Do you attend craft shows and view the beautifully hand-painted decorative art pieces and say, "I wish I could paint like that"?

Do you already paint? Is your medium watercolor, oils, acrylics?

Pocono Painters could be just the organization for you. Guests may attend one meeting to learn more about the chapter before joining. Its next meeting is Friday.

Eddiejo Herbst of Lehighton, PP's first vice president, has been a member of Pocono Painters for about five years but has been painting for at least 25 years.

"Pocono Painters provides a place for me to do what I most enjoy, paint, and paint with other-like minded folks. I appreciate the varied skill levels that our members have and we all share that love of sharing, teaching and learning from each other. Anyone who has just the desire to learn should join. They don't have to know how to paint, just the desire, because decorative painting is a learned and teachable process. Folks can take decorative painting to any level that they want. We have all levels of painters in this chapter, from beginners to advanced," she says.

Painting projects

Pocono Painters is a local affiliated chapter of the Society of Decorative Painters, a national organization, located in Wichita, Kansas. There are chapters throughout the world.

Pocono Painters has 80 members, and meets monthly, normally on the fourth Friday at 10 a.m., at the Chestnuthill Township Park building on Route 715 in Brodheadsville.

At the meetings members are invited to "paint along" with a volunteer teacher. Each month, a teacher will instruct, step-by-step, a project that varies in mediums.

Painting projects vary each month. For example, Friday, Oct. 18, they will be painting an acrylic winter scene on glass blocks to be taught by Tina Antonelli. November's project is an acrylic fall scene, taught by Sandy De Angelo, her own original design. Visit PP's website at www.poconopainters.org, click on "Newsletter" and you will be able to view the upcoming projects.

Special seminars, featuring nationally respected painters as guest teachers, are also offered, such as Kathy Whiten, Debbie Short and Annette Dosier.

Painting seminars

Pocono Painters publishes a newsletter six times a year, which keeps members informed about upcoming monthly painting projects and additional seminars.

An Autumn Luncheon spectacular, with hand painted centerpieces, favors and raffle items is a much anticipated event each year. The Chinese auction has over 60-70 hand-painted items by the members and there are just as many, if not more, baskets filled with wonderful items. This year's event will be held at Skytop Lodge on Sunday, Oct. 27 with the theme "Painting Is My Cup of Tea" and the ladies are invited to wear hats.

The three big raffle items this year is a hand-painted quilt, a hand-painted clock with five removable seasonal inserts and a Christmas tree covered in hand-painted ornaments.

In addition, there is a painting contest for the members to enter and the guests are the judges.

Tickets are still available. Contact Carol Kafer at (570) 223-9763 or ck4132@verizon.net.

PP members receive a copy of SDP's The Decorative Painter magazine, available only to members. It is a wealth of inspiring and fun step-by-step projects for all skill levels and painting media.

Friendships

SDP holds a national convention once a year where classes are held, with some of PP artists teaching. It holds an annual meeting at the conference.

Janet Kretschmer, 2013 luncheon co-chair, just returned from the SDP's "GET 2 NET" New England Traditions convention in Marlborough, Mass., where she took a lot of classes.

She has been a PP/SDP member for about seven years, after retiring and moving to PA. She had done some ceramics before joining and other crafts.

"Because of Pocono Painters I met a second cousin I didn't know I had (great story). I met really wonderful people who have become great friends outside of our monthly meetings. We share painting ideas, techniques and years of experience and of course friendship," she says.

Community service

SDP requires all chapters to have a community service project each year. Pocono Painters has selected Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network's food bank and animal rescue organization AWESOME as projects for this year.

October is Decorative Painting Month. To help celebrate, Pocono Painters was invited to showcase some of the members' work at the Eastern Monroe County Hughes Library, and the Stroudsburg Historical Society gave their display case for the month. You might want to visit and see some of the projects that have been painted at their meetings.

For information, contact Nadine Lawless for more information at (570) 595-9057 or mnlawless@excite.com.