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:

www.holidaywindowpaint.com

http://christmas-windows.blogspot.com/

http://hubpages.com/holidays/Christmas_Art_Painter

the essential window painting guide book cover

The Essential Window Painting Guide

 

 

 

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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My First Day Painting Holiday Windows

It is an interesting hobby, this window painting.

My business started over 30 years ago and it is still a large part of my life even though I don’t paint as often.

Over the past couple of years I have worked on getting my portfolio organized and resetting my themes and images so I can go tackle Christmas and other holidays with my paintings. The economy has hampered my business tremendously but I hope to call on more clients in the near future.

In a story I wrote you will read about how I got started window painting. My First day painting windows was when I was 14. The details are in this lens on Squidoo. It was a great day for me as you will find out why:

A Day In The Life Of A Holiday Window Painter

Image: M Burgess

Painting Windows For Holidays – Thanksgiving Theme

A Thanksgiving theme is fun! Though Christmas tends to be the big draw for window painting I enjoy paint for other holidays, too. 

You can incorporate a Fall theme into a window design using pumpkins, fall leaves, and Turkeys. 

The colors are bright and fun. Painting Thanksgiving themes on glass can be a lot of fun.

A Sketch of a Thanksgiving Turkey, Ms. Trixie —>


Use a fan brush to do feathers. They create a really neat texture as you will see in the close-up images in the following photos. 

(All Images: M Burgess)
This design has the owner’s pets names on images of turkeys playing in fall leaves. 


Thanksgiving Theme ~ Fall 2007:

The Turkeys Close-up:

 Fall Leaves:

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Painting Tips 101 – Art Brushes – Fan Brush

My best painting tip? Select quality art brushes!

Remember you are investing in a business.

If you select the right ones they will last years where the cheaper brushes will fall apart in your first season.

Cutting corners to save money on tools and supplies will cost you money in the long run. Cheaper quality brushes tend to leave brush hairs behind in your paintings.


Start your kit right and find good brushes to begin with.

Art brushes in different sizes, shapes, and textures can create the dimensions you need in a window painting. Picking out the right brush is key to the design your wish to create. 

One of my favorite brushes is a fan brush. I learned about these watching Bob Ross paint his happy little trees.

They are ideal for turkey feathers when painting Thanksgiving themes and they can be used to make clouds as well. They make great snow drifts and icicles, too! Another way you can use them is in creating a furry texture for painting animals.

Apply paint lightly with them using only the very tips of the brush. They will create interesting textured lines. Practice with these will bring out some fascinating images.

Keeping these brushes clean is simple. Rinse them every few minutes in clean water and dry gently on a towel or rag to keep the bristles straight and prevent paint from caking in them.

For more info stay tuned!
Read More about Holiday Window Painting:
So You Want To Paint Holiday Windows?

Before Painting Glass

Washing windows is part of the job and one of the features of your excellent service!

Become an expert in no time with these helpful window washing tips. It’s good business sense to leave sparkling clear glass behind before and after you have decorated!

Window Washing ~ Lessons From A Transparent Technician

Transparent Technician: the person who cleans glass window panes using a squeegee. Operates at ground level or hangs off of a high-rise building using a mobile scaffold and safety lines. (Window Washer)

Before you apply any paint or sketch to your window panes you have to make sure the surface is clean and the paint will stick.

This is easier to see than explain. The methods for cleaning a window quickly is an art in itself.
Done incorrectly you can make a bigger mess than the one you had when you started. The fanning action of the squeegee is what you need to learn. This lady really has fun with her window washing techniques!

 

Secret Formula to Clean Windows

Make sure your panes are clean before you start.

The secret to really good, clean windows is Dawn Soap! Use 2-3 drops in the water bucket. Practice with a squeegee and you can whip through the window cleaning quickly.

Make a good impression on the business you are decorating and clean the frames while you are at it. This helps when you dribble a little paint while you work. The surface is already clean and probably a little damp so spills are easy to remove.

