Artisan of the Month
Darryl Grant - The Artisans Fine Painting, Ltd.
All through life Darryl Grant has never been without some sort of artistic outlet, whether it was sketching, creative writing, or other hobbies. But when he began working for a painter at age nineteen, he never expected it to turn into his life’s work. Grant credits his first boss with teaching him to focus on high quality work, not just speed. This allowed him to perfect his techniques without being rushed. Ten years ago, after several years of working for a painting company, he decided that he wanted to be in charge of his own destiny and started his own painting business. Now, twenty-three years later he is still in the business, and has also incorporated faux finishing into his repertoire.
He started out his painting business advertising in affluent neighborhoods as a high quality painter. The attention to quality and detail that were instilled in him by his first boss paid off and his business flourished. After working in straight painting for several more years, Darryl discovered faux finishing. He says of faux finishing “I wanted a change and it feeds my artistic side.” He researched finishes online and in local paint stores, and was teaching himself the finishes as he went. Now he’s been applying faux finishes professionally for three years. In the beginning his finishes were completely custom work. His customers would tell him what they were looking for and he would produce a sample board for them. Now that his portfolio has grown, he is able to provide both custom and trendy finishes to his clientele,
His philosophy is “quality first.” He states that “small details keep quality high.” He also works with great honesty and integrity. He tells a story of a customer who loved a suede painted finish so much that he wanted it throughout his home. Darryl ended up talking his customer into only doing a couple accent walls as focal points rather than having it everywhere to preserve the impact of the work. He also works to educate his clients and show them what faux is all about. He explains that in Alberta “when you say faux finish most people think of sponge painting. Faux is still relatively new here.” He is currently working on some vignettes for a plumbing store in his area. The store owner is so thrilled with his work that he refused to let Grant put it on display without having a plaque to let customers know who did the work.
Recently, Darryl has taken several classes through Kathy Carroll. They include: Sculpted Concrete, You Got Waxed, Professional Update, and a Private Session. These courses completely changed his portfolio. Now, he enjoys using waxes and plasters and combining the two. He says that he “enjoys anything with plaster. Waxes mixed with Venetian plaster create a beautiful look.” He also enjoys working with earthy and natural looking finishes and enjoys applying them to walls, ceilings, coffered ceilings, pillars, and doors. On one job in particular he worked to further distress a door that a customer had brought over from Scotland Yard. Pictured with this article is a beautiful coffered ceiling that Grant plastered. He says of this job that it was “one of my favorites. Traditionally, you distinguish the beams from the ceiling, but I like doing non-traditional things, so I brought the ceiling textures down onto the sides of the beams so the light had more of the rough surface to reflect off.” It’s these non-traditional characteristics of his work that makes it stand out.
While Darryl was working with Kathy in the studio he had an opportunity to work with many of the different products that she carries. He says that he “loves all of the products that he used in his Private Session.” 90% of his products come from the states because many of the products that he uses cannot be found in Canada. He says of Kathy that “she is absolutely wonderful! Her skill level is incredible. She is a very good teacher, and made me feel relaxed and at home. Kathy’s got both talent and people skills.” Grant plans to come back to Kathy and the Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes for more classes in the future.
For more information please contact Darryl Grant via email at firstname.lastname@example.org