Recently I was honored to have the opportunity to visit with Priscilla Hauser, MDA (Master Decorative Artist) and work with her to create some new Decorative Painting for Beginners videos featuring FolkArt Multi-Surface Acrylics. If you are new to the crafting world, you may be asking ... "Who is Priscilla Hauser?"
To answer that question honestly, I would have to say that Priscilla is many things. She is America's First and Foremost Promoter and Teacher of Decorative Painting. She began teaching in the early 1970's at Priscilla's Little Red Tole House in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has devoted her life sharing her love of step-by-step painting methods teaching thousands of interested artists how-to-paint. Priscilla Hauser Accredited Teachers and students scan several continents. She has authored many, many publications providing step-by-step- instructions and inspiration. Priscilla herself lights up a room as she is rarely without a smile on her face and her laughter is contagious. Priscilla's positive outlook on life is infectious. Once you take a class with Priscilla, you feel both totally exhausted from learning new techniques and exhilarated ready to practice them all!
Earlier this year, Priscilla spent some time at the Plaid corporate offices and I had the privilege of working beside her. During this time, we filmed three short how-to videos that are perfect for the beginner who wishes to learn more about decorative painting. Each video, "How to Paint Daisies," "How to Paint a Strawberry," and "How to Paint a Rosebud" all are PERFECT for the beginner student!
We also snapped several photos of Priscilla while she painted step-by-step so that we could produce beginner slideshows, "Basic Brushstrokes," "Basic Leaf," "Flat Brush Daisy," "Five Petal Flower" and a "Lemon." These how-to slideshows all live on Plaidonline.com.
I also was able to coordinate a Plaid corporate Lunch n Learn event where Priscilla taught our employees how to paint with a dauber to create a gorgeous grape cluster and leaf on painted chalkboard!
So let's get down to the nitty gritty and learn a little bit more about THE Priscilla Hauser, shall we?
1. So tell us Priscilla, how did you get started so many years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma?
Gosh, Chris, way back when I was about 12 years old and in junior high school, a friend of mine received a set of bedroom furniture that was all painted by hand. The set was lovely and it included a trunk. I fell in LOVE with the painted furniture but especially the trunk. I wanted to learn how to paint like that and found the artist who created this set. She referred to it as "tole painting" because of the metal sections on the trunk. However, she would not teach classes. Years later while living in Missouri after marrying and while pregnant with my first child, I signed up and attended a series of eight tole painting classes at the YWCA. I caught the bug! Our family then moved back to Tulsa where I continued painting. My neighbors saw what I was doing and wanted to learn how too! I began teaching tole and decorative painting classes to my interested neighbors and the rest is history!
2. Can you tell us just how many people you have taught how-to-paint over the years?
Oh my, that is a tough question. You know I truly believe that I started the decorative painting movement throughout the world. I have taught tole and decorative painting classes over so many years via week long seminars, workshops, while attending trade shows, traveling across continents, over public TV with three different series for three years, through books, how-to publications, and now the internet. I would have to guess that I have taught up to approximately 40,000 to 50,000 people to paint!
3. Just exactly how many books and publications have you authored?
I am sure it has to be well over 250 books, how-to magazine articles, and internet lessons!
4. Tell us the countries where you have taught ....
I have been very fortunate over the years to have been able to teach decorative painting to interested followers throughout the USA, Canada, Argentina, Japan, Australia, Germany, England, the Netherlands, Italy, Croatia, Greece and even while cruising the Mediterranean Sea! As a matter of fact, I leave for England in a few days to teach across the pond!
5. Can you share a favorite teaching moment?
I am so blessed to have enjoyed so many, many favorite teaching moments, however, I can share two moments when I truly felt privileged
* While teaching a seminar in Tulsa, I had received a phone call asking me to represent the United States in a panel consisting of ten other artists from ten different countries. We were to travel to the Netherlands and present our painted panels in the Palace to none other than the Royal Highness Bernard who at that time was President of the Worldwide Wildlife Federation. It truly was an honor and a privilege to do so!
* The second moment, I believe was in the 80's when I was flying on a 747 airplane and it hit me ... it really hit me ... through connections with Bill Alexander, I was on my way to film my first public TV series, "The Magic of Decorative Painting!" I felt like a star! I became friends with Bob Ross and Ken Brown! And as it turned out, the first series lead to two other series, three years total!
6. As a talented artist, can you tell us where you get your creative inspiration?
I find inspiration in several places, in music, the beach, the mountains, forests, and from flowers. I can find my inspiration where ever I can find peace, even in an airplane! If it is a quiet flight, I can bury myself in my sketchbook.
7. What is your favorite thing or "go to" subject to paint when you sit down to a blank canvas?
My favorite subject to paint is always floral and I would have to say that roses are at the top of that list!
8. What is your favorite color?
Red and yellow, of course!
9. Why do you like to paint?
Painting for me is a tremendous form of relaxation and for me painting has meant different things at different times of my life. In the beginning, It meant self-satisfaction, then it became a way to have an income and help support my family. Painting then opened a door that enabled me to see the world and now at this time in my life, it is still enabling me to meet, teach and share painting with people in all walks of life. It has helped me communicate with children, the sick and the blind (as one of my sisters was blind.) I also now use painting as a fundraiser for my favorite animal rescue charity. I was truly blessed to have had a wonderfully loving husband who completely supported our family and my career which allowed me to share my talents with so many people in so many ways!
10. What advice would you have for someone wanting to learn how to paint?
Do NOT be intimidated. Paint what you LOVE! Take every opportunity to learn from every media. And please follow along with me on our newly released easy beginner videos on plaidonline.com. And remember ....
"With brush in hand, my mind empties of it sorrows and the beauty in life smiles!"