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Decorative Artisan of the Month
Decorative Artist of the Month Archived
Decorative Painting Finishing School Mark Tillman
Decorative Painting Finishing School Donna Mock
Decorative Painting Finishing School Carmen Vergara
Decorative Painting Finishing School Lessandra Martins Melo
Decorative Painting Finishing School Anita Yeh
Decorative Painting Finishing School Sarah Hines and Mets Schilstra
Decorative Painting Finishing School Eulojio Ortega
Decorative Painting Finishing School Alison Ubert
Decorative Painting Finishing School Diane Kessler
Decorative Painting Finishing School Donna Flecchia
Decorative Painting Finishing School Joanne Ledbetter
Decorative Painting Finishing School Rachel Sejas
Decorative Painting Finishing School Cheryl Phan
Decorative Painting Finishing School Carrie Chimenti
Decorative Painting Finishing School Ann Simpson
Decorative Painting Finishing School Natalie Gorden
Decorative Painting Finishing School Marlene Mancilla
Decorative Painting Finishing School Diane LaLonde Hasso
Decorative Painting Finishing School Kim Bouy
Decorative Painting Finishing School Kathy Anders
Decorative Painting Finishing School Alyse and Amy Leventhal
Decorative Painting Finishing School Laurie Schrader
Decorative Painting Finishing School Carey Seven
Decorative Painting Finishing School Bryan King
Decorative Painting Finishing School Patricia Presto
Decorative Painting Finishing School Kass Wilson
Decorative Painting Finishing School Heidi Cinker
Decorative Painting Finishing School Shari Fry
Decorative Painting Finishing School Leigh Jones
Decorative Painting Finishing School Diane Beard
Decorative Painting Finishing School Ruth Giovannetti
Decorative Painting Finishing School Collen Drew
Decorative Painting Finishing School Melissa Loutos
Decorative Painting Finishing School Nathalie Nielsen
Decorative Painting Finishing School Susan Giugliano
Decorative Painting Finishing School Sarah Beth Cohen
Decorative Painting Finishing School Tracy Taylor
Decorative Painting Finishing School Janelle Tague
Decorative Painting Finishing School Kari Campbell
Decorative Painting Finishing School Ed Gonet
Decorative Painting Finishing School Bonnie Norling Wakeman
Decorative Painting Finishing School Kelly Weik
Decorative Painting Finishing School Janelle Tague
Decorative Painting Finishing School Gracie Reed
Decorative Painting Finishing School Allyce Lees
Decorative Painting Finishing School Terry Gavigan
Decorative Painting Finishing School Kate Perret
Decorative Painting Finishing School Jo-Marie Frigo
Decorative Painting Finishing School Deb Spertus
Decorative Painting Finishing School David Ryan
Decorative Painting Finishing School Clint Dunning
Decorative Painting Finishing School Roseann Bode
Decorative Painting Finishing School Wendy Digel
Decorative Painting Finishing School Lisa Butts
Decorative Painting Finishing School Catherine Coy
Decorative Painting Finishing School Pamela Coslet
Decorative Painting Finishing School Emily Quinn
Decorative Painting Finishing School Gary Riley
Decorative Painting Finishing School Bill Fisher
Decorative Painting Finishing School John Micheals
Decorative Painting Finishing School Faux Maison
Decorative Painting Finishing School Herb Shropshire
Decorative Painting Finishing School Gus Kyriakopoulos
Decorative Painting Finishing School Paul Minnihan
Decorative Painting Finishing School Jenna DeFalco
Decorative Painting Finishing School Sherri Grupe
Decorative Painting Finishing School Debbie Brown
Decorative Painting Finishing School Cynthia Davis
Decorative Artisan Dawn Bray
Decorative Faux Finisher Christine McIntyre-Hannon
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Anna and Scott Sadler
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Darryl Grant
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School B. Juliana Leo
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Leslie Nesbitt
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Signature Mural & Finish, Inc.
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Joanne Voll
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Barb Runyard
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Nathan Giffin
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Patty Henning
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Emma Wright
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Joseph Freer
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Dawn Rundle
August 2006 Simona Clinge
August 2006 Ron Bledsoe
August 2006 Sharon Taglienti
August 2006 Martin Riding
August 2006 Tomas Kyrgiakos /
Iowanna Azar
August 2006 Jenna DeFalco
August 2006 Alissa Murnane
August 2006 Rhonda Barber
August 2006 Laura Ross
August 2006 Nancy Schnell
August 2006 John Michaels
August 2006 Debi Vaninger
August 2006 Marsh Danner
August 2006 Beth Haynes
August 2006 Cassy Weddel
August 2006 Bruce Thalman
August 2006 Melanie & Stuart Kershner
August 2006 Lorie Wolff
Doug Diekman
Lori Tselikis
Joanne Voll
Linda Wetsch
Jennifer Rongaus
Natalie White
Dan Gangler
Sharon Damisch
Kay Reyes
Mary Johnson
Ed Hartfiel
Estelle Leptich
Laurie Ebert

 

Artisan of the Month
Tracy Taylor

When talking with Tracy Taylor, of Mainstreet Mi Casa, based out of Menomonie, Wisconsin, her energy and enthusiasm is boundless. She is a renowned glass artist and decorative painter. Since 1987, her etched glass surfaces, hand painted ceramic tiles, decorative faux finishes and murals have been featured in issues of San Diego Home and Garden, Décor magazine, ASID Showcase homes, Chippewa Valley Parade Homes, Business News and Discover Wisconsin. She studied at Washington State University and Palomar Community College in Interior Design and Space Planning. In 1989, she worked for Arizona Tile and Stone Company as a designer and also in sales. In between, she worked for several interior designers as an assistant to learn the business before she suddenly found herself enthralled by painting tile and faux finishing. It was while she was here, that an interesting conversation happened that changed her career:

“I have a mural job for you,” the interior designer said.

“Nitza, I don’t paint! You should have said no,” was Tracy’s stunned response.

At the time she had not done any murals.

“But, I have a deposit for you, you can do it!”

“Give it back!” Tracy was getting agitated at this point.

”You’ll be painting this lady’s bird and cat,” Nitza pressed on, completely undaunted.

“Are you out of your mind? That’s pet torture!”

Tracy’s designer ended up giving her a canvas to work with. “I learned some techniques through TV and one thing that I loved was faux finishing painting.” One technique was called atmosphere, painting and blending the colors for the background of the mural. The wall mural was a hit and the most treasured part of the client’s remodel.

Having a background as an interior designer comes in handy when her clients hire her for more than her decorative painting talents. Tracy was hired as the interior designer and creative planner for the Big Dot of Happiness .com building in Menomonie. “When I met with the clients and builder I talked to them about what they wanted to do and helped to guide them, keeping in mind their business logo and identity. All the colors were selected from their fun shipping box. In the end, they have a sophisticated, upscale, contemporary building. When you walk into this building, the entryway was two stories with curved walls and a staircase. I created a sample board at Kathy’s Studio specifically with this project in mind, using the Blue Pearl’s Shimmered Suede products. It was a five step faux finish process consisting of Red Sable basecoat of this shimmered metallic plaster and two tones blues topped with random holographic foil so that it almost looked like it lit up when you were walking.”

Tracy was asked to paint in “manland” for a friend of hers from high school, her client in Seattle, Washington. Not a “mancave,” but a “manland,” as it was upstairs. “He had a theater room with three TVs and nine recliners as well as a back bar. The theater wall was painted to simulate a Seattle Pub wall with hand painted bricks and sports logos. She hand cut out of birch wood the Seahawks logo floating from the wall and backlit with neon lighting.” She currently has this as the first job in her portfolio.

