29 September 2014

Introducing Painter in Residence Alex Russell Flint

“Hi I’m Alex Russell Flint and I call myself a contemporary realist painter in oils and I came here to west central France when I was 20 to study with an American artist who has his studio nearby and that’s how I ended up here. I live in a former school house in Argenton-Chateau, about 300 km southwest of Paris in the Deux-Sevres (Poitou-Charentes region). It’s a very beautiful village with a river, the Argenton, running through it in a valley. The big old building is perched on a hillside and commands great views and is the first home I’ve ever owned and I’ve fallen in love with interior decoration and Chalk Paint®.

One of Alex's oil paintings - his home and studio provides
 the backdrop to many of his paintings.

And Annie's paint? 

It was the paint I’d been looking for but didn’t know existed. As an artist I was only too aware that when you paint on a specific wall on a building it’s very different to how it looks from a colour chart; but with Chalk Paint® this was never an issue.

It’s just been great being able to slap the paint on stone, wood and metal and create a bespoke finish and colour to fit each room. I love the matte finish on a paint for a wall especially if the walls are quite badly damaged. It’s very forgiving, it doesn’t get highlights on every crack so the very chalky finish is great.

As soon as I met Annie I knew we were on the same page in terms of decorating and trying things out. Annie is passionate about what she does, very down to earth – and as an artist it was nice to ask her how she developed the paint and what inspired her.

What you’ll see from me

My first project is going to be an outdoor bathroom using a 19th century zinc bathtub which I shall make more luxurious adding decking with old oak floorboards and old shutters and create an area overlooking the trees of this valley.

I source all my décor from vide-greniers (boot fairs), brocantes and salons d’antiquaires. I’ve also got some very nice quality curtains but in the wrong colour so I’m going to paint and wax them. That’s just for starters.”

Here’s a sneak peek of projects to come from Alex:

24 September 2014

Beau Ford's Ombre Console Table

The first project from Painter in Residence Beau Ford is this pretty ombre-effect console table painted in my paint, Chalk Paint®.

Beau has transformed an unfashionable and dated, dark wooden console in to a striking and bright modern piece, with an on-trend ombre finish. Beau has layered and mixed my colours Provence and Greek Blue to create an ombre look on the legs of the table. She then dry-brushed Pure on to the bottom of the legs to highlight the shape and carvings.

To add interest to the top of the console, Beau applied a Moroccan-style stencil with the same three Chalk Paint® colours. She then finished with a layer of Annie Sloan Clear Wax followed by a heavy amount of Annie Sloan Dark Wax to give an aged finish. She distressed the piece with sandpaper, before applying one final coat Annie Sloan Clear Wax to add a subtle sheen and protection.

What do you think? Have you ever tried creating an ombre effect using Chalk Paint®?

Yours, Annie

Follow this blog for exclusive pics from Beau's residency and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog: http://drip-designsfurniture.blogspot.com.au

And remember to follow #PaintersInResidence on Instagram and Facebook, as well as my Painters in Residence board on Pinterest.

22 September 2014

Introducing Painter in Residence Beau Ford

“Hi I’m Beau and I’m tucked away in the remote southwest corner of Australia, and I’m very much an accidental painter. I’m also a home lover, who fits this hobby in when she can – and it’s just for me. I wanted to try something outside of just being a busy mum with 3 kids and getting noticed for it has been a thrill. I have no formal art background but I just love colour and making my house a home. I love taking a tired piece of old furniture and making it into something people notice and comment on...

And Annie's paint? 

When I met Annie on her Australian tour it 
felt like it was meant to be because the way she described her life and how she came to create her product reminded me of myself a little bit: she was painting and trying to find a paint that was quick and easy to use when you’ve only half an hour here or there while bringing up three little people. I just love the concept of a paint that is easy to throw at a piece of furniture and not have to be ridiculous about priming and making it perfect because that was NOT the look I am after.

For me, Chalk Paint® is incredibly easy to use, and incredibly novice friendly. I hadn’t realised how many hundreds of colours you could get by mixing the paints, though I’m sure people from an art background would know, and I found out much later when I got more used to the paint and to the decorative techniques (Annie’s books have been really helpful to me for ideas and techniques). Blending is such a clever trait of her paint – you start with your basic colours and then you get more confident and you mix and really step out of the box.

What you’ll see from me

I’ll be looking to do things with the colours that people aren’t necessarily drawn to much like olives, mustards and greens, and also an autumn combination with berry colours, chocolate browns and teal – very much the kind of colours I wear. What do I want out of PIR? Just that I don’t want anyone to think that picking up a paintbrush is a hard thing to do!”

Follow this blog for exclusive pics from Beau's residency and follow her on InstagramFacebook, and her own blog: http://drip-designsfurniture.blogspot.com.au

And remember to follow #PaintersInResidence on Instagram and Facebook, as well as my Painters in Residence board on Pinterest.

