How I started painting:
Painting pictures was never something that I aspired to growing up but I sure did love painting things and surfaces. It was just magic how an object or a room could be transformed! In 2000, I moved to China and resonated with the type of striped painting with color gradations used in palaces and temples. I sought out a painter in this tradition who agreed to teach me in exchange for English lessons for his daughter. Later, some friends who had opened an international Montessori school asked if I could do something to liven the school up a bit and I offered to paint ornamental trim around the windows, doors and ceiling beams used designs from around the world all painted in the Chinese method of gradating color stripes. I cut stencils to make my initial outlines before painting everything by hand. This is the method I still use for ornamental interiors today but now I incorporate gilding when the project calls for it and have expanded into painting architectural elements, wood frames, metal hardware and more.
Suppliers I use:
There are so many good paints to chose from. I have a special affinity for Benjamin Moore because it is what I used on my first architectural painting and the colors are still perfect but I've used many other paints that are excellent as well. For small projects, I find the tester pots are perfect. Two other companies that I really like which are both eco friendly and women-owned are Lascaux, located in Switzerland and Colorhouse in Portland, Oregon. When I was in Israel gilding in 2017, I came across Rekab brushes which are excellent. The company was started in Prussia in 1875 by Percy Baker. Very sadly, the factory was bombed in World War II and Percy died but members of the family kept the company and moved it to Israel. It is now operated by Percy's grandson and I'm quite sure it was he who picked up the phone when I called the company to learn more about the brushes. At the time of the call, I didn't know the history of the company, I just knew I really wanted some of the brushes. He was the sweetest. He said if I could not find the styles I wanted in the US, he would personally ship them to me.