Returning to my roots in Decorative Painting

A dear friend, Rella, invited me to attend the Apple Valley Painterschapter meeting on Saturday. Upon arrival to the meeting I was greeted with smiles and hugs, and then I quickly remembered why I loved being a part of the National Society of Decorative Painters.

The sharing, giving, and helping characteristics of this group were absolutely embracing. Many of the ladies brought projects for show and tell. Some of the members had just returned from HOOT, Heart of Ohio Tolers painting convention. This is an awesome week of painting, laughing, shopping, and eating. I used to go every year; in fact, I attended 11 years in a row but have not attended since 1998.

I started into decorative painting in 1986. It was very difficult for me to learn to do the brush strokes required to do Bauernmalerei painting. I practiced hours upon hours of painting comma strokes with just the right tail. This is when I put my persistent personality to work. I’ll never forget looking around the room at other’s work and thinking if they can learn to do this so can I! I practiced many hours at home and guess what it paid off.

Within six months of learning to tole paint I started teaching, and it was so much fun. The women I worked with came to my home one evening a week to paint. I put a large folding table up in the middle of the living room and we painted with my children playing on the floor around us. I felt such joy and rewardment in teaching…to see the accomplishment and fulfillment my friends felt was awesome.

I continued to teach in my home over the next three years. In 1989 we moved to a large house that was actually two units. I used the first floor of the second unit as my studio and gift shop. The house was right along a main highway and I did a booming business. However, my fun in painting soon became a ‘big job’ with never ending expectations. Praise God for my dear mother, she took such good care of my children and home as I concentrated almost solely on the business. We lived at this large home just one week shy of a year. We moved just a couple miles away to our very first home. I continued to teach on a part-time basis in my home studio until 1998. I taught lots of people the joy of decorative painting during this time and truly loved what I was doing. I had balance in my life between work, family and my painting.

In the early 90’s I began taking drawing classes with a local artist. In 1994 I studied with Fred Wetzel for the first time…there was never any looking back. I made the transition into fine art being thrilled with the challenge of creating and designing my own work. I believe we should always strive to learn and we never know it all in spite of what some people think!

To this day I love decorative painting! I have a deep gratitude for this art because if this door wouldn’t have opened for me I would never have walked through the Fine Art door…it would have been much too intimidating.

I want to thank Pat, Joni, Rella, Kathryn, Faye, Connie and all the others for making me feel so welcomed. I had a wonderful relaxing day with the Apple Valley Painters. Here is the book I painted at the AVP’s chapter meeting on Saturday.

Here are two projects I hope to complete for my Christmas Open House…I’ll keep you posted.

There are 6 Comments

Jennie's picture

Very enjoyable!

Pat Fagan's picture

Thank you, Susan for coming to our chapter meeting and painting with us. I believe you were a blessing sent to us and I hope we can continue to learn from each other. Your story is awesome and your composition book is beautiful! Pat

Hally's picture

Inspirational story. Can’t wait to see the Christmas stuff.

Kim's picture

Susan, Always look forward to reading your blog! Kim

Joni's picture

Thank you again for coming. What a fun day for all of us. Looking forward to seeing you more and enjoying your talents and thoughts. Can’t waiut to see your christmas projects. Hope to see you soon. Joni

connie martin's picture

Susan it was such a treat to meet you and paint with you! Your notebook turned out beautiful. I’m hoping that we will get to see more of you.