Monday, September 17, 2012

Altered Brush

Donna Downey Studios in Huntersville, North Carolina has a beautiful studio full of art - but the bathroom walls are plain white and very large -so - Donna decided to form the "Altered Brush Project". 

Standard 4" paint brushes are being artfully altered by artists all over the world, sent to her, and hung on the bathroom walls! You can read more about it here
After I saw her first post about it, I decided to participate, ordered my brush, and started dreaming about how I would alter it. I made a conscious decision to not look at any of the brushes as she posted them until after mine was complete so as not to influence my creative process. I have to say this was one of the most challenging projects I've done and it is my first that is not on paper or a canvas. 
(click on pictures to enlarge and clarify)
 I started by spraying the bristles with several coats of Ranger Perfect Pearls Mists in Heirloom Gold, then Glass E beads were adhered with Lustre Mod Podge. The metal part of the brush between the bristles and the handle is covered first with decorative tape by My Minds Eye from the Indie Chic line then Tim Holtz tissue tape applied as a second layer.
The precious bird looking in a mirror is off of a piece of jewelry I picked up at a flea market for 50 cents.
The leaves started their life as this child's plastic bracelet. The fronts of the leaves are colored with Copic markers (#V09 Violet, #B29 Ultramarine, #BV08 Blue Violet) The backs and edges of the leaves are painted with Liquitex Acrylic Artist Color in Bright Gold.
The handle is stained with Tim Holtz Distress Stains in Brushed Corduroy and Vintage Photo. Next came a two layers of Distress Crackle Paint highlighted with Archival Ink in Sepia. (all Ranger products). Then Liquitex Acrylic paint in Unbleached Titanium was applied with a stamp by Hampton Arts.
The beautiful metal piece at the top of the handle is from The Funkie Junkie Boutique . I cut it in half and painted it with Liquitex Acrylic Artist Color in Bright Gold.
Some of the leaves have gold wire with pearls on it strung through them. These came from a package of "Candy Gems" by Prima. I colored the pearls with the same Copics that I used on the leaves. On the leaves that do not have the wire in them I glued a Glass E Bead to the hole of the leaf then filled the hole of the bead with Ranger Liquid Pearls in Buttercup.
The final step was to sign the back and attach a business card per Donna's instructions.
Some day I hope to visit The Donna Downey Studios in Huntersville, North Carolina to see this whole collaboration in person, do some shopping, and maybe even take a class with Donna herself! Wouldn't that be fun! (A girl can dream, right?!?!)
You can see all of the brushes submitted so far on
 The Altered Brush Project board on Pinterest

 I believe she is still accepting submissions for this project 
so check it out and join in the fun!
Thanks for looking!
I sincerely appreciate your comments!


kenna said...

your brush is one of my favorites!

Marjie Kemper said...

That is stunning, Teresa! Just pinned it. LOVE it!

sandee said...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved your brush when I saw it on her blog, but didn't realize it was YOURS!!!!!!'s awesome, love everything about it, and you BETTER tell me if you EVER head to her store, since I am close by.I'd hate to not forgive you if you didn't! HA! Gorgeous brush!!!!! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

Frugal Scrapper Extraordinaire said...


This brush is just gorgeous! I'm so glad you didn't look at any of the other brushes before you completed yours since you probably wouldn't have come up with this amazing work of art! I am sure this will become the favorite of many! If you ever think about heading down to Donna's, please let me know as I'd love to join you...MISS YOU!

Renee said...

I came from Donna's site to yours to get a closr look. Wow, this is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing how you made it. It is very inspirational.

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

Holy moly, this is absolutely incredible. I did see some of the brushes and really wasn't crazy over them, but this is totally fabulous Teresa! I really love the way you altered that bracelet and how beautifully arranged it is on the brush. And I totally would not have recognized that bit of filigree metal from my boutique - love the way you have altered it.

It's so fun to see how everyone uses the items from my boutique. Thanks so much for sharing this with us on Sunday Share this time around!