Organizing a Window Painting Gallery

Wireless Fusion Window Paintings 2015

Wireless Fusion Window Paintings 2015

A Window Painter’s Portfolio

My work as a window painter in Fall and Winter takes months to organize. The seasonal paintings I create for holidays are documented step by step as the designs are created and the finished product is detailed. The images stack up to hundreds of picture files.  The task of organizing a gallery and photo journal takes many weeks and months to create order out of chaos.

Often, I do pencil sketches from these photos and set them aside in a portfolio binder. My best work is then printed and added to this folder. The digital images are processed in a different manner. My current image galleries number in the thousands. That is a lot of images to sort through when looking for a particular image or design piece. But how do you organize and find anything in all of these images?

The first question you may ask is why do I take so many pictures? The images are study material. They are examples of my work and content images for my writings. Inside each photocell are the results of painting trial and success over decades. They are the process of the art. The photo is the documented history of an image that will only linger for a few weeks and be destroyed when the holiday is over.

Photographs are the only way to preserve this type of art. Eventually, these images will be applied in acrylic on canvas for permanent pieces and in gallery displays of talent. They are studied for further enhancement and are the markers of this artist’s history. A photo journal of this type needs to be categorized and images titled and tagged for optimum organization.

How The Galleries are Organized

Organizing a computer photo gallery is tedious work and time-consuming. First, a file folder is created for the subject matter – in this case, window painting. The file is then divided into assorted images that are similar or that were taken in the same period. I keep a record of individual clients I have painted for and divide that into separate holiday works. and the year created.

A copy of each character, scene or holiday icon is transferred to a file for the best images of the project. Snowmen go in snowmen folder, wreaths go in the wreath folder etcetera, etcetera. A “best of file” is created for not only the best-painted image but best photograph. This file is dual purpose. It is a quick access folder for images that will be saved to CD and preserved against computer failure or deletion. I have lost many a favorite photograph through a hard drive crash or corrupted motherboard. I would like to hang onto these images.

This “best of file” are images that represent my highest quality window painting artwork. It is my digital portfolio. I can use them on flyers, in demonstrations for students, and for just plain showing off my talents. They will be printed as 8″ by 10″ glossy photographs and framed as well as stored in a portfolio binder. They are the ones I show my new clients and with these images in hand, I can create new images using the details of the designs I have already produced. They help me evolve my paintings and increase the quality of my artwork.

These screen shots below are the processes I use to organize and sign each photo. There is a back file in each picture that contains details that allow for the image to be fetched in a general search. Tags, titles, and notes may be added as well as author name and other information. Right click on any photograph in your picture gallery and you will see what I am talking about. It is possible to title and tag several photos at the same time by selecting them and using the box at the bottom of the screen insert the information and save.

Organizing Individual Photos for Search and Signing

Open your pictures folder and right click the mouse button any image and a drop-down menu will appear. The properties option will be on the bottom of this list. Click on this selection and a box will open. Properties are the specific characteristics of the file.

Image Properties Screenshot - snowman - properties arrow

Right-click an image for properties menu


Next, go to the top menu and find the Details tab. (PLEASE NOTE: I do not change anything on this front page in properties. Doing so might interfere with the security of the file or the ability to share or edit the image.)


Properties Box

Properties Features


From the Details Menu, a variety of information is available for editing. The camera used will show as well as other information. Change what details apply to the image and sign it with the name of the photographer. Remember to add information about copywriting in the notes section. Add something like All Rights Reserved. It is important people know this is your work when the search engine shows them your picture. It can also help you find the images you have already edited for search optimization.


Propeties Detail Image

Properties Details – Edit Choices

If you look at the bottom of your folder gallery, there is a strip of information. These are property values of the folder itself and its contents. There are options for changing titles and tags and the author and subject here. Use the control button on your keyboard and click carefully on several images at the same time. The author name and other details can be changed in bulk at the same time. Again, do not forget to hit the save button. If you click back on the screen the information will undo itself. Save, save, save!!!

