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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Extreme Sparkle--great metallic paints!


Extreme glitte metallic paints

I love glitter!  

I am a decorative painter as well as an artist. I paint a lot of Christmas ornaments, which means I get to indulge my taste in it.  Plus,  I live in Louisiana, where Mardi Gras is a season, not just a day, so I can glomp on the glitter then too. 

But finding a decent paint to do that with has been challenging over the years.

I remember the big boom of decorative painting in the late seventies, when new products hit the market all the time.  For those of us wanting shiny stuff, the results were often disappointing.  Some of those beautiful metallic colors took seven or eight coats to show up, and wound up looking like yucky lines of thick  metallic glue all over your work.  And remember the awful glitter paints that started shedding glitter before they were even dry?  Ugh! Not to mention the huge number of paints that tarnished and turned colors in the bottle fairly quickly.
But I never quit buying paints.  This time I kept doing the same thing over and over and finally got different results.

DecoArt's line of Extreme Sheen acrylics is the bomb, folks!  They offer sixteen different colors so you can get just the right shade for any project. It gives great color coverage in small areas and accents with just one coat, allowing for delicate stroke work and really elegant results. For big areas, I would recommend two coats or an undercoat of an appropriate base color, but wow, what results!  You can vary the texture by using different strokes to apply the paint and get totally different finishes. It is really super for adding a touch of glitter and glam without dragging in that touch of tacky with it! I have also found it handy for touching up dinged frames that I thought were lost causes (which by itself has saved me a bundle).
I have stopped at least two dozen people in local craft stores from buying a cheaper metallic paint and recommended this one, because I know it is a top quality product.  Just don't mix it with any kind of medium, as it messes up the sheen of it.  The company website says you can thin it with water.  I keep running out before it gets thick!

This product is not hard to find.  Most local craft stores and online art suppliers carry it. 

Y'all check it out!

In the meanwhile, my professional site is, and I have some of my decorative painting pieces as well as paintings available there.  Hope you will visit and join my preferred customer list to hear about my latest exhibits and sales! And check out some of my merchandise with reproductions of my original artwork on a wide variety of surfaces and items:
Art reproduction t-shirt from

coffee mug with original artworkTshirt with original artwork

Tshirt with original artwork
Pink flamingo phone case from

Pink flamingo pillo from

Thursday, July 22, 2021

50 Too Many

Memorial angel painting by Betsy Levels

Good bloggers are supposed to keep things cheery and upbeat.  Guess I'm already going to step out of line.  What I have to say here is far from cute or catchy.

I should not have needed to paint this painting.

This girl was beautiful.  And only 17.  And murdered.  

She never got to fulfil her potential.  We will never even know what that might have been.  She might have been a teacher.  A mother.  A scientist.  An artist.  She might have become someone famous whose portrait would be painted many times over. Instead, she became our community's fiftieth murder victim.  Some yet unknown person stole this girl's future.

I painted her as an angel, because I felt compelled to put something on canvas in her memory.  I had the painting sent to her family. I never met them or their child. I just hurt with them.

 I made the background purple because my church dresses the altar in purple to symbolize mourning.  I later found out she loved the color. Maybe my hand was getting guidance from somewhere else on that.  I painted white lillies in the painting, as a symbol of rebirth and resurrection, because I do believe we pass from this world into another.  And I painted a small necklace around her neck with a broken heart showing the number 50, because that is how many families had had their hearts broken by the murder of a loved one in our town this year.  Fifty too many. That was a week ago.  

There have been more since.

This town is not any different from any other town this size.  It's the same everywhere.  People are walking around shooting each other like life was just a big video game.

For God's sake, just stop. Stop. Stop!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Flock of Flamingoes is a Family Affair

Flamingo art by Betsy Levels

When my four-year-old granddaughter wanted me to paint pink flamingoes, there was no way to refuse.  She and her mother and I took over the dining table, got out the pink paints, and had at it.  

My granddaughter (a fourth generation painter) created a "unicorn flamingo", which was immediately slammed into a frame as soon as the paint dried, and given a place of honor on the wall.  Needless to say, she was delighted.

I have never been known for moderation.  I painted a flamingo fence board.  Several pairs of flamingo earrings. Flamingo scissor holders.  Flamingo doorstops.  Flamingo canvases.  Thoroughly on a roll, I incorporated my new work into my merch offerings on, so now you can buy flamingo phone cases, flamingo pillows, flamingo mugs, and my personal favorite, a surfing flamingo t-shirt.  I haven't painted a flamingo on a guitar...yet.  But the day is young!


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Brush addiction

Artist Betsy Levels with many paintbrushes

 I bought a few paintbrushes yesterday.

Well, actually, about sixteen.  I couldn't help it.  Paintbrushes are vital to creating paintings.  They wear out.  These were on the clearance rack.  No-brainer, right?

After all, I need large brushes, small brushes, flat and round brushes, fan brushes, rake and comb brushes, spotter brushes, and all manner of other specialty brushes handy at all times.  Just can't do those beards on big yard gnomes without a huge comb brush.  Plus a smaller one for the detailed areas, with multiple sizes of script liners for touch ups.

And then there's the inevitable jar of "scruffy" brushes.  In all sizes and shapes.  You never know when one of those thoroughly disreputable, splayed-out old brushes will be just perfect for foliage. Or something. Better keep them all.

I have discovered that those carousel type holders for kitchen utensils make a super brush holder for on your painting table.  They hold a lot and turn for easy access.  On top of that you can usually pick them up dirt cheap at garage sales.  I am up to three of them on my painting table currently. That doesn't include the four shoeboxes of yet unused brushes on the shelf.

But enough of that.  I have a busy day ahead of me.  And I just got an email from  Seems they have a big sale...

Looking back--that awful first booth

 My first time out at a maker's fair was a complete disaster.   I made just about every mistake it was possible to make.  Some of them w...