Home for the Holidays
Home is where the heart is or so we think. It is often where one wishes to be when in trials or not quite settled. It has been this author's wish and prayer for many years. This hope becane reality last winter when I was given the keys to my very own small home on a piece of land large enough to support my interests in farm, garden, and art pursuits.
Painting for Harvest Fun
Fall Leaf Shapes
The colors brown, tan, red, and amber yellow define the designs of Fall. Detailed and wildly cut leaves dress the season. Trees loaded with these accents adorn roadways and fields. Including them in painted scenes dazzle the eye and imagination. Designing window dressings using these shapes and reminders may present odd challenges. The leaf shapes are curious and wonderful. They may be mottled ot spotted with alternate colors. Edging them with a striking color defines their character.
The scenes above and below each feature three carefully sculpted leaf shapes common in New England fall. Although, this artist has never seen them personally, the images are plentiful on things like greeting cards and seasonal advertising. The burgundy red maple leaf would have offset the yellow and browns here nicely. As is, the rich tan and deep brown lined with yellow hue present a sweet decoration celebrating the cool weather season.
Oak leaf and maple leaves are seen most often depicting Fall. They help accent lettering, corners, and borders in glass window painting. Add varied and plain leaves to the mix and create a sweet scene celebrating the change of seasons. Painted swirling lines give the feeling of falling leaves and a gentle sweep on the window. Who doesn't like playing in a pile of leaves!?
Harvest festivals and Halloween are significant in Fall celebrations. Corn, apples, and pumpkins are ripe for picking and the days change to cooler temps. Our thoughts are turned to keeping warm and stocking our pantry and wood piles for winter.
Pumpkins dominate Fall side by side with this season's colorful leaves. They are squat and square, plump and round, or tall and flat bottomed. The fun of pumpkins is that they can be any shape you want them to be. They can be varied in color from deep red-orange to yellow. Texture is common in the skins. Their leaves twine around them in vining spirals and sturdy stems. The leaf color is a brownish green and they are round in composition. Leave the jack o' lantern faces off of them to stretch the season until winter scenes are needed.
Lettering for Fall season should reflect the pallet colors and define the sentiment offered. Letters should be clear and spaced evenly. A variety of fonts may be used to reflect a cheery greeting unless a spooky one is needed for Halloween.
Lettering is by far the hardest element of window painting. It needs to be even and straight. The height and width need to be matched appropriately and it needs to be level. The artist here uses a font specific to handwriting and alternates the colors of the season. The lettering is then outlined in a bubble border enclosing the greeting in a cloud of letters.
Yellow is a great color for representing the Fall season. Choose this hue for areas that may need brightening because of shadows or for a general seasonal salute. The Harvest greeting is trimmed with leaf clusters to complete the cheery greeting and accent the season.
Learn more about window painting with the artist's tutorial The Essential Window Painting Guide found on this site's homepage. Thank you for visiting!
#windowpainting #windowsplash #holidaywindowpaint #decoratingwithpaint #seasonaldecorating #artist #artwork #lettering
My Latest Monsterpiece
Classic Movie Monsters in Canine Form
I spent many of my younger days watching the monsters of early Hollywood. They were a favorite activity on a late Saturday night. The music and scenery would set the mood for a scary hour or two and possible sleep troubles. It was thrilling watching villain and hero or heroine upon the tv screen. As I got older the films were silly, but endearing. It was just too much fun getting caught up in the story lines.
The Halloween season gives me an opportunity to give back some of that monster love. In a scene I titled Monster Piece, the elements of three of these monstrous characters are painted as dogs dressed for seasonal display. The charming canine monsters are true to their form with the exception of smiles where ghoulish frowns distorted frightening faces. These are happy monsters and creating them affected me in a fantastic way. I get one "masterpiece" a season and so far this is the one. I'll lovingly photograph it inch by inch and render it to canvas after painstaking pencil sketches are made of it. This a way to preserve the design in a permanent manner. Once the holiday is over, the scene is washed away forever.
The dogs are borrowed from the summer seasonal painting I delivered as an initial project. They will be included in future paintings and remain as the store's cartoon family. Tailoring appropriate individual scenes helps the inspiration spiral into unique and fun imagery.
