“Artissima Transitiona” I

“Artissima Transitiona” I

Three years ago, for a number of reasons. my husband and I moved to Los Angeles…Santa Monica to be exact.   Since that time, I  have become involved with the making, study and teaching of artist’s books. I teach bookmaking around Santa Monica and LA County, and am continuously  evolving my own expression of this unique art form. Bookmaking, creating handmade books, unique books, artist’s books, and the book arts overlap as activities. In essence, they employ the form of The Book as an expressive vehicle.

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I have been the principal of my own decorative painting company, ArtiFactory Studio, for many years, primarily in San Francisco, where I resided, also for many years. In this post, I begin to share how I am finding ways to put these two forms together, one, bookmaking, often associated with the small-scale and intimate, and the other, decorative painting, often large-scale, which includes mural painting, glazing, faux finishing, gilding, and a myriad of other ways of “treating” the built environment, IE, the environment created by us humans as the setting for our activities.

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I hope to approach this subject in a series of posts, each showing a slice of what I am doing, and hope to do. I am fascinated with notions of scale, with materials, texture, space and design, as well as with the expressive, provocative,  and multidisciplinary nature of handmade books. In this post,  I will share how I brought techniques and notions specific to the field of decorative painting to the form of The Book in my own work. This process has been part of a greater transition in my life, work, business and career on all fronts.  Hence the post’s title” Artissima Transitiona“. The transition continues…

WEBa1Gilding, or the act of adhering metallic leaf over a surface adds a bit of bling, depth and dimension to an already complex surface on this handmade book cover. The gold rectangle also provides a focal point for the eye to rest on, adding order, focus and coherence to the piece. A piece of board was gilded, then added to the surface collage.

web1Texture can be a huge part of decorative painting. The artist manipulates glazes, paints and other materials over a surface to create both visual and physical texture. Here crumpled tissue paper is adhered to the surface in layers, giving it a satisfying texture, variation of color, and contrast to the look, and feel of the other materials used, which include cloth, hemp cord, beads and paper media.

WEB2The covers of this book are made of boards that have been dragged or “Striéd“, a technique by which paint or glaze is applied to a surface, and a large stiff brush is used to drag through it while it is still wet, leaving a up and down stripe-like pattern/texture.

WEB4Here a “brown paper bag” feeling is created by using humble brown wrapping paper (and bags) to create an earthy  texture on the surface of this book’s covers. Individual pieces of hemp cord are used for the binding, adding to the homespun simplicity and feel.

WEB5This book is created from boards that were originally painted with metallic paint and glaze samples for a client. I loved how these samples looked together, and added the rust, iron and verdigris sample pieces above them.  The rest of the book is made of paper with plant material flowing through it.  It  is bound with linen thread in a  single signature  (gathering of folded pages).

WEBaFinally, here is a book with an accordion spine; a “found” spine…meaning that I happened upon a design brochure, and its size, weight and color worked perfectly the book I developed. The covers are made of paper that has been textured, painted and glazed, then glued onto boards. The contrasting “edge design” is created by the addition of another painted and glazed decorative painting sample, glued on the open edge, then folded over, and glued onto the inside of each cover, giving it more stability, integrity, and visual interest.

I hope you will join me as I journey through this time of creative transition, exploration, and discovery. Although the waters feel uncharted, there are plenty of inspirational and provocative artists, makers and craftspeople to help light the way.  Here’s to diving in!

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Article from Arden: How to Create Something Unique for Your Home with a Decorative Painter

 Article from Arden: How to Create Something Unique for Your Home with a Decorative Painter

Recently, i was fortunate enough to have colleague, stylist, real estate professional, and “Color  & Hue” practitioner extraordinaire,  Arden T. Reece of Color & Hue, and The Rudy Group Real Estate, pen the article  below about my work as a decorative painter, and highlighting  and helping  to define it at the same time.

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 I met Arden through our studies at the International Association of Colour Consultants/Designers, (IACC), and have watched with admiration as she has created an amazing presence in the worlds of personal styling, color consultation for personal style,

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and  real estate in the Long Beach-based company of Geoff Rudy.   She is also a whimsical water-colorist, with a delightful children’s book idea up her sleeve!

Please enjoy Arden’s interview and article below, about the art and applications of Decorative Painting!

