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Fall Window Paintings!

Whew! It’s been a whirlwind of a season for me this fall! October has always been super busy with Halloween events, but since adding window painting to my repertoire two years ago, it is now also the season for that final rush of exterior window paintings before the temperatures drop too much!

Dunkin’ Donuts keeps me busy year round, as I now paint six stores seasonally. This fall was the first time I repeated the same design across all stores, because they were running a promotion! Here are some photos and videos!

In addition to the happy hour promotion, I also did a new “now hiring” message on two stores, and added a coffee bean promotion to one of the drive-through windows! Since painting on the drive through window would get in the way of customers, I ended up painting that one on a piece of adhesive-backed clear vinyl and applying it between cars to the window. With the exception of one brand new store, these jobs also included removal of the previous windows. Every window project I quote includes FREE removal when you want it down!

New Clients…

I also took on two new clients this fall: Snap Fitness and Genesis Dance Company! Luckily we had a stint of record high temperatures here in early November, so I was able to squeak in a couple more exterior paintings!

It’s really been a FUN fall, and I already have two interior Christmas windows booked for the end of this month! If you are interested in booking your own window project, click here to learn more and request a quote!

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Step-by-Step: Googly Ghost

Let’s have some more fun with googly eyes!!

Want to offer some googly eyes to your designs but don’t have a lot of them on hand? You can make them stretch twice as far by making your characters WINK! 😉

This little ghost is SUPER simple and only requires ONE googly eye!

Step 1:

Using a round brush loaded with your favorite blue (I’m using FAB Shimmery snow petrol!), outline the curves of your ghost, and then paint around that for a background.

Step 2:

Fade the edges of your blue background. I love to use my Cameleon large blending brush for this!

Step 3:

Add some stars! I’m using my Ooh! Star Flip stencil and a finger dauber loaded up with yellow. First I lay down the stencil and use a makeup remover wipe to wipe away the blue, then apply the yellow paint, and finally tap on some yellow glitter before removing the stencil. This gives me crisp, clear, bright yellow stars that are glittery only ON the stars!

Step 4:

Fill in the ghost with white. I’m using Wolfe white and a round brush. Add a little dimension with some light blue if you wish!

Step 5:

Clean away a spot where your google eye will go. I use mini daubers to do this but a wipe works too, or a clean brush. Using a small round brush loaded with black (I’m using Wolfe black), outline the design and add the mouth and winking eye. Add a little tongue if you like!

Step 6:

Adhere one googly eye with Pros-Aide II (it is easier to remove than the original Pros-Aide, which I reserve for glitter tattoos), and finish it off with some chunky glitter! I used Vivid Candy Cosmos up in the sky, and Amerikan Body Art Biosphere on the ghost.

  • Vivid Gleam Glitter Cream – 30g Jars
    Vivid Gleam Glitter Cream – 30g Jars
    $14.99
  • Ooh! Star Flip
    Ooh! Star Flip
    $5.00
  • Wolfe Hydrocolor Makeup 45 gram
    Wolfe Hydrocolor Makeup 45 gram
    $11.00
  • Neon Google Eyes - 160 pieces
    Neon Google Eyes – 160 pieces
    $2.00
  • Pros-Aide II
    Pros-Aide II
    $14.70$74.50
  • Amerikan Body Art Glitter Cremes
    Amerikan Body Art Glitter Cremes
    $10.99
  • Amerikan Body Art Loose Cosmetic Glitter
    Amerikan Body Art Loose Cosmetic Glitter
    $4.00
  • Finger Daubers 3pc
    Finger Daubers 3pc
    $2.50
  • FAB Shimmer 45g Makeup
    FAB Shimmer 45g Makeup
    $13.00
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Step by Step: Google Eye Bat

I’ve been on a google eye kick lately! Here’s a fun bat design that uses “human-style” google eyes! These eyes have fun colored irises, as opposed to your typical google eyes with just a black “pupil.”

Step 1:

Load a 3/4″ angled or flat brush with a pink & purple split cake. I pulled the neon pink & purple from my Superior Sunset base blender. With purple on top, paint the outlines of the wings.

Step 2:

Use a fluffy brush to blend the pink down over the eyes, and feather the purple. I love using my Cameleon large blending brush for this!

Step 3:

Paint some pink for the insides of the ears. I left a couple little tears in the edges of his ears!

Step 4:

Add a little texture to the inside of the wings. I used my mini stencil kabuki brush and purple with a HAS 5701 stencil (from the “Alive” set) to create a little texture, and wrapped it around and under my eyes a bit.

