John Mansell Smith has been a self-employed painter & decorator for four years. He explains what it’s like to run your own business. “I became a self-employed painter & decorator when I took early retirement from my professional job in London, where I was employed as a Principal Building Surveyor. When I retired, I needed some additional income to supplement my pension, and having been in the building industry I was fully aware of the standard and quality which would be required to produce work to a professional standard. For a typical day at work, I usually arrive at the job at 8.30 am, and then depending on the sort of work I am doing it will vary a great deal. I could be undertaking external decorations or internal decorations, but in each case it would require covering and protecting the client's furniture, preparation of surfaces, washing down the walls, painting, wallpapering, cleaning up, etc. I try to leave at about 4.30 pm, but this may vary depending on the stage that I have reached with the job. In terms of likes and dislikes, I don’t enjoy working outside in poor weather, although I try to plan my workload to avoid this. However, I do like the freedom of being my own boss and getting complimented on a good job. If you wanted to be a painter and decorator, you would have to decide whether you wish to work for a company with the benefits such as holiday pay, but with the constraints of not being your own boss, or working for yourself with the freedom this gives but also the uncertainty of workload. As a self-employed person I can charge about £15 per hour for work that I do on an hourly rate, or I base any calculations on this rate when I am producing an estimate for a client. In attempting to find work, I would try the job centre, trade journals, large decorating companies, the internet and building training boards. To do the job you need to be a clean, neat worker with an eye for detail. The job you produce is the final result that the client will see, so it is vital that you can produce a finished job that you would be happy to have in your own home.
Pastel is a painting medium in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder.[19] The pigments used in pastels are the same as those used to produce all colored art media, including oil paints; the binder is of a neutral hue and low saturation. The color effect of pastels is closer to the natural dry pigments than that of any other process.[20] Because the surface of a pastel painting is fragile and easily smudged, its preservation requires protective measures such as framing under glass; it may also be sprayed with a fixative. Nonetheless, when made with permanent pigments and properly cared for, a pastel painting may endure unchanged for centuries. Pastels are not susceptible, as are paintings made with a fluid medium, to the cracking and discoloration that result from changes in the color, opacity, or dimensions of the medium as it dries.
A veduta is a highly detailed, usually large-scale painting of a cityscape or some other vista. This genre of landscape originated in Flanders, where artists such as Paul Bril painted vedute as early as the 16th century. As the itinerary of the Grand Tour became somewhat standardized, vedute of familiar scenes like the Roman Forum or the Grand Canal recalled early ventures to the Continent for aristocratic Englishmen. In the later 19th century, more personal impressions of cityscapes replaced the desire for topographical accuracy, which was satisfied instead by painted panoramas.
"Having prior painting experience, I decided to enter the union. The job security and stability as well as the potential for advancement that the union atmosphere provided were things that I looked for when choosing a career. Throughout my apprenticeship experience, I have worked with highly competent and approachable instructors who have provided me with the tools necessary to become a successful painter."

Where The Dog Stars established Heller as a writer with a consistent, wickedly humorous voice, a formidable scene setter, and writer with philosophical underpinnings, this second novel shows those strengths fraying a bit. He’s adopting a voice here that isn’t always his own; he toys with the sentence structures of Hemingway and Raymond Carver, and the effect is a bit clumsy. However in the book’s second half he returns to vestiges of his first novel’s voice, and this is where his story becomes compelling.
A veduta is a highly detailed, usually large-scale painting of a cityscape or some other vista. This genre of landscape originated in Flanders, where artists such as Paul Bril painted vedute as early as the 16th century. As the itinerary of the Grand Tour became somewhat standardized, vedute of familiar scenes like the Roman Forum or the Grand Canal recalled early ventures to the Continent for aristocratic Englishmen. In the later 19th century, more personal impressions of cityscapes replaced the desire for topographical accuracy, which was satisfied instead by painted panoramas.
Modern artists have extended the practice of painting considerably to include, as one example, collage, which began with Cubism and is not painting in the strict sense. Some modern painters incorporate different materials such as sand, cement, straw or wood for their texture. Examples of this are the works of Jean Dubuffet and Anselm Kiefer. There is a growing community of artists who use computers to "paint" color onto a digital "canvas" using programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, and many others. These images can be printed onto traditional canvas if required.
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