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Paintings, Bling Bar and New Products Abound!

It’s been a busy April already and it’s only the 9th! I haven’t posted in a little while so this is kindof a hodge-podge of randomness, but here’s what I’ve been up to with Wet Paint Magazine, a painting contest, launching my new Bling Bar and some new products in the shop!
Wet Paint Magazine
The next issue of Wet Paint Magazine will be out early next month, so I’m working hard to wrap that up! Be sure to like and follow Wet Paint on Facebook to be alerted when the issue goes live…it’s going to be a GREAT issue!!
Contest Entries
I’ve also been having a blast participating in a daily painting contest for the St Louis Face & Body Art Convention…they give us 10 days worth of themes at a time and we have to post a pic in an album on their Facebook page. In the end they’ll do a drawing from those who posted every day, for free admission. Not certain if I’ll keep it up as I’m not certain that I can close up shop for a week to attend, but in the meantime I am enjoying the challenges! Here are a few entries…
theme: “New beginnings”

Theme: Stars

Theme: Batman

Theme: Transportation

Theme: St Louis

Bling Bar Launch

Last week was my first event using my full, new Bling Bar service! My painty friend Tina Carroll did glitter tattoos alongside me, while ran the bling bar, applying festival glitter, bling clusters and “narwhal horns” (it was an underwater theme) to the girls! It was a HUGE hit with a non-stop steady line…I blinged out about 85 girls in 3 hours!

I spend SO many hours making this “bling book” display! I wanted something that allowed the kids to flip through and choose their design without having to touch them all in the process, yet remove the one they want to hand to me on their turn. Every piece of bling is on it’s own display card, tucked into a clear pocket.  So, the kids simply slip their card out and hand it to me when it’s their turn, I remove the bling and keep the card. It also enables me to get a very accurate count of how many I’ve done, with the stack of cards at the end of the event! 

So many sparkly choices!!

New Product Additions

I’ve recently added a few new goodies to the shop as well! Here they are with some links…

For your bling cluster making endeavors, we now have a huge 20-pack of dimensional fabric paints!

20-pk Scribbles Fabric paints, $29.99

We’ve been carrying Foamies brand air dry clay for a while now, for making unicorn and monster horn bling. However, we’ve just added some Crayola Model Magic clay to our assortment as well! It’s more expensive per ounce than Foamies, but this gives you a chance to purchase a bunch of colors to play with before deciding to purchase larger amounts. This pack comes with six 1/2 ounce packs in secondary colors. It includes 1 each of purple, orange, brown and green, and two packs of white.

6-pack Model Magic $7.99
If you’re a balloon artist, you’ll be happy to hear we now carry Hi-Float! Hi-float can make your helium balloons last up to 25 times longer! We have Hi-Float in a 16 ounce bottle, and it comes with a pump and instructions.
HI-FLOAT ULTRA PINT W/PUMP* (BOX)
Hi-Float, pint with pump $19.00

Also in the balloon section, we’ve added to our assortment of nozzle-up Betallatex brand balloons, both metallic gold and silver!

Check out the shop today, and be sure to follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on our new product additions, and other important announcements! Happy painting!

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2019 Personal Challenge: Patterns!

This year I’ve been working on some fun pattern studies…something I’ve been wanting to challenge myself with for a while now! I bought a huge book of textile patterns on Amazon, and have been Google searching various patterns to try out. It’s been a great exercise in repetition, and choosing the right tools for the job to keep things efficient and consistent, especially the more geometric patterns. I’ve learned a lot already, personally… Here are a few I’ve done so far!

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Giving out an AGENTS’ Card When Clients Love YOUR Work


I am working to copy some of our past e-newsletter articles over to the blog to make them even easier for people to find! This particular article can be found in the October 2017 issue. Not a subscriber? You can learn how to subscribe and download past issues by clicking HERE!


If you’ve ever worked for an agent, chances are you’ve been instructed to only give out the agent’s cards to guests who inquire about your services at the event.  But why? Let’s take a closer look at this situation, from both sides of the brush.


Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!
Having worked extensively as both an agent and contractor for decades, I feel qualified to chime in on the subject. First, let me just say, that if you find it unfair to be asked to only give out an agent’s cards while working for them, you have not spent much time acting as an agent yourself. I don’t mean bringing along one friend and passing through payment to them to help you out…I mean spending all of your time selling, booking, filling, managing, billing, contract wrangling, and paycheck processing for large gigs that utilize multiple artists which may or may not even include yourself as a painter.  Just trust me on this one, a few gigs like this and you will develop an immense appreciation for agents and the grunt work they endure to enable you to just show up, paint, and get paid! I for one LOVE it when I have the opportunity to get paid a little less than my own going rate to work for an agent and let them handle all the stuff that is NOT fun!
But it was MY talent that made them ask for a card!
This is an understandable argument at first glance…yes, when I create a masterpiece on a child’s face and that masterpiece prompts the parent to ask for my card for their upcoming birthday party, I feel that I should be able to get the credit for my work and reap the benefits of that potential future gig.
Yes, my talent may have made them ask for the card, but I wouldn’t even have been there if not for my agent’s talent that landed the gig in the first place. Don’t forget this! While my talent may play a big part, it is not the only thing that has prompted them to ask for my card. It is the fact that I was there in the right place at the right time, which was all orchestrated behind the scenes without any involvement, time or expense from me. (Thank God…that part is way more boring and draining than the painting!)
I sell face paint online and out of my basement. Say I were to go get a job at a local costume shop, and every time someone came in and showed interest in face paint, I would give them my own card and say “call me instead, I can get you the same quality product for cheaper!” After all, it was my salesmanship that got them to ask about paint, right? I would be fired! Immediately! Using someone else’s storefront, marketing, blood sweat and tears to market my own business, while even being paid by them to do so, is completely unethical. It takes an immense amount of trust for an agent to invite you to represent their baby, their business, that they’ve poured their life into for years. Take this as the honor it is, and you’ll be given gigs for years to come.
But I want credit for my work!
Some artists feel that they are somehow stripped of their “credit” for the work they are performing when asked to give out the agent’s cards. I have never seen an agent personally claim that one of their artist’s work was their own on Facebook or anywhere else. When you work for an agency, you are a part of a team. Nobody else is claiming that they are the creator of your paintings…that is illegal.  As an artist you own the rights to the painting you created…not the rights to the gig you are working or future gigs as the client. 
I personally have cards specially made for my contractors. On the front it says “Ask for me by name!” and has a blank line for each artist to write their own name on it. This way if a future client calls, they can specifically request that artist, and that artist still gets future gigs. As your agent if they are okay with you putting your name on their cards…chances are they will be totally fine with it, and grateful that you’re asking!  The credit you get for doing a good job? It’s your paycheck!
But they are making money off of ME!
First of all, the amount of money an agent is charging the client on top of what they are paying you is completely irrelevant.  If they are offering you an hourly wage that you are happy with, great! Take the gig! If they are not, then don’t! I have a personal goal to never take a gig that I will later resent getting.  I want to show up to each and every gig happy, thankful and grateful for the work. This attitude really shows with the client, whether you are grateful or not, and can have a huge affect on whether they call you back next year! 
Second, if you’ve worked as an agent you know that for every 1 hour gig, it can take multiple hours of back-and-fourth drudgery with the client, and that’s with a client who isn’t particularly difficult to deal with.  And let’s not forget the amount of time and money they put into advertising in order to get these gigs in the first place. They may even be sub-sub contracting, or owe someone else a finder’s fee on top of it. Personally, I think the ability to let someone else deal with billing and office work while I just paint is priceless!  When you take a gig through an agent, you have no idea what work and expense they have gone through to get it, or will go through to follow it through and maintain the relationship so you can work it again next year.  So rather than worrying about whether they are getting paid too much for an amount of work you are unaware of, focus on what you can control: whether you take a gig for a certain rate, and your attitude about that gig.  If the fact that an agent is making sure they too are getting paid for their time upsets you, please, please just don’t take the gig!
I admit, when I started out I was a little resentful of agents who would make money when I was the one painting.  But after just a few gigs taking on the agent role, my perspective changed completely and I developed a huge amount of respect for the work agents do. If you have an agent who doesn’t treat you well, don’t work for them anymore. But if you have an agent who pays you well & has your back, hold onto that! Respect their policies, and you’ll be reaping the benefits of their grunt work for years to come! 
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CONTEST TIME!