18 September 2014

Janice Issitt's Boho Bathroom

The first project from Painter in Residence Janice Issitt is this fabulous boho bathroom painted in my paint, Chalk Paint®

Janice started this project by creating a floral backdrop using my Decoupage Glue and Varnish and Pierre-Joseph Redouté's rose illustrations. Rather than working with decoupage on furniture, she decided to use it on a large scale, creating this eye-popping wallpaper effect.

Next, Janice wanted to match the colour on her enamel bathtub. She mixed together Antibes and Old White to create a similar hue and used this to paint the wooden chair and shelf, shown in the background.

To give this a boho edge, Janice works in bright contrasting colours. She created the pink on the chest and shelf using a mix made from Emperor's Silk, Henrietta and Old White.

The shelf also features flashes of Provence, Burgundy and Florence.

Thank you to Janice's local Stockists, Making the Best in Leighton Buzzard, UK for lending the vintage towels, bath products and red trug!

Have you used Chalk Paint® in your bathrooms?

Yours, Annie

Follow this blog for exclusive pics from Janice's residency and follow her on InstagramFacebook, and her blog:janiceissittlifestyle.blogspot.com

And remember to follow #PaintersInResidence on Instagram and Facebook, as well as my Painters in Residence board on Pinterest.

15 September 2014

Introducing Painter in Residence Janice Issitt

I chose Janice Issitt to be a Painter in Residence because I love her use of bright, clashing colours and patterns. I knew she'd be absolutely perfect for it.

Hi I’m Janice Issitt and I like weird colour combinations, and things that stand out with a punch. I guess that has come from my travels to India, Sweden Morocco, South America, and Japan. I like collecting things from all these places and working out how to put them together in an interior so it works. I find quite often it’s the colours that tie in the objects from places as far apart as Mumbay and Malmo.

Every picture tells a story – and my tattoo art does just that.

I worked in the music biz for a big record company which kindled my love of travel and photography. I use my house as my studio in which I photograph other peoples products  – people need mood shots and that’s what I do well – I show people how to incorporate that piece into their life (not just a product shot on white background). The whole of my downstairs house is like a giant prop. I’m currently working with West German 1960’s lava ware which has mad colours and effects that look like lava flow. I’m also advising a tattoo salon and I’ve just taken the plunge to tell my life story in tattoos, and I love stencilling. It’s very random.

And Annie's paint? 
I like the quickness of it, creating a colour effect really fast which is what I need to do for my photoshoots. I like my finishes to be either really matte or really shiny, not in between, and many paints just can’t do this. When I put Chalk Paint® on the wall it looks like velvet it doesn’t even look like paint – it looks different in different lights much more so than other paints.

I also really like her Craqueleur for achieving a crackled effect that brings out a depth in the colour and changes the colour.

I heard about Annie’s paint through the grapevine (I was scouring antiques fairs for ‘props’ to paint). I was getting bored with the other paint colours on offer so I starting buying tester pot after tester pot after tester pot of Chalk Paint® and realising that this is fantastic. I don’t have an allergy to this paint (I did to other brands) and I really like the colours and the fact that it was quick, so when you’re styling up for a photo session that’s great for creating a really beautifully coloured backdrop.

I like the fact that Annie is a businesswomen but she also has the creative flair. She’s very influential, she’s got a ‘history’, you can’t deny what she’s done and she’s done it a long while and she stuck to what she believes in for many, many years when it wasn’t as popular as it is now.

What you’ll see from me
So I’m really looking forward to showing my projects which include an Art Deco cupboard using Florence but crackled and dark wax and it looks really wicked and done with lots of gold and copper leaf – I’m really enjoying playing with these effects. I’m also styling a garden summer house (let’s say it ain’t no shed!) with stencilled panelled screens, dyed lace curtains painted in Emperor’s Silk and Henrietta, a little old cabinet in Antibes Green with Craqueleur and gold leaf, and a massive snowflake in  pink to name a few bits and pieces.

Heres a sneak peak of projects to come from Janice:

Follow this blog for exclusive pics from Janice's residency and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog: janiceissittlifestyle.blogspot.com

And remember to follow #PaintersInResidence on Instagram and Facebook, as well as my Painters in Residence board on Pinterest.

Chalking up bold ideas

‘Endless possibilities’, I really feel those two words totally underpin what I’m trying to achieve with my paint, Chalk Paint®. It’s been my mantra ever since I started painting interiors in the 1980s.

And it’s inspired me now to set up my ‘Painters in Residence’ programme. Why Painters in Residence? Well, in the course of running my business for over 25 years, I’ve met and seen many wonderful people doing creative things with my paints. And I’ve been wanting to find a way to collaborate with so many like-minded people and showcase the high-quality, innovative, and sometimes ‘leftfield’ things they are doing with Chalk Paint® and other Annie Sloan products. Painters in Residence seems such a neat answer.

