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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Apprentice yourself to BOOKS

 🎨Some folks (rather snooty in tone) call decorative painting a craft or just a hobby, not "real" art.


The roots of all art are primitive people decorating functional objects and even cave walls.  They often seem to have believed they were adding significance and even supernatural power by the act of embellishment.  For thousands upon thousands of years, secrets of method and technique were jealously guarded.  Even into the Renaissance, apprentice painters followed the patterns, techniques, and instructions of their master painters, learning skills they could later use in their own original works.

Decorative painting teaches a myriad of skills and techniques that can be used later in original works. And when it is original, folks, that is art.

I'm glad we don't have to be apprenticed out to temperamental masters to learn to paint today!  We can find a lot of good instruction free online.  And of course, to work more at your own pace, there are books.  I have (to my household's dismay) one of the most expansive collections of decorative painting books in the country.  It takes up four tall file cabinets and a half dozen tall bookshelves.  Some of these titles are out of print and date back to the heyday of tole painting in the early 70's.  

And I don't even use patterns anymore...I sit down and freehand everything!!  But those books have given me incalculable instruction and inspiration. ( And I have let my family know that the entire collection is to go to my artistically inclined granddaughter upon my death and not sold for a quarter each at a huge garage sale.)

I recommend you check out secondhand sources for some of these older books on decorative painting.  And one of the newest entries into the used book market is Dead Tree Dreams, out of Nacogdoches, Texas.  They are a small locally owned business, and we all need to support more of those.  Although they have only been live for a few days, I am quite impressed by a bookstore run by actual readers, not just hawkers of goods. Their inventory is already changing  and updated frequently, so check back often to see what's newest.  

Check them out!

Dead Tree Dreams...Good Books, Good Company

UPDATE:  Dead Tree Dreams will be opening a brick and mortar location in early 2023 at 115 North St in Nacigdoches, TX.


And as always, feel free to check my art out at
My site for my fine art canvases and merchandise

Flamboyant Flamingoes
Gift items all featuring my flamingo art

Betsy's Angelic Gifts
Gift items with my angel art

Feminist Fashions

New, with a few items for the woman who will not be remembered for keeping her mouth shut

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