We at Paintertainment and Wet Paint Magazine are holding a contest this February! Unlike most face and body art contests, this one does NOT involve any painting at all! Rather, we are looking for your clever and creative ways to re-use and repurpose your empty paint containers!

We’ve all got them lying around…containers that once held paint that we either used up or have re-potted into a new kit. Rather than tossing them in the trash or recycle bin, why not use our creative minds to come up with other fun ways to re-use them?

Paintertainment is sponsoring hundreds of dollars worth of prizes for the top three winners of this contest! The first two places will also get to choose which issue of Wet Paint Magazine they’d like included in their prize pack. Every winner gets a copy of Gretchen Fleener’s book “Realism for Face & Body Artists,” and an awesome assortment of paints, brushes, stencils and other goodies! Who knows…we may throw in even more surprises before we ship these!

RULES:

There is no purchase required to compete or win. This is a global competition, open to everyone! Artists are welcome to enter more than one idea. By entering this contest you agree to allow Paintertainment, LLC and Wet Paint Magazine to use and share your submitted photos in contest online and in print, in advertising, announcements, and in a feature article in an upcoming issue of Wet Paint Magazine announcing the winners and ideas! Contest begins on February 1, 2019. Contest ends on February 28, 2019, at 12:59 PM CDT. Winners will be announced on or before the release of the summer issue of Wet Paint Magazine May 1st, 2019.

HOW TO ENTER:

Like and follow Paintertainment on both Facebook & Instagram (@Paintertainmentdotcom),

Like and follow Wet Paint Magazine on Facebook (@WetPaintMag) and Instagram (@WetPaintMagazine), so that we can find and tag participants when needed.

Submit your good, clear photos of the finished product and at least 4 photos of the steps of how you made it via email to Gretchen@Paintertainment.com with the words “Wet Paint Recycling Contest” in the subject line, no later than February 28, 2019 (11:59 pm CDT). Make sure to include your name, country, Facebook/Instagram tags, and a brief description of your idea. We want to share your creations in the next issue of Wet Paint, so good, clear photos are a must!

Questions? Email Gretchen[at]Paintertainment[dot]com! Good luck and have FUN!

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New Year and New Creative Challenges!

It’s a new year, and with new years come new challenges!! This month I’ve decided to participate again in the super fun Facebook group “Inspiration to Paint!” Every day they give you a theme to paint. Paintings have to be done the day-of, no painting ahead.

January 1st’s theme was to paint something inspired by the late, great Jocelyn Casdorph! Such a tragic loss for our face painting community. She is as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside, so I painted a little portrait!

Today’s theme was to choose a word for your “intent” for 2019; not necessarily a resolution. The word I chose is “Growth!” This year I hope to grow in my skills, business, relationships, faith, and creativity!

And in keeping with the growth theme, besides this month of participation in ITP, I have decided to start a personal exploration in patterns. Here are my first two paintings…houndstooth and paisley! Stay tuned for more pattern inspired designs in the coming weeks and months!

Houndstooth…boy, did this one make my brain hurt!!

fun with Paisley!

Happy new year, and happy painting!

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Jamvention 2018!

This year marked the 10th edition of Jamvention in Wortel, Belgium! I was so honored to be among the teachers this year and it was amazing, yet again. The Jamvention is put on by Face Paint in Progress, also known as “FIP.

Even the first year I attended Jamvention my husband and I were welcomed into Willy and Jacklyn’s home like family. The convention officially starts on Friday night. Despite the huge mountain of work they have do on the Jamvention itself, on Thursday night Jacklyn cooked an amazing dinner for the artists who had arrived in town.

On Friday we were treated to breakfast, and a wonderful walk over 3 miles in the woods with Jacklyn and her dogs! It felt great to get out and walk after the long travel day before.

out for a walk

Everyone was very patient with my obsession with photographing mushrooms, haha! I love all the different colors and textures of mushrooms and probably have taken hundreds of photos of them on walks over the years!