Clean Window Kit Tools and Supplies
Having the right supplies ready for clean-up before and after is a great time saver. Plus!! Business owners LOVE it when you leave art and not a mess!
Here is a handy list of window washing tools and supplies:
*
  1. 3 gallon Plastic Bucket with a handle
  2. Squeegee – You can use a professional one like the one in the video. I prefer the automotive style squeegee. With a sponge on them, it makes soaping the window easier. There’s need to carry more equipment than you have to.
  3. A small bottle of Dawn Liquid
  4. Paper Towels – LOTS OF THEM! Bring at least 3 rolls with you. Get the quality ones. You don’t want paper shreds all over the place.
  5. Razor scrapers and replacement blades. Choose the flat edged ones. Purchase a few of them. It’s handy to switch them out in the clean-off process instead of having to stop and clean only one of them. These are great for cleaning up the painting, too. Need a sharp, flat edge? Just scrape off the paint around what you want to trim.
  6. Scrub Brush – Use this to clean up the window frames after you have painted. Scrub spots as soon as they occur to make clean-up easier.
  7. Plastic Bristle Broom and dustpan. Sweep the area under the windows BEFORE you start cleaning. When you are finished, dunk the broom into your soapy water and scrub down the sidewalk where you might have paint dribbles.
When I’m Cleaning Windows
By George Formby
Cute Song and some of the lyrics ARE truly some of the unexpected things that you will see when you are working with your holiday windows.
This song title could just as easily be changed to “When I’m PAINTING windows.”
Have we got these tips down ? Ok, you might be ready to start painting!
 But…
Yes, you guessed it. There is more…
See the Hubpages Article:
Image credit: Morguefile.com Page URL: http://mrg.bz/bl43mQ
 

Painting tips 101 ~ Tempera

Candle and Poinsettia Design

Candle and Poinsettia Design

 

For Holiday Art I recommend *Tempera Paint.

Tempera is non-toxic and as far as I believe it is biodegradable. Having a *Green* substance to work with is important in this day and age.  Though there are other mediums to work with such as acrylic and lacquer, I have found the Tempera to be the easiest for me to adapt my art from. It is great for glass paintings because it sticks well and it is quite durable. 

I use the student Tempera from Dick Blick Art Stores and have been happy with the results for years. The range of colors is wonderful and there are sets of primary colors available for just starting out. Yellow, Red, Blue, White, and Black are a good foundation. For ease of not having to mix tints and colors go ahead and get Green, Brown, and a few smaller bottles of whichever color strikes you for details and highlights. Buy large bottles of the White, Red, and Green because those are the ones you will get the most use of.


*Tempera (not to be confused with Japanese Food TEMPURA)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempera_paint

Tempera, also known as egg tempera, is a permanent fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment mixed with a water-soluble binder medium (usually a glutinous material such as egg yolk or some other size). Tempera also refers to the paintings done in this medium. Tempera paintings are very long lasting, and examples from the 1st centuries AD still exist. Egg tempera was a primary method of painting until after 1500 when it was superseded by the invention of oil painting. A paint which is commonly called tempera (although it is not) consisting of pigment and glue size is commonly used and referred to by some manufacturers in America as poster paint

Paintings I have done ages ago on private home window glass are still bright. The few colors with dark pigments do tend to fade if exposed to sunlight as most paints will disintegrate. 


Applying Tempera is simple and the clean up is quick. It doesn’t have any harmful or vaporous chemicals in it and it can be removed with water and rags or in a razor scrape method where you strip out sections of the paint and wipe the scraps onto paper towels. This has been the easiest way to get the windows back after the holiday is over. 


When I paint using  Tempera Paint  I can get either a cartoon fill effect or I can layer colors and achieve realistic style images. It depends on how I apply it and the brush I happen to use. You can use it thin or thick. I prefer it to have a consistency of gravy for the Holiday windows. Any thicker would have it cracking and chipping off. Thinly diluted Tempera can be used as a stain over other colors to mimic shadows or light effects as needed. Sprinkle in a little Holiday Magic and you have a very interesting piece of temporary art!


Cleaning up after doing holiday art is EXTREMELY important if you want to keep a client. I have lost accounts because I trusted a window cleaner to take care of that for me and they left a nasty mess behind. Paint splattered on windows, ledges, and sidewalks do not make a good impression. 


When you go back next season you would rather them remember you for your artwork!

For additional information and some fun images see:

More: So, You want to Paint Holiday Windows? 

Website: Holiday Window Paint.com

Facebook Page: Holiday Window Painter

Thank you for viewing!