15 March 2019

My lastest Painter in Residence, Girl in Blue Designs!

Charlie Anne Massey, better known as Girl in Blue Designs from Georgia, USA, has been on my radar for a few years now, and I’m delighted to cement the relationship by announcing her as my latest Painter in Residence!


No doubt you will have seen some of her pieces shared on my Instagram and Facebook – including once when she won one of my “Win-a-Tin” painting competitions. Charlie’s signature style is expressive, painterly and life-affirming; there’s an exciting, colourful wildness to her work which I find completely exhilarating. I’ve included some of her previous pieces below so that you can see for yourselves! I’ve also spoken to Charlie about her journey from Chalk Paint® novice to confident, capable, Chalk Paint® connoisseur!


“Since I could hold a pencil, I've always needed to create. For years that meant drawing, painting on canvas, and of course dabbling in various other mediums. Never once did it occur to me to try and make a living off of my art. I may have sold a drawing in a random social encounter here and there, but really it was always just something that I did for myself. Some people need to exercise the right side of their brains on a regular basis, and I'm one of those people. It wasn’t until I was 29 and very pregnant that I was introduced to Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan. Once introduced, I just couldn't put that brush down. I painted small, easy to handle pieces that otherwise would end up in the dump. The amazing thing was, that they sold, and rather quickly! I was hooked! Once my daughter was born, I obviously had no time for the brush. Once she was 1-ish though, I began to find little pockets of time to work/play. It escalated from there…"


"…I can’t say that I was an immediate natural as far as painting furniture. Not by a long shot. I had a lot to learn, including the different styles of furniture, which styles of paint-work look good on said type of furniture etc. But when it clicked, it clicked. I started listening to what each piece had to say, noting which styles gained popularity with the few followers I had, and most importantly I learned to bend the rules and have fun…"


"…Within a couple of years, painting furniture with Chalk Paint® was no longer a hobby that provided me with a little supplemental income. It was my yoga, my passion, my art form, and my business! Once I figured out what I was good at and what my audience wanted to see from me, a hobby became the most stress relieving job I've ever had."

Keep your eyes on my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Inspiration Page to see all the pieces this Girl in Blue produces for her residency. I hope you are as excited as I am!

Yours,

Annie.

12 March 2019

Lem Lem - supporting Oxfam & helping beat poverty!

It’s early Spring as I write this; here in Oxfordshire the gardens are beginning to bloom and the evenings are drawing out with beautiful sunsets. This luxuriance of verdancy puts me in mind of one very special colour: Lem Lem. So good I named it twice!


For those of you who don’t know, Lem Lem is the colour I created in collaboration with Oxfam. Along with some of my team I travelled to Ethiopia last year to see the results of Oxfam’s Seed Project. This initiative empowers women farmers to grow their own crops and sustain themselves and their families. The women I met grow alliums; and the soft green of Lem Lem is inspired by the rolling fields of healthy crops I saw. We call Lem Lem “the colour of hope”

I asked one of the women farmers, "what does green mean to you?" and she immediately said, "growth" and I thought that was fantastic. The women grow the alliums for their seeds which they then sell. One woman with four children under nine had made enough money to buy a house, a cow, an ox, schooling for her children, and a TV (its arrival promoted a party in the village). Even more unprecedented for a woman in this part of Ethiopia, she has been able to set up a bank account of her own. Growth, by anybody's definition.


The development of a new colour is always a huge undertaking and of course there was even more impetus to create something incredible for such an important cause. Click here to watch a video about my trip to Ethiopia and the subsequent development process.

Every time you buy a tin of Lem Lem you are supporting the Seed Project and other worthy causes which help impoverished women and communities around the world.

But what can you paint with Lem Lem? Lem Lem is great for creating a retro 50's look, a contemporary cool vibe, AND works well as part of a vintage floral style. Freshen up your bedroom, bathroom, garden, living room or kitchen with this calm and cool shade. Take a look at the inspiration on my Oxfam page, from Painters in Residence and friends of Chalk Paint®, for a wide range of inspiring ideas. With such beautiful projects, not to mention an inspiring back story about our sisters in underdeveloped communities around the world, there’s no better time to snap up this limited edition colour.



Click here to see one last Lem Lem project - it's a short video of me vs a very orange, very varnished pine bedside table of the type I'm sure you'll all recognise.

Remember: every pot of Lem Lem bought by YOU will raise vital funds for Oxfam, helping people beat poverty worldwide. Click here to purchase a tin of Lem Lem now, or visit your local stockist to buy, and make a difference.

