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Local Artist Paints ‘Off the Wall’

Severna Park resident Jodi Roberts provides unique items often made from reused materials.

Have you ever seen an old window turned into a chalkboard?

Severna Park painter and artist Jodi Roberts makes a living painting murals and turning other people’s trash into works of art.

Roberts works out of a bright yellow studio in her home, a studio her husband made for her. She creates cork boards made from windows, coat hangers made from wood pallets and chalkboard table runners—her most popular item. They range from $24 to $40 depending on size.

“I have been doing a lot of chalkboard table runners … they are made of canvas and I sew them and paint them with chalkboard paint,” Roberts said. “In our house, we use them for math homework, but really people use them for wine and cheese parties, or pot luck lunches. So you can write down what everything is.”

Roberts, who majored in fine arts at the University of Delaware, got her start painting murals after her kids were born. She said she wanted a job where she could be home with her kids, and still do what she loved.

Her business has since expanded from doing murals, thanks to the website Etsy.com. The site offers a platform for artists to showcase their creations for sale. Roberts said she has had people from as far as Australia and Canada buy her products.

Besides the chalkboard table runners, Roberts' other popular items include memo boards made from old windows. The boards feature cork sides and chalkboard sides and she even has one that is divided into squares for each day of the week.

She also makes coat hangers, or decorations from wood pallets—something her husband almost threw out in the trash.

“My husband put down the floor in the bedroom, and when they deliver the floor to your house it comes in pallets,” she said. “Well, my husband thought that was trash and he actually put it out on the curb, and I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ So I dragged the heavy thing back inside and was inspired. I was like, ‘This is my thing. I am going to make something out of this.’”

Roberts said she likes to take products that could be seen as trash and create them into something new. And while she loves that part of her job, Roberts says her favorite part is being able to do what she loves from home.

“I love this yellow room that my husband made for me,” she said. “And just the fact that I make stuff that I like—that amazes me. And that I am home when my kids come home and that they are proud of what I do."

To view the 'off the wall painting' products mentioned in the article, or to make a purchase, visit Roberts' website. You can also search for her products on Etsy.com by entering "off the wall painting" into the search bar.

Carleen Birnes October 02, 2012 at 11:26 AM
How fun and inspiring. Love Jodi's work.
Laurie Dennis October 10, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Yay Jodi - you made the top 5 news!! :-)

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