Fourth of July Designs
Independence Day Paintings
Fourth of July or Independence Day is the birthday of our nation. It was an honor to be asked to paint this theme. I chose several elements of color to feature as a dedication to this beloved occasion. Twisting turning flags and red, white, and blue dominate this festive theme.
This year marks a pair of firsts for this artist. This is my debut with Fourth of July images AND painting in record breaking heat. As excited as I was to have this opportunity, it was a daunting task and a physical challenge I've not yet experienced. Regardless of the weather challenges, my paintings were completed and the reviews are good. I've just won a new client and dazzled a frequent favorite.
Ok, so my flag is crooked and the stars are screwy but it fits my painting style. It worked the way it was supposed to and that's the point. Bright and festive images were applied to the focal point of the business and the kids loved it. Besides a small earning with the art, why else would I do this? Putting a smile on a kids' face young or old is a priceless earning...
Ask anyone who has been by my side in a project and they will tell you that I am seriously challenged when it comes to lettering. I am very vocal about it. It is a skill I envy in other artists. It is a talent and a gift for some and nemesis for an artist like myself. Some artists have a knack for it. I do not, but I work with what I can to create an acceptable greeting.
Here, I've combined cursive introduction and closure with a simple and bold font for the center of the greeting. I crafted this out one line and curve at a time using a marker and yardstick. Line by line, I centered my phrase and filled in a block shape for each bold letter and added polished form as a finishing touch. A simple angle smoothed the blocked letters out and the flares refined the individual letters further. The colorful line decor was done using the edge of the yardstick and a mechanical pencil to draft the lines in a balanced manner. A straight line cut through the entire word and left a guideline to fill with alternating color.
Fireworks are great details to use for the Fourth celebration and in welcoming New Year's. I chose vibrant fluorescent lines and dashes to mimic the firey displays. Prior to creating the motion and shapes, a tooth brush splatter was added in a bright orange. Flipping the paint in speckles and a few splatters as a backdrop helped create the illusion of sparks and bursts normally seen with fireworks.
Odd numbered lines and arcs gave the image shape and flow. I started with seven lines then alternated colors where needed. I'm looking forward to creating more of these and developing a certain pattern template. This whole series was experimental and I'm happy with the way they turned out. The only downside was trying to capture them in picture with my cell phone camera. The reflections on the glass proved to be difficult to avoid.
Do you remember the good old days when scary movies were in black and white or poor color or even more interesting, they were in colorized form? They featured vampires and werewolves. They depicted the monster that Dr. Frankenstein created. They were the creatures of myth and legend and nightmares. They did not need all the gory details to be scary. Just the arrival of the beast on the scene sent shivers down our spines. Hollywood draped sets in spider webs and creepy houses. They built graveyards and castles. They introduced us to the adorable horribles.
The first black and white vampire movie was F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922) and it featured our beloved Lon Chaney. Chaney went on to play many other roles in the early horror movie genre. Vampires evolved into the smooth styling of Dracula played by Bela Lugosi and fun werewolf children such as Eddie Munster as seen in the 1964 television series The Munsters.
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Frankenstein was a fabulous monster movie. It depicted a soulless creature that was a combination of salvaged body parts assembled by a mad, but brilliant scientist. It brought raving fans to the theater accompanied by screams of fright. The follow-up tale The Bride of Frankenstein carried on the tradition of Dr. Frankenstein's medicine and introduced us to Elsa Lancaster as the Bride.
Witches have been frightening creatures over the ages. In folklore, they are awful beings known to bewitch and eat small children. One of the worst of and the best of these odd icons are part of the fantastic tale, The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The Hollywood film adaptation of the book was released in 1939 and is still a family and fan favorite.
This year, my art has a few featured characters dedicated to these beloved villains and stars. Eventually, they will end up in pencil sketch and on canvas, but for now, they are in my photo gallery and digital portfolio. May I introduce to you the line up of players for the 2016 Halloween season.
The AdoRrable HorrAbles
((I had to change the spelling on my characters. There is a cartoon artist that has a
collection of artwork named for the correct spelling.)
Ready Set Halloween
Painting for Halloween begins its season in early October. I like to start with the businesses that are furthest away from my home and get them squared up and decorated so that the travel time does not interfere with what quickly becomes an impossible schedule. The video below is a typical day with a window painting artist. I highlight sections that are important so that the process is documented and I can later create a smooth video using these video journals as guides.
