As many of you know, I not only design woodworking patterns, but also I love to paint. While some of the woodworkers that I come across shun putting any type of paint on wood, others like to embrace the idea of adding to their projects with color. As for myself – I see the advantages of both. There are times when wood is best left to its natural beauty and other times when you can really do your projects a favor by adding color. I suppose it depends on the project and situation.
I have always walked the invisible line between painting and woodworking. When I think of projects that I design, I usually envision them either without color in their natural state, or with added color to enhance them. This of course is also subject to different degrees of application – from light staining to all out painting. I suppose it just depends on what I am in the mood for at the time.
Below is an example of how drastically one can change the appearance of even a simple design by using paint. I took the same ornament, and finished it three different ways.
The first key was stained with a metallic wax. It looks as if it is made of copper. The second was painted a matte black finish and embellished with some crystal rhinestones. The third was ‘tole painted’ in acrylics. These were all basically the same simple design, with several variations that will appeal to many different tastes.
I always look at my role as a designer as being a teacher. Not only do I want to provide the line drawings for those who want to cut the wood pieces, but I also want to provide as many options as I can for people to finish them in different ways. Once I think of multiple ways that the project can be finished, it seems that I can’t help myself but offer the instructions.
Because I do that, I am very aware that some only want to do what they are comfortable in doing. There are people who only like to do the woodworking part of the project and others who want the wood pieces cut and ready to paint and only want to add color. That is fine by me, and that is why for many projects I offer totally different patterns to accommodate the different groups of customers. Both the woodworking patterns for the Halloween keys as well as the tole painting patterns for the keys (and the kits for them) sold very well.
This helps both the painting and scrolling side of my business grow, and it also encourages some to explore avenues that they never thought they would travel. A great example is that of my friend Diana Thompson, who is a well-known scroll saw pattern designer. There was one time when she said she could “never paint” yet last week she posted this picture of how she painted my Halloween ornament pattern.
I think they came out absolutely beautiful and I felt so proud of her when I saw. AND she said she had FUN doing it! I can’t tell you how much it meant for me to see this!
My point is, that as long as there are people that are willing to try something new, I will be there to offer it to them. I am not trying to convert anyone to doing what they don’t want to do, but I just want to offer the options in case they feel adventurous and want to expand their skills. Because of that, I am very glad that I have been spending a bit more time painting and developing painting patterns, as I think I have something to offer in that field as well as scrolling and woodworking.
Recently, I saw a call out on my painting Facebook page from a group called “Painting With Friends” which is a very talented group of designers that are lead by a wonderfully creative woman named Terrye French. Terrye’s primitive style of drawing and painting is something that amazes me. She is a bottomless pit of creativity and her designs always bring a smile with their warmth and creativity. The designers in the Painting With Friends group receive line work sketches (ideas) from Terrye and develop the designs on their own and create the patterns. They are able to use any colors they like or make changes to the patterns to suit their taste and what results is an amazing variety of designs that have a very broad appeal. I think that this is a wonderful way that artists work together as a team to make some wonderful designs. It is a win/win for all involved.
I petitioned to join this group and I was grateful that they accepted me. I love to paint, but admittedly I am not a wonderful cartoonist, as I find it easier for me to paint realistic wildlife off of photos. That doesn’t mean I can’t draw cartoon-ish designs, as the ornaments above illustrate, but it is not very easy for me to do so and takes a huge amount of time. When I received my first assignment from the Painting With Friends group, I was thrilled because it was a wonderful springboard for me to do the part I love the best – painting.
Yesterday I finished my first pattern for the group. It is called PWF01 – Jar of “Snowies”.
It is now available on my site at Sheila Landry Designs, the Painting With Friends Etsy store, and my own Etsy store, SheilaLandryDesigns. For those who don’t cut wood, I am offering a pre-cut wood piece of the snowflake on the Painting Surfaces page of my site. It will also be available on the Painting With Friends Blogspot, which highlights all of the Painting With Friends patterns.
I hope that if you are considering trying some painting, you will stop and visit the Painting With Friends blog. All the patterns there are priced at a reasonable $5.00 and are available for instant download. These cute primitive designs are simple to do and great projects for those just starting out. You may surprise yourself and actually have fun painting.
I certainly am not going to be giving up designing my scroll saw patterns. I truly love doing that as much as I love cutting and woodworking. But I also love the opportunity to paint and create wonderful and unique pieces for the painters to use in their own projects, and I think that these two crafts go together naturally.
I look at this new venture as a great way to expand the scope of our little business. We are experiencing a wonderful year for our business and I do believe that it is due to our willingness and ability to diversify and offer our customers more choices.
I really appreciate being accepted into this group. It is wonderful to work with such talented people and it is also great to see how everyone helps each other. It is a great example of how everyone can come out a winner – especially the customers. “Painting With Friends” is just that – being creative with some wonderfully supportive friends!
I hope you enjoy seeing these new patterns. While I know some of you may not paint, perhaps it will inspire you to try it one day. What have you got to lose?
Have a great Sunday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"