'The walls can be my canvas'


Former Crescent City house painter is putting a new twist on her old trade

Brookings artist Bonnie Loewen is merging her experience as a house painter and artistic creativity to bring a new look into homes.

It is what Loewen calls faux painting. For example, instead of building a stone arch over a hallway entrance, the artist will paint the appearance of the stone onto the arch, which may exist as wood or almost any other building material.

In her own home, Loewen has painted an arch to look like it's made from stone, the wall behind her woodstove has the appearance of rocks and piles of wood, in the master bathroom she continued the stone theme around her shower, and in the guest bathroom, she painted a sky on the ceiling.

When Loewen lived in Crescent City, she worked as a house painter, painting both interiors and exteriors. Loewen has always been an artist. She has drawn line art since the age of 3, when she would copy her father's cartoon drawing.

"One day, something said to me to go to Wright's and buy canvas and paints," Loewen said.

It was a whim that started her award-winning artistic painting career five years ago.

On that canvas she purchased, Loewen used acrylic paints to create an image of trees on a mountain. She had no painting lessons. She just put the brush to the canvas and created what was in her mind.

That first painting hangs on her dining room wall along with some 20 other paintings throughout her home - a few with ribbons from the Azalea Festival art show.

She continued her artwork training when she met a mentor in Crescent City. Both have gone their own ways, her mentor south, Loewen moved north to Brookings, where she has lived since 2011.

The artist has expanded her medium and now paints in oils. She has also become a lifetime member of the Pelican Bay Arts Association and takes part in the Tuesday painting group at Manley Art Center and Gallery.

Most recently, while she was remodeling her home that was in need of repair, she was staring at the entrance to the hallway and she thought, why not an arch?

Loewen had a carpenter build the arch and then she painted the stonework. This was what sparked the idea of going into the business of faux painting.

"The walls can be my canvas," Loewen said of anyone who would like to add a special touch to a home.

Most of her work can be completed in a day, she said, depending on the size of the job. She can paint on interiors and exteriors, including walls, doors, ceilings, fences, garage doors or planters.

For more information, Loewen can be reached on her cell phone at 707-951-1882.

The Del Norte Triplicate
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