View Full Version : what the heck is "tole"?

06-01-2000, 09:15 PM
And why do we have this category when no one ever posts here? Let's change it to collage... http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif

Cindy Agathocleous

"Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself." James Fitz-James Stephen

06-01-2000, 11:00 PM
Take a look at:

If you want a collage forum, let me know via email: [email protected]


06-02-2000, 08:23 AM
There are many people out there who do tole painting but I suppose than most of them wouldn't look at this site seriously. I can say this as I was a tole painter (which is also known as folk art - traditional deisgns in acrylic mainly and painted on almost any object or surface) before I used watercolours, pastels, oils and acrylics in the way people do here. At that stage, I did't regard myself as a 'proper' artist but it was as more of a craft type thing. Lots of people do tole and it is useful for teaching people who don't think they can paint, how to paint and get used to the use of brushes and paint. It's a great style of painting - very ornate.

06-02-2000, 08:50 AM
Thanks, Amanda!

Cindy Agathocleous

"Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself." James Fitz-James Stephen

06-02-2000, 11:01 PM
Cindy tolepainting actually is a very old form of decorative painting. Some Germanic people were especially trained to do specific designs known as rosemal. I bet you have seen it before and just thought of it as folk art.

06-03-2000, 01:45 AM
Thanks guys. I didn't know what the term meant either. Now i do. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Cheryl

06-03-2000, 01:49 AM
Oh, BTW Cindy, pierre seems to be asleep at the wheel with the quick tips. Maybe collage can take his spot http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif Cheryl

06-27-2000, 09:03 AM
I am glad to see a Tole section on this board. I have been paiting for many years and just recently had th privilege to be introduced to this fantastic art market about 6 years ago. There are literally thousands of artists involved with the so called Tole Painting section of art. Now this has become very important part of the overall art/painting market.
Finally I am able to communicate with other artists that are very willing to share their knowledge a lot more, I am able to teach to more students all over the country, I am able to be published in magaziines, books, videos and TV.
The Tole Painting market has changed dramatically over the past few years. It is no longer just folk art and the cutsey little social gatherings of ladies around the cookie jar (although that still exists I am sure).
Sereiously, I am really glad to see this forum included in the fine art field.
John Gutcher

Phyllis Franklin
06-27-2000, 10:05 AM
John: Thanks for posting on the tole forum. How about submitting some lessons to Scott. He would be thrilled. You could start by telling us all about the different brush strokes and how they relate to the finished project. I, for one, would really like to see lessons on tole painting here at WetCanvas. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


Yep this is Phy...llis
Sounds like Lizz.
Visit the Virtual Cafe Guerbois Today! (http://www.artistnation.com/members/paris/cafe)

06-27-2000, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by msue:
Cindy tolepainting actually is a very old form of decorative painting. Some Germanic people were especially trained to do specific designs known as rosemal. I bet you have seen it before and just thought of it as folk art.

Rosemaling is an important style in Norwegian, German, and Russian cultures. Each area has its unique interpretation and colors. A Norwegian-influenced organization in the United States with a museum and exhibits is located in the Midwest; I believe in Kansas. Unfortunately, very few books are available on the subject.

[This message has been edited by matt3 (edited June 27, 2000).]

W. Collier
06-27-2000, 03:12 PM
Oh wow, welcome John Gutcher. What an honour. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/cool.gif Love your portraits. Everyone, this man is a very talented decorative painter and teacher. John, love your new website.

You might want to refer to the WetCanvas Site Discussions section, and pull up the topic called "Tole Forum". They're really trying to get people to use this forum. Maybe they should title the Tole Forum as "Tole/Decorative Painting" instead. What do you think? Would that attract more people? I think it would.

John, I second what Phyllis says. Would you please consider talking to Scott about submitting a lesson?


06-27-2000, 10:00 PM
I started "Tole/Decorative" painting almost 28 years ago....! I still occassionally will paint in the tole style. It really is fun and a terrific way to learn about painting from a less threatening viewpoint!! I learned a lot about values, shading and palette from taking 2 year of classes.

I will dig up a digi photo of a piece I did for a friend a couple of years ago and post.

