Rocky Mountain Hi Artists


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Welcome to Rocky Mountain Hi Artists

Rocky Mountain Hi Artists

Download or View July Newsletter


July 20th at 10 AM Marilyn's Home Please RSVP

Our second paint party this summer


Elissa McAlear

Memorial Service

Date and Time: July 21st from 2 - 4 PM
Location: Allen House Pavilion, 11200 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80004 Outside with light refreshments

All painting friends are invited. If you can please send a sweet memory of Elissa. You can use our Contact page.


In Loving Memory...


I’m sorry to inform you that Jan Wells, one of our members, passed away after a short bout with ovarian cancer on May 23rd. Jan and I worked together for ten years at Western Union before retiring in 2014. We decided to try our hand at decorative painting and had many great times painting together and with our other members. Jan will be missed by all of us.

Linda Beaty


As you all know by now, our sweet friend Elissa McAlear passed away on Saturday January 27. She was a wonderful person and a we will miss her. Elissa joined the Rocky Mountain Hi Artists in the late 1970's and was a life time member. She was always on the board in one capacity or another, and she was meticulous and covered every detail whether she was in charge of the Art Show or the Membership chairperson putting together our registration booklets and handing them out, it all had to be perfect.

For years you could always find her sitting at the back of our meetings at a table, collecting money or selling tickets or scribbling in a notebook, making sure everything ran smoothly. Elissa loved painting and was an accomplished artist. The last few years she was a student in Janet Nunn's classes, but she was always ready to join a seminar or paint-in whenever one was available. An avid rosemaler, she was a member of Vesterheim Norwegian - American Museum and Folk Art School in Decorah, Iowa, and traveled there to hone her skills.

Elissa was a dear friend. Years ago when our group used to sponsor Mini Conventions here in Denver and would invite Decorative painting teachers to come and give classes here for a week and included a trade show, Elissa was always part of our hard working team. She and I roomed together to share expenses and it was always like teenagers at a slumber party. Lots of snacks! I don't think we slept at all for that week, but we had a great time! We'll miss her, but I know she's out of pain and in a beautiful place, probably painting!

Ginny Sparlin, President

Our little group of painters has been around since 1975, and we're still going strong. Our members enjoy using many mediums, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil and fabric painting. As new ideas and techniques emerge, we enjoy getting together and trying them out.
Over the years we've had many seminars, learning from teachers from all over the country. In the past few years we've used Zoom classes as needed. If you enjoy painting or have ever wanted to try painting, we'd love for you to join us at a meeting or two. You'll meet some amazing people who love to paint. Whether you're a seasoned painter or brand new beginner you'll enjoy yourself, and make a new friend or two. Check our meeting schedule. We generally meet the third Monday evening of each month at 6:30 pm (barring a blizzard...) In the warmer months we sometimes meet to paint in a members backyard or maybe have an art show at a different venue. We try to keep it interesting! Hope to meet you at our next meeting!
Sincerely, Ginny Sparlin, President 2024

Visit the Decorative Painters Academy

A bit of information on the history of SDP and DAC
(National Museum of Decorative Painting)

In 1972, Priscilla Hauser founded the Society of Decorative Painters (SDP). There were 22 people at the first meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Originally, this organization was called the National Society of Tole and Decorative Painters (NSTDP) and was primarily for painting teachers. In fact, instead of the certification title we know today as MDA (Master Decorative Artist), the original designation was MDT (Master Decorative Teacher). The mission of the Society was to "raise and maintain a national level of high quality in teaching tole and decorative painting; stimulate interest in the appreciation for the art of tole and decorative painting; act as a central dissemination point for information concerning activities in the field of tole and decorative painting".  SDP still strives to fulfill the original goals, although now on an international level. Under IRS guidelines, SDP is recognized as a "not for profit" corporation, designated as 501(c) (6).

Ten years later, in 1982, SDP had grown to 17,000 members--What an accomplishment!! Based on a membership survey and the recommendations of a Task Force and the SDP Board of Directors, the bylaws underwent major changes. To quote President Mary Lou Garrison, "The response to the recommendations from this Board proves that the Society is truly a group willing to look to the future, meet the challenges and, best of all, work together to further the goals of the Society".

It was in 1982 that a new corporation was formed, the Decorative Arts Collection Incorporated (DAC). It was the goal of the DAC to collect and preserve outstanding examples of historic and contemporary decorative art, to maintain a museum collection, and to educate. The DAC was renamed The National Museum of Decorative Painting and eventually moved to Atlanta, GA.  After several years of trying to maintain the museum it finally closed in 2018 and the former National Museum of Decorative Painting has now been moved to the SDP offices in Wichita, Kansas, and is on display there.

Update: SDP has since been restructured with the SDP Foundation and no longer has offices in Wichita.

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