All posts by Annie

The Magical Forest Mural

I was pleased to create a second mural for the kids at the New London Community Childcare Center in New London, IA. The theme of this mural was a magical or enchanted forest, again with lots of surprises for the kids to find. After completing the Happy Farm, the director and I worked on 20 add ins to my original hand-painted mock up. My son Conan contributed many creative ideas, and my amazing husband Nils used his graphic skills to add my drawings to scale to my mock up, which made the first step of projecting the image on the wall much easier. (This is why you see black and white drawings imposed over a painted background for my mock up. The white items are the hand-drawn add ins)

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Annie’s 22 for 2022 Gift Recommendations!

Every year, I try to help art parents or those who desire to give gifts to the artists in their life. The following are my recommendations (with links!) to help you fill those stockings with art supplies this year. What do all artists want, no matter the age?? Art supplies!! I’ve also include my top gift-able items from my shop. Enjoy!

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Totem Pole Repaint

I spent the first week of September up in the air!  30 ft up to be exact!  I was hired to repaint a weathered Totem Pole in Mt. Pleasant, IA.  It was a crazy experience for me, full of literal ups and downs on a boom lift.  I was delighted to learn that i’m not particularly afraid of heights, though when it was windy up there it was a little scary.  Luckily I was blessed with a few wind free days and lots of family support to put in some long painting hours and get it done.

For materials, I used Chroma Mural Paints which are UV stable.  I lightly sanded off old paint (customer did not want me to prime the surface) and coated every inch with bright new color.  I then applied a generous coat of Helmsman Outdoor Polyurethene coating.  (These are the same materials i’ve used on my Peace Poles and Garden Poles)

Overall, I found the experience exhilarating and empowering.  I’m feeling inspired to take on mural work and can’t wait to continue to paint on a large scale more in my community and beyond!

Enjoy this video of the process, as well as some of my favorite images.

Before and after! What a transformation!
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Bob Ross Inspired Mini Art

I’ve always loved Bob Ross, I mean, who doesn’t love him?   I loved watching The Joy of Painting as a kid, and even now.  Bob was and is so encouraging and inspiring- he made everyone feel as if they could paint- and I believe in that philosophy too.  When I began my journey into oil painting, I loved his philosophy but I didn’t want to paint in that particular style.  My brother had one of his instructional kits at the time- so although I didn’t follow his techniques, I definitely used the paints and supplies that came with the kit.

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Dance of the Sunflowers

These are called the “Dance of the Sunflowers” numbers 1 and 2. Named because I can really just feel the joy coming out of these happy flowers, and really feel and see the movement as they dance in the breeze from high uptop their stems.  Sunflowers are so fun and interesting to grow- every stage is exciting.  I love planting them in my yard if I can keep the squirrels from digging them up and the deer from munching them down- they are very entertaining to watch grow and bloom.

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