Thanks Arden!

How to Create Something Unique for Your Home with a Decorative Painter

by Arden T. Reece

debra disman, artifactory studio“We sat down recently with Santa Monica based artist, Debra Disman, who recreates rooms and objects with her arsenal of painting techniques. Her company, ArtiFactory Studio, provides custom decorative painting, faux finishing, color consultation and murals to the Residential, Commercial, Institutional and Nonprofit customer. Her work has graced the walls, ceilings and objects of many residences and spaces along the California coastal region and beyond. 

First off, thanks for agreeing to sit down with us!  Your work is amazing and you’re one of those artists that most people don’t know exist but when they find out about you, they’re thrilled! What exactly is a decorative painter?
Well, decorative painting is a bit of a “catch-all” term. In fact, the way I use it, it covers much more than “just” painting! Decorative painters use their skills and artistry to transform the ‘built environment’ – usually the architectural environment, both interior and exterior, but more often interior. We work on walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, and architectural details such as fireplaces, columns and molding, using paints, glazes, metallic leaf, and more, to create the look and feel requested by our clients. We may create full-scale murals, the look of marble, stone or wood (faux finishing), or apply gold leaf. As I say on my site, “Our passion is to translate the Client’s inner vision into concrete visual form.” I might work in conjunction with interior designers, architects, contractors, painting companies or even graphic designers to develop the textures, color palettes, treatments, mural compositions, designs and patterns that will bring a space to life and give it that extra oomph that can translate into the “wow” factor.

Wow is right — you truly are an artist in visually transforming objects and homes through color and paint!  Many homeowners love to create unique spaces in their homes but don’t quite know what to do. How do you help them in conceptualizing something?
The key is really individualized customer service and the customization of every project. Every finish, mural, design and treatment is tailor-made to the client’s need, environment, interest, and inner vision. How is this achieved? From my complimentary first meeting, through the sampling process, to the finished project, the focus is on hearing what the client (and their team, if they are working with a designer, architect, contractor, or painting company) have to say, seeing what they respond to, and continuing to listen to, respond to and communicate with them to make sure their project is progressing in the desired direction.

So…what is the step-by-step process for working with you? How can a homeowner create a great relationship with you so they get your best work?
My process for much of my work includes several steps. Once I get a referral, or a potential client has reached out to me, we discuss what they are looking for over the phone, and then set up a complimentary first meeting to review job site and potential project, and further clarify their needs, interests, vision and expectations. This gives me the information I need to determine pricing, so that I can present a quote/make a bid. I consider this meeting my first collaboration with the client, and it also functions as a consultation of sorts.

I will then, in most cases, present a written bid based on time and materials, a time-line for the job based on the client’s needs and schedule, and the availability and workload of my studio, ArtiFactory Studio. If the bid is accepted, we sign a contract, and I invoice for a deposit which is usually 50% of the total price. Now the work, and the fun, can begin! Based on meetings with the client, designer or any other “players” involved, I produce samples or mock-ups and submit/present them for approval. I will incorporate feedback and requested changes so that the client and their team’s vision develops along with mine. I will conduct further client meetings and provide consultation as needed throughout the process. Once all plans have been approved, I complete the job on-site or in my studio continuing to be open to client feedback and concerns. When the job is complete, I provide any necessary instructions for maintenance, repair options, and product for touch-up, and go over any questions the client/team may have. The last step in most cases is to invoice for balance due and leave a happy client having exceeded her expectations!

One trend that we’re loving right now in the design space is the idea of reuse and re-purpose. What are some things that you’ve done in re-purposing furniture?
I am so glad you asked about re-purposing furniture through decorative painting as it is one of my favorite things to do! Not only is it incredibly fun and creative but it also helps to minimize the waste-stream and thus supports the health of our environment, to say nothing of saving money! I have both purchased furniture from garage and yard sales and recreated them with decorative painting techniques and I’ve also taken pieces that I or a client already owned and transformed them into custom items that are specifically designed to work in a particular space. In those instances I work with the client step-by-step to realize their vision, just as I would with any other job.

