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Artfully yours Whitney Pintello Multi Talented, Creative, Fun Loving, Community Minded Written By Laura Wrede For many people, windows hold a special significance, either metaphorically, or as an important architectural design element. This was true for Gilroy artist Whitney Pintello who, more than a decade ago, fell in love with the artistic promise windows held while searching for new objects to paint. These unassuming and familiar items—readily found in nearly every modern building—were not always so commonplace historically. For centuries windows have been used as a decorative element either graced with stained glass or as an architectural prize harkening back to the Renaissance when small hand-blown panes were joined together with lead strips. During the sixteenth century, window glass was considered so precious, a man might will his house to one relative and the glass windows to another. In early America, window glass of any kind was rare. By the late 1800s, Americans were installing glass windows into their homes often to showcase their affluence. It’s these century-plus old windows that are today’s canvasses for Whitney’s art. Old sash style windows with peeling paint and time-worn wood are the prize. While some see trash, Whitney sees an opportunity for artistic repurposing. Sourcing her canvasses over the years has been like a treasure hunt. “I used to pay retail at antique stores until I found out contractors were paying dump fees to get rid of them. After doing this ten-plus years, I have a steady stream coming from folks who’ve taken my card at shows. I buy or barter for them. I also love Urban Ore in Berkeley, the Macy’s of salvage yards,” said Whitney. Her quest for painting on windows started out very purposefully. “I sought a window out when I read an article on ways to repurpose windows,” she said. That one window grew into a decade of artistic creations that her collectors love. “Patrons like the casual, rustic quality the paintings have and the ‘found art’ reuse of the vintage windows,” she said. Window painting wasn’t her first creative endeavor, however. As a member of the Pintello family—owners of Gilroy’s Pintello Comedy Theater—Whitney spent many years painting stage sets and murals. “My family’s involvement in theater meant we painted all the time,” she said. “I was a good mimic, I could paint a brick wall or marble or could reproduce a train if that’s what a set called for. Theater folks did faux-finishes before Martha Stewart was ever a household name. So, about the time I decided to take time off with my toddlers, a friend asked if she could pay me to do a mural for her son. Then another friend. During that time I took an interest in repurposed furniture, funky leopard dressers, themed children’s sets and the like.” Whitney’s art began to take hold and soon she was selling in public. “On a whim, I applied for an art festival and spent a weekend garage sale-ing. I spent the next two months painting. It was so fun! I loved that every ‘canvas’ was unique. I sold out every piece at my first festival and was hooked. Local folks who bought pieces asked if I could paint a room to match, commissioned other work. Faux-finishes were just coming into style and I quickly made up business cards. I worked for a friend and a friend of a friend until I got referred to businesses and started to realize I wanted to keep painting, not just let it be a hobby.” Carrying around all that furniture to shows over the years grew a bit cumbersome, however. That’s when Whitney sought out windows; something she was able to manage on her own without a crew to help her set up at shows. There was a learning curve, however. These new objects were not like painting on furniture or stage sets. The technique used to paint windows is a backward layering order of the elements. Explaining the process, Whitney said, “…it’s painted 42 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015 gmhtoday.com Artfully yours Whitney Pintello Multi Talented, Creative, Fun Loving, Community Minded Written By Laura Wrede F or many people, windows hold a special significance, either metaphorically, or as an important architectural design element. This was true for Gilroy artist Whitney Pintello who, more than a decade ago, fell in love with the artistic promise windows held while searching for new objects to paint. These unassuming and familiar items—readily found in nearly every modern building—were not always so commonplace historically. For centuries windows have been used as a decorative element either graced with stained glass or as an architectural prize harkening back to the Renaissance when small hand-blown panes were joined together with lead strips. During the sixteenth century, window glass was considered so precious, a man might will his house to one relative and the glass windows to another. In early America, window glass of any kind was rare. By the late 1800s, Americans were installing glass windows into their homes often to showcase their affluence. 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