Properties Lower Strip Details

The Lower Properties’ Strip


How All This Information Applies to Search Assistance and Copywriting Photos

For a quick reference, if I want to find snowmen on my computer, I need only type that word into my search engine box and the images that were tagged properly  will populate in the search area. I pick the one I need to work with and get on with my project. I do not have to find the folder or photo and spend valuable minutes on a wild goose chase or a null result. The computer will do that for me if I have properly edited the image.

This process helps me also copyright my images. For the record, I would highly appreciate it if my artwork is not copied. It is years of painstaking study and inspiration. I am kind of selfish that way. This is the purpose of my book. If I teach the process of creating your own images and scenes, maybe artists won’t copy mine… anyways, thanks for reading. I have about a thousand more photos to edit and organize.


For more on my work and window painting, in general, see the following links:

the essential window painting guide book cover

The Essential Window Painting Guide




Window Painting Fall Holidays 2015

2015’s window painting season brought this artist’s portfolio new festive images and delightful characters. The challenge of the year’s art was to perfect a group of images representing not only seasonal traditions, but tailor made creatures and characters complimenting specific business themes. The challenge was met in fine color, detail, and style.

Groomer Has It Images 2015

Groomer Girl and Trixie Turkey – Image: M Burgess 2015  – All Rights Reserved

The changing season between Fall and Winter holidays requires two separate color palettes when creating art paintings on window panes. The pastel browns and burgundy reds of Fall are lovely touches for dressing up store front corners around Thanksgiving. The bright red and deep greens are striking shades as they represent the Christmas holiday and decor. An artist may have to divide up paint supplies into two separate containers to accommodate an organized seasonal painting kit.

Images of leaves and turkeys celebrate Fall while the familiar jolly elf, Santa, welcomes the Christmas days into our calendar. There are strict differences in color choices between these painting scenes. Continue reading

New Book About Window Painting and More on Halloween Painting

halloween painting

Office doors decorated with Halloween paintings.

Formatting Kindle Files and Publishing News

I have been slaving over a book about my window painting experience and techniques. It took me weeks of editing and tense moments to complete. I hand drew images and illustrations in Paint and Google Documents for explaining the directions. I worked with Word to sift out the important information needed and my goal has been met for the pre-holiday season. Yes, I cussed out all three of these programs as I went along, but I now have a Kindle version and a paperback book for sale! I wanted to be able to share my window painting techniques in such a manner that someone who does not even draw can pick up this tutorial and draw simple figures using lines and geometric shapes.

Window Paintings For Halloween

The hobby of window painting has been in my life for many decades. It delights me to share it when the seasons change and I know that painting for Halloween is close. I knock on doors and make phone calls to my previous clients. Often while I am painting, people ask me to paint next door. I love doing these paintings. The artwork I produce is a blend of realistic shading and cartoon imagery. Soon, the season will start again for window painters. The colorful paintings will appear on window panes to mark the holidays Halloween, Thanksgiving,  and Christmas. They may extend beyond those holidays as well to celebrate Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s as well.

Misc Window Painting Information

The only thing I do not enjoy about the paintings is the cold that comes in late November around the time I clean off Fall paintings and change over to the Christmas seasonal decorations. I only dislike it because my hands get cold and wet and it makes painting a bit challenging, but that does not stop me. These window murals are an ordered series of drawings and painted layers and techniques. This information may all be found in the cover of my book. The Essential Window Painting Guide is a book for beginners in both drawing and the window painting technique. If you cannot draw, but would like to, stop by my website and pick up a PDF copy of the guide today at the website

halloween paintings featuring pumpkis

Halloween painted pumpkins is a common theme in window painting for holidays

Halloween Paintings

Soon images like this will be painted for the Halloween season. I generally start painting about the beginning of October as the month has 31 days in it and that is plenty of time to enjoy the seasonal decorations. I love Halloween paintings and the delight that painting for this holiday is. I get some crazy ideas for window paning themes. Most of the time I do pumpkins for a generic Fall theme, but sometimes I get to do Jack O’ Lanterns and I really have a great time with those. The many shapes and sizes that pumpkins come in can be used with different faces and poses. I enjoy painting ghosts and trick or treaters roaming through graveyards of pumpkin patches.