New Window painting Logo
I finally broke down and designed a logo for my window painting theme. It took me a few years to come up with a design that was just right and I have recently had it printed on business cards. It is not easy coming up with a theme that describes exactly what you do, but I think this image sums it up perfectly. I am so busy designing things for others that I often leave my own designs on the sidebar for a later project.
The efforts I have put into posting and discussing window painting on the internet have spanned about four and a half years. In this time period, I have written articles, edited and posted images, and published a how-to guide on the subject. It has been a wonderful run of work and a satisfying set of accomplishments, but I am still only in the beginning.
My next set of goals includes two guides to compliment the one I have already written and a set of images that I can use for commercial purposes. I would like to create a line of merchandise featuring the art I create and for that I have to paint my creations on a surface I can take pictures of. The windows look fantastic when all is said and done, but the images never do them justice. The reflections off the glass or the elements in the background do not make for great quality printing although they are just right for my portfolio. This is another challenge is in the making and that drives me to keep going.
Logos are a painstaking decision. They have to be just right and contain the elements desired to reflect the business model or idea.
My friend Chris is an urban farmer in Michigan and we were talking about his goal to be a seller at the local county farmer's market. I thought up a quick theme for his business and posted it for him to use on signs and letterheads. I can do this with a basic design and motif on the computer. If you need something seriously detailed and fancy you may have to look elsewhere. I prefer very simple images.
The sign logo here would fit perfectly on a banner or wooden sign for a business shingle. It would look lovely on a letterhead or a card and it seems to display a clean, healthy operation.
My friend will be selling fruits and veggies, flowers and herbs and helping those who inquire about his expertise. My friend is very smart on many levels and it has been an honor to work with him along the line on our mutual passion - gardening. I wish him much success in this endeavour.
I only placed the following images into the second half of the Best of segment because they are designs that are out of the ordinary for the season, not that they were second best. They highlight elements that are part of the tradition of the season but are seldom seen as a central theme. They are the back of the house supporting characters. They are Santa's helpers. The elves rarely get a front seat in Christmas decorating, but in the following scenes, they are given full privilege.
The decorating must be done and Santa's elves will go to any length to accomplish their goals. They are creative and determined as you can see in the tree scene in this image:
This lovely elf was part of the beauty regiment and grooming routine that Santa uses to relax prior to the night before Christmas. He must rest and gear up for his strenuous journey and his schedule includes a nice manicure and a trim of his beard and a haircut. The elves help Santa polish up his appearance and lend the Jolly Old Elf some "me" time. It is important to rest when one has a mighty task ahead. When all plans are a go and the list is complete, the job goes a lot smoother when one is in tip top shape and looks their best. There is a confidence building element in a trip to the spa or salon that adds a breath of fresh air to a busy fellow.
Although this following lady is not an elf, she is certainly helpful with a few tasks assisting Santa and his crew. Here, Groomer Girl at Groomer Has It is helping one of the reindeers fit into his harness. The creature has been properly bathed and shined up for his flight and now it is time to put the legendary bells on. This shop tenderly cares for all the creatures that enter their doors.
The best of window paintings for the 2015 winter and Christmas season by artist and author Maria Burgess.
Sorting through hundreds of images takes a lot of time and effort if you take pictures like I do. I take before, during, and after shots of all my artwork. I have to. After the holiday is over it is left as a mess on paper towels and colorful water. It is destroyed intentionally. It is my desire to preserve the steps and the art for future reference and cataloging. I am finally ready to post my best of's for the Winter and Christmas holiday painting season.
It was my privilege to paint not only downtown at a new location, but I did a set of images for the Green Valley Ranch location of Pizza Rock. This is a big deal for me because I have yet to leave my art on such an establishment. It was an honor to be represented here. I have been in Las Vegas for over 30 years and have always envied the artists who got to paint hotel windows. This year, I was hired to do a pizza place, which to me is the next best thing.
The first location was an interior project at GVR. The separation windows and doors were to be decorated for the seasonal celebration. I chose Santa (though I dread painting him - he turned out smashing this year!) and the traditional standby Snowman. These I did with a twist on the pizza theme. The snowman was tossing dough and the Santa was taking a pizza to go on his merry way.