Friday afternoon we loaded up the vehicles with gear and artists and headed over to the Jamvention location to set up! It is SUCH a cool location for an intimate jam and convention. (For a more in depth description of the venue and my first time teaching at Jamvention, check out the first ever issue of Wet Paint Magazine!)
Everyone pitching in to decorate and set everything up!

We aren’t able to get into the space until 5 pm, as it is used as a camp for kids during the week. So, we have 2 hours to get it all ready before attendees start to arrive. Everybody pitches in to help set up and decorate the rooms! There is such an awesome sense of community and ownership among the FIP team, which contagious and spreads to all of the visiting instructors. I love how everyone jumps in to help!

The opening night festivities are so fun and full of energy. People gather from literally all over the world, and greet each other with hugs like old friends. I’ve said it once and will say it again this year…the food is AMAZING!! Friday night we are treated to a paper cone of awesome Belgian fries with delicious sauces, dished up right in the kitchen.

On the opening night everyone is welcomed, and the instructors are introduced. Did I mention how amazing the food is? We also enjoyed their fun tradition of incredible cakes on opening night! One of the cakes had edible fondant photos of every instructor, so I even got to eat my own picture!
Opening night was awesome as usual…a great chance to kick back, enjoy a treat and beverage, and get to know the instructors and attendees!

My husband Wayde and I manning our table in the vendor room

 There is always a jam on Friday night, and this year it was a blacklight jam! I didn’t get a chance to participate in this year’s jam as I was busy selling books and stencils in the vendor room, and the black light room filled up pretty full. But, it was fun to pop in and see what everyone was working on!

Saturday was amazing! I taught both jewelry and henna. My jewelry class was probably a bit too full for everyone to be able to fully enjoy as people were bringing more chairs into the room to squeeze in…that and me painting too small made it a little bit of a challenge, but the next time around it went much more smoothly! 😉 My apologies to my jewelry guinea pigs!!

My first jewelry class on Saturday

Tessa was my beautiful model!

 Tessa was a wonderful model! In my Sunday class I painted a giant gem on the back which was much easier for everyone to see. But my fabulous students made some pretty amazing gems on themselves in this class regardless!! This painting is obviously really exaggerated, but we did a gem, pearls and some other smaller gems in settings.

getting a closer look
I also taught a henna class for beginners! It was a fun time…we talked about the origins of henna, what it’s made of, how to make it, warnings against black henna, etc, and then had lots of time to practice drills and designs!
Saturday’s henna class
Last time I was at Jamvention I taught every session, but this year I had some breaks and was able to attend other classes which was really fun!

Belinda Wurmitzer’s one stroke flowers
I attended Paula Southern’s calligraphy course on Sunday, too!
Saturday night’s festivities were AMAZING. For the big 10th anniversary FIP really went all out. Attendees were asked to dress in FIP’s colors, blue and gold, and all of the team members who run the event were dressed in their formal best and they applauded everyone as they entered the room for dinner! We had yet another incredible meal, and even some drinks with edible glitter!!
drinks with edible glitter!

There was another fun 10th anniversary surprise, as we were all treated to an incredible fire dance show! Just spectacular…I need to dig up a video to share but here are a couple pictures:
Saturday always ends with a paint jam! I had sketched this queen bee design a couple days before and was hoping to bring it to life.
my sketch

I was really lucky to have the chance to paint Marcel Verbeek…he and his wife Daisy are both body paint models and do an amazing job!! Other than my 11 year old son, and the pregnant bellies I’ve painted, the only time I’ve body painted on models has been this time, and 2016 at the Jamvention. They provide models for everyone who needs them which is amazing!!

Painting on Marcel

finished product!
photo by Wim Roelsma of Artishoot Fotografie

Wim Roelsma of Artishoot Fotografie was there this year taking amazing pictures!!!

photo by Wim Roelsma of Artishoot Fotografie

photo by Wim Roelsma of Artishoot Fotografie

I would have kept painting if it wasn’t getting so late by then, haha! I still had to wind my brain down, sleep, and teach another day!