That’s all from me for now – I’ve got some gardening to do and I’m feeling rather inclined to pick up a paintbrush and Lem Lem something myself, having had such a pleasant reminiscence about the incredible women I met in Ethiopia!

Yours,

Annie.

10 December 2018

The Annie Sloan Gift Guide for Christmas

Presenting: Annie’s Amazing Gift Guide!

This time of year the Sunday supplements and glossy magazines are awash with Gift Guides. I don’t know about you but I’ve noticed that the suggested presents tend to be stupidly expensive and not particularly thoughtful. A lot of present ideas for women seem to involve diamond encrusted jewellery...I think I speak for everyone when I say that the reason I don't buy diamonds for the women in my life at Christmas is not because I’ve forgotten diamonds exist and I need a gift guide to remind me! *Christmas eye roll*.

I’ve pulled together a selection of my most giftable Chalk Paint® treats; all of which cost less than £30, and all of which will make for thoughtful presents for your loved ones. All diamonds, in their own right!


My Project Packs are the perfect gift because you tailor the contents to the recipient. You choose which two 120ml Chalk Paint® colours to include – enclosed in a beautifully designed box alongside two 120ml tins of Chalk Paint® Wax (again, in the colours of your choice) and one of my small Chalk Paint® Brushes.


Chalk Paint® Brushes are perfect for producing a textured, vintage finish. They’re high quality - strong, yet pliable, with natural split ends which pick up more paint and allow you to paint expressively. When you gift someone a Project Pack all they need to do is roll up their sleeves and start painting! It’s a new hobby, a new piece of furniture, and a new way for them to feel creatively fulfilled! All for under £30 –  which is £4.80 less than it would cost to buy all the contents separately.


Detail Brushes. These are one of my top sellers and they’re a perfect gift for the confirmed Chalk Paint® connoisseur. If you’ve already painted everything in your house – well, why not paint it some more! The Detail Brushes are the perfect shape and size to take the fuss (and the years of art school!) out of perfecting your work. Adding design details is a fun, fashionable, frankly addictive way to refresh your existing painted furniture – graphic shapes will modernise, botanical references add major cool-points, or simply use the point of the brush to apply thin lines to emphasise furniture shape and details such as drawers, cornices or edges of flat surfaces. You’ll be surprised how much impact can be added with small touches of bright complementary colours - as seen on this kitchen dresser - and once you start it’s impossible to stop. Many of my brushes cost less than £20 and all make great gifts.


Look. Three reasons to gift The Colourist this Christmas:

1) It’s £9.95.
2) It’s stunningly beautiful.
3) It’s got travel features, it’s got inspiring room makeovers, it’s got step by steps, it’s got history of art, and it’s going to be a joy to leaf through once the dust has settled on Boxing Day.

OK, so that was more than three. But it's hard to only give you three! Ban magazines which tell you to lose weight or buy make up, and buy a Bookazine that gives confidence, inspiration and creativity! I’ll be dishing these out to anybody who’s made me smile, or made my life a little bit easier this year and give them a reason to smile too.





Metallic Touches

Gilding Wax is my real secret weapon. Like the Detail Brushes this is a Chalk Paint® sidekick which requires virtually no technical ability to use. Also like the Detail Brushes you’ll get immediate impact, so if you’re looking to revitalise a room in ten minutes or less: look no further! Gilding Wax is available in five stunning metallic shades at only £6.95 each. Choose from Warm Gold, Bright Gold, Bright Silver, Dark Silver and Copper – or collect them all! Apply to foliage, pine cones and other natural found objects to create beautiful Christmas decorations.


Sanding Pads

Another superb stocking filler! “But Chalk Paint® can be applied to virtually every service with no sanding, and no priming, Annie” I hear you cry! And you’re right. These Sanding Pads have been designed not for the initial stages of your creative endeavours, but for further down the line. Use my Sanding Pads in three grades of abrasiveness to create stunning rustic looks. Paint your furniture and sand back to create an authentic French feel. Start with the coarsest pad all over, then use the finest Sanding Pad in focused sections for best results.



So concludes my Christmas Gift Guide. No diamonds here – but hopefully some helpful gems! All the prices listed are UK RRP, so I'm sorry if that's not the currency you use, but I hope this still helps with your shopping. For more festive furniture and creative inspiration, join me on Instagram and Facebook!

Yours,

Annie.

24 October 2018

My latest Painter in Residence: Jemma & Fanny of shed eleven!

It’s a fond farewell to Jeanie Simpson, who created some truly fantastic pieces during her time as Painter in Residence, and a big warm hello to two more Australasians! You really do love colour down under!


Jemma (left) and Fanny (right) of shed eleven are sisters-in-law who live in the leafy North Shore area of Sydney, Australia. Fanny was born in Ivory Coast, Africa, and Jemma in Papua New Guinea. They both describe nomadic childhoods which developed into a shared love of travel in adulthood. They credit their identities as “citizens of the world” as having bestowed a rich and multicultural tapestry of inspiration from which to draw in their creative endeavours. 


shed eleven was established when Fanny moved from Singapore to Sydney and the pair began working on their largely commission-based business together. Their base became the shed in Jemma’s garden, at house Number 11 – and shed eleven was born! Like all the best furniture painters, Jemma and Fanny establish a real relationship with their clients and with the individual pieces of furniture they work on. Expect to see a smorgasbord of styles from this dynamic duo. 


Jemma and Fanny first came to my attention from half a world away after I saw their work on Instagram. Their linen cupboard (pictured above) won one of my regular Win-a-Tin competitions; which just goes to show the value in taking these opportunities to share your work and the importance of hashtag-ing so that here in Oxford we can find you – wherever you’re based. 


From rustic to mid-century modern via France, China and the coast, peruse some of my favourite shed eleven pieces below - and get ready for more eclectic examples on my Instagram and Facebook over the coming weeks!

Yours,

Annie.

7 August 2018

The Colourist Bookazine: celebrate the joy of colour with me

I’ve been fortunate in my life that my hard work has paid off, and has opened up amazing opportunities and experiences which I have dreamed about since my youth. From establishing my own business to raising three happy and healthy sons – I’ve made many happy announcements, and I can confirm that it never gets old. As such, I am profoundly excited, delighted and proud to announce that I have ventured into the world of Magazines! My latest project, The Colourist Bookazine, is now available to buy from your local Stockist, but please check with your local Stockist for availability in your area.


The Colourist is a magazine dedicated to my passion for colour. I love all aspects of colour - everything from quiet and subtle whites and neutrals, to brilliant shout-outs of bold and bright. For the past three decades I have been sharing my love for decorative painting and inspiring people to be creative and adventurous with my own brand of decorative paint, Chalk Paint®, brushes, stencils fabrics and more. I have written 26 books but launching a magazine full of colour-filled inspiration has always been a dream of mine!

The Colourist will be available through my network of independent Stockists from August.

Every issue of The Colourist will feature 132 pages of homes that inspire me, people I admire,  beautiful things I love, places I’ve visited, my historical influences and the stories behind some of my wonderfully talented friends around the world. Each issue will also feature a section of Chalk Paint® projects with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. In the first issue you can read all about my exciting collaboration with Charleston, the home of the Bloomsbury Group. I meet Cressida Bell, celebrate the life of design icon, Josef Frank, and explore Lisbon. As well as designer Lucy Tiffney’s home, you can look round stylist Tamsyn Morgans’ dreamy pastel home, explore bold botanical trends and be inspired by two incredible kitchen makeovers. There is also a free tile stencil to create the tile tabletop project in this sampler. Come with me around the world to meet artists and designers who use colour, pattern and paint in their own special way.

For each issue I choose a colour palette from the Chalk Paint® range to set the mood. The first issue I've chosen some of my favourite colour combinations; Antibes Green, Scandinavian Pink and Antoinette.


Putting together these pages has been a treat. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Yours,

Annie.

PS Follow us on social media using #ColouristMag!

11 June 2018

My latest Painter in Residence: Jeanie Simpson!

Keeping secrets has never been one of my gifts so I'm delighted that my team have given me the go-ahead to reveal my NEW Painter In Residence.

Ladies and gentleman, please meet the talented Jeanie Simpson!


Jeanie Simpson lives on the opposite side of the world to me, on a hill country sheep farm in a small region of New Zealand. I discovered her work one evening on Instagram when I was browsing the #AnnieSloan #ChalkPaint hashtags. Just goes to show the value of publicising your creations!

With two small children and a little extra spare time, Jeanie picked up a paintbrush and began up-cycling furniture and homeware. She has always had a strong interest in art and design - something that she draws on heavily for inspiration in her pieces. All the work I have seen from her has been meticulously researched, which the History of Art and design nerd in me absolutely loves.

Jeanie is also passionate about re-using tired, unloved furniture from the past because of the better quality workmanship and materials, and the sense of history not seen in modern pieces. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is such an important message and with these projects to inspire you – why wouldn't you?


Above is an example of the work you can expect to see from Jeanie! I challenge you to have a browse and not feel excited for what she comes up with throughout her residency.

Yours,

Annie.