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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Oh....Did I Mention I Paint?

From one of my "Girl Within" series.

About a week ago as I was visiting one of the blogger sites that I enjoy reading, Alyson, (she is from New England and loves it, so we have that in common!) I saw a picture that had been painted by an artist that she admired. It was a really great picture of Alyson's family, by a very talented artist, Audrey Eclectic.

I had written to Alyson that I also paint, (in a comment) but hadn't been doing any painting for a few years. She then mentioned in a comment that I should tell a bit more about this mysterious side of me....
(ok, so she just said that I should show some of my work, but this is a bit more dramatic----ok, so I'm dramatic----so sue me!)

So, here I am. Letting everyone know of yet another side of myself. And yes, they are all right brain things. I will never be admitting to researching organisms or something on the side....

I have been drawing and painting from the time that I was a child. I love all kinds of art, and even consider my haircutting as sculpture. (Yes, I do cut hair---and have been cutting my own for over 15 years)

I went to college juggling singing, drama, and art---trying to do it all, and not wanting to drop anything because I didn't have the time or because I had to decide what my major was.

So, what did I do? I ended up getting married and not getting a bona fide degree for anything!

But I continued to find ways to do it all, along with having a child almost nine months after I was married. But that's another story.

So, fast forward to now. I have been painting floorcloths for over 24 years. "What is a floorcloth?" you are thinking. Well, it comes from the 17th century, in Europe, when they created oilcloths---to protect the wood floors. There are a lot of them still here in the New England area when you visit houses from the 1700's and 1800's---and there are still a lot of people that have hardwood or tile floors that love using them to add amazing floor artwork and protect their floors.

I am constantly being asked why I paint original artwork for the FLOOR and not for walls. Well, I really love making something unique and it is viewed differently----so it is a interesting kind of challenge. Besides, why can't we have ARTWORK ON OUR FLOORS?

And....there is nothing to beat a floorcloth under a dining room floor or right inside an entry way. They are totally waterproof, and can be walked on, washed, and even pee'd on. (It HAS happened, trust me!)

I usually do these only special order. I haven't done one in a few years, as I have been concentrating on getting my theatre going, but lately, I have been feeling that pull to paint again. I go through phases. I did a "show" a few years (ok, so its been over 8) ago in a local artisan gallery and sold some floorcloths, as well as got some custom orders----so I was quite busy for a few years.

I enjoy creating new floorcloths----depending on what my client wants or what ideas or styles that I want to create. I love doing all styles of painting---from Impressionistic to Portraits to Folk Art and Primitive---with a little Trompe-l'-oeil thrown in. They are all different sizes---I have done floorcloths as small as a foot and a half by 2 feet up to 12 feet by 16 feet----depends on where you want to put them.

Even though I haven't done a floorcloth in a while, I still draw ideas in my sketch book, and get inspiration

Alright, so I suppose that you are wondering about what some of these floorcloths look like.

I have a portfolio, and I have considered getting it online, so I can sell some. But, well, as you all know, it is hard to do too many things at the same time. I have included some of my favorites that I have done over the years----there are many more, but this gives you a small idea.

Maybe someday, I will get myself an Etsy site or maybe I will just consider doing some small paintings----something that takes a few days.....rather than a few months, to complete....

***Disclaimer on the photos. I was trying to take pictures from my portfolio, as someone owns these floor cloths, and my camera was not focus'ing on them properly----(sigh) If I do decide to sell some, I better figure out how to take focused pictures----cause they are BAD!!!***

Ant Farm

Country Air

Wet Woods

Gray Pot

Cape Cod

Lighthouse Bay

Noah's Ark

Clay Pots

A Walk to Remember

Gecko Drink

Fish Food

Feed the Birds

Wisteria Cottage

Christmas Garland

Santa Moon

Renaissance Cats

Floral English Bouquet

Gathering Flowers

My Kids Lying Down!


Vishous said...

These are fabulous! My favorite is the fish food one. and the bird feed... excellent! I love all your hidden talents.

Michele Horne said...

Those are wonderful. You are obviously talented in many arts... lucky lady! One of those would be perfect in my old, New England house. I am with you on the whole Etsy thing, I have some stuff I'd like to get on there, but I always seem to have 10 others things to do first. Although, you should seriously consider it, I bet you would get a lot of traffic.

jennie w. said...

Wow! I'm verrrry impressed. This is the thing I've always wondered about floorcloths: How do you keep from tripping on them since they're thinner than rugs?

whirligigdaisy said...

Wow. Fabulous. I love the idea of a floorcloth. Very cool. Did you know that Lynne is a painter-in-hiding. Go call her out.

Mrs. Organic said...

They are all amazing! I love the last two especially, how fun to see a hidden side of you. I think an Etsy venture would be very successful.

Lisa said...

These are really great, and thanks for helping spread the word about the craft! There's lots of information about floorcloths, kits and supplies at

Keep up the fantastic work!

miche said...

Even though I'm not nearly as talented a painter as you, I thoroughly love the floor cloth I made in your class a couple years ago. You're right - you can do anything on them and they clean up great!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

OH MY GOSH,Shawn!!! Those are incredible. You are truly a multi-talented woman. They are so beautiful!

You should do etsy! I would so buy one!

The Bakers said...

Holy Crap Shawn. What the? You are the most uber talented person I know. I really want an original floor cloth someday...

david mcmahon said...

G'day from Australia. Came here from Alyson's blog.

Your painting is beautiful, especially the first one. I notice you said you didn't get a degree ...

I paint too, without a degree. I am a photographer, without a degree. I write novels now and then, without a degree.

My university degree sustains my career. My passion for life and the arts - now THAT sustains my creativity.

Degrees, schmegrees!!

Angie said...

beautiful work...if you have a scanner you could scan the pics for clearer images for an online portfolio.

Heidi said...

Wow. Um. Your blog makes me feel really guilty for taking a blog break because I don't do any of this stuff.

I nap. Is that creative?

Shawn said...

Thank you one and all for the nice comments...

I really think that I will get painting again when I have the theatre under control. I really miss it!

Thanks for the ideas to get better images---I would have scanned them, but my scanner has been on the blink also---argghhh---so I just did the best I could for the post.

I am planning on trying to get an Etsy site sometime this year----and I will be sure and let everyone know!

Again---I appreciate all the amazing comments---they do the body good!

Julie said...

You caught me... checking in on your life! :) I'm amazed by your talents -- you can do anything and everything! LOVE these floorcloths!

nikkicrumpet said...

Wow is it fair for one person to be loaded with so much talent? I can't imagine being able to create something this beautiful!

Melissa said...

Holy cow! What talent you have! I love the walk to remember and the ones with your kids lying down.

You go girl!

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