February 18, 2013

Interviewing Annie Sloan: From the Artist's Perspective

At Apple Box Boutique, one of the things we talk about to our customers is that Annie Sloan developed her paint from the perpective of a fine artist.  Recently Annie was interviewed by ArtispherOnline, and it really gives insight into Chalk Paint® and the woman behind this remarkable decorative product.

Interview with Annie Sloan 
Excerpt: - Interview with ArtisphereOnline.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Annie Sloan covering everything from the history of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®  to new colors for 2013!

Boho Chic-Riviera Red fabric and Coco side table  and Emperor’s Silk chair

With brighter, clearer colors being the direction of 2013 (emphasis on greens!), will Annie Sloan be introducing any new color palettes in 2013? 
I have two new colors, Burgundy, a rich deep beetroot red and English Yellow, a bright sunny yellow, coming to North America in 2013 although they are in fact the re-emergence of old colors and one that is already available in the UK and the rest of Europe.  I don’t really reflect fashion but have a range of colors that have been taken from the artist/artisan/craftsman’s’ palette.  I know what pigments that were available historically and have based my palette on this.  Of course history takes us right up to the present, so my colors reflect the 18th, 19th and 20th century as well as now.

Rustic Country Old White table top with Clear and Dark Wax, with Antibes Green and Dark Wax

I have a very bright green called Antibes Green that I have been working with a lot in the last year or two. I love it with my clear blues.  I have a new book coming out April 2nd 2013 called ‘Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and More’ published by Cico Books and I have used these colors in there.  In fact people might be surprised at the styles I have in it using my colors.  It’s all about how you combine color I think.  That’s the secret.

In reproduction furniture, what other products can Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ® be used with to create an illusion of antiquity…plasters, gilding?
I use a little bit of my Decoupage/ Transfer Medium. That’s great fun.  I find my paint does most things I want, as it can be very thick and very thin.  I use it on walls and on furniture. Of course I use my paint with wax – this is something that I introduced to America I feel is part and parcel of my technique.  When I first came to America with my paint 3 years ago and it was seen I used wax over my paint, there was a lot of resistance.  A few people were doing it of course through my books already.  But now it’s become quite normal!! Using wax is a great way to change things and make something look old or new.

Country Chic-washed Old White , Old Violet

Annie’s Chalk Paint colors work seamlessly with restoration on historical pieces…. what research goes into picking the colors and are there any historical references? (Pompeii frescoes, English castles, etc.)
When I developed my decorative paint in 1990 there was no other paint like this on the market.  I needed something that allowed me to make interesting textures and patinas, and was very flexible. I knew I wanted to develop various techniques particularly waxing the paint. After doing all the research for my early books ‘The Complete Book of Decorative Paint Techniques’ and ‘Classic Paints & Faux Finishes’ I had really fallen in love wax as it has such a mellow look compared with varnishes.

Modern-Provence with Pure White

Initially there were lots of trials and paint swatches and tests and back and forth for ages and ages. We were still changing things a couple of years later until I was completely happy. I am also incredibly particular about the colours I have in my paints. It has to be exactly the right mix.

Retro Chic-Paloma with Coco side table

I’m very proud of my paint of course too but I think the thing I am most thrilled by in some ways is the structure of my stockist’s stores and my relationship with them. We have an incredibly tight group of independent shops that I help build with my years as a retail person and interior decorator, and my knowledge of paint, pigment, design and color.

Rococo, Faded Roses and Old White Table with Chateau Grey and Primer Red Lamp post

My background is 7 years in art school ending with a Masters in Fine Art as well as years of researching as my private study into old paints and pigments.  I have also traveled a lot and I take it all in.   I love the 18th century – it’s where the modern age started in some ways. We still see evidence of it in in furniture that is available today –classic American furniture is available in reproduction form with rococo cabriole shaped legs and neoclassical molding such as urns and pediments.  I cover this in the Work Book, I published in November.  It is essentially a sketchbook to make notes in, keep reference pieces and it also has lots of tips on how to mix colours and work with different styles of furniture and I give some suggestions on the colours to use.

Graphite on brass, then waxed

I am not only interested in recreating the past. I also absolutely love modern design and art. American 1960s Abstract expressionists artists have made a huge impact on the world – and me! – with their vibrant and free use of color so my palette also reflects modern colours.   I think that this will have a huge impact on furniture painting and interior d├ęcor in the next few years. I have some a chapter in my new book on Modern Contemporary.   Exciting times ahead!

French-Paris Noir Ticking and Pastoralle Toile on the chair painted in Graphite,
Table in Chateau Grey
Apple Box Boutique

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