How To Hire A Painter

I have had my business of Decorative Artwork since 1992. Over the course of those years I have worked with many painters from different areas. The majority of the time things went well for the client. And for myself as well. But, I have run across some disasters too. Here are some tips for hiring the right painter for your project.

#1…..Get References! Don’t expect a quote over the phone. And for big projects, hopefully you could actually see some of their work. Here’s an example of what could go wrong. –
I had a client a few years back that needed their 2 story family room painted. It needed some patching and in some areas on the ceiling there needed to be drywall tape replaced. My client got the name of a painter from someone she didn’t know but she told me the guy was excited about the job and didn’t mind working on scaffolding. I finished my decorative painting before the painter and his buddy were done. But I had to go back the next day to be paid. When I went back my client was almost in tears. The painters had “finished” and they had been paid. Well, she brings me in to show me what they had done to her family room ceiling. They had used blue painters tape instead of drywall tape to fix the areas that needed it! And the tape was starting to peel off. She had called the painter to discuss it with him only to find out he had left town.
That is the worst I have seen. Most painters are reputable and trustworthy. But…..
Get References!

#2…..When you do find a painter you can trust, if they say they need a deposit, give it to them. After the economic downturn I’ve known contractors that just don’t want to run a tab at the paint store anymore. Probably holds true for many trades.

#3…..I think this may be as important as #1. Let them do their job. Don’t be underfoot and try to keep children busy with other things.

#4…..Pay promptly. Times are different now.

As I said I have worked with many different painters over the years. And now I only recommend one painter. If it doesn’t work for the client then they are on their own finding one. The painter I recommend is
Rick Wehrman….I have known him for maybe 20 years. I not only recommend him because he is a great painter, ( his son right along with him, and sometimes his daughter as well), but they are great with customers. They go in and do their job and do it well. For me, it is important to have a good rapport with the painter on the job. It makes my life a lot easier.

I finished up a portion of a large project with Rick and crew. Here is an example of how he makes my life easier.
The client wanted their foyer tray ceiling done. If I did it it would mean bringing in scaffolding, hiring someone to put it up and then take it down again. Rick has done bits of faux finishing for me before so I asked him if he would take it on and he said he would. The faux that was to be done in the tray in the foyer was the same one that I had done in the dining room tray ceiling.

Besides having good work done, the foyer tray ceiling was less costly because Rick uses an extension ladder to do them. Saves a great deal of time as well. The photos in this post show the tray ceiling in progress and then finished. Doesn’t it look great?!

I hope you consider this the next time you are looking for a painter. It could save you heartache and money.

Have a great week!
Doris

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Great Finds!

Good morning to all of you!

I am so behind here, please bear with me. I was just now able to restore my laptop. If this doesn’t work it is time to hire a techy.

As you will know by the dates listed here the market that I was in was this past weekend in Naperville. What a great experience! It is the first of its kind that I have taken part in many years. And a successful one! Some of the pieces here sold but the chair is still available as are other pieces that I worked on. I will bring the blog current within the next day or two. I have photos of the market itself as well as some of my creative neighbors participating.

So again I thank you for your patience and I hope you gain something from each post that I create.

Originally written on August 28th………Many of you already know I am going to be in a vintage market the weekend of September 6th and 7th. It is called Washington Market in downtown Naperville in the US Bank parking lot on the corner of Washington and Jefferson Streets. It is put on by the store Room 363 in Naperville. (And if you haven’t visited that store you are missing quite the treat!) I will be showcasing small pieces of vintage furniture all hand painted by moi. There will also be cornice boards to purchase and to special order. These are recently made by a carpenter friend.

So lately I have been spending a good amount of time at Goodwill. Oh, I have hit a flea market and an estate sale but I have gotten my best finds at Goodwill. Finds like this standing oval mirror. I painted it a soft distressed pink, perfect for that feminine room.
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And then there is this funky little chair. It is already in the works as well. I can’t wait to see the finished product myself! It will be hard to part with!
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My most recent piece I found yesterday. It is this little table. It is very well made by Ethan Allen. For the life of me I can’t figure out why it is made in this design. I’m thinking that being made by Ethan Allen there might be a story behind it. If anyone knows I would love to hear it. Not sure what I’ll be doing with this one yet. I usually let it gel for a day or two. Then again, sometimes I know instantly what I wanted to do, as with the chair.
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The best part? The mirror and the chair were $9.99 and the small table was $12.99. Now that’s a great base price! Oh, yes, there is some work involved, but if you love it as I do, it can be so worth it.

I will be keeping you posted on the transformation of the chair and table and give you a peek at some of the the other pieces I have acquired for the market.

And if you are looking for that special something, or just enjoy these kind of shows, please join us!

Have a great day!
Doris

Christmas In July! Free Shipping!

It’s a sale! Yay!