Pizza Rock - Green Valley Ranch
Similar designs were used on both businesses and the doors were painted to match as well. I cannot tell you how tough it is to get really good photographs of window paintings. Lighting is always an issue and so is point of view.
Pizza Rock - Downtown, Las Vegas, Nevada
These were just a few of the window painting projects for Christmas 2015.
Learn more about window painting in the book The Essential Window Painting Guide here on the website - read more...
Painting March Madness and Easter Images on Windows and Doors
Normally for Spring I paint something like this - Easter Bunnies chicks, duckies, shamrocks, Spring flowers .... and Leprechauns
Easter Bunny and Leprechaun pal up on this set of Spring windows. The color theme is pastel and images of the season combined. St. Patrick's Day is usually too close to Easter to do separate sets so I just combine them.
hamrocks are woven in with the Spring and Easter decor. This is a lot of fun as I get to practice my basket weave technique and paint little duckies and chicks.
The Leprechaun was accented with glitter glue and that added a nice finish to the pot of gold and various other details. The glitter was a fun albeit messy addition to the window paint.
When applying glitter pen, please note the glue will peel and only last a couple of weeks so use it sparingly. Below are some highlights from this Easter - Spring set of window paintings.
This Spring I was invited to do the March Madness
Basketball Bracket on a pub door set
I was contacted by McFadden's Irish Pub in Town Square of Las Vegas to paint a set of lines that could be used as the tournament brackets for the March Madness basketball finals. Unfortunately, I was already booked and this project would not be completed in a single day. I had to do the work after my shift in order to paint it at all. This is part of my dilema. I work a full time job driving cab at night and it takes all of my spare time. I paint when I can when the energy is there.
This was going to be a serious challenge not only to my painting talent, but my physical abilities. The window set was 13 feet high which means ladder work. The lines needed to be absolutely level and in correct proportion so I would have to really do my homework on spacing and placement. It is at these times I am extremely grateful for painters tape and China markers!
The painting took me about 14 hours in small time sections to complete. I only wish I had better lighting for the images, but this is what I had to work with. I am happy with the opportunity to do something new and creative and the manager contacted me to let me know that the creation was a big hit. I will be painting it again next season. This next year, March first is reserved specifically for this project. Thank you, McFaddens! This was an interesting challenge...
#marchmadness #easter #stpatricksday #windowpainting #windowsplash #artwork #holidayart #easterwindows #easterbunny #leprechaun #chicks #easterbasket #springflowers #shamrocks
Holiday paintings for fall
Window Painting for the 2015 Fall Season
[It's a real turkey!]
I love it when a character comes to mind when I start a window painting design. There are times I truly wrestle with a theme or a detail. I ponder the needs of the business I paint for while cleaning the window set for the painting.
This turkey in particularly held my interest for several hours. I simply could not wait to meet him again. The face was a tedious, careful process and an event I cherished. The whole set of windows took about four and a half hours to complete from window wash to signature.
Fall 2015 Gallery Images
A blank set of windows await their Fall window painting theme
Window painting highlights
Panel 2 - Slim Scarecrow
Panel 3 - Pumpkin Patch
When I return after Thanksgiving, I will do daylight photos of the images. These will last a very long time if not exposed to rain, moisture, or extreme sunlight.
I really enjoy bringing Slim and Naughty Bird to life each season and sharing holiday joy with not only the business I paint for, but the folks I will never meet that pass by.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
May you and yours find the magic of the season and may your Thanksgiving table be surrounded with a bountiful harvest of love, family, and friendship
Old Holiday Halloween Paintings
Halloween launches the window painting season in Fall. The Autumn palette is an ideal opportunity to share talent in funny and lovely images related to the season.
I recently ran across this photograph from 1988 of a Halloween painting I designed for a real estate office. I was able to paint most of the stores in that shopping center and I thoroughly enjoyed the Halloween themed project.
Painting windows is my very favorite art project. It is a way to showcase my artistic talent and sometimes my sense of humor. The above photo also shares my love of animals. That cat is not very scary. In fact I think it had an amusing smile on its face. The changing seasons also change on the color pallet. The standard colors for Halloween blend with the Fall Season and can drift into the Thanksgiving holiday easily if you paint certain elements in the generic Fall motif.