Although you make it look easy to do, I know it’s not! What are some things your clients need to be aware of when it comes to re-purposing their furniture or space?
One important thing is to give the process its due.  It does take time to clarify what look and feel the client is actually going for and discover the best way to achieve that. There are so many techniques, processes, applications and treatments that can be used…the options are endless! So, the dreaming, visualizing, planning and consultation process is really important, and in most cases should be collaborative, unless the client is willing to offer carte blanche and accept the results!

Next, I would say to any prospective client, as for any project, have fun with it! This is a process designed to put your vision into concrete visual form and it should be fun, exciting, enjoyable and creative for you as the client with gratifying results. Finally, in working with an artist/decorative painter/decorative artist, understand that you are working with a professional who has trained and practiced their art form or craft (just as your architect or designer has) and that there is a charge for the service. Work out the financial details ahead of time and get it all down on paper, so that everyone involved is apprised of the costs, and agrees to them, and then you can move forward and have a great, creative/collaborative experience.

To see more of Debra’s work, visit her at www.artifactorystudio.com or contact her at 310.920.4311 for a complimentary meeting.”

GRATITUDES for this lovely piece!!!

Going with the Grain

Going with the Grain

As a companion to my June Bay Area Women’s Journal article  on “Faux Bois“, or the fine art of wood graining I am writing this post to further explore the subject. To create, or recreate the look of wood on tired, damaged, or lackluster surfaces is one of my favorite things to do!

There are so  many uses for even the most simple Faux Bois!  Who doesn’t love the warm look of wood in a space?  Natural (looking) wood gives a feeling of bringing the outside in.  From rustic, to elegant, and back again….go with the grain to enjoy beautiful (painted) wood for all seasons.  I would…wouldn’t you?

One of the most common uses of Faux Bois  is on doors, especially exterior doors.  Often these doors are made of wood that has been painted, or has become worn and weather-beaten.  Sometimes a homeowner, house painter or contractor will opt to have it refinished in a wood grain  finish, rather then replace it, or strip and restore it.

As most Faux Bois looks are achieved through the manipulation of semi-transparent glazes over a base coat, the color that emerges is the skillful combination of the two. This  also results in a sense of depth, giving the “fake grain” a sense of naturalness.

Windows too, are a common surface for Faux Bois. Sometimes, like the above, the sashes have been replaced, and need to be wood grained to match the existing frames and surround.  This can be tricky…matching not only color, but “faux” to real wood, but it can be done, and to great effect.

And, sometimes, as in the window above,  all of the wood areas are done, or redone, at the same time, on the recommendation of an interior designer, architect, or even decorative painter!

Ceiling beams can be especially fun, and satisfying to recreate.  These beams were initially painted the previous ceiling color, what a waste!  The homeowners and their designer wanted them to look like wood again, and to match the heavy, darkly stained wooden doors installed throughout the house.  Now they really pop against the creamy ceiling, adding character and interest to the room!

Both the cabinet and the mirror frame above are grained to work with the marble vanity top, a great solution for these newly built and installed raw wood pieces.  As the treatment is custom, the clients could choose the color, style and feel they wanted, in keeping with the hues in the marble.  As with any finish, Faux Bois is fine in a bathroom, as long as it is sealed with the  proper water-resistant varnish.

In the master bath above,  the tub cabinets were painted in white latex.  Once wood grained, they become a focal point in the room, providing another layer of richness and luxury, and connecting the room to the other wood finishes in the master suite. These cabinets are sealed with an oil-based varnish for extra water-resistance, luster, and depth.  The slight ambering of the varnish over time will only add to its warm glow!

If carefully planned, and executed with artfulness and skill, Faux Bois, like any finish, will enhance your surroundings, whether interior or exterior.  You can have the look of rich, natural or stained wood, without having to strip, restore, or replace.  Now, wouldn’t that be grand?!

Have YOU used “Faux Bois” in your Home, Business, or Community Spaces?

If so, please share about it with us here. We love to hear from you!

Remember, we are all designing this thing called Life, together.


HeARTfull Stone

HeARTfull Stone

In a recent article published in the  Bay Area Women’s Journal called  “Faux Finishing…Get the Look of Marble and Stone“, I discuss the “faux” finishes of stone and marble (a kind of  rock).  I created this “sister” post to show more painted and glazed stone and marble faux (fake!) finishes, and to share a bit more about the process.

