Add Emotion and Depth to Your Decor With Art Work

It’s that time in my blogging month – guest blogger week! In this week's blog post I am excited to introduce you to another of the 'creatives' that I have had the pleasure of getting to know. I would say meet, but Mary Derrick and I haven’t actually met face-to-face yet (that will change this summer ;) We were introduced virtually by a mutual friend who thought I would like Mary’s work. And DID I?! I checked her website and immediately bought a piece. I include here again but you will recognize it from my Instagram and Facebook posts.

  When The Skies Weep, Mary Derrick

When The Skies Weep, Mary Derrick

As with so many of us, pursuing her creative passion is an encore career for Mary. Read on to learn more and be sure to check out her website. And, if you are in the Peterborough, Ontario area this summer, drop by her studio (days/times noted below).

Enjoy the post and I hope you are as inspired as I was by the peace and beauty of Mary's work.

Have you always been a painter?

No, I haven't. I always loved the arts, but was really just a dabbler. Then in 1997 I was at the cottage with my husband and in-laws, at a time when my mother-in-law, a wonderful woman and water colorist, was nearing the end of her time and she was confined to her bed. I thought, “What shall I do to help her through this time?”and I thought well, painting is her passion, I'll see if she'd like to teach me how to paint....she was thrilled and excited so, that's really kind of how it all began.

She would tell me what to do from her bed and I'd be in the kitchen following her instructions and I'd bring it in and she'd critique it... so in a wonderful way she truly inspired the love of painting in me. I found later that really water colour wasn't my medium, so I switched to oils in 2008 and still dabbled while I was working full-time in a very high stress job. Then in 2011 we moved to the Peterborough, Ontario area and I was able to focus my time on painting ever since.

If not, what did you work at previously?

I spent most of my working life in the fashion and jewellery industry. I worked in pretty much every single area of the industry, from sales, to advertising, district management, buying and designing lines of private label clothing and jewellery, visual merchandising, to my last position as VP of a national chain of jewellery stores. Thankfully every position always had so much room for creativity that I was always challenged and enjoyed every stage of my career!

What attracted you to painting?

I've always been drawn to colour, texture, and movement; when I was younger I just loved to look at paintings that I could get lost in. I was always drawn to art that was representational or abstracts because with both of these there is room for your own imagination to take you where it would like to go, every time you look you might see something different in the piece or experience a different emotion. I also was fortunate enough to travel quite extensively and to have gone to some incredible art galleries, museums, etc. All of that impacts you.

 Light Play, Mary Derrick

Light Play, Mary Derrick

How did you make the transition to painting?

Once I gave up corporate life, there was no going back for me. It was truly a sense of release to pursue my dream of putting my emotions on canvas.

 Sweet Surrender, Mary Derrick

Sweet Surrender, Mary Derrick

Are there skills in from your previous work life that you made use of in your painting biz?

Oh definitely, primarily as it relates to colour & texture, but also in my last position where one of my responsibilities was picking the finishes for new stores/kiosks as they arose. That made me very aware of décor and in some ways all of these experiences have influenced me to some degree.

What are the biggest challenges of your painting biz?

That's a great question! I think like most artists the biggest challenge is to get your art seen by as many people as possible. I personally love meeting people who love art, so that one-on-one interaction for me is important. So, while I do use social media, I love opportunities to meet people face-to-face.

What gives you the greatest joy and pleasure of your painting biz?

Well first it's creating it because for me it's very much a meditative process that I love. I start with the blank canvas, with no preconceived idea of what the end result will be, though I do use primarily skies and water, sometimes fields, to project what I'm feeling onto the canvas. My art is not about places, so much as it is about feelings.

The other truly great pleasure comes when I open my home gallery to the public, or do outdoor shows as the reaction of people seeing my work is so positive and affirmative! I love to watch them: first they just stop, then the shoulders go down, then they breathe, they smile, and I can literally seeing them relaxing, and that makes the hard work all worth while! One of the most common comments I hear is, “Wow I feel like I've entered the Zen Zone” or words to that effect. When I hear/see that relaxation taking place I know I've accomplished my goal to create art that will allow people to pause and relax.

 Windswept, Mary Derrick

Windswept, Mary Derrick

How/What do your paintings contribute to interior décor?

I'd say my paintings add a calming, relaxed feeling to a room. I purposefully try to keep my work very minimal, as by removing the detail and clutter one can look and get lost in the feelings of relaxation. With life being so very busy all the time these days, its so important to take the time and to surround ourselves with pieces that bring us that moment of 'aaaah', that moment to allow ourselves to simply relax.

 Shrouded, Mary Derrick

Shrouded, Mary Derrick

This summer May/June/July/Aug I will be opening my home gallery one weekend each month (Sat-Sun, 10:00-4:00 p.m.), possibly the 2nd or 3rd weekend - I am still trying to determine that (check the website for updates). I will also be at the Lakefield Jazz and Art festival (July 7th in Lakefield, Ontario). This is my favourite event as the music is always exceptional and everyone bebops around in a great mood.

