Talon News - Good Local News

By Lisa Bailey



December 22, 2017

Lisa Bailey

Cerrina Tanner, bringing Christmas to business windows

Known by many as The Paint Lady, Cerina Tanner is spreading holiday cheer one store front window at a time. While painting at the Flora Vista Farmers Market, with partner Paula Bradford and daughter Natali Sanders, Cerina recounted nearly 50 years of developing and using her artistic abilities to transform windows into artwork. Cerina and Paula have painted together for approximately eight years, and Natali has helped mom over the years, as her schedule allowed. They have all painted together so much that they can anticipate each other's direction and pick up where the other has left off. When the three of them are able to work together they can do an average scene in about 30 minutes.

Cerina finds the work relaxing and recounts the kindnesses experienced while decorating windows. Often, people driving by will honk and wave, those walking by share their thoughts about the scenes and exchange "Merry Christmas" with the painters. Cerina has always painted throughout San Juan County and although the Christmas time tends to be the most popular time for people to decorate their windows, her painting is not limited to the yule season. One thing that Cerina has noticed, is that this year customers are requesting the traditional Merry Christmas message, whereas preceding years there was a trend to substitute, "Happy Holidays."

Cerina and Paula help businesses get noticed by painting their addresses, branding signage, and promotional information on their windows. Their Facebook page also has samples of businesses that have hired them to paint community support messages such as Blue Lives Matter. They speak of the window painting community as mostly close knit, cooperative and respectful of each other. However, Cerina recommended that businesses still take appropriate precautions before hiring a sign painter. Her personal practices allow merchants to see samples, check references, and she never accepts payment until the work is done.

Cerina's family moved to the area when she was six, and once she had a family of her own, she chose to make Aztec home. She shares, "I love it, I never want to move again!" Cerina's five children attended Aztec schools and all still live in San Juan County.

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