Step 5:

Using your favorite round brush and black, paint the bat’s head, tuft of hair, and wings.

Step 6:

Using a small round black loaded with white, add a smile, fangs and highlights. I also used a halftone stencil to fade the head onto the bridge of my nose. Finish it off with google eyes applied with Pros-Aide II, and some fun chunky glitter! I used “Valley Girl” Pixie Paint!

  • Short Kabuki Stencil Brush
    Short Kabuki Stencil Brush
    $4.99
  • Human Style Google Eyes - 90 pc
    Human Style Google Eyes – 90 pc
    $3.99
  • Pros-Aide II
    Pros-Aide II
    $14.70$74.50
  • Amerikan Body Art Pixie Paint
    Amerikan Body Art Pixie Paint
    $7.50
  • HAS Alive Set
    HAS Alive Set
    $22.00
  • Wolfe Hydrocolor Makeup 90 gram
    Wolfe Hydrocolor Makeup 90 gram
    $19.00
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Step by Step: Google Eye Jack-o-Lantern

It’s OCTOBER! We face painters LOVE October for obvious reasons! I’ve been getting my usual flood of requests for painters at events this month and am doing my best to fill them, but if you happen to be looking for a face painter for YOUR event, make sure to plan ahead! We start booking Halloween events up to a YEAR in advance! So, if you think you may be having a Halloween party even next year, make a note in your calendar at least as early as June if you’d like to book the BEST before their schedules book up!

Now that my public service announcement is aside, I thought I’d share this fun and simple pumpkin design with you! I LOVE to play with google eyes, and they look especially fun when you mismatch the colors and/or sizes.

Step 1:

Load up a 1/2″ flat brush with a red/orange/yellow split cake. I used my TAG Dragon cake, and only loaded the yellow-to-red section. Paint the curved outer edges of your pumpkin, then repeat the strokes working your way towards the center. Make sure that you are consistent with which side is your shaded side (darker red) and lighter side (yellow) to get the best dimensional effect! I am assuming my light is coming from the upper right side here.

Step 2:

Use the lighter yellow corner of your brush to fill in the center area of the pumpkin.

Step 3:

Using a mini kabuki brush and an Ooh! fall leaf wrap stencil, surround your pumpkin with a variety of fall leaves! A mix of yellows, oranges, red and brown add some fun variety.

Step 4:

Load a small round brush with yellow and add a smiley mouth. I like to dab on a little yellow glitter here. Don’t worry about outlining teeth, you’ll whip those out in seconds in the next step!

Step 5:

For the teeth, just load a small 1/4″ flat brush with orange, and paint on three short strokes over the top of your mouth!

Step 6:

Outline the pumpkin with black and add a few highlights. I love Wolfe black and white for all of my outlines and highlights! Use a face wipe, Q-tip or clean dauber to remove paint on a couple spots where the eyes will stick. Apply some Pros-Aide II to these spots, and the back of your google eyes, let dry clear and stick. I use Pros-Aide II for gem clusters (original formula for glitter tattoos) because it is designed to break down easier for removal! Top. it all off with some sparkly Vivid Gleam glitter cream…I used “Trick-or-Treat!”Harvest!”

  • Vivid Gleam Glitter Cream – 30g Jars
    Vivid Gleam Glitter Cream – 30g Jars
    $14.99
  • Ooh! Fall Leaf Wrap
    Ooh! Fall Leaf Wrap
    $5.00
  • Short Kabuki Stencil Brush
    Short Kabuki Stencil Brush
    $4.99
  • Huge Pack of 500 Google Eyes
    Huge Pack of 500 Google Eyes
    $9.99
  • Human Style Google Eyes - 90 pc
    Human Style Google Eyes – 90 pc
    $3.99
  • Neon Google Eyes - 160 pieces
    Neon Google Eyes – 160 pieces
    $2.00
  • Pros-Aide II
    Pros-Aide II
    $14.70$74.50
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Step by Step Easter Bunny Eye

The lake outside of my studio may still be frozen, but spring is technically here, haha! As I wait for those elusive 50 and 60 degree days in the extended forecast to reach me, I’ve decided to do a little Easter and springtime painting! Not only to get into the springy mood myself, but to warm myself up for my Easter gigs which start this weekend! In honor of spring’s inevitable return, today I wanted to share this simple little eye design…a bunny peeking around some eggs!

First, do a quick “sketch” outline of the eggs and bunny. I used a small, round brush with a little white.

