer

Did you know hand sanitizer gel is great for the decorative artist, for things beyond cleaning and sanitizing your hands? I buy the big pump bottle of Member’s Mark brand hand sanitizer at Sam’s Club and keep it on my studio table… but any brand will do. I buy the little samples sizes at Wally World and they are great for traveling or classes.Cleaning Dirty Brushes… It works great to clean your brushes, even dried in acrylic paints. Squirt a little in your hand and stroke your brush back and forth… even dried acrylics dissolve in a flash. Wipe your brush with a paper towel (I like to fold the towel around the bristles, pulling from ferrule to end of bristles, pinching them flat between my fingers to remove dirty gel), repeat until the gel stays clean. For brushes that are excessively dirty, use one of the little heart scrubby pads. Hold the brush almost horizontal to the pad, and be sure to pull the brush from ferrule to tip of bristles to minimize damage to your bristles. Never scrub back and forth. This little pad will “comb” the dried paint out of your brush. When you have finished, reshape …

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I’m a NEW Blogger / Treasure Box Program

Hi everyone! I’m jumping on the blogging bandwagon. Hopefully, I’ll be able to use this to keep you updated on what’s going on at The Decorative Painting Store, and in my life as a decorative artist. What I’ve Been Up To?This week, I’ve been working on a simple design to include in the new Treasure Box CD which will be coming out at the May convention of the Society of Decorative Painters in Tampa, FL. I’ve done a little design inspired by my standard poodle, Bogart. Read more about the Treasure Box Program. This wonderful program was started by Ladybug (Jan McCraw) in affiliation with Shriners Hospitals to provide a handpainted treasure boxes for children up to 18 years of age who are hospitalized. The 2008 CD will include many designs by a variety of decorative artists. Be sure to visit my website: