17 September 2015

From Painter in Residence Jelena Pticek

"Hi, my name is Jelena and I live in Toronto, Canada but my life story started in Croatia. Growing up, I never thought that I would end up working as an artist and believed that I was destined for an office career. Looking back and thinking of how I used to play as a child suggested otherwise though,  I loved rearranging furniture in my parents' house and once I even painted our front door with my water colours. Once I left school I did indeed work in an office environment – it was a good job but deep down I knew that it was not the right thing for me.

Six years ago I moved into my new home and decided to equip it on a budget with hand-me-down furniture that I would make my own by painting it out. I found the process so relaxing and the end results so rewarding. Soon I started doing it for my friends too and before I knew it I was in business. Quitting my job to pursue this independent career path was the best thing I could have done, and I never looked back.

And Annie's paint?

Before I had been invited to participate in the Painters in Residence program I had only heard about Chalk Paint®. I had considered working with it, but it somehow never came to happen. From everything I had heard and read about it I knew that it was a superior product and that Annie was an extraordinary artist and business woman. When the invitation from Annie's team came to take part in the program, I was a bit surprised and very excited to join in. I regarded this invitation as special kind of acknowledgment of my work that made me very proud.

All my expecations were exceeded when I started using Chalk Paint®. It is smooth and easy to work with. It mixes easily to create new colours and has great coverage and adhesion quality. Because of all these properties a little bit of paint goes a long way, and any mistake can be fixed by simply repainting over it. What I found most fascinating is how the colours really come to life after applying the clear wax and how you can ˝add years˝ to your project by simply applying a thin coat of dark wax. Annie's books were also a great guide and resource as to all the possibilities that working with her products offers.

What you’ll see from me...

As a part of the residency I completed four pieces. Only one of them is painted in a solid colour and straight from the can. The other three feature different colour combinations and patterns. You will see stripes, scalloped edges and triangles. You may like some better than others. With this collaboration, I have tried to stay true to my style but also to push myself a bit outside of my comfort zone. Keeping this project under wraps for a few months was a hard thing to do and I can't wait to share it with the world."