Sunrise Mural for a Media Room.

This is a mural on the ceiling in a media room. My client asked for a bright sunrise with trees and clouds. He was pleasantly surprised to get lots of playful critters too.


Thanks for visiting my blog – HOWEVER – I have a new look and lots more information to share with you. Go to    You’ll find new greeting cards and ideas for writing your own thank you notes, more murals and the most fun thing – I have been adding video. See you there!

It was now October and by this time I had read the three books on public speaking I had purchased in March. As was suggested I had practiced in front of a mirror for months and was still apprehensive about speaking in front of so many designers.

How do you feel about speaking in front of groups?

It was time for the big presentation. My first presentation of the day was at 10 AM. Drive time would be over an hour, allowing for traffic slowdown and parking time I allowed an extra thirty minutes. The only thing worse than an unprofessional presentation is being late. Since this appointment was made in March and the soonest I could get in was October there was no excuse for being late.

The office manager ran a tight schedule. When I arrived I was taken to a waiting area. After a several minutes a factory rep walked out with his wares and I was escorted to the conference room with twenty-six designers waiting to see what I had to show them. The office manager introduced me and I sat up my easel. By this time my portfolio was extensive with samples from residential projects had painted over the past seven months. My designs consisted of freehand borders, custom designed stencil borders, and faux finishes topped off with coordinating borders.  

Hand painted Rosemaling border

Hand painted Rosemaling border


Custom Designed Stencil Border

Custom Designed Stencil Border




At one point I was explaining one of my samples and noticed my hand was shaking and I said, “As you can see, you don’t need a steady hand to do this.” Well, that got a laugh and it relaxed me a bit. After the presentation several designers asked for my card and we scheduled appointments to discuss upcoming projects.Off to my next presentations.

As difficult as it was to give that presentation I have never regretted all the prep work that went into it. Here is a check list for giving your presentations:

• Arrive on time

• Be neat and dress professionally

• Have a professional looking portfolio, neat and orderly

• Make good eye contact while speaking

• Smile

• Know your facts

• Make a connection by telling short stories of related subject matter

• Allow time for questions and answers

• Finish on time

• Have business cards and/or brochures with all your contact information

Now go for it!  Please feel free to ask questions or make comments.


Wall covering and fabric to coordinate to.

Wall covering and fabric to coordinate to.

 It’s not often that I use stencils but at times it is the best way the get the most accurate representation of a coordinating fabric or wall covering design.  In this particular case I was asked to coordinate my painting in the kitchen to wall covering in an adjacent dining room.

The design could have been done with one custom stencil because the elements of the design don’t actually touch. However, I have found that by creating a set of registered stencils, one for each color, the painting goes faster and you don’t need to worry about over lapping colors by mistake.

Close-up of stenciling

Close-up of stenciling

Custom designed stenciling

Custom designed stenciling

The designs for this project were not duplicates of the wall covering or fabric. Never copy a design identically. You can integrate portions of the original design changing color locations and rearrange the design elements as in the close-up of the border. The manufacturer didn’t offer a design like this.

•  When coordinating to other designs sometimes stenciling can be more accurate and faster to apply.

•  Designing a stencil for each color can often save time.

•  Never duplicate someone else’s design.


This posting is for fellow artists or those who might like to help an artist. I receive far too many emails promoting workshops, etc. as I’m sure you do. This one, however, I feel would be of benefit to each of us.

"Alyson's Book"

"Alyson's Book"

If you have read Alyson Stanfield’s book or her newsletter you know how devoted she is to helping artists promote their work. At this time I am not sure I will be taking the workshop but I felt a need to share this information with each of you. 

Whatever you decide have a GREAT 2009!  Mickey

Artists: Learn how to effectively promote your art online using email, blogs, and websites.
Alyson B. Stanfield of will lead a two-day workshop in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado–the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.
May 2-3, 2009
Just $165 until March 6
($195 after that)
You’ll learn: 
    * How to decide which online formats are best for you
    * Five email secrets that produce results
    * How to use an email newsletter to cultivate collectors
    * How to expand your mailing list
    * The Dos and Don’ts of artist Web sites
    * Where to splurge and where to save
    * Why you need a blog right now
    * How to start your blog
    * What to write on your blog
    * How to increase traffic to your blog (and website)
    * What to put in your website media room
    * Why you can’t afford to ignore social networking sites

Alyson said she’s expecting a sellout crowd of 70 artists from around the country!
Save $30 by registering before March 6. See



Impromptu painting isn’t my forte (Do you know what I mean?) but it so happened I had with me the items I needed to paint the two pieces of furniture, a sanding block, tack rag and I would be using the same colors that I had used for the quote above the double entry doors to the master bedroom.

