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Spotlight:  Andy Skinner

Born in 1966 and raised in Oxford England, Andy Skinner began painting from a very young age, encouraged and influenced by both his mother, a watercolor artist, and his father an engineer, who while not artistic, was an extremely clever man who would construct the most amazing toys and gadgets from found objects.

Andy is an mixed media artist who travels the world teaching mixed media, altered art, assemblage, and ceramics.
He has worked and exhibited widely in a variety of mediums including watercolor, oil, pastel, acrylic, and glass and has just launched his own range of rubber stamps.

Andy recently embarked on running a series of very successful altered art online workshops using DecoArt acrylic paint and mediums. One of the workshops is called Timeworn Techniques, which focuses heavily on upcycling.
The idea behind this workshop is to take found objects from junk shops, garage sales, etc, and paint and assemble them using a variety of aging and faux techniques with DecoArt paints and mediums to produce a final, one-of-a kind, upcycled piece of artwork.

How did you get started painting?
I have painted ever since I can remember. After working a 9 to 5 for 20 years and having to produce my art in the little spare time available, I decided to take the plunge and open up a creative studio just outside of London, where people of all ages could come and have access to a whole range of artistic products including ceramics and create to their hearts’ content.

What type of painting do you do?
Everything from portrait work to altered art and assemblage. At the moment I am heavily into altered art using faux techniques with DecoArt products.

What has been your biggest challenge?
After a very happy six years of operating my creative studio, I felt the need to move on and try something different. I sold the studio to take the position of Director of Art at a company called Country Love Crafts where I still teach with DecoArt products to this day.

When did you start using DecoArt products?
I first started using DecoArt products 12 years ago when I introduced Crafters Acrylics into my studio for the children. These were soon followed by Americana for the adults.

What impact to DecoArt’s products have on your work/life?
I love DecoArt because as well as having an absolutely fantastic acrylic paint range, they offer a whole lot more… They have fantastic mediums that take acrylic painting for me to a whole new level, especially for mixed media. They also manufacture my favorite varnishes.

How long have you been a Helping Artist?
Just over a year.

What has been your best and brightest moment as a Helping Artist?
For me it has to be seeing the results from my latest online workshop. Most of the participants come from a scrapbooking background and painting with acrylics is a little frightening for them. The results they have achieved with the Traditions range are absolutely astounding and so is the feedback from them. The workshop is all about techniques as are brush strongs. Now they have the techniques down, there is no stopping them!

What’s your favorite DecoArt product?
It would be impossible for me to pick only one DecoArt product as a favorite, so here are four: Americana, Traditions, Modeling Paste, and the Americana spray sealers.

What has been your greatest success, so far?
Designing a DecoArt Christmas workshop that was taken into thousands of schools nationwide and more importantly for me, seeing the results the children achieved.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Teaching more online workshops and growing my rubber stamp range. I am also about to start running workshops on craft cruises and would like to get involved in more of these.

Who is you favorite artist, and why?
At the moment it’s Michael de Meng, but it does change. He has a love of crating found object art and combines this along with his passion for ancient cultural folklore and mythology.

Contact information
Website: http://www.andyskinnercrafts.com
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ThePapique