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Painting & Carving Your Items From Home

A few years ago, a client asked me to create a Sanford Williams Original painting instead of a carving. It’s not often I get asked to do such projects. People know me as a master carver. It’s not that the price was a factor – but how the art would correlate to something else she had on the wall.

I was asked, “Can you do that? A painting?” Truth be told, I was a painter before I was a carver. It’s how I learned to design and incorporate colours effectively. Drawing and painting is how our art becomes what it will be for all mediums. At Gitanmaax, a complete course was devoted to it.

I spent many years finding the right tracing pencils and paints to use on so many surfaces. Animal hide, leather, rock, bone, paper, wood, even gyprock. I had painted on them all. (For a long time, I was the artist-of-choice for a cousin who only wanted me to paint his deer-skin drums!)

In the last few years, I’ve opened up my abilities once again to draw and paint. I’m not going to lie: my preference is to carve. But these new requests to paint on a customer’s personal item has had me add to my Catalog a page devoted to Prints, and to add a disclaimer that the work cannot be reversed.

My love for designing has given me opportunities to work for the City of Vancouver’s 2016 Wrap Project and The Royal Victoria Yacht Club. Privately, I have been commissioned to paint guitars, jackets, drums, tattoos, and prints on canvas.

My word of caution before you hand over an item for me to paint or carve on is to ask yourself if the item has value or meaning that you are willing to compromise. Once I take a paintbrush to it, and especially a carving knife – the work often times cannot be reversed. In the case of carving, it makes it impossible.

Clients need to fill out and sign a form that relieves me of responsibility if the end result leaves them feeling regret. I can’t have that happen. If it’s a beloved heirloom made of wood, or an expensive leather coat, it’s imperative that you are committed to the project prior to the work. I’ll go over each step of the process and make sure we have agreed to the design and dimensions. My goal is to make sure you are happy and that the item you want painted or carved is to improve the piece.

I encourage clients to let me work with items that are perhaps replaceable at a reasonable cost, or an item that does not hold deep sentimental value – just to have peace of mind.

When you’re ready to have your item(s) painted or carved, please know that I prefer clean, legally-attained items in good condition. This usually applies to wood. To ensure my safety, and to protect my own materials, items that are pest-free and disease-free are a must.

Thanks to all who have inquired about my designs and trusted me to work on various pieces and I look forward to many more interesting projects that you send my way!

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