Thursday, January 28, 2010

Learning the Art of Troweling

A couple of weeks ago I took a class to learn how to use American Clay. I was looking for something to expand my mural and decorative painting offerings and started researching plasters. Initially I wanted to use Italian Plasters but then I found a place to learn American Clay close by and signed up. I really enjoyed the class although I must say troweling is NOT easy. I hope to try to use it on a couple of walls in my bedroom and will hopefully hone my skills further with that project. I took the class at Tuscan Impressions. Eve is the owner and a very talented artisan. She was out of town for my class but her husband taught the class and I learned a lot from him, one of the other studio artisans and a professional Italian plasterer also taking the class.

I've since met Eve and she is very friendly and she creates absolutely beautiful Italian plaster finishes and American Clay walls. She can definitely create a creative and beautiful plaster finish in a variety of looks and design styles.

The American Clay is very forgiving and can be easily repaired, even if it gets marked on with crayons or pencils, you can fairly easily remove the marks unlike with paint. Even better it is a natural product that is environmentally friendly and non toxic. Using American Clay in the construction of your home or business can earn you LEED credits as well!

Below are some of my sample boards I created and one I used some decorative techniques on. I look forward to using it on my walls, the only downside as it takes a lot of equipment and tools I don't yet have : ( Oh well.. I don't think my husband will object to me buying more tools!
This is the Loma finish:
Here is the Porcelina. After starting out practicing troweling on the wall I was quickly developing a sinking feeling because it was so hard to catch on. But then I jumped into a bicolor application on smooth Porcelina and it turned out well much to my relief. I think I will stick to Loma and Porcelina finishes for now.

And then the Maritimmo which was actually quite difficult due to the type of finish it results and the necessity to NOT overwork it. I admit I had a good bit of help with this board ; )

And finally what I really want to use this for is the decorative applications. Here are a couple of things I played around with.

Shipping a Painting

Well, today I sent my painting, Emotions in Magenta, off to Florida, hope it makes it there safely. It is headed to Punta Gorda for the Visual Arts Center's 2010 Biennial National Art Exhibit. I fretted over it's packing but luckily I know some great boxing guys that helped me out : ) Now UPS better take care of it! I was super excited to be accepted into this juried show. Here is the link to the arts center:

I started painting my bathroom ceiling last night. This is one time I can say luckily I have a very small bathroom - and this is the half bath at that! But I wanted to do a ceiling and that one is the only flat ceiling we have (the rest covered in the dreaded popcorn!) and hopefully I'll finish it up tomorrow.

Went to see my grandmother in the nursing home tonight, although she is there for rehab only... what a terrible place, so about making you think about life. I need to bring her some stuff to brighten her room...


Thursday, January 21, 2010


This is a portrait of 3 siblings that was commissioned as a Christmas present. I used 3 separate photos which is always a challenge to incorporate into one, but after much work I think it was accomplished alright. This one is mainly pencil and does not have as much of a paint wash as the portrait titled Amelia I posted before. And on this one I used watercolor instead of acrylic.

Glad that the holidays are over, (and yes my Christmas tree is still on the back deck where it stayed untouched all season) I hope to get back into the studio painting regularly soon. I've been so busy with graphic design/marketing lately. I did get into a major juried show in Florida which I'm super excited about. I'll give more info on that soon.