For as long as I can remember I always wanted a job where I could use my hands. I wanted to make curtains or pottery, something creative (There was a while when I was 5 when I wanted to be a lolly pop lady but that passed!)
I remember when I was growing up, my brother worked on building sites with my dad and I wished I could join them, drive a machine or build a wall lol
I did eventually get my dream of working on building sites…..as a painter and decorator. When I came to Ireland I worked on several sites around Galway painting houses and apartments.
I started painting in London. It started when I decided to do an interior design course, now I wasn’t that great at the interior design, or I just didn’t enjoy it but one day a week we would do a decoration day where we would put on our overalls and get our hands dirty!
I think all the girls on that course dropped the interior design part and just carried on with the decoration. I ended up doing the two year course.
The course taught us different paint techniques. Wood grain, marbleling, decoupage etc. We decorated different surfaces, wood, cardboard, metal and stone.
Below are pictures of some of my work.
This is an example of wood grain done using a rocker, painted on a sheet of cardboard.
Here is a close up…
This is wood grain done by freehand just using a small brush to paint each grain individually.
Next is an example of marbelling. The “Veins” are all painted freehand. Again this was painted on a cardboard sheet.
This next piece is decoupage. Decoupage is (for people that don’t know) the technique of decorating a surface with cutouts, as of paper. I remember the day we did this class, we were supposed to bring in a piece of wallpaper we liked so we could use that for our work. I forgot (Great student!) so I had to make do with whatever scraps I could find in the classroom. The piece I found was the ugliest wallpaper I had ever seen but I could never have imagined how great it looked after it had been “cracked” and varnished.
Take a look…
I love how the varnished has made it yellow which makes it look like an antique.
Here is a close up of the cracks. The cracks were created using crackle glaze. If you have never used it before have a look for it, It is magic stuff, especially when you see the cracks appear before your eyes.
You apply one layer of base coat and a layer of a top coat. When they dry they create cracks as seen below. I rubbed in an oil pigment to enhance the cracks.
This next picture is wood staining. It is done on a piece of ply wood.
This next picture is another marble. Malachite.
I keep meaning to do more of these pieces. So much to do, so little time 🙂
Thanks for reading!