March Newsletter

Convincing a Child that Moving is a Good Thing

There was still snow on the ground when I received a call from a client I hadn’t heard from in several years. The family was having a new home built and their seven year old daughter didn’t want to leave her home. Her mother convinced her she would have a very special room if she decided to move with the family.

As I drove to their home it occurred to me that I should talk to Jenny, just the two of us. After saying hello I asked Jenny’s mom if she would mind if I spoke with Jenny and she thought that would be a good idea.

Jenny was bright and quite charming. As we were talking I asked her to help me make a list of her favorite things. The words rolled off her tongue effortlessly. She liked daisies, fairies, turtles, blue birds, green grass, mushrooms, butterflies and I’m thinking this is going to be fun when she added pears. Where did that come from. How was I going to get pears in there. I thanked Jenny for helping, had a cup of tea with her mom and home I went to do some sketching.

As often happens I awakened the next morning having dreamt of huge pears. I’m talking about 7-8 inch pears with fairies frolicking in the pear tree and then in my minds eye everything else fell into place. Adjustments had to be made to the sketches and the design was ready.

When painting a mural for a child I love to have a path undulating through the mural. It’s a path leading to where ever they want it to go. A place to let their little minds roam and stir their creativity. This path happens to lead to a portal. Where would your mind take you?

Here’s a short little video of Jenny’s special place.

Found this question in my “Blog” folder, I remember answering it on Facebook but don’t remember if I published it in a newsletter. If I did just bare with me it might help a new subscriber . . .

Hi, I have a ‘mural’ question as a ‘how to’. I saw some of your videos and am, obviously, quite impressed enough to see if you’ll share a trade secret or two. I’m wondering if when you do a wall mural, are you using a reference painting and free handing it? Or a grid system of some sort? I’ve tried a few–and think a grid may be simplest for me….if I could get straight lines. Do you have any suggestions? [:)] (Please?) -Kerra

Hi Kerra, happy to answer your questions. I don’t have a system written in stone. My preference is to let the mural evolve as I paint but my client must trust that I understand the look and feel they are wanting. A sketch is nearly always done before beginning a project. I have never used a grid because I try never to leave pencil lines on the walls I paint. However, if a client had something very specific they wanted, without variations, I might. If I need straight lines I use levels or you could run a chalk-line. Another option is to use a projector and trace the design onto the wall. Let me mention this; try never to use an eraser on the wall being painted as it leaves a burnished mark.

I work from my sketches which may or may not begin from several photos, picking and choosing what best fits with the clients decor and the feeling they are trying to create. Most often I freehand my designs but I sometime design patterns. One of my clients had a leak in a ceiling I had painted ten years ago and I was able to recreate it quickly because I still had the pattern. It saved them a lot of time and money.

Kerra, I tried to keep this simple and to the point but I am happy to give more detail if you like. Hope this was helpful. Good luck ~ your work is lovely!

If you have questions about painting on walls, canvas, papers, wood, metal, fabric, glass, ceramics or porcelain I would be happy to help you. Just email me or comment on my blog. Thank you for reading my newsletter!


Bella’s Insight

Hey everybody, the snow is almost melted again. Not sure why I get excited about that – I love bouncing in the snow. Well, for short periods of time anyway. I have to say that below zero stuff wasn’t much fun.

Boy, I’m sure missing my Saturday morning Buddy. My pal Jayda moved last fall so I don’t get to see her any more, drat. Jayda came to see me for a long time and while she was here mom would show her how to draw and paint and make fun stuff and my job was to make her laugh on her breaks.

Jayda painted watercolors that were made into pinwheels, mom made a calendar out of twelve of her paintings and collages one year and then she got to paint on canvas. When she got tired of painting mom let her draw in her journal. Jayda had lots of good ideas. Mom said she had a great imagination. I think I might have one of those too.

If anyone sees Jayda tell her I said, “Hi!”



4 comments to March Newsletter

  • This was a lovely read, thanks for your insights and sharing. The mural is spectacular, Jenny must be thrilled! Best regards, Anna

    • Mickey

      Anna, thank you so much for your lovely compliments and for taking the time to comment. If you ever have questions please feel free to ask, I love sharing things I have learned over my years of painting.

  • Mickey

    Received this email after the newsletter went out, I always enjoy hearing from you DeAnne.

    Oh my, you hit a home run this time! Lucky Jenny, Lucky Bella. Lucky me!

    Love ya,

  • Mickey

    Received this email and wanted to share. Thanks you Ann

    What a super story…not to mention the gorgeous work you did for Jenny! (Which included your wise awareness that she was
    the Real Client!)
    You are amazing, Mickey!


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