Every year I run a Christmas In July Sale offering a discount on Christmas items in my Etsy shop. This year is no different. This year I have decided to offer free shipping on anything relating to Christmas. Whether it be a tree skirt or stocking, or maybe a custom painting that has a Christmas theme.
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A little too warm and rainy for you to be thinking of Christmas? Can’t forget the first day of summer was just 9 days ago? That’s okay! You have all month to warm up to the idea! (Pun intended, lol)
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There are so many things I love about silk…..the feel, the sheen, the way it drapes. And believe it or not, it is a pleasure to paint on.
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These are some of the Christmas related items that I have in my shop right now. I am, however starting on handpainted ornaments and a vintage/shabby chic tree skirt and stocking. That is besides a couple of Hydrangea paintings I have in the works, which I will be posting on before too long.
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I really love combining sewing and painting. The cream colored silk tree skirt and stocking I even got to do some hand sewing in the way of quilting and sewing on beadwork.
It’s all good!

You can find the sizes and prices on my Etsy shop…
https://www.etsy.com/shop/dcartwork?ref=pr_shop_more

Have a good week!
Doris

A Watercolorist Friend

Hello there! Hope you are all enjoying beautiful weather the way that we here in Illinois are!

I would like to introduce you to a new friend that came into my life a couple of years ago. We met at an Artist Reception, I with an oil painted portrait and Loretta with her floral watercolor. We just seemed to hit it off, and, as happens, we are very supportive of each other.

When I asked Loretta if she would be interested in a post she was all for it. I will let her, Loretta Hamilton, speak for herself and introduce you to her style.

This is “Otis the Ostrich”…
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Since spring is here…finally…this seems to go hand in hand with getting our creative juices flowing! So here is something to inspire you if you’re interested in watercolor painting. I have just started to switch from painting florals (which I love) to painting birds and animals (which I love also…but just haven’t tried painting much). But now that I’m into it, I find it to be lots of fun. So what could be better than the quirky face of an ostrich for starters?!

I always suggest that when using watercolors for the first time, it is best to purchase a few very good items. Getting the best quality paper and the best brand watercolor paints (you really only need yellow, red and blue) and one or two really good brushes makes all the difference between success and failure.

For this painting, I used Lowell Cornell brushes #26 and #14; and a Kolinsky Sable #6 and #4. I used a variety of colors that I have on my palette, including Vertider Blue, Indigo, Burnt Sienna, Mineral Violet, Permanent Magenta and Quinacradone Burnt Orange. But you can always use your primary color paints to mix a variety of these types of shades for a fraction of the cost. I also use Arches 300# watercolor paper…I like the blocks the best. The Arches 140# paper is also fine.

Step 1: I usually use a photo reference for my paintings. If you decide to do that as well, I suggest using a good photo that highlights your subject with the proper lighting and clarity. Don’t forget that you can use artistic license and if there is something you’d like to change within the composition…do it. You’re the artist…you get to decide! Once you have your photo reference, lightly pencil sketch the subject onto your watercolor paper which is what I did here…
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Step 2: I usually mask my whites so that I can save them as the painting develops (remember, no use of white paint in watercolors!). I use commercial liquid masking available at most art supply stores and apply with a colour shaper, flat or pointed tip. And I always start with painting the eyes. If the eyes don’t turn out right, the rest of the painting will not be good. So here I painted the eyes first and I thought they looked OK and continued on…
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Step 3: I painted the beak next, and the nostrils…I started applying color lightly, and then darkened the areas where I saw shadows. (The nostrils are very dark and require many applications. Black is not used in watercolor and even the grey w/c paint is pretty flat, so I mix my own darks.) Then I started painting the layers of feathers, letting each layer dry thoroughly in between applications (and I’m very impatient, so I have to work really hard at the “waiting game”). I also applied clear water in long feathery strokes outside of the bird’s head so that when I added pigment, it ran into the water strokes and carried color into those wisps of hair. Holding the paper at an angle to let the water flow into the waterways is a great way to accomplish this…
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Step 4: I finished up on all of the feathers and continued to layer more paint in the shadows…especially the feathers around the “eye lids”. I also continued to paint the neck and layered a bit of other color into areas here and there, using a touch of Permanent Magenta for highlights…
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Step 5: I removed the masking and softened the edges around the white areas with a wet #4 brush. As I examined my almost-finished project, I decided I didn’t like how light the area around the beak on the bird’s right side was…so I darkened it a tad. I also splattered a bit of paint around for added whimsy…looks like the ostrich has kicked up a little dust…
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Step 6: Here’s the finished product…time to let it completely dry before mounting…maybe time for a glass of mint iced tea as well…
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Hope you enjoyed these steps to painting “Otis”!

Loretta

…..Thank you, Loretta! Hope to see you again at an upcoming show!

Have a great day!
Doris

Loretta J. Hamilton
https://lorettasgallery.artspan.com

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