Next, fill in the eggs with whatever springy colors and patterns you like! Try stripes, polka dots, zig zags, or just solid color! Experiment with metallic paints if you wish! I used my Cameleon small blending brush to blend the colors of the egg over to my eyelid.

With a round brush, fill in the white of the bunny. Add a few pink details inside the ears and the nose. I like to use a little light blue to add shading to white objects…it gives them a little dimension and a bit more color!

Outline the design with a fine, round brush and your favorite black. I like Wolfe black for my outlines. I also used some tiny dotters to add polka dots to my eggs here!

Add some fun flourishes around the design! I used my new Topaz Fleur Mirror eye stencil, combined with my Topaz Tiny Bubbles stencil. I then used a Deb’s Dotter to add a few more colorful dots to tie it all together.

I finished off the design with some “Capricorn” glitter creme by Amerikan Body Art…one of my favorites for the bright, cheery colors, and it blended perfectly with my colorful polka dots!

I have another fun Easter design that I will share soon, and hopefully some more as my schedule allows over the coming week! Stay tuned! Thanks so much for stopping by, and happy painting!

  • Topaz Stencils - Fleur Mirror Eye
    Topaz Stencils – Fleur Mirror Eye
    $6.00
  • Topaz Stencil - Tiny Bubbles
    Topaz Stencil – Tiny Bubbles
    $2.00
  • Amerikan Body Art Glitter Cremes
    Amerikan Body Art Glitter Cremes
    $10.99
  • Deb's Dotters
    Deb’s Dotters
    $0.10
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Rekindling your Creative Fire

This article was taken from the Spring 2021 issue of Wet Paint Magazine. We thought it was still very relevant as we approach the 2 year anniversary of pandemic shutdowns! Check out the full issue for a ton of springtime design inspiration, step-by-step’s, and more articles about getting back to work post-covid, some covid-friendly designs that work around masks and on arms & legs, and tips for ways to connect with your clients, among much more!

Spring 2021….

Has this pandemic caused you to lose your creative “mojo?” I’ve seen so many artists on social media who are down, depressed, and feeling hopeless. Many of us have not even touched our face paints since last March! I, for one, just recently passed the one year anniversary of my last face painting gig, and it was definitely not an anniversary I want to celebrate. 

As face painters, having all of our gigs canceled hits us hard in other ways beyond the financial. We have become accustomed to delivering joy, being the life of the party, and having the satisfaction of creating more smiles per hour than most other careers. When that joy that we thrive on is taken from our jobs, it is easy to get down. Money can be earned in other ways, but the joy and satisfaction that comes from our jobs is much harder to replace. Many artists are even announcing that they are selling their kits and giving up face painting. I would like to encourage you today not to jump to that point just yet!

My suggestion, if you are just not feelin’ it with the face paints, is to not sell everything, but set it aside for now. So many people out there would do just about anything to have a fulfilling job like we have, and that gift is not something we should let go of easily. It is still way too early to predict any lasting effects that the pandemic will have on our industry. Instead, whether you are taking up another way to make money or not, seek out even more creative outlets! 

But what if you aren’t even feeling creative anymore? After all, the more creativity you use, the more you have, and if you’re not painting, chances are your creative “bucket” has run dry. How do you refill it? 

The key to getting your creative fire rekindled is to not require your passion to pay the bills…at least not for a little while. To rekindle our own fires, we need to focus on ourselves, using our talents to bring joy to ourselves, not necessarily to make money. Think of it like reverting back to childhood, when you made art just because it was fun and enjoyable. Removing that pressure to pay the bills from your passion alone will light a spark.

Even the genius Albert Einstein often found himself “stuck” now and then, unsure of what to do next or how to get past a roadblock. He did, however, discover an ingenious way to open up his mind to new ideas when he found himself in this situation. He called it “combinatory play.” When Einstein was stuck, he would stop working, set aside the problem, and go play his violin for a couple hours, inevitably resulting in new ideas and a way to move forward. He defined combinatory play as “the act of opening up one mental channel by dabbling in another.” Essentially, combinatory play means taking two unrelated things and putting them together to create new ideas. The key to combinatory play is to just do something else…as long as it is different, and most importantly, you are enjoying it and having fun! It doesn’t have to be face painting, and it doesn’t even have to be painting. It can be playing an instrument like Einstein did, working in your garden, a physical activity, or learning about a new subject. 

