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Christmas Cheer Santa

Joy Santa Box

Christmas Bells

Santa's List

Happy Christmas

Spirit of Christmas

Holiday Dimensions

Season of Joy

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Brenda's Banter . . . .

Happy New Year to all! It was a wonderful holiday season for us, and now we are back at work raring to go with new ideas and new energy. It is great to have a break...to give the body and mind time to recharge.

Though we have not had more than a very few snow flurries this year, one can always hope! The snow is still a thing of wondrous beauty to this transplant from the deep south! The new slide show is images of past snows here in Williamsburg...I hope these images are not the only snow we see this winter!

I am so excited about the spring design seminar....no other seminar is as much fun to teach! Later this week, I will be adding a few creative musings to the home page. I believe they will express some of the excitement I have for designing. I hope many of you will join us in March and give your creative spirit a jump start!

Creative Musings

Inspiration for our art comes from everything we see and hear. The root inspiration for most design is nature: flowers, landscapes, animals, birds, colors, sounds, and the people that inhabit nature. These things are the original God given inspiration for all art.

The creative process is different for everyone...and at various times, different for each of us. The starting point for each composition or painting is also varied. One sometimes does not even realize what they have seen that puts an idea into their head.

Flowers are one of my favorite subjects to paint. A camera is essential to me when working many types of design, but particularly when I am working from nature. My camera records more than I can possibly have time to capture with pencil or paint. While traveling, I may visit gardens and shoot hundreds of flower photographs. I shoot from different angles and sometimes in various light conditions.

Once a particular subject and image(s) are selected to work from, I put it in photoshop. I love to experiment with various compositions by working with the cropping tool. This experimentation really starts my creative juices flowing.

While I have the image in photoshop, I also experiment with various contrast settings. I also like to put the image in the grey scale mode for a value study. I play with the contrast and light in the grey scale as well.

During all of this, my mind is working out other painting issues...the medium that I may wish to use, color palette, various background possibilities, and even surfaces.

Oh my, I did not mean to ramble on so long. Stay tuned for the next chapter of Creative Musings.

Seminar Announcement

I am so excited to share my plans for the 2015 March Williamsburg seminar with you. The announcement is coming late as I took some time to give this a lot of thought. After studying the results of what you most wanted to do, I determined that we would do a color study/design seminar. You will be given several still life and floral design patterns that you may use or you may wish to also develop your own designs. Everyone will work out the color harmony for their particular design. There will be some lecture throughout the seminar, and we will work day and evening sessions. Some painting will be done. You may or may not complete the painting of your project during the seminar, depending on your painting speed. Everyone will leave with a color and mixing plan completed. You may use the medium of your choice, bottled acrylics, tube acrylics, oil or alkyd...or a mixture of these. We will have a large selection of DecoArt acrylics available for your use in the classroom.

It has been a number of years since I have done a design seminar. There were so many requests for design and color theory that I felt it was time to do another. Anyone who has taken a design seminar previously can tell you that the flow of creativity during one is amazing, and most students have surprised themselves with the work they develop. All of my design seminars are planned so that each student is able to start where they are comfortable and progress from that point.

Students will be asked to bring ideas and design resources to the seminar...color wheels, photographs, fabric swatches, still life objects, etc. I will also have additional items in the classroom for your use. I-Pads can also be quite useful in a design seminar. You will receive a detailed resource and supply list a little earlier than normal so that you can begin gathering ideas and design aids.

The surface for the seminar is a rather simple wooden tray suitable for either still life, floral or landscape. The prototype piece has just arrived and is shown below. The normal watercolor class will precede this seminar.

Overall Measurements: 16 1/2" X 10 1/2" X 1 1/2"  Interior Painting Surface: 15 5/8" X 9 1/2"

Retail Price $16.50

I hope you will consider joining us for this special creative seminar.

You are invited to the 2015 Williamsburg Seminars

Spring Seminar 
   The subject matter for this seminar will be design/color study.
   March 26, 27, 28, 29, 2015
   Optional watercolor day March 25, 2015

Autumn and Christmas Seminar

   Two projects - Fall and Christmas - 1 1/2 days each
  September 10, 11, 12, 13, 2015
  Optional watercolor day September 9, 2015

The seminars are held at the Clarion Hotel Historic Disctict
Seminar Brochure will be available for download from the Seminar Page soon.

Recently Released . . . . . .

Announcing . . . . . Spirit of Christmas Chest available for shipping
We have finally caught up with the chest orders and have 4 in stock that can be shiped immediately. They will go quickly so treat yourself to a special Christmas gift and order today.

Chest Surface
The chest measures 15 3/4" wide, 10" deep and 10" high.  It has a small tray inside that sits on a little ledge.


Spirit of Christmas
IS-24  $16.95

This lovely Christmas project includes designs for the top, sides and front panel. The packet includes full instructions, patterns, three 8 X 10 color photos and three 5 X 7 color photos


Shepherd Santa
SEM-154  $14.00

It is not too late to order this newly released Santa. We currently have the 8 X 16 holly cut out panels in stock.  This Classic Santa would make a beautiful addition to your holiday decor. The packet includes full instructions, pattern, two 8 x 10 color photos and a color worksheet.

E-packet available.

8 X 16 Holly Panel


New Surfaces

Ampersand Aquabord

Uniquely absorbent Aquabord™ is perfect for watercolors and gouache, but is also ideal for casein and acrylics. Will not tear, shrink or buckle even under heavy water application.

Available in two sizes of gallery style surface.


Wood Chest Surface

This chest has a hinged top and a little drawer with a brass knob.

Measures 10 3/4" x 8" X 5 1/4" at the base.
The top painting surface measures 7 7/8" X 5"


Pencil/Pen Box 

This reporduction pencil/pen box has a hinged top and a removable divided tray inside.

Measures 12 1/2" X 4" x 4"

White Satin Porcelain

You may have noticed the disappearance of the White Satin Porcelain page from our web site. Many of you know that we have been slowly phasing out these beautiful surfaces. A couple of years ago the main factory that produced this product closed and most of our items became unavailable. We tried some product from other factories, but were very dissatisfied with both the quality and the reliability. I made the decision to quit fighting the porcelain battle and concentrate on designing for other surfaces. I am quite excited about spending more time designing signature wood pieces and working on some new surfaces, such as the Ampersand Aquabord.  Meanwhile, we sold down our porcelain inventory and the last pieces left our shelves this fall. All paintings that were originally done on the porcelain may be painted on wood or other surfaces. . . plates, trays, boxes, etc. Alternative surface only need to be prepared with a white or off white acrylic basecoat.

Previously Released . . . . . . .


In the Pink - Poppy

E-Packet now available
                         In the Pink - Hibiscus

                                                                    E-Packet now available

Iris Watercolor

E-Packet coming soon
                                         Pansy Passion

                                  E-Packet coming soon

Purple Glory

E-Packet coming soon



Brenda's Blog

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Latest and Greatest

Check out the New Items page for the latest additions....E- packets as well as new additions to Brenda's signature wood items.

Newsletter Notice

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If you enjoy decorative art, learning new painting techniques and reading about what other decorative artists are doing, consider joining the Society of Decorative Painters.

For more information write to: SDP, 393 McLean Blvd., Wichita, KS 67203 or visit their website decorativepainters.org



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