Transition into a generic fall pattern would involve simply removing the Halloween images ie. the cat, the moon, and the greeting. Scrape carefully around the leaves and there is a simple Autumn design left behind.
The directions to basic window painting techniques are listed for an easy, follow along guide using Christmas images in my book. Get started today window painting with The Essential Window Painting Guide.
Halloween is near!
Halloween paintings can be done as soon as the kids are back in school. Use the traditional black and orange colors with highlights of neon for vibrant decoration.
Halloween brings the best creepy decor in the holiday line up. The colors are striking as elements of the season burst forth in orange and black and purple. Popular images include Jack O' Lanterns and scaredy cats, ghosts and goblins of all shapes and sizes. When I set out for a decorating project, I do it in paint and with a creative streak that usually has myself and observers amused. You see, I am a window painter. Window painting is not just for Christmas. It is for any occasion or event one wants to create art for. I love Halloween for the simple, silly faces I can create on window glass. Here are some of my paintings for this seasonal celebration.
These images are the development of a skill I began over 30 years ago. Practicing brush strokes and working with paints and brushes brought me to this skill level. A slight talent for creative thinking accompanied my actions, but it was the repetition this level in my art. Time and practice can make anyone an artist with the desire to do so. Learn more about these techniques using the Essential Window Painting Guide tutorial.
Using winter weather is a fun way to decorate for the holidays.
The weather outside is...
delightful when you concoct a scene like this in window painting with people being busy in the snow. It is the season for window painting. I love to create this effect with the snowy slopes and trees. I particularly love painting snow scenes because Las Vegas --where I live -- does not get snow often and when we do get it, the snow is never enough to build snowmen or sled on. We have to go to the mountains for snow play.
There are so many designs you can throw together using the favorites from the holidays, even weather. I love the goofy look on that poor girl who just fell on the skating rink ice. Did she get pushed or is she just a bit clumsy?
This set of images is from a doctor's office I have been painting for some time. They love the snow scenes with skaters and snowman building and general snow play.
In this scene you can see a father and son building a snowman and two girls ice skating.
And we have the sledding boy ready to make his mark on the mountain:
Here we have the snow angel kid.
Can you see how the snow is fluffy on the top of this section? I did that by stippling with a larger, regular, old paintbrush. I like doing that better than spray snow. Spray snow has a tendency to stain with the oils and chemicals that are in it, but the paint I use washes away easily come the first of the year.
For information on how to get started painting window designs like these, visit my home page here and buy my tutorial, The Essential Window Painting Guide. It will teach you everything you need to know to begin your season of window painting. If you cannot draw, it will teach you a few ways to get started there, too!
Welcome to Holiday Window Paint dot com. I know, you are cringing because Thanksgiving isn't even here yet and you are seeing things like this Holly everywhere.
Beginning around the middle of October Christmas starts to creep into our lives again. Take a good look at those decorations appearing around you. Use that to your advantage and see what the trends are this year for decorating.
Are you inclined to creative ventures? In the book, The Essential Window Painting Guide you will find the basics of the window painting technique and it will give you a peek at the procedures you need to know to draw, paint, and design images like the Holly Leaf Trio seen above.
These designs are simple for someone who can draw, but what if you can't draw or unsure how to start? Not everyone is an artist, but if you can follow simple instruction and you have the desire to learn basic elements The Essential Window Painting Guide can be your teacher. Repetition and practice will make you an artist if you will only put your mind to it.
In this tutorial I describe the simplest designs I know for the absolute beginner to use for paint decoration. The steps you need to take to apply them to window glass are spelled out for you and illustrated where possible.
The inspiration of the Christmas season has captured my attention for a few decades. I love everything that Christmas stands for and I take delight in the images that represent this special holiday. By learning how to paint windows using the techniques I have shared in The Essential Window Painting Guide, I hope to send you on a holiday adventure of your very own.
Artist / Author
Maria Burgess lives in Las Vegas with her family. As if her life isn't crazy enough as a Chauffeur in this wild city, she dons a Santa hat at Holiday Time and paints the town red, white, and green as far as she can go!
Video: Cleaning Off Window Paint