About Tole Painting

I have always enjoyed crafts, including crocheting, knitting, drawing, sewing, decorating, and ceramics. I began painting in 1993 at Pat's Craft's in Bedford, Nova Scotia. I was "hooked" immediately. I "had" to have books, paints, brushes, patterns, a scroll saw, wood, sander, router, and table saw to feed my addiction. I'm happy to report that 9 years later my passion for painting is still alive and well. To see some examples of my painted pieces, click here.

Even if you aren't artistic, you could learn to paint. With a few inexpensive supplies and a little practice you could begin a new hobby. Painting is relaxing and the pieces you create are great gifts for families and friends, come to think of it, you could even keep a few pieces for yourself!

Tolepainting originally referred to painting on tin, however it now encompasses any type of decorative painting, be it on wood, glass, tin, etc... When peddlers travelled across America in wagons, hawking their wares, tin was the major product sold to settlers for their kitchen utensils. Not able to afford fancy dishes or cookware, settlers decorated these pieces to make them more attractive.

Painters have been known to paint their toilet seats, bathroom sinks, mailboxes, lunchboxes, and many other unusual items, (a lady in Quebec, Canada painted teddy bears, complete with a scenic background, on the side of her van!). Tolepainters have a saying "If it doesn't move, we'll paint it!" so be careful not to stay still if you're in the presence of a fanatic painter.

The internet has opened an incredible venue for tolepainters. There are free e-mail mailing lists, (such as Tole Friends) dedicated to the discussion of painting, there are websites that sell all of the products painters require (painting is an obsession, there is no such thing as too many books, brushes, or bottles of paint), and painters meet and chat on-line all over the world.

There are many different styles of painting such as folk art, realistic, seasonal, zhostovo, one-stroke, etc..., so if one style doesn't appeal to you, another one surely will. The best thing about painting is that it requires no formal training, anyone can learn to paint! "Oh I can't paint, I can't even draw a stick figure" are words teachers often hear from non-painters, but if you can hold a pen, read and follow instructions, you can learn to paint!

Click here to visit Donna Dewberry's site, a great resource for fast and easy painting. Her technique is better known as One Stroke Painting. I attended her seminar in Atlanta, Georgia in August of 1998 with Deborah Webb-Clarke (from Raleigh) and was certified as a One Stroke Certified Instructor (OSCI).

For more information on tole painting visit the Society of Decorative Painting's website.

This site was modifed on March 27, 2011