Why does this work? Einstein believes that combinatory play relieves some stress, for one thing. Again, removing the stress of the expectation to make money, leaves only fun and exploration. It also allows your creative mind to start connecting dots between ideas, creating totally new ideas that you may never have stumbled across had you kept forcing your way through the problem.  Combinatory play also offers a change of perspective. Doing something else gives you a mental break, and in turn, a fresh eye.

Now, many of you have found other ways to use your creativity to pivot your business, still bringing in money in other creative ways. If this is working for you, please don’t stop! I myself have been having fun and making some money painting windows and now offering virtual paint parties (on canvas)! Keep doing whatever is working for you, but if you find yourself still not feeling fulfilled, or not even in the mood to pick up a brush, give some combinatory play a try.

Besides my own creative business pivots, I’ve also been dabbling in other things, solely for myself without the pressure of monetary performance. I’ve been doing some painting on canvas and rocks, and have even started learning Spanish! In previous issues I’ve featured some ways other artists are pivoting their business, but in this issue I’d like to set aside the work aspect of our creativity and focus on play.

I started painting vintage campers in 2021 and am about to start my 11th!
I took up dot painting on rocks in 2021…so fun and relaxing!
One of my early rock paintings!

I will be the first to admit it can be hard to carve out the time for creative play, even when Covid has taken away all of your gigs. I’ve been working non stop since the shutdowns last March, exploring multiple pivots for my business and other ways to bring in revenue. It wasn’t until nearly a year later that I finally forced myself to slow down and accept the gift of time that Covid has given me, carving out some time for combinatory play.

I live in Minnesota, and we really know how to get out and enjoy winter. However, with both of our boys doing distance learning and my husband working from home as well, this winter my family and I decided to spend the month of February somewhere warmer. We loaded up the truck with our stuff, our boys, and our great dane “Wahoo,” got up early one Saturday morning, and drove 19 hours straight through until we reached our Airbnb on the Gulf Coast in Mississippi! We were set to stay there for a full month, and I vowed to pack more art supplies than clothes, and spend time during the week days making art while my guys were working. I packed up my acrylic and watercolor paints, and all the empty canvases that have been collecting dust in my studio for years.

Our route…non stop to the coast!
The snowy views we left behind
Wahoo & Sam in the truck

My self inflicted artistic sabbatical did not disappoint! With temperatures warm enough to go outside, I made myself at home on a little table on the deck facing the backyard bayou, and set to work making whatever I felt like. I even did a short Facebook Live video on my Paintertainment page about combinatory play. Whatever crazy ideas came to me, I acted upon. I loved the shape of the fallen magnolia pods in the yard, and thought they might be fun to make colorful, so I painted them. I collected gnarly oyster shells on the gulf shores and adorned them with colors using my dot painting tools. I painted countless sunset scenes on mini canvases, finishing them off with glitter on the water and real gulf shore sand glued on the shoreline. I painted sunsets with silhouettes of seagulls, egrets and pelicans on the insides of oyster shells, and on fallen palm tree fronds. I made watercolor paintings of the things we’d seen on our weekend adventures, and acrylic paintings of my favorite vintage campers in fantasy camping settings. 

Paint magnolia pods? Why not?!
A few mini’s
oyster shells are everywhere!

I fully realize that not everybody has the luxury of being able to run away to another state for a month. But in the process of fighting the pressure to once again monetize my passions, I did learn a few tidbits that can be applied to just about any artist in some way…

Carve Out The Time

This can be the toughest part…making the decision to be intentional about rekindling your fire by setting aside precious time to do so. Start with what you can, even if it’s just one hour a week. Maybe try to set aside one DAY a week to work on something fun and new. If you can swing it, look ahead at your calendar and carve out an entire weekend! It was scary for me to set aside 4 weeks…so I was flexible with myself. The weekends would be dedicated to family fun, and I would still set a goal to complete my most urgent business to-do’s every morning and run needed errands, but any other time while my family was working would be spent making art. Even with all of the fun vacation-y things we did on weekends on the gulf, I still found myself actually looking forward to my art time during the week and whatever I was going to make next!

Shrimp boat
I referenced a photo I took for this one.
The little backyard deck table I spent most of my days at in February 2021!