Mary’s website is https://www.maryderrickart.com. You can also find her on social media: Facebook (always the MOST current site), as well as on Instagram and Twitter as MaryDerrickArt. If you would like to contact Mary and inquire about purchasing one of her paintings, her email is maryderrickart@gmail.com

 


 

 

Paint Finish Cheat Sheet

Happy Wednesday! Although winter reached out and touched this past week, spring has to arrive sooner or later! When it does, we want to throw open the windows to the fresh air, embrace the longer days and refresh and update our homes. I know a number of you plan to paint and it truly is a quick, economical and relatively easy way to update and refresh your homes.

I say relatively easy as a trip to the local home improvement store for paint can mean you are faced with A LOT of questions and decisions. The first involves the type of finish you want: matte, eggshell or semi-gloss? Next is the type of paint: alkyd, latex, oil? Read on for time saving tips:

Paint Finish

Paint finish refers to the amount of sheen that appears on your walls once the paint has dried. The basic rule of thumb when choosing a paint finish is the higher the sheen, the higher the shine — and the higher the shine, the more durable it will be.

 ProTect Painters

ProTect Painters

  • Flat

Flat paint is a good choice for ceilings and low-traffic areas. It is also good for walls that are rough or damaged as it is the best paint for hiding imperfections.

  • Matte

A matte finish is very close to a flat finish and again is great for masking flaws on the surface to be painted. Generally matte paint is used on the ceiling where you don’t want any reflection but it can also enhance the richness of a colour when used on walls and can make your walls appear almost velvety.

Paint Finish Cheat Sheet Pic 4 Matte.jpg
  • Satin

A satin finish is a soft sheen that does not have any glare like a high-gloss or semi-gloss paint. It is still washable and is fairly durable, which makes it a good choice for most rooms in your home.

  • Eggshell

Eggshell has slightly more sheen than a flat finish, but won't leave walls ‘shiny’. It resists stains better than matte and can be wiped with a wet rag but note it is not scrubbable.

  • Semi-gloss

Semi-gloss is more durable than eggshell, so will show less wear. It will reflect more light than eggshell when dry and show imperfections on the walls so be sure to repair these before painting! Semi-gloss is the best finish for cleaning so is a good choice for a child’s bedroom or playroom, bathroom or kitchen and is also popular for trim, doors, and furniture. Also, if the room you are painting is north facing, doesn’t get much light or is small, a semi-gloss finish works well as it reflects light and makes rooms feel brighter and more spacious.

Paint Finish Cheat Sheet Pic 5 Semi Gloss.jpg
  • Gloss

Gloss paint is best for windows and trims. It also works really well for furniture due to its durable and shiny finish. Some also recommend glossy paint on walls for a glam look!

Paint Finish Cheat Sheet Pic 6 Glossy.jpg

Types of Paint

When I talk about the types of paint, I’m referring to the content of the product, not the finish and each type does have its use in decorating our homes.

  • Latex

Latex is a water-based paint that dries quickly, cleans up easily with water and produces very little odor. It is the most used paint these days because it is easy to work with and doesn’t require chemicals to clean up.

  • Oil/Alkyd

Oil or alkyd paint dries slower, has a strong odor and requires chemicals to clean up painting tools - and yourself! The advantages of oil or alkyd paint are that it has a very durable finish that is resistant to stains, fingerprints and scratches. It is well suited to rough surfaces, furniture and floors as it sticks to surfaces very well.

Preparation

While it’s tempting to start right in once you have picked a colour and finish but preparation is key and you will be much happier with the results. First fill in any holes and repair any damage to the dry wall or plaster. Filler now comes pre-prepared in small tubs which is much handier than trying to make a batch yourself and mixing and remixing to find the right consistency and amount (I don’t miss those days!).

Once the filler has dried and you have sanded it smooth and even, thoroughly wash the walls with TSP (trisodium phosphate) followed by a rinse. TSP is available from local home improvement stores and works three ways to make paint adhere better to the walls: degreases; deglosses; and, cleans.

If painting is on your list of spring updates and projects, this information will help you achieve a beautiful result no matter what room is on your to do list.

Colours of the Year 2018

Every fall Pantone announce their colours of the year which in turn is followed by the paint companies announcing their colour of the year (COTY). Many of us look at the colours, either love them or dis them and move along. Then there are those of us who eagerly await the announcement to see what is going to inform interior design and decor for the following year.

