About THAT Painter Lady
As a child I can remember telling people I wanted to be an Art Teacher when I grew up.
I just LOVED that time in school when you got to eat paste…I mean, use paste, and paint and crayons and “stuff”. It was the best time of the day!! No math (little did I know percentages and fractions were involved in creating new colors), no rules (okay…most of the time)…and loads of fun!!
I’ve always loved “art”. Doing, seeing, touching, experiencing. I knew I wanted that in my life. Always.
My family, didn’t think it was the best idea (“…who makes a living drawing things?”) but I was persistent. I got my Bachelors degree from the University of Arizona in Fine Arts and taught art to grades K-8 for 10 years before leaving to work with Debra Conrad.
Messing With Walls Is A Blast!
Teaching art was great – terrific! But messing with peoples walls? IT was a blast!
I found I used the same tools working on a canvas as I did working on walls. Tubes of paint, sponges, watercolor pencils, rags, a variety of brushes and even “combs” followed me from the classroom to the “business” (with Debra) of painting walls for corporations as well as children.
But things were definitely different outside the classroom. There were times, like Debra, when I had some odd colors in my hair when I went to pick up my daughter from school and I lost more than one cell phone to a bucket of paint. (Helpful hint #1 - don’t put it in the front top pocket of your painter overalls and then bend over the bucket).
But painting every day, and being able to give people that OOoooohhh!! effect in their homes or offices has been – over all – a blast!! I’ve loved every moment of it.
Debra and I were often booked 3 months in advance and would have to schedule time to take off and learn about the new products available and the new design styles coming out. When we were painting we were talking up a storm about our kids, our husbands, the latest movie whatever was going on. We’d be laughing so much clients would come in to make sure any work was getting done. It was…because we barely stopped to take a sip of water, but we could talk and paint at the same time. Talented, right?
I was a Teenage Hippie-Dippie…
Growing up my room was the only one with color and I was the one that wanted to paint it! In the early 70′s it was turquoise blue with green apple accents. Very hippie-dippie! I was known as the family artist.
Oh sure, it didn’t apply just to the walls in my room. I was the bumper painter for the old GMC and other items around the farm (tractors, trailers, bookcases created by my father, – I don’t think he knew he was a sculpturist then – ).
Living The Dream…
Never did I imagine that one day I would get to use my so called “talent” to bring color and expression into other peoples homes and businesses. Wow!! Talk about living the dream!
It is one of the best feelings… helping people change their boring white walls in to beautiful works of art. And I especially love adding those little unexpected extra details to make it special and specific to each person.
Once during a large job (painting two bedrooms where the dividing wall had been removed to create one big bedroom for two boys) Debra and I were almost done with a 360 degree mural under the sea – there were sharks, dolphins, clown fish, trigger fish, seaweed, seahorses, on and on when the mother asked how the youngest son like it (keep in mind he’s 4ish).
He said it was okay, he liked the dolphins and stuff but what he really wanted was a tow truck!
Never wanting to leave a child disappointed I whipped out my paint brushes and painted a small truck into the mural.
I know, I know..you’re saying “WHAT?” ! In an underwater seascape!
I painted a small truck, that looked like a Matchbox car, and made it appear as though it had just been accidentally dropped in the water and had just sunk to the bottom. (See it next to the child’s bed? That way he could look over at his truck at night!)
To top it off I wrote the child’s name on the side as part of the business name the trucking company. Bubbles appeared to rise up from the truck as it softly landed on the sandy bottom of the ocean. And the truck was painted right at the chest level for the 4 year old so as he lay in his bed he could look over, every night, and see his truck.
My passion lives in giving back. To my community. To my family. To my friends. To my clients.
They’ve given me the opportunity to “play” with paint so I like to give them something to look forward to when they see their art work.
- Turning a basic boring (dull) kitchen in to a Tuscan Cocina.
- Taking those boring white walls and making them look like brushed suede on a horse ranch.
- Now when they walk in their laundry room there’s a hole in the ceiling and some vines creeping in.
- The best part is when a client walks in and says,”Wow!!” That’s when I know I’m done. Well, mostly…I still have to leave that special little something that they don’t expect.
What’s Tawn do NOW?
I have two kids. Grown…for the most part. My son is an amazing single parent of two kids – whom I ADORE! Being a grandparent is the BEST thing ever. It’s all the fun and none of the responsibility! Well, mostly none! I painted their playroom and giant sheriff’s star on my grandson’s wall and a giant tiara on my granddaughter’s wall. Debra came and helped and it was a blast working together again.
My daughter is in college trying to become an RN. I’m so proud of her but watching her struggle through some of those medical classes is excruciating at times. She’s doing great but …man…some of those classes are grueling!
So..now..now I paint mostly for family.. taking an odd job once in a while. AND…I still teach, I just teach people how to do their own walls. Or teach them to paint someone else’s walls.
Time for you to get out there and SPLASH some paint around!
Tawn Gale has been an artist, art teacher, faux finisher and muralist for…well, let’s just say “a long time”.