Change your scenery

Changing your surroundings can really help to give your mind a break from the day-to-day, and allow creative ideas to come into view. Even if you are still strictly following stay-at-home orders, you can change your viewpoint by going to a local park and setting up space at a picnic table, or even changing what room of your house you’re in or rearranging your current creative space. Perhaps you can even find a family member or friend in your Covid bubble and visit each other, or swap houses for an afternoon! Eager for inspiration beyond your immediate surroundings? Try immersing yourself in another culture with some visual research, or seek out virtual online tours of beautiful places. If you’re able to take a weekend or day trip, that’s even better! You don’t have to travel to the other side of the world, the country, or your state. Just put yourself in a different setting, look around and take it in.  Just don’t forget to allow yourself to creatively respond to your change in scenery in some way, or you may miss out on the new ideas it brings. When I wasn’t sure what to “make” first on my trip, I painted random colors on found objects, and scenes from my surroundings. Each Monday I would scroll through my camera roll from the weekend, and paint some of the pictures I found Instagram-worthy!

Painting on fallen palm tree fronds
Tiny paintings are fast & fun!
I love my traveling watercolor set!

Unplug

Our worlds exist online more now than ever, which means we need to have analog experiences more than ever! Yes, there is a LOT of inspiration to be found online, and social media can be a great place to kick start new ideas. However, especially when you’re feeling down or depleted, it can also be a great source of procrastination, distraction, and unhealthy comparison. If you suspect this is the case for you, try turning off your computer, or closing your social media apps for a while. I’m not suggesting you go on a year long Facebook fast…just try spending even one hour, hopefully more, doing nothing digital. Listen to some music. Read a hard copy of a book or magazine. Go outside for a walk. Try a new recipe. Step outside and visit with a real, live neighbor or two. Take a nap! Whatever it is, give your brain a rest from screens and interact with the physical world. Keep your creative eyes and ears open, and try to act on the first crazy idea that pops into your head! Which brings me to my next suggestion…

Swinging on vines
Going for a walk at a park
immerse yourself in nature!

Say YES to crazy ideas!

The best part about making art only for yourself, is that you don’t have to run anything by anybody, or convince anyone else that your idea is worth trying!  I mentioned that I painted on magnolia pods while spending time down south. I had no idea what they even were until some Facebook friends told me. I thought they looked neat and had a unique shape, and my first thought was “this might look cool painted with bright colors!” So, I picked it up, got out my paints and tried it! 

The more often you act on those funny little ideas that come to you, the more often they will come to you, and the easier it will be to find that natural flow of new ideas. As business owners with busy schedules, we tend to set aside many of the ideas that pop into our heads, because we have other more pressing things to do. But by giving your idea some legs as soon as it comes to you, you are telling those ideas that they are welcome, that they can come any time, and that they will be heard and acted upon.

Discovering magnolia pods
Painting shells
Gluing sand and shells to canvas

Restrict Yourself

Perhaps the possibilities are just too endless when you think of ways to “play.” There are just too many books you want to read, or too many blank canvases in your studio to know where to begin. Instead of completely freeing yourself to do anything, try the opposite, and restrict yourself! Make yourself paint with your non-dominant hand, or using only one or two colors. Give yourself a limited task, whether it’s materials, time, or subject matter. Sometimes limiting your resources can force yourself to get creative in ways you never would have thought. You can even limit yourself to subject matters you would like to improve upon! 

I decided to force myself to paint clouds, which I feel I am not good at. I spent some time watching a few YouTube tutorials on clouds, and while I still wasn’t totally happy with my result, I learned some new techniques, added more tools to my shopping list, and had a lot of fun in the process! I also limited the size of most of my work, bringing along canvases as small as 2”x2” square. This forced me to complete pieces in less time, focusing less on the tiny details. Some days I only allowed myself 5 or 10 minutes to paint something in my watercolor sketchbook. I found myself loving the style that came from a time restriction!

Ugh, I hate painting clouds!
Tiny canvases only!
Tiny watercolor sketchbook

Consult a Kid

Remember when I mentioned how combinatory play takes us back to childhood, when we made art just for fun? If you have trouble taking your mindset back to childhood, consult an expert: a kid! Pull aside your own kid, your grandkids, or neighbor kids, and ask them what they think about what you’re working on. Ask them what you should make/paint/do next. Ask them to show YOU how to draw something. Or better yet, get out the finger paints and just play right along with them! Kids have that innate ability to think outside of the box, because they haven’t yet moved into one. They don’t carry with them all of the preconceived notions and limitations that adults do, which makes them particularly great at allowing limitless creativity to flow.

Fight the urge to monetize everything

Ironically in this pursuit of painting just for my own enjoyment last month, as I shared my work on social media I found myself having to fight off requests for commissions and people telling me “you could sell these!” I had to explain to several family members and friends that I had spent the majority of my life trying to monetize my art, and I was currently just trying to paint for myself, for fun! I may explore some of those opportunities down the road, but for this one month, my art was off limits!