Stone blocking is a technique in which individual “blocks” of stone are depicted, as well as the grout between them. Below, the lower part of an exterior shed door is painted (stippled and pounced) to look like the actual stone blocks on either side of it.  The grout, of course, is also painted. The painted door meets the real flagstones underneath it.  Underfoot, as it were.

Careful match of color helps create the illusion, despite the obviousness of hinges.  The “Trompe L’Oeil” (‘tricking the eye”- to make us think something is there that actually isn’t) effect is broken when…

 the door is opened, which adds to the fun. The treatment satisfied the aesthetic yearning of the homeowner to have the eye perceive  a line of stone blocks  unmarred by the more prosaic brown-painted door.

Below we have an ornately detailed fireplace, with a lot of carved character.  It sits resplendent in its prepped glory, primed but not even base painted yet.  Looking white white, it is set off by a new marble surround and hearth.

Voila, here we have the same fireplace with a stippled “limestone look”  finish, which draws out its ornate detail, and works with the colors of the marble.

The carving plays with the light, both reflecting and absorbing it.  It is highlighted by the glazes (semi-transparent veils of color) that are stippled across its surface.  Details like  this can be coaxed out and showcased through the addition of color and texture!

The same “limestone-like” stippled technique can be used to add character to a one-of-a-kind table that already has plenty,  (again, the technique pulls out the carving),

or, a smooth, plastered, rather standard issue stove hood, which needs to be brought into line with the other splendid details of its Spanish Revival architectural setting.

Stone finishes can also be used in tandem with their sometimes showier cousin, marble finishes, also known as marbling, or marbleizing.  On the fireplace below, semi-transparent glazes were used to create the marble finish, and opaque paints in equivalent colors for the stone.  The marble and stone treatments are both set off by the classical detailing, which is in turn set off by the treatments!  At their best, architecture, decorative treatments and detailing work hand in hand, each strengthening the other.

The pillar below is treated in a subtle limestone finish, with the same glaze colors employed in a marble finish on its base.


In the same room and colors, the hearth below is marbled through the combination and simultaneous manipulation of several glaze colors over its smooth, base painted surface.

The same technique is employed on the fireplace mantel and pillars, unifying the piece.  The Clients wanted to enhance the architectural details of their white-walled living room in an elegant yet subtle way, and the paint and glaze colorways were designed accordingly.

The fanciful marble treatment designed for the white, latex-painted built-in below is enhanced by the addition of gold, not only in the veining, but also on the inset frames on the cabinet doors. The diamonds are created by a second application of marbleizing.

  The fantasy marble finish employing pink, gold, and antique white glazes adds sumptuousness. The marbleized diamond offsets the rectangular shapes that comprise the cabinets.

Whether the goal is to integrate, enhance, create elegance, luxury or history, the application of stone and marble faux finishes can add depth, character, mystery, and even fun and fantasy to a space. Take a look around your environment, and imagine the addition of finishes true to nature, to the imagination, or both! Consider drawing out classical or whimsical details,  harmonizing your color scheme, or adding a bit of eye trickery to where you live, work and play.  You’ll soon feel the benefit of the Magic of Decorative Painting.

Have YOU used Stone and Marble finishes in your Home, Business, or Community Spaces?

If so, please share about it with us here. We love to hear from you!

Remember, we are all designing this thing called Life, together.  Cheers!



Varieties of Verdigris

Varieties of Verdigris

The word “verdigris” comes from the Middle English vertegrez, from the Old French verte grez, an alteration of vert-de-Grèce, or “green of Greece”.  The modern French spelling  is vert-de-gris. What a  romantic and poetic linguistic lineage.
Verdigris is  the natural patina which forms on the surface of  copper, bronze, or brass as it is exposed to air and water, wind and weather over time.  In essence, it is the weathering, or tarnishing of these metals, and shows itself in a variety of green hues.  As a faux finisher, and decorative painter, the “look” can be achieved through the controlled (or not) application of chemicals to these metals, which form a blueish green “deposit’, or pigment.   Indeed, verdigris was used as a pigment to create greens in paintings and other art objects.  Until the 19th century, verdigris was the most vibrant green pigment (paint colorant) available.  It’s earliest known use was in the 14th Century.

