Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Good Deal on Decorative Painting Books

Bauernmalerei, a style of decorative folk art painting, first caught my eye while living in northern Bavaria in the late 70's. It seemed like every where we went, whether stopping at an inn for dinner, visiting a neighbor, or strolling through town, bright cheerfully painted functional items were plentiful. I was intrigued by the simple yet intricate stroke work that adorned everything from outdoor flower pots to old milking cans turned umbrella stands, to backs of chairs and kitchen counter-top canisters.

However, it wasn't until we returned a decade later to the Heidelberg area that I had an opportunity to learn the techniques associated with the hand painting done by rural peasants residing primarily in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. These commoners used the stylized stroke work to embellish household items from tiny wooden thimbles to large pieces of furniture.

My first and only teacher was a talented and patient woman named, Edna Terry. She taught her students the basic strokes by demonstrating proper brush techniques using a #3 round brush and a liner. She also taught us about paint consistency and introduced us to several of the different styles of European stroke work. As a hands-on learner, after 12 weeks in her class room, I was off and running. Everything else I've learned has been self-taught through reading decorative painting books.

Pictured here are two examples of my work that recently sold. You can see other examples of this type of folk art painting by visiting my online shop at ByCoco on Artfire and/or ByCoco on Etsy.

Recently, I ran across My Idea Center, which is a wonderful online source of decorative painting books being sold at a discount. The site carries books from many well know artists including Donna Dewberry, a popular American decorative painter, and Scottie Foster, one of my personal favorites who also lived in Germany for a while.

Decorative painting is a great way to add a little pizazz to ordinary items, turning them into extra ordinary pieces of art. It's also a great way to give new life to an old piece or turn some one else's trash into an eye-pleasing treasure. So, I wanted to pass along this site that is full of inspiring books, just in case it might spur you on.

Happy Painting!