Sunday morning they always take a group photo of everyone in attendance!

photo by Wim Roelsma of Artishoot Fotografie

I love walking around the grounds in the morning at the Jamvention…it’s such a gorgeous and peaceful setting! I have dozens and dozens of animal photos but I’ll spare you all of them, haha!

So many gorgeous views here!
Peacocks…so cool!

Jamvention location

Sunday I again taught both Jewelry and Henna…another great time with wonderful students!!

Teaching Jewelry on Sunday
Sunday’s jewelry class was much smaller and we were able to cover more things…
Note to self… larger jewel made a huge difference! We also talked about pearls, chains, making tiny diamonds and quick beads.
Some of my wonderful jewelry students and their gem paintings!
THE Belinda Wurmitzer attended my henna class too!

Henna students starting out with markers and some drills
I really can’t thank Willy and Jacklyn and their dedicated team enough for all the hard work they do behind the scenes to make this event such a huge success! 
Cheers!
Some of my favorite moments of the Jamvention were here in Willy & Jacklyn’s home…the conversations with people from all over the world were just fascinating and sometimes so hilarious my face hurt from laughing! What an honor to rub shoulders with so much talent!! I got to meet Andrea Benocci and the beautiful Elena…amazing body painter Raphaelle Fieldhouse and her super talented balloon artist husband Gary, incredible artist and calligrapher Paula Southern…and I laughed so hard with Belinda Wurmitzer… Jacklyn has this amazing ability to hand pick instructors from around the globe who just seem to click together right off the bat. Everyone I’ve met there has been so immensely talented, yet so humble and down to earth, it truly feels like one big, wonderful family. 
I can’t even explain how wonderful and energizing it is to be able to hang out with fellow artists who are passionate about the things you are passionate about. I guess this is why attending workshops and conventions is so important for artists like us. We don’t get to hang out with dozens of like minds every day, as if we were working on a team in a corporate office…as artists, and for many of us as sole proprietors of our businesses, it can get lonely. I am thankful for conventions like this, social media, and my local monthly jam sessions, for their ability to fill us up with fresh, creative energy and inspiration! 🙂
The Jamvention always runs right around our anniversary, so my husband and I had a wonderful time staying longer in Brugge and spending a day in Ghent to celebrate our 19th! I’ll pretty much teach anywhere in the world if I can turn it into a trip with my hubby or family! 😉 
THANK YOU Jacklyn and Willy, and your entire talented FIP team for all of your hard work and dedication, and congratulations on 10 years!!

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2018 Year in Review!

Every year at this time I look back at my business and reflect on what has happened, record some of my business’ growth and milestones, and think about the year ahead! Here’s what happened in 2018!

January is usually when I start big projects, having completed the busy Christmas season and having some time before the spring/summer rush. I spent much of January and February really diving head first into painting realistic Jewelry. I also added a ton of new bling to the shop! February 1st also marked the release of the spring issue of Wet Paint Magazine!

March is when I completed my new book “Jewelry for Face & Body Artists,” and began shipping copies all over the world!

In July I got to do a really fun “Finding Nemo” themed belly painting! I LOVE painting bellies, though don’t do nearly as many as I’d like to! So, every one is really special and I always document them on my blog!

August is always a busy month with face painting gigs, but it now also starts off with the release of the fall issue of Wet Paint Magazine! Every magazine is a true labor of love. August is also the month when I work at a county fair, and this year was my 21st year in a row working county fairs…the last 6 have been at Carver County in Waconia, MN! It wasn’t my most profitable year, but a good and fun one nonetheless!

In October I held one of my Realistic Eyes workshops here in MN! It was a really great chance to share the class I taught in 2016 in Belgium with some local artists, just in time for our Halloween gigs! I also had the immense honor of traveling back to Belgium to teach at the 10th anniversary edition of the Jamvention! It was such a great time that I’m STILL working on the blog post recap of that…I’ll be sharing that very soon so stay tuned!