When another one of Tracy’s clients finished building a wine cellar and cabin bar, they called her in to create a theme. She came up with a mural of a bear holding wine bottles. “Their home sits on Lake Owen, way up north in Wisconsin. Turns out the client’s middle name is Owen. So, I named the bear Owen. I told my client, ‘Well, Tom, you will never have to drink alone!” As her client sits at the bar, he and his buddies are in great company with a very lifelike “Owen the Bear” joining in the camaraderie.

Murals are not the only facets of Tracy’s business. Manstreet Mi Casa, located in Menomonie, Wisconsin, is brimming with exciting things to see and do. “I’ve been painting for eighteen years now and on Mainstreet for twelve. Inside my house on Mainstreet, I have had an art gallery, faux finishing paint studio and walk in pottery studio with hands on artwork. My favorite things to paint are oversized flowers and birds.” Tracy has beautiful hand painted tiles that are also on display throughout other galleries in Wisconsin.

As Tracy talks about her work and the memories she has of her clients, the happiness is clearly evident in her voice; Mainstreet is the right place for her at this point in her life. When asked what she enjoys most about faux finishing, this is what she had to say. “Taking a normal space and making it so unique it comes alive on the walls. I believe the transformation from a plain wall to something that you actually want to touch. I like to hear, how did you do that? And then when you try to explain it they say, ‘Oh, well, maybe we should have you do it.’ If they are DIY, they can have me contracted to teach them how to do it.”

The diversity that she brings with her etched glass is not as well known here as it is in California. According to Tracy, etched glass is prevalent in California, Seattle and Florida. “I first worked for a Glass Menagerie in California where I was hired to design and sandblast accessory mirrors sold to furniture stores around the world. During those few years I worked for them, I assisted interior designers and would create and design front entry ways, and a lot of shower doors. Several of them were featured in Home and Garden and Décor magazines. Twenty percent of the business in Wisconsin is etched glass. It is different from the coast to the north woods. My etched glass is not stencil; it is hand cut and very three-dimensional. It is more like airbrushing where I suit up and create very big pieces. They are anywhere from two feet up to eight feet tall. I don’t do small pieces. My recent commercial project was for the Mayo Clinic in Menomonie, Wisconsin for their new surgical center addition with Etched Birch Tree entry panels.”

Tracy’s personality is infectious and it is clear with her exuberant amount of energy how it transmits to her clients. “My most recent commercial job has been working with Mark Lewis of Cedar Falls Building Systems, Inc. for the Big Bad Toy Store.com. I was brought on the job as the project interior designer who was responsible for selecting all the interior and exterior building finishes and colors. At the end of the project they asked me about the idea of painting super hero environments or objects on the exterior wall of their offices twenty eight feet tall x 120 long. The owner picked a few things. One was of the Death Star; a space ship from Star Wars, the Terrordrome and Castle Grey Star may be in the running.

I finished up with picking the interior colors, finishes, carpet, and lighting. I then encouraged the owner to look at the lobby. One of the owners is into fish and has interior walls that are two thirteen foot fish tanks on either side of his office. I said, ‘why don’t we make a coy pond in the lobby to soften the industrial look?’ So we are finishing the open space under the staircase with a natural coy pond.

Through all of Tracy’s travels she manages to make it to Kathy Carroll’s studio to take a private class or two to “play” as she calls it. “When I go down there, I call it the paint laboratory. I have specific jobs that I create with her products then I bring them back for my clients. Kathy has so many products to work with. To make a sample it’s an hourly rate and it’s per board. Kathy is very inspiring as a business owner and an artist. I appreciate that she is willing to share her knowledge of product and how to price jobs.” Out of all the products that Tracy orders from Kathy her favorite is European Venetian Plaster. “It is so versatile. You can use it thick, thin it, add glaze to it or cover it with foils. Whatever you can imagine.”

In the future, Tracy plans to continue to do what she does best: enjoying the challenge of both residential and commercial. “Every year I visit what happened the past year of my work. I will always paint and continue to move forward. I would like to travel and to work in other states more.”

To learn more about Tracy Taylor or Mainstreet Mi Casa please call 715.308.4016 or visit www.mainstreetmicasa.com

 

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