The rosemaling aspect of decorative painting is exquisite and definitely not easy to master.

I hope that this forum will take off!!


06-27-2000, 10:16 PM
Yes, I agree! Someone pass the word to the tole sites - they can link directly in to this forum by linking to:

Easy! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


06-27-2000, 10:57 PM
Thank you for the invitation to submit some lessons. I will talk to Scott a little later. Right now I am extremely busy with travel teaching projects and I have a large mural to paint next week.
As for th Tole sight, yes, it would definitely draw more artists if it were called Tole and Decorative Painting, since this is now more acceptable, and is more inclusive to the industry.
The Decorative Painting Society has even changed their name to almost drop the Tole name because of the larger coverage of different styles and types of painters involved.
I do not do stroke work or folk art painting, so I cannot teach this form of art. There are many other more qualified artists who could teach this form of art.
I am more of a portrait painter than anything. Fortunately I have been able to include many of my portrait techniques into the decorative painting field.
As for my web site, sorry, but it is very old and not up to date. I need to find someone to update my site and/or create a new one for me so it can be updated frequently.
John Gutcher

06-27-2000, 10:58 PM
I have to say I started tole painting with Priscilla Hauser and the attitude that anyone can paint...she was right....I still do decorative pieces as gifts for friends and family....this is how I learned to pick up the brush...Then I started reading Claudia Nice books on pen & ink and watercolor washes...now I just want to do watercolors....

Steph - it helped me to learn about shading, values, brushstrokes, etc. I'm just going in a different direction now, but I will ALWAYS paint on anything!!!!!!!!!!!!



W. Collier
06-30-2000, 08:17 AM
Originally posted by JohnGutcher:

As for my web site, sorry, but it is very old and not up to date.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/redface.gif Oops....I'm sorry, John, for some reason I thought that your site was new (scratching my head).

...Oh well, I still think your site's terrific.


06-30-2000, 09:16 AM
I stand (happily) corrected!

<FONT face="Stencil">Long Live the Tole Forum!</FONT f>


07-30-2000, 03:36 PM
Tole is a French word meaning painting on tin usually on a dark or black background. It brings to mind the Amish painting of brush strokes of birds and flowers on a black or dark background.The craft has been expanded to include painting on wood or any other paintable surface. There are many different styles. Scandinavian tole painting is more Rosemaling which is very ornate and flowery with lots of brush strokes. The English have a version called 'Canal Boat' and is taken from the ornate style used in painting the canal boats. The craft is passed on from generation to generation and some people can identify the town in Europe a painter comes from by the way they do their tulips. Today the field of Tole also includes Decorative Painting. There are so many books about the field today that it can be overwhelming to a beginner painter.
I have taught Tole and Decorative Painting in the local craft shops and also in Adult Ed in the local high school. My work has been published in Tole World magazine.

08-08-2000, 01:42 AM

would mural painting be considered "tole" painting?


08-13-2000, 10:58 AM
Mural painting is usually a large painting on either walls or ceilings.
Tole painting is usally done on trays, lamps, teapots, domestic and decorative items usually on a dark green, ivory or black backgrounds.
Both forms of painting have been around for centuries and are still popular today. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

08-27-2000, 06:06 PM
hey everyone!!!

i didnt really think that this type of art was classed separately!! just goes to show you learn something new everyday!!

also....John...what IS your infamous website address??? id love to take a look!!! what sort of work do you do??? id love to hear more!!

many thankx..


08-31-2000, 10:33 PM
my web site is http://creativeartist.com/johngutcher

Someone asked about murals as being tole, not, but they are Decorative Art.
As previously posted, our society is now called the National Society of Decorative Painters. The word "tole" has been dropped and for good reason.
With 27000 members all over the world, this field has grown tremendously and covers all fases of art using all mediums and styles, not just tole anymore.
What a tremendous industry this is. It would be nice if more of the "fine artists" got involved the the Decorative Painters. Its amazing how many more contacts and wonderful people lyou get in contact with.
It sure has opened up a lot of new doors for me and has changed my whole art life. Wish I had discovered it many years earlier.
John Gutcher