Artist brings ‘pot of gold’ to Rainbow Market |

Artist brings ‘pot of gold’ to Rainbow Market

Submitted to The Union

Sarah Coleman, Owner of Painted Bird Studio, preparing the Rainbow Market sign to be repainted. The Rainobw Market is located on Highway 49, across from the Willo Restaurant.

With a newly painted, bright red exterior, the owners of Rainbow Market in Nevada City, Maggie Maloney and Jeff Rutherford, noticed the store's sign also needed a little restoration. Artist Sarah Coleman noticed it, too.

But the sign "needs some love," said Coleman. "There's no longer a rainbow in it; it's faded out."

So Coleman approached the owners about putting the rainbow back in Rainbow Market.

"They had been meaning to get around to it," she said. "They were very receptive."

Coleman lives in the neighborhood and drives by the store frequently.

"Being a sign painter, I think it kind of bugged her," Maloney said with a chuckle.

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After collaborating with Coleman over her drawings, Maloney and Rutherford decided on a fairly traditional design.

Coleman has started preparing the sign by sanding, priming and sealing the surface.

"The sign is in pretty good shape except the surface is faded," she said. "Besides being beautified, it needs to be refinished."

After all the prepping, the sign will be ready for one of Coleman's specialties, metal leafing.

"I'll do gold leaf and aluminum leaf with colored glazes over some of the metal. The metal will reflect dayligh,t giving the sign a sort of internal glow," she said. "Behind the letters will be gold and metallic so they'll be reflective and shiny." Then Coleman will paint color over everything, putting a nice, big, prominent rainbow back into it.

The entire process will take about 20 to 30 hours.

"It's very exciting," said Maloney. "Sarah has good ideas. It's going to be beautiful, I think."

"We live in such a beautiful place, and this store is nestled into a sweet spot," said Coleman. "We want to help the sign match the surrounding beauty."

Coleman also loves working in public places because "I get to chat with people and hear their stories."

Maggie Maloney and Jeff Rutherford have owned Rainbow Market, located at 16797 California Hwy. 49, for 17 years. They are married with two children: A son, going to medical school in Australia, and a daughter graduating from Nevada Union High School next week.

Artist Sarah Coleman is owner of Painted Bird Studio, established in 2011 in Nevada City. She has worked as a professional decorative painter since 2003 and specializes in one-of-a-kind high quality wall, floor, door and furniture finishes for homes and businesses.

Painted Bird Studio serves the Sierra Foothills and surrounding communities, with other areas available by special arrangement.

Visit her web site at

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