Build Your Skills One Brush Stroke at a Time!

From the seasoned advanced painter to the “I can’t draw a straight line” beginner…there’s something here for you.

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Hello from the Studio

Quotable Art Quotes

New and Exciting Stuff!

Look What I Found!

Featured Technique – Basecoating Advice

Recipes from the Studio


Me again! Can you believe it's June already!

Most of you are winding down and spending more time outdoors in your gardens. Or sipping coolers and spritzers out on the deck.

I, on the other hand, am painting my heart out in preparation for the fall. Wait until you see what I've got lined up for your autumn and winter workshops.

The best way to see what's being offered at the studio is to check what I've recently added to the Workshops section of my website.

As I paint the projects, I'll keep uploading the photos so you can have a sneak peek.


The blacksmith and the artist reflect it in their art.

They forge their creativity - Closer to the Heart -

Neil Peart from Rush


If you haven’t visited this great decorative painting website , you don’t know what you’re missing!!

Jodi Clerke and I have undertaken a huge project… a website that’s filled with tons of information for the decorative painter.

It has a lighthearted tone, is easy to navigate and it’s filled with great content. Our husbands think it’s like some “Great Big Book of Decorative Painting”!!

Visit today.


The Needle Point Brush, by Heinz Jordan… and what a brush it is! It kinda looks like a pregnant liner, don’t you think? Well it may look a little odd, but it’s a must-have for any painter.

The thing you’re going to love about this brush is its bulbous reservoir. When you do line work or lettering with this brush, you don’t need to re-load it very often. It just goes and goes! No more running out of paint midway through some vine border or complicated scroll work!

The brush tapers to a very sharp point and is made up of Black Taklon and European Pure Squirrel hair. It is available in sizes 4, 6 and 8.

E-mail me if you’d like to purchase the Needle Point Brush or ask about it at your local retailer.


As a teacher I have the nice advantage of watching many painters as they work. It’s by closely observing my students that I learn, and my observations help me to be a better instructor.

Besides wanting to do a perfect float every time, students often wish their line work was better. Do you find yourself frustrated by line work? Do you worry about adding those final scrolls or tendrils to a project because of bad results in the past? Well, let me help you right now.

First select the right brush for the job. If you’re going to do nice long tendrils and scrolls, you need a liner brush that can hold enough water. For this quick lesson, I used a #1 Script Liner.

Next, it is really important that you render the paint to an inky consistency.

The paint needs to flow freely from the brush tip, so it needs to be thinned with just the right amount of water.

Too much water and the lines are way too transparent, and not enough water means the brush runs out of paint too soon.

Load the brush by dragging it through the inky puddle. Do not twist the hairs but rather tap the bristles gently back into a pointed shape.

Now hold the brush at a perpendicular angle to the surface…in other words pointing straight up from your surface.

Hold the brush between your thumb and index finger, supporting the ferrule with your middle finger. Rest your pinkie down on the surface without leaning on your wrist.

The brush tip should touch the painting surface with minimal pressure. Be sure to hold the brush where the wooden handle meets the metal ferrule.

Pull the brush while maintaining even pressure on the tip.

You will use your arm rather than using wrist action to move the brush along. So it’s important to keep the wrist off the surface.

Practice this correct brush positioning while doing swirls and tendrils…and keep on practicing. In no time at all you’ll be painting like a pro!



Makes 6 1-cup servings Recipe can easily be tripled for a crowd!

In a large bowl, toss together:

2 cups cold cooked long grain rice (mix of wild, brown and white is best) 1 cup thawed frozen peas ½ cup chopped green onion ½ cup dried raisins or dried cranberries 4 tsp curry powder or more 1 tsp ground cumin

In a separate bowl or jar make a dressing using:

1/4 cup white wine vinegar 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp water Salt / pepper to taste

Pour over the rice mixture and toss to cover evenly. Serve or cover and refrigerate.


Comments? Burning questions? Ideas? Feedback?

Come on let me have it! I’d love to hear from you.

Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think…maybe you’d even like to share a tip to be mentioned in an upcoming issue!

Special Workshops

Fall and Winter Decorative Painting Projects