I will never forget the first time I saw an artist pull a brush stroke. I was mesmerized. Imagine my excitement at seeing a two toned shape created with just one stroke of the brush. Then I watched those brush strokes combine to create a beautiful flower before my eyes. It was magic!
I knew right there and then what I wanted to do with my life. Through teaching brush strokes to others I could relive that excitement again and again through the eyes of my students.
Decorative painting is indeed a unique art form, where the teaching of others is as rewarding as the creation of the art. It has given me great pleasure through the years, and I have been fortunate to be able share my brush stroke techniques with fellow painters around the globe.
Strokework is what drew me to decorative painting many years ago and it continues to be my passion today. I delight in the excitement of my students as they discover that this is a technique that anyone can master. Brush strokes create specific shapes with one stroke of the brush, using pressure and release to form the shapes. By loading the brush with two colours, one can create highlight or shading simultaneously within the stroke. These shapes are then combined, much like pieces in a puzzle, to create beautiful designs.
I found my own self study eventually led me towards creating unconventional brush strokes. With these shapes I was able to develop more realistic and flowing floral paintings, compared to what I had achieved in the past with traditional brush strokes. The round brush became my brush of choice because it affords me greater freedom to create these unusual strokes.
Maureen began her teaching career in Canada in 1974 and was teaching internationally by 1980. She is an active and supportive member in three international associations, including C-DAN which is the Canadian Decorative Artist Network. This organization is a forum for the representation, preservation and promotion of Decorative Art in Canada. In 1999, Maureen was given the honorary designation of CSE by C-DAN. The C-DAN Standards of Excellence program is one Maureen recommends to all painters.
Now an honorary lifetime member of BADFA, the British Association of Decorative and Folk Arts, Maureen participated in the first convention in 1996. In 1998, she was the convention artist for the BADFA Tudor Rose convention in London England.
Also an active member of the Society of Decorative Painters, Maureen received her CDA in 1988, and passed the Master Stroke in 1991. In 1999 Maureen was appointed to the SDP Task Force, Excellence in Teaching. It's purpose was to develop a program to raise the standard of teaching in our industry through training and evaluation. The Teacher Development Program was launched in 2001, and Maureen continues to be involved.
In 2005 Maureen created a painting for SDP’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. A cloisonné lapel pin was made of the painting and proceeds from this pin go to the campaign. This pin is available on the SDP web site www.decorativepainters.org. You can also donate money through SDP and your name will go into the draw for the original framed painting. The draw will be held November 2006. Maureen is one of the featured teachers in SDP’s Home to the Heartland Seminars at the home office in Wichita Kansas. Maureen’s seminar will be in November 2006.
Maureen has written a number of articles for the SDP magazine "The Decorative Painter," including the Developing Skills series in 1999 and again in 2004. Maureen's 2003 cover, Issue 3 was voted Best Cover of the Year. A pin with this design is available from the SDP offices. In 2000, the Decorative Painter commissioned Maureen to do artwork which is used to decorate the various columns and departments in each magazine.
Other North American magazines that have featured Maureen’s projects are Decorative Artist Workbook, Painting, PaintWorks Quick and Easy Painting, PaintWorks, and Tole World. Her articles can also be found in Japan's Shikisai Painting, the Japan Decorative Painting Association Magazine, Nihon Vogue’s Paint Craft, and frequently in the BADFA magazine.
Copyright © 2006 Maureen McNaughton Arts Inc.