While each company selects a main colour, they also develop a number of related palettes building off the Pantone colours that include various tones and hues of the COTY as well as coordinating and complementary colours.

http://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/color/a9178549/pantone-colors-2018/

So just what goes into selecting the colour of the year? It is not a random selection made by a group sitting around a boardroom table colour palettes in hand. It is an extensive process undertaken by each company with consideration given to global events, architecture, technology, fashion, art exhibits, socio-economic challenges and trends, industrial developments and environmental issues. All of this information is researched and analyzed and informs colour choices.

It is clear from what has been announced for 2018 that pale pastel colours are behind us and the trend is toward more intense, bold colour - a reflection of the intense feelings and situations in society and among our communities at the present time. You will also see a movement toward interesting and playful colour combinations – think blue and orange, pale yellow and rosy hues, bright yellow and lime green and intense colours balanced with black and gold.

Metallics will also continue to play a large role in design and decor but instead of the bright shiny metallics we have seen over the past couple of years, the trend is toward more neutral metallics with translucent or pearlized finishes.

 Benjamin Moore Colour of the Year 2018 - Caliente AF-290

Benjamin Moore Colour of the Year 2018 - Caliente AF-290

There is a wide range of COTY from which to choose and one or more that will work well in a variety of decor styles. If a total redo of a room or rooms is not on your schedule for 2018, incorporating a COTY can be as simple as adding pillows or a colour block throw that incorporates one or more of the colours or including candles or a floral accent in one of the COTY.

With a range of colours and related palettes informing design and decor choices for 2018, there will something that speaks to each of us and will work well with the decor in our rooms. What is your fave and how are you going to use it? I look forward to seeing your choices!

Tips for Selecting Best Type of Paint

Happy Friday all! What DIY projects do you have lined up for the weekend? I know many of you (me included!) are planning to paint as part of a spring refresh or home reno project. I also know that you are faced with a LOT of questions and decisions when you buy paint: matte, eggshell, semi-gloss; VOC free, low VOC; alkyd, latex, oil? This can be overwhelming and confusing (and here you thought it was just going to be a quick paint job to update and refresh that room!!).

I thought it was timely to provide a primer (pun intended!) on paint: what to use where; what are VOCs and why should you be wary; and which paint is best to use. I won’t identify specific brands as they all have these options and a zillion colours available; the only difference is in price point.

 Paint Finishes

A paint finish refers to the amount of sheen that appears on your walls.

  •  Matte or Flat

Just as the word says, this finish is flat which is great for masking flaws on the surface to be painted. Generally matte paint is used on the ceiling where you don’t want any reflection but it can also enhance the richness of a colour when used on walls and makes walls appear velvety.

  • Eggshell or Satin

Eggshell has slightly more sheen than a flat finish, but won't leave walls looking shiny. It resists stains better than matte and can be wiped with a wet rag. This finish is often used in bathrooms, kitchens, kids' rooms, and other high-traffic areas.

  • Semi-gloss

Semi-gloss is more durable than eggshell, so will show less wear. It will reflect more light than eggshell when dry and show imperfections on the walls so be sure to repair these before painting so they don’t standout. Semi-gloss is the best finish for cleaning so is a good choice for a kids' bedroom, bathroom or kitchen and is also popular for trim, doors, and furniture. Also, if the room to be painted is north facing and/or doesn’t get much light or is small, a semi-gloss finish works well as it reflects light and makes spaces feel brighter and more spacious.

  • Gloss

Gloss paint is best for windows and trims. It also works really well for furniture due to its durable and shiny finish. Some also recommend glossy paint for a glam look!

 Painting colours

Types of Paint

When I talk about the types of paint, I’m referring to the content of the product, not the finish.

  • Latex

Latex is a water-based paint that dries quickly, cleans up easily with water and produces very little odor.

  • Oil/Alkyd

Oil or alkyd paint dries slower, has a strong odor and requires chemicals to clean up tools - and yourself! The advantage to oil or alkyd paint is that it has a very durable finish that is resistant to stains, fingerprints and scratches. It is well suited to rough surfaces, furniture and floors as it sticks to surfaces really well.

 Oil painting

VOCs

VOCs are carbon-based chemicals contained in some paints that are easily evaporated at room temperature.  VOCs don’t necessarily have an odor which makes them deceptive in terms of risk, i.e. if you can’t smell them doesn’t mean there’s no danger or that you aren’t inhaling them. So paints that are low or no VOC are better options as working with them reduces the risk of harmful effects from inhalation.

Primers

Back in the ‘olden’ days, it was recommended that surfaces be primed before being painted. Thankfully the majority of paints now have built in primer so it reduces the number of steps you need to take when painting a room. This is particularly handy if you’re painting over a paint colour such as eye searing neon green! I especially LOVE the ceiling paints with built in primers that go on pink and dry white so you can see exactly where you’ve painted – genius!

I hope you find this primer helpful and that it provides a handy reference guide for selecting the best paint for your project – after the challenge of picking the perfect colour of course!