Behind the Texture

with Annette Tyrrell

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Whether exploring the great Pacific Northwest (PNW) or exploring texture and color in paint and plaster, Annette Tyrrell creates architectural finishes and fine art. Her love of nature heavily influences the materials, colors and designs used. Her aim is to create beauty that speaks to each client and collector, assisting them to express their unique style. Ultimately helping to create an oasis where they dwell.

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with the decorative arts?
I grew up in Eastern Washington, exploring forests, lakes and mountains always fascinated by nature. After high school, I moved around the US, living and experiencing each unique environment from deserts and oceans to farms and cities. I have always been inspired by nature and intrigued by the diversity each place holds.

In my mid 30’s, a friend invited me to a watercolor class. I had no confidence, because I had gotten poor grades in art, but I’m fearless to try new things. I have a deep love of learning.

The instructor was amazing, encouraging me to open my eyes and observe the way color, shape and composition define landscapes and how natural elements communicate depth and perspective. I fell in love with watercolor. I had found something that lit me up.

Just over a decade ago we moved to the PNW. I came home and got a job with a decorative finishing company. I was the “shop rat” always eager to learn from the amazing artisans who were creating beautiful finishes locally. Another world of artistry was opened up and I fearlessly made myself an apprentice. When the owner retired she encouraged me to continue in the decorative arts. Her advice was to take workshops from the industry’s best and explore the latest design trends. So I did. In 2016 Inspired! Surface Design was born.

A few years ago, a dear client asked me to create a HUGE (70” x 100) landscape painting for her home using the textures and mediums from my decorative arts skills. This project awakened in me an appetite to study and use my skills to create fine art. In 2021 I released my first fine art collection called Emergence and rebranded to Annette Tyrrell Studio. Last year I added giclée prints and art shows while still contracting architectural finishes. 

How would you describe your artistic style?
My artistic style is abstract impressionism. In decorative finishing I tend to choose natural products to create unique colors and textures. In fine art, interpreting nature through landscapes fascinates me. I am always seeking the boundaries of my materials, watching how pigment interacts and flows across a canvas or plaster lays off a trowel. I love to play with color and texture.

What’s your business philosophy?
My business philosophy is to strive for excellence in workmanship and artistry creating bespoke finishes and fine art. I believe art speaks to us on a personal level and when I am designing decorative finishes for a specific client, I have to listen, ask questions and observe the environment their soul desires to live in. It is an honor to be a part of creating a unique oasis, an environment for people to dwell.

I listen for, “I love it”.  Then I know I have done my job.  

What can’t you live without?
I have found I cannot live without exploring nature and the arts. It is still what lights me up, sparks curiosity, providing rest, and filling my soul.

If you had to choose a different career, what would it be?
If I had to choose a different career, I would choose something where I studied and worked in the natural sciences. 

What’s something interesting or surprising about you that most people wouldn’t know just from talking to you?
I am typically an open book but some things you may not know about me include:

  • I am a sucker for legal and cop drama shows and could probably cross-examine a witness or track down a suspect if I needed to. I could solve the crime!
  • Growing up I spent summers in Guam where my dad lived.
  • In my 40’s I fractured my wrist when I decided to join my kids snowboarding. We homeschooled and while all the other homeschooling moms sat inside, I just had to “hit the slopes.”

Explore more of Annette’s work at

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