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.
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.
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.
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...
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!
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