Faux Painter’s Paradise Until...
So, say you’re at an event surrounded by
some of the top decorative painters in the country. You’re
networking and learning and sharing and trying all sorts of great
products. You’re surrounded by beautiful palm trees with
a lovely view of the beach. At night, you’re sipping those
fruity drinks with little umbrellas in them while a band makes
its way through Jimmy Buffet’s greatest hits. You’re
in faux painter’s paradise. There’s just one problem:
A Category 3 hurricane is bearing down on you.
That was the very dilemma facing attendees at the Second Annual
Faux Event, sponsored by ProFaux and Perfetto Inc. The event,
originally scheduled to run Sept. 22-26, was proceeding beautifully.
But off-shore, an uninvited guest by the name of Jeanne was making
her way toward Deerfield Beach- the fourth of four hurricanes
that had wreaked havoc in Florida during a devastating hurricane
season. Pretty soon, everyone was switching from Jimmy Buffet
to Clash: “Should I stay or should I go now?”
By the end of the day Sept. 24, the question became moot. Jeanne
stubbornly clung to a due-west course instead of shifting northward
as hurricane prognosticators had originally predicted. The Embassy
Suites, site of the event, was under an evacuation order scheduled
to take effect the next morning. So, there was no more choice
in the matter: Everyone had to make an early exit.
Most of the event’s 200-plus attendees preferred to think
of the glass as half full rather than half empty. A large group
took advantage of the PDRA-sponsored Certified Faux Consultant
Course, which ran on Sept. 22. And the event swung into high gear
on Sept. 23 and 24, with two full days of exhibits, seminars and
The last day of the exhibit hall and the last two days o seminars
had to be scuttled due to the evacuation order, but not before
a rousing finale that took place the evening of Sept. 24, when
teams of faux survivalists created their own canoes and raced
across the hotel pool.
While it lasted, the Faux Event made a decidedly positive impression.
The artists who gathered in Deerfield Beach were truly among the
best to ever wield a stippling brush. Seeing Leonard Pardon- the
same Leonard Pardon who has pointed for royalty and celebrities-effortlessly
prepare a marble sample board was a thrill to behold. Having the
chance to talk wood graining with Mike MacNeil or stenciling with
Melanie Royals or muraling with Michael Cooper, or having the
opportunity to ask Mark Golden of Golden Artist Colors questions
about his esteemed line of products-any of those experiences,
alone or combined, made braving an approaching hurricane seem
like a small price to pay.
Attendees also gained considerable knowledge from Kathy Carroll,
who encouraged faux finishers to reach out and try new things.
“If you do not continue to grow and try new things and new
products, you will never have great breakthroughs,” Carroll
said. Also providing value in their seminars were Ed Hettig, who
spoke on the topic of creative marketing; Jennifer Ferguson, who
gave tips on turning trash into treasure; and Keith Cornelius
from Wooster Brush, who described applicator tools that can make
the faux artist’s job just a little easier. Seminars even
had a bilingual flavor, when the gentlemen from Safra Colors spoke
Nick Cichielo, PDRA’s CEO and publisher of The Faux Finisher,
kicked off the seminar program with an address that proved inspiring
to the faux finishers and decorative artists in attendance. His
statistics showing the potential market for faux finishes led
one pair of business partners to consider adjusting their marketing
strategy. Based on these statistics, Deb Moyer and Laura Burns
(the mother-daughter team profiled in this issue) will likely
put greater emphasis on faux finishes rather than being so focused
on murals. “The statistical information was important,”
Moyer said, and Burns agreed: “It made us realize that we
shouldn’t push faux finishes to the back burner. There’s
a lot of potential.”
Ted Heath of Perfetto was like a whirling dynamo during the Faux
Event, seemingly showing up in multiple locations at once. He
was a ubiquitous presence in the demo area but also made appearance
in the seminar room and the exhibit hall. And of course, John
Catalanotto and Greg Frohnapfel of ProFaux presided over the proceedings
with deadpan humor and steady leadership that kept everyone as
calm as could be expected in the face of an impending hurricane.
What turned out to be the final evening of the Faux Event was
a wacky faux reality show, which was a little bit like “Survivor”
thrown into a blender with “The Amazing Race.” Teams
of contestants built canoes from a few simple supplies, such as
cardboard, plastic, fiberglass tubes and flotation devices. Each
team picked a designated pilot, and two at a time, they raced
across the pool. One team really got into the spirit of the event,
with pirate garb- complete with eye patches, blacked-out teeth
and even a stuffed parrot.
It was a great farewell to an event that ended much sooner than
anyone wanted it to.
And when Catalanotto asked tentatively, “See you next year?’
–in reference to a third annual Faux Event-there were plenty
of affirmations, giving rise to the sentiment that the networking
and sharing and learning hadn’t really ended but would resume
again—and this tie, without the interruption of an uninvited
guest named Jeanne.
Side bar: Those providing support to the Faux
Event included: Barth’s Faux Studio, Blue Pearl Paint, The
Faux Finisher, Jennifer Rebecca Designs, Modern Masters, PDRA,
Perfetto, ProFaux, School of Italian Plasters and The Stencilled
Garden. Door prizes provided by: A Stroke of Magic, XIM, The Faux
Finisher, Golden Artist Colors, Artistic Living Studio, Loparex,
Perfetto, Blue Pearl Paint, Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes,
Lasting Impressions, Jennifer Rebecca Designs, School of Italian
Plasters, Embassy Suites, Definitive, The Stencilled Garden, Barth’s
Faux Studio, Murals & More, Nature’s Vignettes, ProFaux,
Royal Design Studio, Modello Designs, Wooster Brush, United Parcel
Service, Piedmont Plastics, Modern Masters, Love Designs and Roos
International Ltd. Inc.