Maryjo Tuttle

MaryJo Tuttle


Maryjo Tuttle

Gallery

Bio

I began painting many years ago when a friend of my Mom’s suggested we sign up for a Tole Painting class offered by Community Education thru the local college. We learned to paint in the back room of a hardware store, and we learned in oils. From daisies to strawberries to owls, we thought we were great artists! After taking a little break from my newfound painting love, to buy a house & have a baby, I ventured back into the painting world and found that everything had changed, and now everyone was painting in acrylics. I was so happy – no more oil paint, no more “goop” to mix with the oil paint, and no more waiting for paint to dry! I took every class I could find and learned what worked for me and what didn’t.

I began selling my painted items at craft shows and developed quite a following each year. I always used other’s patterns but began changing them a little or trying another color palette, and just had a lot of fun painting what I liked. As time went on, my husband, John (at my urging) took a wood carving class, and as they say, the rest is history – he was a natural, very meticulous, and precise in his efforts. His carvings are beautiful, and I paint them. I have a growing collection, and we have sold many at the craft shows over the years and have a following that always wants to know what’s “new”!

When our son made it through elementary & Jr. high, and was sailing through high school, I thought I’d find a part time job just for something fun to do. I went to work at a small local craft store, and soon found myself teaching painting classes there. When the big box craft store came along and made it difficult for my friend to survive, I moved my painting classes to my home studio. I taught there for almost 10 years, teaching up to 5-6 classes per week. As our nest became empty, and my longtime students had all become great painters I found it was time to move on. I applied at a local chain craft store with a new store opening. I started as part time, and soon found myself a department head and in charge of way more than I planned. It was great fun, but I was working very hard and on my feet for 8+ hours a day! If I was going to work, I needed to find something else.

I had been a longtime customer of the Artist’s Club, and always liked the business, so I wrote the owner a letter, and lo and behold landed an interview with him. I began my “career” at the Artist’s Club as a customer service rep. answering the phone & taking orders. I enjoyed this a lot, I got to talk to some of the nicest people with like interests every day. This was during the days that the painting industry was at its peak, so it was a fun, creative place to work. Soon the decision was made to start an in-house design team with 4 local artists that would do exclusive designs on surfaces that the Artist’s Club imported. When they needed someone to lead and coordinate this program, I was tapped to do the job. So I left my customer service headset behind and moved around the corner in the office to the AC domain. Along with my Design Team duties, I also became the Product Development Manager – which was the best job a painter could have. I was in charge of receiving information on all upcoming new books, patterns, and products for the catalogs which were produced every 8 weeks. During this time, the Design Team grew from the first 4 local artists, to a group of about 50 all over the US and Canada that would work with us on those exclusive designs that became so popular with the customers as free downloads. I was also able to travel both to conventions in the US, and overseas to look for great exclusive surfaces and products. During this time, I also took the step of spreading my wings and designed and published books of my own. My books include Tuttles Touches, Volumes 1-9; Homespun Touches I & II; Homespun Touches Painting my Favorites, Painting More Favorites, Celebrate Every Day; Homespun Touches Ornament Collection I, II & III; and several combined artist books.

Along with my love of painting, I am also a quilter, and many of my painted designs reflect the quilter in me. I designed 10 original lines of fabric for Connecting Threads (a sister company to the Artist’s Club), each being best sellers for them.

I retired in 2017. Since retirement, I haven’t put the brushes away, I have designed several projects for the online painting magazines, and a first design for Painting World Magazine. I have been selected as a viking Exclusive Artist, so will be designing for them.

We enjoy traveling, and have taken several cruises and trips through our membership in the University of Washington Alumni travel group. Although 2020 curtailed our big travel plans for now, we enjoy spending as much time as we can at our beach house on the north coast of Washington.

We became grandparents 4 years ago to the cutest little girl ever, Jemma Kate – our son lives close by, and we get to babysit quite often – she keeps us on our toes!

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