My only goal during my time in Mississippi was simple. Make art. Make more art than I ever do at home, only for fun. Fill as many of the blank canvases I’ve been hoarding as possible in the time I had. There were no quality requirements…only quantity. And that, I believe, is what revived my own creativity, and sent me home with loads of new inspiration and ideas!

If you have the means to create some art just for fun, while paying the bills in other ways, I encourage you to do so. Setting aside your creative endeavors all together can quickly result in your ideas drying up as much as my festival glitter did over the past year…it’s rock hard! However, neither your festival glitter nor your creative juices are too far gone. In the case of my festival glitter, adding water brought it right back to it’s original splendor. Keeping your creative juices flowing, even through a dry spell, will help you stay skilled and clever, and make you all the more ready to jump right back into the profession that you love, just as soon as we come out the other side of this pandemic!

One Year Later…

So, this article above was published nearly a year ago now, and as I look back I can still see the positive effects of my “forced creative sabbatical.” While I am certain I made more “just-for-fun” art in my one month in Mississippi than I had in 10 years prior combined, I didn’t stop once I got home, as I feared I might. Realizing how much joy just making art brought to me, and how much it fueled my creativity in my business as well, I made it a point to keep carving out time for art with other mediums. On this trip I created my first vintage camper painting, and 1 year later I am not working on my 12th camper painting. I’ve continued to enjoy rock painting and share this new hobby with friends, and this winter have taken up paper quilling as well! My hope is that now that we are coming up on year two of this pandemic, that you too have been able to re-evaluate and re-prioritize how you spend your time. And if you haven’t yet, it’s not too late! Look back at what has brought you the most enjoyment over the past two years (not necessarily the most income), and figure out a way to work it back into your schedule. You just might discover an entirely new passion, make new friends who share that passion, and see the positive creative effects trickle down into your business as well!

paper quilling!
One of my camper paintings
A christmas camper painting!

Gretchen Fleener is the editor of Wet Paint Magazine, and also runs Paintertainment.com, and online face & body art supply shop and source of oh-so-much free instruction and inspiration. Find her on Facebook and Instagram  @PaintertainmentDotCom, @GlitterGlamper and @GretchenFleenerArtist.

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Happy New Year! 2021 Year in Review

Okay, I totally admit this post is more for myself than anything…I had a monthly photo collage pop up in my Facebook memories today and thought I’d do another one on this, the first day of 2022! I love to look back and reflect on my business over the past year, and this is as good a day as any to do that! I always find it uplifting to look back at the new experiences I’ve had, skills learned, friends and memories made, especially now in the midst of a pandemic that can get us all down! If you are feeling like you didn’t accomplish as much as you wanted in 2021, first of all, so what! It’s okay to rest!! But, try taking a look back at your past year, whether it’s scrolling through your calendar or looking back at the year’s social media posts. You just might find that you’ve done way more than you thought…I know I certainly did!

Here are just a few highlights of my past business year!

January 2021

In January I held my first ever paint party…”Starry Night Camping,” through the Glitter Glamper! The subject matter was a perfect one to bring together glitter, glamping and painting. It was a great success, and I really hope to do more of these! I also tried to get more into Facebook Live’s in general, and had a blast doing a couple fun tutorials. I showed people how to make a glittery brush holder, and how to make over a Dollar Tree camper decoration!

February 2021

In February, on one chilly day with a -50 degree F wind chill, my distance-learning and remote-working family and I loaded up the truck and drove south, non-stop, until we ran out of road, where we spent a full month in an Air BNB within walking distance to Gulf of Mexico! We will likely never again have that chance to do school & work entirely via the internet, and I’m so glad we carpe’d that diem! I brought nothing but blank canvases and art supplies, and this kicked off a year where I created more “recreational” art than any other year of my life…definitely more than I have in the past 15 years combined. It refueled my creativity and refreshed my soul!

March 2021

In March we waved goodbye to I had fun doing a Facebook live tutorial for Smile Creators of a St Patrick’s day themed gem design! It’s also the month of my birth, when I turned 40-something…I honestly can never remember my own age. Maybe because age doesn’t seem to mean much to me these days, or maybe I’m getting senile already.

April 2021

In April I landed my first repeat business window painting customer, a chain of local Dunkin’ Donuts stores! I did a similar design on all three store locations, scaled to fit their windows. Since then I’ve been painting these three stores seasonally all year, each one with a unique image, and this month will be painting “coming soon” and “now hiring” messages on their newest location! It has been SO much fun working with Dunkin and creating unique windows to fit with the seasons and their business!