The other way of creating a verdigris finish. i.e., the look of verdigris, is by the simple or not so simple, application of green and other-hued paints manipulated over a base coat. This method, to my way of thinking, is by far the more fun, as  a virtual universe of verdigris can be created.  The effect of painted verdigris is by and large controllable, a claim which cannot always be made for chemical reactions.

The vibrant, yet natural-looking verdigris finish above and below  was created by manipulating one custom-mixed hue of green over an exterior latex base coat: Benjamin Moore’s “Pueblo Brown 2102-30”.  The “verdigris” color is one part Benjamin Moore “Pear Green 2028-40” and three parts “Blue Spa 2052-40 “, drybrushed over a completely dry surface.

The verdigris color is wiped off is some areas, leaving a strie effect, and accentuating the texture of the base coated metal.  The surface textures, shifts of plane, and interplay between base and top colors offer enough variety to make the treatment visually interesting, and believable enough for passers-by to comment on the “copper“!

A verdigris treatment is often associated with copper, but as discussed above, also works with both bronze and brass.  On the door above and below, the client wanted a loose  (“messy” as she termed it!) look, that nonetheless complimented the charming building, and worked with the teal shutters and trim detail.  As the kick plate, address numbers, door knob, and mailboxes are a bronze hue, (as well as details of the light fixture), Benjamin Moore “Aged Bronze 231” was used as a base coat, with three blue to green hues dry-brushed over it to create the effect.

The bright golden-bronze hue provides a nice contrast to the cooler yet still warm greenish-blue flat exterior latex paints layered and manipulated over the darker base.  The textures  as well as the colors had to work in tandem to create a complete, coherent picture, “messiness’ not withstanding!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The rails above were base painted in a deep blackish green, Benjamin Moore “Black Forest Green (Exterior ready-made)” latex, then four more colors were applied consecutively over  the base painted surface. First, the coppery-toned Benjamin Moore “Suntan Bronze 1217” was dry-brushed sparingly, then “Cypress Green 509”, followed by “Garden Oasis 699” were stippled,. (All Benjamin Moore exterior latex colors.) Finally, a touch of the custom “Blue Spa 2018-40” and “Pear Green 2052-40” mix mentioned above was added as a subtle accent. The application and layering of five colors in total adds depth and detail to the final finish.

As the balcony railings are partially obscured by trees, and the Clients were less concerned about their appearance,  we opted to use only the two softer greens, “Cypress Green – 509” followed by “Garden Oasis 699” stippled over the same ready-made “Forest Green” base coat.  Because three of the five colors in the steps railings are the same, the color impression looks the same from a distance, an effect we wanted to achieve.

It’s interesting that verdigris, an actual effect of tarnishing and oxidation processes, can result is such  vivid green, teal, and even turquoise colors, as well as beautiful, variegated textures and patina.  It begs the issue of the value, aesthetic or otherwise, of antiquing, aging, even decay.  For what better purpose can we create art, decor and deign, then to both uplift, and deepen the human spirit by raising questions  of beauty and mortality, and the possible connections between the two?

What effect, finish, treatment or application, verdigris or otherwise has touched you with its beauty or other wise lately?  What has caused you to contemplate aesthetics…or, life’s big questions?  How about the relationship between the two?

If you feel so inspired, please share it with us here.  We love to hear from you.  Remember, we are all traveling through this thing called Life, together. Here’s to beauty…in all it’s forms.

 

Ready, Set, GO, ARTISSIMA!

Artifactory  Studio, Decorative Painting, Faux Finishing and Murals

Artissima

The Blog of ArtiFactory Studio

First official WordPress blog post…entering this brave new world of blogging.

Welcome to the fledgling blog of ArtiFactory Studio: “Artissima“: a platform to offer information, ideas and inspiration through the medium of Decorative Painting, I look forward to sharing with YOU: fellow artists, creative entrepreneurs, small business people, and the world in general.

“Artissima” is in the process of development. Please stay tuned as the ArtiFactory Studio team becomes educated about this process! We are looking forward to a wonderful collaboration with graphic designer Dianna Jacobsen of Jacobsen Design.