Painters in Residence 

The concept is very loosely based on the way an art gallery or museum will, from time to time, have an ‘artist in residence’ to inhabit those places as a way to get inspired to create their own works inside or outside the venue. 

My first three talented PIRs already use Chalk Paint® (that’s part of the remit), and I’ve chosen them because they are bold with my paint and prepared to ‘give it a go’. They won’t be taking up residence at Annie Sloan HQ, but they will be exploring the boundaries of decorative painting – the ‘what if?’ and ‘why not?’ when using my paint – as well as showing how easy it is to use my products.

As you’ll see in future posts – and if you look on their websites (see below) – they are all different in approach, colour, tone and textures and their styles range from French elegance to funky Bohemian to quirky rustic country fused with loud fabrics. 

The first three Painters in Residence are:

Janice Issitt:

Website | Facebook | Instagram

Alex Russell Flint:

Website | Facebook | Instagram


Beau Ford:

Website | Facebook | Instagram


Follow the hashtag #PaintersInResidence on Instagram and Facebook to see more projects. Or follow my new 'Painters in Residence' Pinterest board. It’s going to be eye-catching and attention grabbing and all about thinking outside the box (or paint pot)!

Yours, Annie

P.S. I'll be announcing the next set of Painters in Residence in a few weeks time. The PIR programme is by invitation only (we will not be accepting applications at this stage).

9 September 2014

True Blue

It’s great to have Napoleonic Blue back in my Chalk Paint® colour range here in Europe; and for all my customers around the world who've been familiar with it for years, here’s a timely reminder of just what a deep, rich and warm blue it really is.

My inspiration isn’t the diminutive Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte himself, but the classic French Empire style he put his emperor’s seal to. It’s like saying ‘Victorian’ to describe an era rather than Queen Victoria herself, and to that extent Napoleonic Blue represents a ‘regimented’ style: it’s dark, it’s rich, it’s a bit ‘masculine’, I suppose. The French Empire style under Napoleon borrowed wholesale from classical Greece and Rome in a grand style with military motifs and masculine colours (and don’t forget Napoleon had conquered Egypt, which was yet another classical influence with its vibrant azure blues, rich greens, red ochre and acid yellows).

Pigments – something borrowed, something blue

Some of my stockists have likened Napoleonic Blue to the colour of freshly picked blueberries, and even the perfect blue for creating the Union Jack flag (though I’m not sure what the French would think of this!). I see it as a homage to ‘ultramarine blue’, which was extracted from the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli – the incredibly bright blue pigment that was reputedly more expensive than gold in medieval times and the forerunner of all artists’ blues. It was used by some Medieval and Renaissance artists strictly to paint Mary and Jesus’ robes.

The history of colour in Art (which I studied) is a bit of a detective story and is fascinating in itself – but it boils down to the discovery of pigments. These are very fine powders sourced from the earth, from plants (and from dyes and synthetic materials). They’re a bit like spices with varying strengths and properties – some are opaque, some are like grains, some mix with oil, while others work better with water. There are actually no blue pigments you can find straight from the earth, so it’s always been a complicated and expensive process to get that 'true' blue (as with lapis lazuli).

Something versatile, something new

The great thing about Napoleonic Blue is that because it’s so rich and warm and strong and pure, I can see it being used in so many different ways. As a 'regal' stand alone, or with whites for example as you get all these pale warm blues. If you add dark wax it makes it silkier, deeper and even more gorgeous. Here are some neat ideas (below) found online:

The colour is absolutely tailor-made for neoclassical interiors but also works very well with the Swedish style. It’s a winning combination (well, it was for Napoleon till he met his Waterloo).

And although it refers back to the past it also has a more modern feel 1960’s pop art feel to it too – that bright blue used with orange or the bright-blue-with-bright-green mix so it looks fantastic with or over Barcelona Orange (which also gives it a truer navy blue) as well as with Antibes Green (see below).

Just looking at my Chalk Paint® colour card, you can see the range of blues goes from violet and lavender blues to grey blues, navy blues and the greenish hues of turquoise. Aubusson Blue for example, is from Prussian Blue, a cold, greeny blue, whereas Napoleonic Blue is a warm blue with the faintest hint of red (so it makes for a great purple – a favourite colour of Napoleon’s).

To get a warm blue you need an undertone of red and more red will give you a good purple especially with a bit of white added. When combined with Old White or Paris Grey, Napoleonic Blue can be used to create a really mellow farmhouse grey blue. When you start mixing my blues with other hues in the colour wheel, you’ll really notice just how vast the blue colour range is.

I created my paint, Chalk Paint®, from the idea of the artist using a palette to mix colours rather than robotically selecting from a bewildering kaleidoscopic chart – so go on, use Napoleonic Blue and be an artist!

Yours, Annie

P.S. I would like to thank my stockists and others for some of the ideas shown here via Pinterest and blogs which I acknowledge below. Apologies if I have omitted anyone! Search #Napoleonic on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more inspiration.

Finding Silver Pennies for the ‘grain sack dresser’