The art of screen paintingArtist Jenny Campbell, Baltimore...

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May 16, 1999|By KAROL V. MENZIE | KAROL V. MENZIE,SUN STAFF

The art of screen painting

Artist Jenny Campbell, Baltimore born and raised, taught herself how to do painted screens because they are so much a part of the city's tradition. But she invented her own style, one Joe LaMastra, owner of Canton Gallery, where some of Campbell's work is displayed, calls "almost visionary."

She found, however, that painted screens only sell well in the summer, and that some neighborhoods won't let them be placed in windows. So Campbell decided to do smaller screens, 5 inches by 7 inches, that can be displayed on a table or desktop. The framed screens depict people (Billie Holiday or Marilyn Monroe) and scenes from Baltimore, such as rowhouses and the Washington Monument.

"I always carry a camera with me," said Campbell, who now lives in Westminster. "I photograph a lot of places in [Baltimore] city. The way things are going, you don't know if a building is going to be there tomorrow."

Campbell's small screens, which cost $35, are available at Canton Gallery, 2935 O'Donnell St.; at the American Visionary Arts Museum shop, 800 Key Highway; at the shop in the Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St.; and at her father's car-repair shop, Back River Garage, 1817 Eastern Blvd. in Essex. Campbell also will do custom screens, such as house portraits. For more information, check out her Web site at potomacst.com, or call 410-876-7215.

Tools that make sense

Oxo, the people who bring you Good Grips easy-to-handle kitchen tools and housewares, has introduced a bunch of new products for the home. Among them are a duster (below, right) that uses static electricity (collected by touching a TV screen) to pull dust from knickknacks and other hard-to-dust items ($5.99); an angled grout brush that has narrow rows of bristles that work in tight spaces (perfect for cleaning the tracks in shower-door enclosures, $5.99); and a pair of scissors (above, right) with a soft handle that swivels as you cut, absorbing pressure and reducing hand fatigue ($19.99). The products, introduced at the 1999 Housewares Show, will be available at housewares stores, department stores, mass merchandisers and other places this summer. For a list of retailers, or to order products directly, call 800-545-4411. Or check out www.oxo.com. -- K. M.

Better Homes grows online

Better Homes & Gardens magazine has expanded its online shopping area so that, among other things, consumers can more easily find its line of books. (One recommendation: "The New Remodeling Book," a terrific guide to all types of renovation projects, published in 1998, $34.95.) Besides books, you can also shop for other products from publisher Meredith Corp., and from name-brand affiliates whose products have been featured in the magazine. You can also check out information on gardening, fitness, kids' activities, and food and wine features. There are discussion groups, so Web browsers can trade ideas. The address is www.bhg.com. -- K. M.

EVENTS:

* Ken Druse (right), noted garden lover, artist, photographer, author and environmentalist, will talk about the next direction in gardening Thursday at Brookside Gardens Visitors Center Auditorium, 1800 Glenallen Ave., Wheaton. There will be a reception and book-signing from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with the lecture to follow from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. There is a fee of $19. To register, or for more information, call 301-962-1451.

* The garden at the William Paca House is the setting for Historic Annapolis Foundation's annual plant sale, which takes place today from noon to 4 p.m. Heirloom plants and vegetables, shrubs and standards are among the offerings at the Visitor's Center, 1 Martin St. in Annapolis. Admission to the sale is free. For more information, call 410-269-0432 (Baltimore), or 410-267-6656 (Annapolis). --K.M.

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Karol V. Menzie, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519.

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