November 1st marked the release of the winter issue of Wet Paint Magazine, and the end of my first full year of circulation! While Wet Paint is a huge amount of work for me, it feeds so many of my passions…face and body art, writing, graphic design, photography, and sharing inspiration and instruction! I’m excited to see where Wet Paint goes in 2019! I also realized a long time dream in November with the release of my new stencils, Step it Up Stencils! I spent nearly an entire year fussing with a Silhouette machine, only to find that it simply does not have the cutting force needed to make stencils with the thickness and quality I desired. So, I bit the bullet and invested a huge amount of money in a Silver Bullet machine, made 100 stencils to donate to the Jamvention’s swag bags, and released them to the public in November!

December is always jam packed with Christmas gigs, and 2018 did not disappoint! I also was able to convince my sweet 10 year old to let me paint another ugly Christmas sweater on him for my Christmas cards. He did an awesome job, and we even won 2nd place in Paintopia’s annual ugly Christmas sweater competition! To top off the year, just before 2019 began I received a copy of Lake Minnetonka Magazine in the mail which featured my business, with several full color spreads including wonderful photos of my boys! We had a great time going downtown Minneapolis the month before for a professional photo shoot, and needless to say, they were pretty excited to see themselves in print! Now if only I could convince them that Mom’s magazine is just as cool…haha!

Over the past year I’ve hosted jams I believe every month except July and August, but this year we also did a couple “Gem Jams!” These were super fun and have gotten me really into making gem clusters.

I also spent countless hours putting together proposals and sending in applications for two concepts for booths at the Minnesota State Fair! Word on the street is that there is no way for any face painters to get into the fair as there is one small booth in the kids’ ride area that somehow has exclusivity. Of course being that the MN state fair drew over 2 million visitors in 2018, there is plenty of business there, and a huge untapped market for teens and adults, but time will tell whether more MN artists will get an opportunity to showcase their talents at their own fair!

I’m constantly adding new products to the shop, but this year I took on a couple new vendors/brands: Art Factory and Superstar paints! Stay tuned for more new items to fill our shelves in the coming months!

What a great year it was!!

Here are some of the articles I published on my blog this year:

The Value of a Sketch
4th of July Inspiration
What’s so special about Paintertainment?
Approaching Events that use Craft Paints on Skin

I also of course published a LOT of great articles in my monthly e-newsletters…download those here!

What’s to come in 2019?

In February I am super excited to be speaking again at the Minnesota Family Artists and Entertainers Business Conference in St Paul, put on by the one and only Lori Hurley! Those of us who live in the Twin Cities are SO fortunate to enjoy a wonderful and supportive community of artists, and this conference is like an awesome convention concentrate…short talks with just the good stuff from so many amazing local talents to help grow our businesses! The topics are literally tailored to what the attendees want to hear about, so there is no wasted time or money in attending.

I really have a head full of ideas for more Step it Up Stencils, so my hope is to develop, cut and release more designs this year!

I’ll of course continue putting out Wet Paint Magazine as long as I have an audience that enjoys them! (And maybe regardless, as I enjoy them so much myself!)

Over the past year I’ve gotten more and more requests for workshops, so I’d like to get a couple more of those on the calendar. I haven’t yet taught my Realism workshop in MN so may do that, and would love to teach my jewelry workshop from Belgium more around the US as well!

I have another technique based book that I started a while back but put on hold to create my Jewelry book, so I might re-visit that one, but will see how the year goes!

I always want to do more writing, but also want to do more YouTube videos this year!

I’d also love to just paint more…while I like the freedom of not HAVING to paint every single day, I do miss the creative outlet I had when I did a 365 day painting challenge in 2017. So, I’ve signed up to participate again in the Inspiration to Paint Facebook group for the month of January! I won’t do it every month just because I can only be stretched so thin, and want to keep it fun and not become a chore, but am looking forward to a fun month of painting and sharing!

In my dreams…

I always have a few lofty goals, though not entirely unattainable…in 2019 I’d really love to teach at and/or attend at least one convention in the US. The Jamvention has spoiled me a bit, as they cover ALL expenses of all their instructors, and even if they didn’t, flying there and attending their convention is cheaper than any in the US, but there are so many artists I really would love to meet, and would also love to enter a body painting competition…someday!! Way down the road I’d love to try painting on a cruise ship…I’m already a vetted and approved artist who can go at any time, but since they’ve changed the rules on bringing kids with you, I may not be able to until my kids are adults, unless I go it alone or leave them home with grandparents. Sigh…that one will have to remain lofty for a while!