I am honored to have the opportunity to play the “Color Muze” for Artistically Speaking Radio, hosted by Rebecca Parsons and Lyna Farkus on Blog Talk Radio. Starting May 23rd, I will be sharing color tips geared to the decorative painter, faux finisher and muralist each third Sunday of the month, at 7:15 pm, EST (4:15pm PST!!!) Join us! To listen: www.blogtalkradio.com/artisticallyspeaking

ArtiFactory Studio was thrilled to be interviewed by Carolyn Edlund, the owner and author of“Artsy Shark” a blog for emerging artists. Our hope is that the interview will support developing “artrepreneurs”.   Please share with us:   part one, and  part two

From the digital presses: New Bay Area Women’s Journal Article on the best place for Decorative Painting. Hint: EVERYWHERE!

The Bay Area Women’s Journal (“BAWJ”) is an easy to read online publication by, for and about not only women, but also men that inspire, encourage, and educate us to live our own best lives. The BAWJ has launched a Subscription Campaign for 2010. For every person who signs up to receive the BAWJ via e-mail, the BAWJ will donate a can of food to the SF Food Bank. So if you haven’t already,please sign up to receive the BAWJ via e-mail.  You can do that here  www.bayareawj.com/subscribe and of course if you feel inclined, please invite your friends etc. to sign up! Check it out! The official launch of the new digital San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal magazine! PREPARE TO BE INSPIRED!

Further BAWJ articles exploring the art and business of Decorative Painting:

http://www.bayareawj.com/decorative-painting-brushing-up-on-the-tools-of-the-trade/

http://www.bayareawj.com/the-fun-and-function-of-fabulous-faux-finishes-wood/

http://www.bayareawj.com/faux-finishing-get-the-look-of-marble-and-stone/

http://www.bayareawj.com/faux-painting-the-fun-and-function-of-fabulous-verdigris/

http://www.bayareawj.com/faux-finishing-the-fun-and-function-of-fabulous-faux/

http://www.bayareawj.com/inspire-your-best-life-with-the-magic-of-decorative-painting-2/

http://www.bayareawj.com/decorative-painting-the-skys-the-limit-the-ceiling-that-is/

http://www.bayareawj.com/holiday-glow-the-glimmer-glamour-and-glow-of-decorative-painting/

http://www.bayareawj.com/decorative-painting-childrens-rooms-transformed-into-fun-and-learning/

http://www.bayareawj.com/decorative-painting-childrens-creativity-corner-blackboard-gymboree/

http://www.bayareawj.com/business-branding-it-takes-a-village-to-paint-a-logo/

http://www.bayareawj.com/decorative-painting-innovative-colloboration-delivers-unique-one-of-a-kind-results/

http://www.bayareawj.com/decorative-painting-the-fine-art-of-client-collaboration/

http://www.bayareawj.com/celebrate-life-events-with-decorative-painting/

http://www.bayareawj.com/what-is-the-best-place-space-surface-or-location-for-decorative-painting/

Contributing to Our Communities: Decorative Painters Work Their Magic

:http://www.bayareawj.com/paint-brush-in-hand-decorative-painters-transform-our-world-one-wall-at-a-time/

http://www.bayareawj.com/decorative-painting-creating-our-paradise/

http://www.bayareawj.com/the-magic-of-decorative-painting

You Should Know About: Cre8tive Compass website, magazine, and radio show!
Cre8tive Compass is a decorative artists’ online magazine and community, and a
marvelous resource for finishers, muralists, and artists/artisans of all kinds, with a special focus on the business of art..

I was honored to be interviewed by Rebecca Parsons and Lyna Farkas of Artistically Speaking Radio on March 7, 2010. I hope that the art and business ideas we discussed will be of support to YOU! Other ASR shows may also be of interest.

Please share the recent newsletter of the talented web/graphic designer, Dianna Jacobsen, in which she gives us a peak into her design process through an interview with me about the development of ArtiFactory Studio’s graphic business identity.

For the latest ArtiFactory Studio news, updates and shares, please visit My Facebook Profile. Join my GRATiTUDES project on TWITTER.  I love to share with you- not only my own work, tips and process, but those of my friends, associates, and colleagues as well!

Let us share the wealth, of our hearts, minds, skills, and experience…and the gifts of our creative imaginations.

Artifactory Studio on Facebook Artifactory Studio on Twitter Artifactory Studio on LinkedIn

I look forward to sharing more with you in the future. Please stay tuned, and check back!