I have several favorite icons for Halloween paintings, but the most frequent favorite is this funny faced pumpkin with the frightened face and the spider crawling on his face. I like painting a big bully pumpkin next to him that laughs at the scared little gourd. These were some of my original images when I began painting windows for more that the Christmas themes. The designs came to me as I cleaned the windows and set up the panes for the panting I would be adding to the glass.

The year I first did Halloween paintings I believe was 1988.. I had been working for a pizza restaurant that had several chain stores in the area and I was able to decorate the whole set of pizza parlors. I painted for a lounge next door to one of these eateries and I really enjoyed that series of paintings. The glass was tinted on the inside and the black windows really make the paintings leap off of the frames.

Happy Halloween painted greeting

Happy Halloween greeting painted at the bottom of a set of tinted windows.

Window Painter – Santa’s Elf With A Paint Brush

window painting of Santa being given a hair cut by an elf on a ladder.

Santa in the barber chair – North Pole Division

I have often associated the role of being  a window painter to that of  Santa’s Elf with a paint brush.


Although The elves generally work in the north pole toy shop, some of Santa’s helpers may  be found among the population spreading cheer and holiday tidings.

I am often approached as I paint by folks curious about my project. They stop to dish a bit about the technique or just pause for general chit chat. I have to be polite and very aware. It happens more times than not, that people want to talk to me about the painting I am doing or just stand by and observe. Often as I peer through the window pane, the whole office is mesmerized watching me work. It’s funny, you know. I want to peek in the door and tell them all to quit gawking and get back to work but I want to stay focused. I have learned to block them out but I still can’t help but smile. It is a unique perspective, painting art for holiday and spending time in paint mode.

Over the spring and summer I may have opportunities to paint occasionally, but unless it is my personal art I am not out doing windows. I am planning for the next season in my wait. The beginning of September has me making phone calls and reminder visits that my services are available for the season and lining up my calendar. I like to start as early as possible to make room for new clients and to fulfill the decorating wishes of my clients. I am down to only a few at this time because I work full time and my job takes up a majority of my time. It never fails. I plan to paint two projects a day on my off days and hit as many businesses as I can, but there is always a change in the schedule.

My favorite paintings will be accompanied by Christmas Carols along with the brush strokes. Why not be a great painter and full source of entertainment while the painting evolves bit by bit on the window pane. I offer a complete package with this holiday decor method. Why not be as conspicuous as possible while you are casually creating a wonderful mess!

In a world so colored with chaos and madness it is my privilege to stand in this unique place in holiday tradition. To cast my signature pieces in temporary form on window glass and leave behind me a trail of holiday spirit. We so need bright spots in our travels and I love participating in a decorating effort that leaves behind it, a view of holiday wonder, hope, and good tidings.

That’s Santa’s elf over there. The paint brushes are touched with Yuletide magic. If you linger long enough you may sense Santa’s presence and the wonder of the Season that it is blessed with… For the Christians it is a tribute to His birth and the celebrations that go with this day. Hang on to hope and faith and be of good cheer. You too, can be a part of the enchantment!

Halloween Windows – Kick Off Your Season – Painters!

Painting pumpkins is a lot of fun for Halloween decorations and they can get really creative. There is one in the corner of this Halloween window painting. I wish I could show you the details on the cat face and the fuzzy furry effect, but this was a long time ago. The painting below is from 1989 before the digital camera was popular so I have to make do with what I have to share.

Halloween Greeting And Black Cat

I recently submitted an article about Halloween Paintings to an online magazine and it was picked up and featured. I am sure it will be viewed a few times. It has an old design in it that is one of my signature images and I will be posting the paper sketch of it soon.

When I get the opportunity to paint for this event I will be sure to add it to the blog here. I really enjoy my ghosties and goblin paintings. The variety of designs that go with Halloween are frightfully fun and can be done in good humor. Take the time to sketch them out so the image comes out just like you want it and go to town with all the details. Halloween isn’t as popular for window paint decorations, but its tons of fun.

Happy trick or treating!

For more information on Halloween  and more Window Paintings see the following links:

So, You Want To Paint Holiday Windows?

How To Do Halloween Art For Windows

New Blog – Holiday Window Painting

holiday window painter poinsettia image

This day marks the arrival of holiday window painting to WordPress!

