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Stir it Up

   An eNewsletter for the online decorative artist. Vol. 13  

Zoom Walls are the New Feature. 

April 9, 2021 – Beth Warnecke & Kathy Otto

Now that we are over a year into this new normal of spending more time at home and interacting with friends, family, and coworkers solely over video chat, it's not surprising that many of us are craving a bit of change, especially when it comes to our interiors.

This new norm of working from home does not seem to be stopping anytime soon, and the design tips to up your digital game are abundant on the web.


Tips on proper lighting, and camera placement, along with appropriate color and design choices to make the space behind you as appealing as possible, have become the new Google search rage. 

This is where decorative painters step in. We, as artists and finishers loved the idea of feature walls when they became popular. One wall, quick and easy, you can throw them in between other projects. That is what the new Zoom wall is - a feature wall with a purpose.  Sitting in front of anything other than a blank wall creates a mood, whether it’s an eclectic picture wall, a mix of patterns or textiles, or a colorful wall.  

You can make them understated like in Beth’s client’s home office or showcase your client’s style as seen in Kathy’s project. Try to make the backgrounds as eye-catching as possible but don’t overdo it with too much going on behind you. The goal of the Zoom app is to create the feeling of sitting and talking in a room together, so ultimately, the focus should be on you or your client. 

Beth Warnecke Client After.jpg

Beth Warnecke 

– A Work From Home Zoom Wall

My client is actually a friend of mine that has been working from home for several years now before it became the thing to do. She had never noticed the plain white wall behind her until quarantine. She started seeing other people’s interiors, was inspired to change, and asked for a nice background.

Her office is the original living room of the home. Privacy had never been an issue, but during quarantine, she has had to share the daytime hours with teenagers being home and in virtual school. Background noise had become an issue.

I applied a sound dampening plaster on the walls, keeping it understated but with a pattern. We also added a barn door for privacy, finished in a weathered white wash finish. She is thrilled, and I loved fitting in a quick 2-day job in between all of my other work. A win/win for both of us. 

Example Wall.webp
Example Board Pattern.webp

Beth Warnecke was born in San Francisco, a Navy baby, but grew up in Illinois looking at St. Louis Arch from her backyard with her three brothers. Even though she always had a love for art classes she went to school for a bachelor's degree in accounting.


After staying home to raise a family for 17 years, she decided to go back to what her passion had always been and took her first decorative painting class. Once she discovered the St. Louis IDAL chapter, Metro Artisans Guild, there was no looking back. Serving her chapter and now the national IDAL Board as Treasurer and current President, Beth runs her business out of a studio that she absolutely loves. It is a 120-year-old brick building with the original wood floors (now unceremoniously covered with splatters of paint).


She specializes in kitchen cabinetry finishes and plastered walls and ceilings.  Another passion for Beth is working with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball and Blues hockey teams, she loves the atmosphere and energy. “I’m an artist by day but a baseball and hockey freak by night!” Her favorite part of working these part-time jobs is meeting all of the wonderful and kind people I take care of. I’ve met Warren Buffet, Lou Brock, Stan Musial, two presidents and many other St. Louis celebrities.


"My life is full." When she is not traveling to keep her portfolio current, Beth loves surrounding herself with her 4 sons, daughter, and daughter and son-in-law. Beth is happiest when all of her children are home and her kitchen is crowded and crazy loud. 


Beth Warnecke 

A creator and artisan of Classic Creations and Painting. Working with clients from her home in the metro St. Louis area.

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Kathy Otto Texture Zoom Wall.webp
Kathy Otto Before Zoom Wall.webp

Kathy Otto

– Zoom walls are the new trend I will promote to my designers. 

A designer called and asked if I could do a wall for her client that was behind her computer, for a Zoom wall. I told her, “of course I could!” Her walls were painted pink and she had two storage closets on each side of an alcove. I painted the doors and molding the same pink, so they would blend in.


She wanted it to be as sparkly as possible. I used Golden Artist Colors Regular Gel Gloss and mixed in some Modern Masters Silver metallic paint and Sheri Zeman’s silver shatter. My daughter rolled the product on the wall and I came behind her and rolled through it with my chamois roller. Then, for good measure, I blew some silver glitter onto the wet walls. 

Kathy Otto After  Zoom Wall.webp
Kathy Otto Texture Long Zoom Wall.webp

Kathy Otto was born in St Louis, is married, and the mom to 4 kids and 2 bonus kids, and Grandma to 6! She has always loved art and drew constantly. As stated on a grade school report card, “Kathy’s grades would improve if she put as much effort into her work as she does decorating the margins of her work.” 


She started her career teaching art classes in a small art store and then started receiving commissions for large canvas work. She was introduced to SALI (now IDAL) by Margaret von Kaenel, it opened up a totally new kaleidoscope of possibilities! She found a love for textures and metallics. She joined the local St Louis IDAL Chapter, Metro Artisans Guild and served as President, Vice-President and Treasurer. 


She is also a member of the Gateway Decorative Artists and was featured on the Chapter page of the Spring Decorative Painter Magazine. She has taken many classes across the US to continue growing and keep her skills sharp. Currently, she serves on the national board of IDAL as Vice President and was the national Chapter Director. Her husband is retired and works with her on cabinet jobs, adding trim or corbels to islands, building cabinets, bookcases and fireplace mantles. 


Kathy Otto

A decorative artist as well as an art teacher. She works with clients from her home in the metro St. Louis area.

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Self Care for the Decorative Artist.

April 9, 2021 – Tracie Weir

“What? –

Hang on ... let me turn down the TV.” I said.
“Why is it so loud?” He asks. 

Self Care for the decorative Artist.webp

I just can’t hear it anymore, so frustrating. Why am I telling you this? Because I lost 40% of my hearing. Why did I lose 40% of my hearing you ask? Because I didn’t protect my ears while running the sander, air compressor etc. for years. I was fully exposed.

In the spring of 2020, it seemed like out of nowhere I couldn’t hear well and I was driving everyone crazy constantly saying “what? What?

I went to get my ears tested. I thought they were plugged with wax. NOPE! Clean as a whistle. Sure enough, I have hearing loss. I’m so mad at myself. I was sitting in the doctor's office trying on my new hearing aids thinking how cool the technology is, having Bluetooth, an app on the phone to control everything among so many other features. They even have cheetah print covers! What?”

But once I put them in and all of a sudden I heard a car beeping from outside of the building, I started crying. “Oh my gosh how horrible is this. What did I do to myself?”, shocked that I couldn’t hear it when I didn’t have them in. 

My life has changed forever and I lost $3,500 that the insurance didn’t cover.

I’m telling you this because I now know the importance of taking care of the simplest little thing while working and doing what we do on a daily basis. Wear a respirator if you spray! Wear goggles for sanding and spraying-keep your eyes safe from any dust or paint droplets that could get in! Wear ear protection! I can’t stress it enough. Don’t make the same mistakes I made! This is what I look like now when I go into my spray booth!

Self Care Tracie Weir.webp