This was to be simple so here is what I decided on. The small scale furniture pieces didn’t have a large area to paint on so I worked with drawer fronts and the legs of the tables.

Because of my years of teaching freehand design on ceramics and procelain I decided on simple brushstrokes in colors that coordinated to the fabrics and accessories in the room. It was the colors of the two tables that ultimately helped me decide on the colors for the quote above the entry doors.


What are some of your ideas for simple painting on small scale furniture. Do have something to share? Just leave questions or comments in the comment box.

As I was finishing the painting in the kitchen I was asked to look at the master bedroom. The home owner had a favorite quote that she wanted painted over the double entry doors to the bedroom. After measuring the space it was back to my studio to decide on letter styles, color, size and a little something to add a bit of romance.
For me flowers with vines or ribbons always add a bit of romance to me. In your opinion, what kind of things add romance to a design?

This style of lettering reminded me of ribbon and I thought making the first letter of the quote a focal point would be a lovely accent.
While I was painting above the double entry doors my client informed me she would be leaving for an appointment. She asked if I could paint a little something on two small tables in the room. Something “quick and simple”. How do you feel about painting something impromptu? Check out my next post.



One evening I received a call from a woman who was wanting ideas to make her kitchen feel warmer and more inviting. In our meeting the following week we decided that adding accents in strategic areas would solve her problem.

 horton10Her kitchen was neutral except for wallpaper up to the chairrail level beside the table. She was willing to take the wallcovering down but I decided I would rather work with it. The border was lovely, painted in a painterly fashion with glorious colors. It made sense that the accents I was to design needed to look very much like the border but still look hand painted.

Accents were painted around the corners of her pantry, above the sink, and around the entries into the kitchen.


This style of painting was a departure from my normal painting style but I’ve always appreciated its beauty. Tell me about a time you tried something out of your realm  of expertise. How did you feel afterward?


Continuing “My Story . . .”

Next door I am greeted by the designer who had called first. Uncertain as to what the outcome would be I said a little prayer and trusted the right ideas would come to me. 
The design of the fabric to be used in the dining room had looked a bit rigid. Then I noticed that the entry door hadn’t been installed, I asked if she new what the entry doors looked like. She said they were beautiful with etched glass panels. We went downstairs, leaned against a wall was a beautiful door and side lights each having a lovely, flowing etched design in the glass panels. 
My suggestion was to continue the designs of the etched glass around the corner of the entry door, the openings to adjacent rooms and create a border on the wall across from the banister. This way we could bring in the colors of the fabrics which were scene from the foyer. She liked this idea better than using the pattern in the fabric. It definitely was a better fit to this foyer and a totally different look from the Parade home next door.

Close-up of freehand border coordinating to etched glass in door

Close-up of freehand border coordinating to etched glass in door










Etched glass door panel and hand painted border

Etched glass door panel and hand painted border

 After discussing it further, I was about to leave when I turned and said, “By the way, I’ve been asked to paint in the house next door. Does that bother you?” Her response was, “Not at all.” 

What powerful angels I have, first the idea for the doors popped into my head and then to meet with an understanding designer who trusted I could create designs that would not look similar to the home next door. Have you had an instance where you just had to “trust” that everything would work out for the best? Tell me about it.

Close-up of floral bouquet

Close-up of floral bouquet



Testimonial from Contractor

Testimonial from Contractor


Inside this lovely home the builder greeted us. The designer told him of the dilema. He said, “Well, since you are here let me see what you’ve got.” We walk to the kitchen and I open my portfolio and proceed to show my designs. He looked at the first three sample boards and said, “That’s enough.” I’m thinking, “No! I have so many more, there surely will be something you like. Oh well, it looks like I’m only doing one house in this Parade of Homes.

The builder looked at designer and said, “Let her do anything she wants.” He walked away. Oh my garsh, I was shocked! The designer looks at me and asked if there was something we could do that would be totally different from the house next door.

Looking at the draperies in the dining area I see beautiful flowers. Much more painterly than the fabric I had seen for the house next door. I said, “Absolutely, you’ll have one-of-a-kind.” Then I saw a picture in my mind of a bouquet with a gust of wind blowing some of the flowers up a staircase creating a border. She loved the idea and I love that I get pictures of paintings in my head. Now to my next meeting.

Do you see pictures in your mind’s eye while carrying on a conversation? Pay attention to them. Leave an example in the comment box of how your ideas usually come to you.


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