ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Toil at Tole - The Art is in the Journey

Updated on May 14, 2009

The Michelangelo's and da Vinci's of the world are few and far between. Most of us struggle to make a stick figure look semi-realistic. But for all that our art rarely captures the majestic perfection and nuanced beauty the masters managed, there's something truly inspiring in an artist of any level deeply engaged in their craft.

My wife is one such artist. Though no slouch (her work often amazes me) she feels she'll never attain the level of skill and sophistication exhibited by those she idolizes. But the purity of effort, the passion she puts in, there's nothing more evocative of human perfection than the pursuit. The end results don't really matter.

Left alone, she can pass an entire evening engaged in her craft. The world around her may as well have stopped. Time has no meaning. Sometimes she sets down her brush with pride. Other times, it leaves her hand with a slightly contemptuous flick of her wrist if the piece didn't turn out as she'd hoped. Whatever her opinion, I've always felt the real art is the image of my wife, totally engaged in her craft, while I (and the rest of the planet) move distantly and insignificantly through time around her.

I can't teach anybody to paint (God help you if I tried) but I wanted to share just one of the many reasons I love this woman and, I hope, inspire others who have an interest in taking up painting of any style to give it a shot and rejoice in the journey until your mastery matches your expectations. That in mind, I asked my wife to write a little bit about one of her favorite styles – Tole painting. Her own words follow.

Tole Painting - Explore the Painter in You!

What is tole painting you ask? Well, first of all, it is nothing new! For centuries, people (both men and women) have used the art of decorative painting to embellish and decorate personal items either for their own use or to give as gifts. Tole painting is referred to by many names including: decorative painting, folk tole painting, country painting, One Stroke painting (which was made popular by Donna Dewberry), and folk art painting.

While a hobby for many, tole painting can also be a lucrative business. Many tole painters have turned their hobby into very successful careers! Laurie Speltz, for example, is a well known tole artist who has her own line of tole books, stencils and other painting related products.

Dedicated to their craft, most tole painters take their hobby very seriously. Not only are tole painting clubs and organizations available around the world, there are several big conventions held each year that are devoted entirely to the craft. Heart of Ohio Tole, which is part of the decorative painting society, hosts a tole painting convention that is attended by thousands of painters.  Better known as HOOT, this convention is a tole painter’s paradise! Whether you want to take a class with a well known tole artist, or shop among the hundreds of vendors selling anything from paint to patterns, this convention is a dream come true for those who love the art of decorative painting.

So, not quite sure if tole painting is for you? Trust me, anyone can become a decorative painter!  There are many different tole painting techniques and most of them, if not all, can be mastered if you are simply willing to practice! The wonderful thing about this creative hobby is the fact that there are many different levels. From simple folk art designs to intricate, detailed creations, there is something for everyone no matter what level you are.

For many people, once they discover the world of tole painting they quickly become addicted. Tole painting is not only fun, it is a relaxing and rewarding hobby. Many tole painters sell their creations at local craft shows and festivals. Trust me when I say you will never forget when you sell your first hand painted, one of a kind creation! Others paint just for the sheer enjoyment it brings them. If you are looking for a creative hobby why not awaken your inner painter and give tole painting a try!  Take it from this tole painter…you will be glad you did!

If you are interested in finding out more about tole painting, I recommend the following books: “The Complete Book of Decorative Painting” by Tera Leigh, “Tole Painting Made Easy” by Ondori Staff and for those of you that are already familiar with tole painting, I recommend anything by Jamie Mills-Price, especially the book: “Painting Heartwarming Holidays.” Good luck and happy painting!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)