May 2021

In May I held my 2nd successful zoom paint party, in response to a previous student’s request to paint birch trees! It was great fun!

June 2021

In June I got back to doing henna again, masked of course, for my fabulous agent friend Lori’s business, A Touch of Magic! It felt great to get back to celebrating in person, and it’s always so fun to work with the new graduates and feel their excitement for the future! I had a great time updating more Dunkin’ windows, and also used water resistant face paints for the first time ever at a mermaid themed country club pool party!

July 2021

July was a big month for the Glitter Glamper…it was her gig debut! I spent all spring and early summer getting the Glamper trailer ready to be used on the job, and the 4th of July was her maiden voyage! With my husband and boys’ help, I got her set up at Interlachen Country Club and almost immediately people were drawn to the trailer and wanted a peek inside! It was unbearably hot, windy, and a supreme example of organized chaos, but was SO exciting, fun and a HUGE hit! I can’t wait to do it again! This was also the debut of my latest offering, “Sparkle Sleeves!”

August 2021

August is always the busiest time of year for my business, with the exception of 2020 of course! It was so great to get back to the county fair painting faces, and the state fair as the Glitter Glamper! The county fair was my best year ever, and despite the state fair’s huge drop in attendance, our business did not drop nearly as much and we enjoyed countless return customers who vividly remembered their 2019 experience and came straight for us this year! The future is very bright for the Glitter Glamper Booth at the MN State Fair!

September 2021

In September I had the joy of spending a day working in my friend Tricia’s awesome new “Sparkle Fox” business operation at Severs Corn Maze, affectionately known as the “Sparkle Shed!” We were super busy and I had SO much fun!! I am SO proud of the amazing work she did pulling it all together in so little time and can’t wait to see what she does with it in 2022…much like my own journey with my hurried start to the Glamper!

October 2021

October was a fun, full month between my seasonal window painting refreshes, and Halloween events coming back! The Glitter Glamper was quite busy applying Halloween bling at fall events, Halloween parties and birthday parties! I also brought out my balloons again and did some Halloween twisting at country club event!

November 2021

In the fall/winter of 2021 I was so excited to have the Glitter Glamper featured in my favorite magazine, Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine! How fun!! I shared photos and the process of transforming it into a business vehicle, and also photos of our first weekend actually camping in it as a family!

December 2021

I was just SO happy to get back to painting Christmas designs again this year, after a year with no Christmas gigs! My son Sam, now 14, let me do another Ugly Christmas Sweater body paint on him for my business holiday cards. I had several fun Christmas gigs, and my first ever New Year’s Eve gig! What a fun way to close out the year!

I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!!

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Christmas Face Paintings!

Lately I’ve been having some fun painting some lesser known Christmas special/movie characters and posting them on our Facebook page! Here are a few I’ve done so far…there are more coming next week, so make sure to like and follow us on Facebook for more fun inspiration to come!

“Pink Nighmare!” from A Christmas Story – painted on myself
“Charlie-in-the-Box” from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – painted on myself! (Using some Ooh! Snowflake stencils!)
“Hocus Pocus” from Frosty the Snowman – painted on myself! (Using some Ooh! Snowflake stencils!)
“Abominable” (Buble!) – painted on my son Toby! (Using some Ooh! Snowflake stencils!)

Okay, this one below is not a particular movie character, however, it was an idea that came out of the Charlie-in-the-Box design with the pom poms! I thought they would make cute snowballs! 😀

“Snowball Fight” – painted on my son Sam! (Using some Ooh! Snowflake stencils!)

Here are a few of the products I used for the snowflakes in many of these designs…I love the short kabuki brush for detailed stencil designs, and am totally in love with these Ooh! Snowflake stencils!!

  • W07 Ooh! Snowflake Wrap
    W07 Ooh! Snowflake Wrap
    $5.00
  • W08 Ooh! Snowflake Wrap
    W08 Ooh! Snowflake Wrap
    $5.00
  • Short Kabuki Stencil Brush
    Short Kabuki Stencil Brush
    $4.99

Stay tuned to our Facebook page for some more fun Christmas designs next week, as well as photos from our upcoming weekend events!

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Christmas Window Painting Season!

It’s been one busy month here at Paintertainment with window painting! Besides the three Dunkin’ Donuts locations I have the pleasure of painting seasonally throughout the year, I also did an interior job, painting some conference rooms in an office building! So much fun…here are some photos and movies of what I’ve been up to so far this winter!