I should say up front that I have been a holiday window painter for over 30 years. It is from this experience as an artist that I catalog the following information.

The new blog is a way of preserving a temporary art technique that unless they are recorded on film images or sketch, these designs would be lost forever like a sunset or a sandcastle. Preserving this work is important to me.

I am approaching a time in my life that will bring about my retirement eventually.

I have gathered some of my best images from years past and assembled my portfolio. It is an organized collection of art that would never be seen unless the casual observer passed by the paintings when they were live on the windows.

In my wish to find an apprentice and share my experience I have created various tutorials and guides for successfully managing this unique decorating method. I know there are people with artistic talent that might benefit from this information.

You will find posts about the tools, medium,  and materials needed, the techniques used. Enjoy window painting as a hobby for personal decorating or use it to set up a side business. If you are a like-minded soul or just an interested reader, these tips should help you understand what it takes to create this wonderful art.

Paint at home or go pro!

holly and berries painted on glass in vivid colors

Holly Painted On Interior Of Restaurant

As this is just the first of many posts, I would like to thank you for your visit and invite and encourage you to follow this blog. I will not be posting more than once a week or so as my time is minimal for blogging.

When I do post, I promise to be as relevant as can in sharing the next tip or observance on holiday window painting. I will be sharing personal stories about my experiences on successful ventures and the occasional failures as I record my years of painting. I have pulled down those boxes of pictures throughout my artist history and will be sharing the personal reflections on the paintings in specific images and why I created them and what inspired the designs.

Please, share any questions you may have on this art form and feel free to leave them in the comment box below. I am interested very much in what you have to say.

Spam comments will promptly dropped in the the waste basket so save your efforts. {wink}

Happy holidays window greeting painted on lower window panes

Painted Holiday greetings

May the wonder of the holidays stay in your heart year round and bring you full circle to the joy that they do bring, the hope they instill, and the cheer that lies within them.

In the meantime, please, enjoy the following article also by this author and artist:

 So, you want to paint holiday windows?

Thanks for visiting! =)

Much, much more soon!

There are pages here that are imports from my blog elsewhere and they are in rough draft status, but they do offer many useful tips.

Browse them or come back after I have fine tuned them to fit this format. Thank you for your patience!

All images are property of M Burgess – all rights reserved. Please, do not copy, thank you!


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Cleaning Off Tempera Window Paint

Cleaning off Tempera window paint is a simple process.

It can be messy business if you do not follow some simple advice.

paint being scraped from window

Scraping paint is tedious but it is by far the cleanest way to remove painted decorations.

You will need the right tools for cleaning off window paintings – among them a razor blade scraper. Make sure you have plenty of paper towels and aren’t afraid to get your hands a little wet. In cold climates this may be uncomfortable but it is a necessary part of the job.

If you would rather not do this task, find someone who will. And make sure they won’t ruin your business in the process. I have had some lazy window cleaners shaft me out of a long time client because they left a pile of paint on the sidewalks and angered my client. Because of this issue I make it a point to let them know I will be stopping back to remove the painting. I do not do this for free however and I will be charging them for that service when I do the job, not before hand. I have heard stories of painter who charge up front for cleaning and never return. That is another issue that will hurt your business.

The business of window cleaning treats a store front to a shiny, new feel.

In removing your paint, do wipe down the edges, the frames, and check the walkways in front of the office or store for drops of paint that you may have missed while you were having fun with your artwork. Removing the spots is easy.

I have an old plastic bristle broom that I soak down in soapy water and scrub the area down until the spots fade and disappear  This leaves a nice, tidy impression not only on your client, but their customers. If you leave paint behind after the season has ended and are generally a sloppy painter chances are high you will not be welcome back next time around so protect your interests and do the job right.

Cleaning off paintings used to break my heart. I stood in front of the image and slowly removed it by spraying the area with a misting bottle. If there was a character there I would respectfully take it down, leaving the face for last. I really hated destroying my art but …alas it is a temporary thing. Like an ice sculpture, nothing last forever. I did get used to this in time and I have found the methods demonstrated in the video the easiest way to carry out this chore. See these in action in the following video.

How To Video: Cleaning Off Window Paint

Read more:
So, You Want To SELL Holiday Window Painting?