I hope you all get a chance to look at your past year as well, and make some plans, hopes and dreams for the new year too! It doesn’t matter if you reach them all…the important thing is to have goals to work towards. Happy new year, and happy painting!!

-Gretchen

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Fun Family Photo Shoot Turns Magazine Feature!

Toby proudly holding up his spread

Last month I took my boys out of school a little bit early to take a trip to downtown Minneapolis for a magazine photo shoot! I’m so honored to have my business featured in this month’s issue of Lake Minnetonka Magazine! They wrote a really nice article and put together such a fun and beautiful layout!

Here are a few pics I took at the photo shoot back in November. I painted both boys in the studio before their shoot, and then painted some jewelry on myself while they were taking pics of the boys…

Sam getting painted

Toby getting his photo taken

Sam’s turn for photos

Selfie after we got home

Here’s a peek at the article…

Such a fun layout…I had a blast taking my boys on an adventure downtown and they suddenly weren’t too sick of being painted when the promise of being in a widely distributed local magazine was a part of the deal, haha! Now if only I could convince them that mom’s magazine was just as cool…

Thanks so much, Lake Minnetonka Magazine!! 😀

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2018 Ugly Christmas Sweater

I had the joy of painting my awesome 10 year old again this year with another ugly Christmas sweater for my business Christmas cards! He’s such a good sport! This sweater was SO realistic that it really itched him, haha! I think it had something to do with our dry Minnesota winter air as it doesn’t usually itch him, but he did an amazing job sitting still for an hour for this one!

Things get a little crazy around our house this time of year, prepping for Christmas, this guy’s birthday which is the day after, and all the holiday parties I paint at! However, this year is even more nutty as we just got an 8 week old great dane puppy right around Thanksgiving! So, please bear with me as I plan my work day around naps and potty breaks, haha! I hope to get some more painting in here once we get past the holidays, AND more blog posting! So stay tuned for a recap of the Jamvention and more step by steps to come! Until then, have a wonderful holiday!

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Introducing: NEW Step-it-Up Stencils!

Designing my own line of stencils has been a dream of mine for several years, which is why I am so super excited to announce the release of my brand new line of stencils, “Step-it-up Stencils!” And since I’ve bee on a jewelry kick lately with my new Jewelry for Face & Body Artists book and recently teaching jewelry at the Jamvention in Belgium, I’ve decided to launch my first line with the jewel theme!

These stencils are designed to help you step up your detail, step up your speed, and step up your game! The “step” word also comes into play within the stencils themselves, as they are designed to take you step by step through your design.

The stencils currently on the market for speeding up jewels just don’t lend themselves well to realism, as they leave lines between all of the facet shapes. In real life, everything is not outlined like a cartoon…the shapes of the facets are defined by the contrast of colors next to each other. For this reason I have broken down realistic gemstones into steps, enabling you to paint the various facets’ planes closer to each other and in varying shades.

Each stencil comes with a full color instruction sheet, however, the stencils themselves even have the steps numbered with useful instructions by each one. Guidelines help you line up each step of your design, and the etched words remind you which color change to make on each step.

These are great for speeding up those fancy décolletage designs, especially if they have multiple gems in them and you want to keep them consistent!

I have many more stencil design in the works, including more gem shapes, but the third and final one that is available right now is the princess eyes stencil!

I know so many artists who struggle with creating uniform, delicate eyes on their princesses and unicorn. Sure, practice may make perfect, but why struggle through these tiny details at gigs when you can create them in seconds? Part of being a professional is knowing when to rely on the tools available to you. This stencil comes with four sizes of princess eyes, ranging from about 1/4″ wide to 1/2″. In just two steps you can lay down the whites and the black, finishing it off with a brush to add the iris in a color of your choice.

I first premiered these stencils at the Jamvention in Belgium last month, including one free in every attendee’s goodie bag! Today I’m happy to announce that these new stencils are available now in the shop! Grab yours today, and be sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest designs as more are released!