Dunkin’ Donuts…all set for winter!
This was the Chaska, MN Dunkin’ Donuts’ location…I did the top painting in the fall, and had designed it so that I could easily remove just the fall foliage, to update it for winter. Thankfully the lettering all looked just as pristine as the day I put it up, so it is able to hang on through another season!

Here is a time lapse video of the Chaska Dunkin’ location…this one is on two sides of the building…

Below is the Rogers, MN Dunkin’ location! This design was SO much fun! I love this client…she really lets me just have creative freedom and always chooses something super fun from my sketches. I love incorporating donuts into their designs! The previous fall design had a fun owl design on the lower panes, so we kept the text again here and I updated it for winter with some ice fishermen! This design definitely screams “Minnesota” as we love to ice fish here, and I was sure to paint a few of my favorite fish to catch here: sunfish, walleye and bass!

This window was the hardest physically for me to paint. It was supposed to be 50 degrees this day, however, it only ended up getting to 37 while I was painting. This is all fine of course if it’s sunny and not windy…I painted Chaska in 37 and sun and didn’t even need a coat. But, for whatever reason, this day I was absolutely freezing to the point of shaking! I think it was a combination of the cloudiness, the dampness (it had just rained the day before), and the breeze. So, the paint dried very slowly…but in the end I love how it turned out!!

Here is a video…

The third Dunkin’ location didn’t need much updating…I just removed some pumpkins and replaced them with snow!

With some careful planning, you can save a little time and money with seasonal updates! Of course, window paintings aren’t really meant to last more than a few weeks, but these ones stay relatively protected from weather, and still looked like new. So, why not make them last? I did turn her earmuffs from orange to red here as well. The other side of the building didn’t have anything super fall-ish so I left that one as-is.

The last window job I’d like to share with you was my first INTERIOR job! This was for three conference rooms, which have basically a wall of glass.

This was a really fun and HUGE job! I probably painted around 50 feet lengthwise, and floor to ceiling. It was nerve wracking painting on carpet, but I made sure to have plenty of drop cloths and am super careful about making sure any paint I’m not using at the moment is closed up and in a safe spot. The tricky part here was keeping everything within just a few feet of the windows, so that people could still walk by me in the hallways!! It involved a lot of shuffling of my supplies. Also, being on the 7th floor, I probably spent 1/2 hour or so just bringing stuff in and out. I did also have to run out to Home Depot to grab a better, darker green…so all in all I spent about 10 hours straight here! Everything took more coats than usual…just because I am picky and I like it to be as opaque as possible. But, since these windows have exterior windows behind them, there is no way to completely avoid seeing brush strokes with the sun shining through them. I love how it turned out in the end, and it was really nice to be inside and not worry about weather! I also got to try out my new Posca paint pens for the ornaments. I didn’t take any time lapse movies of this, being that it was in an office, for privacy reasons.

So, as you can see I’ve been busy lately squeaking in window jobs between entertainment jobs! But, I really love window painting and I’m so glad that Covid pushed me to add this to my repertoire. It blends perfectly with my schedule, as I can paint windows on week days during the day, leaving those busy holiday weekends for face painting and balloon twisting!

Interested in learning more about becoming a window painter? Check out the latest issue of Wet Paint Magazine! I recently wrote an article about how I got into window painting, and the process I followed getting started, including some tips & tricks of the trade, resources to learn more, and a list of what supplies you need to get going!

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Step by Step Winter Llama

Here’s a fun design that will last not just over the holidays, but the winter season as well!

1 – Using a round brush loaded with white, paint the shape of the Llama’s head, and a dot for the hat’s pom pom.
2 – Using a mini feather stencil HAS5086 (from the HAS Boho stencil set), create a forest of trees with different shades of green. I love using this stencil brush for this part!
Using a round brush, fill in the llama’s nose and ears with pink, and the hat/scarf with red.
Using a fine, round brush loaded with black, add some outlines and details. I’ve also added a touch of white as highlights on the nose and eyes. I love using Wolfe Black and Wolfe White for these.

Using your stencil brush loaded with white, add some snowflakes with your favorite snowflake stencil. Here I’m using an Ooh snowflake stencil!
Finish off your design with some glitter!! I’ve used some glitter cremes here as well as liquid bling.
  • W08 Ooh! Snowflake Wrap
    W08 Ooh! Snowflake Wrap
    $5.00
  • Short Kabuki Stencil Brush
    Short Kabuki Stencil Brush
    $4.99