Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Finished per the workshop. Uh huh. Was not happy

After sending the above photo to Klara, I added more paint

Close up of layers and texture

And more paint

2nd project from this workshop

Loving the glass beads medium

Loving the shift of colors and layers
So my biggest problem with these is, are they done? No, they are not. This is why it is best, for me personally, to close the door to the studio and walk away when I am this uncertain.

I kind of liked the first one with all the reds and oranges until I took a photo and sent it to Klara in Cleveland (Hi, Klara!). Then realized, as she also commented, that the orange/red was overwhelming. Just too, too, orange. So back to adding yellow ochre and some white with teal. This morning I am thinking it still needs some contrast, so I have a few things in mind. Then, I swear, that one will be done or in the garbage. Either way, I am moving on today.

The second one will have some subtle green shading added to take the starkness of the white out, so the green gold transition is softer. Another suggestion from Klara, and I so agree. What the hell did we do before excellent cameras on our phones, and text messages? The green canvas has molding paste, glass beads, and crackle medium placed over some heavy body white paint.
See the faint cracks in the green/gold paint? This is DecoArt crackle medium from the craft aisle. Couldn't find anything like this at Michael's from Liquitex or Golden, so went cheap. It takes quite a bit to get that effect, and you have to let it dry overnight. But I do like the small fissures. Very cool.

Ok. Back to work. The plan is to finish up these two projects, then try the third from the workshop. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New Online Course

First layers of color

Added teal, white, pink

First white wash over the top of the horizon
I receive a daily email from Northlight Shop, or Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. Sometimes it is just an article, but mostly it is promoting some video or book they have for sale. On Friday they were promoting Texture Techniques for Abstract Art, both the DVD and download video, from Jodi Ohl. I love her work, so after watching the promotion, I ordered it. I had to leave on Saturday for Evansville, IN. for a family gathering, so yeah, bad timing. Because all I could think about on the long drive was getting home to start on the projects. So much fun.

It's all about working in layers. You start with an Ampersand board, which I had never used, and black gesso. And Jodi is right when she says the black gesso instead of white adds a depth to the painting. This is something I will be doing more of. There is also random molding paste under the paint. Hardest part of painting like this is waiting for everything to dry before you can proceed. So in the future, I will be doing more than one so I can hop from painting to painting. It will be easier once we get some steady sun. Having a rain week. I had to stop yesterday because I used Liquitex Heavy body white paint on the top. It takes forever to dry, so it is NOT done.

I highly recommend this workshop. If you are interested, it is only $19.95. Go to Northlight Shop here, and search for the Texture Techniques or Jodi Ohl. This workshop has 3 different canvases to make, and is well worth your time. My mind is buzzing with what I want to try for texture in the next project.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


All glued down

And this is the number collage finished
I do like the way these turned out. Michael's has not restocked this particular piece in their wood section, so doubt I will be doing more.  Or rather, completing more with this product. I may just try it on a blank board cut to size.

Onward. Hoping the dogs will let me get some work done today. Inbetween belly rubs.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Completing Projects

House in wood front


New assemblage

Another assemblage not finished
I really need to stay out of Michael's and Hobby Lobby until every canvas, every piece of wood has been eliminated.  Yeah. No.

A few months ago I was wandering the wood aisle at Michael's when I found these long, skinny frames. They are 5 inches wide, 18 inches long, and are light weight with hangers already on the back. You can work these either vertically or horizontally. I like the long, skinny look. So I bought 2 of them and put them on a shelf. 5 weeks ago I based painted both in a medium yellow, and they sat on a table, looking at me. Last week I started to apply molding paste through stencils, and collage elements. Yesterday I told myself that these suckers were going to be completed no matter what. After a flurry of text messages with Klara in Cleveland (HI, Klara!), they are done.  Almost. I have to glaze the bottom one again, and attach the brush. The one with numbers has had some black paint added to the bottom numbers to balance it out, a Klara suggestion, and I took a picture of that. Do you think I can find it in Dropbox? Why no, I cannot. Take our word for it, it looks better.

The little house. Also in a clearance section of Michael's last summer I found 9 houses of balsa wood (very light weight) in 3 various sizes. Ah ha, said I. These need to come home with me. So they did. And they have sat in a crate marked "WOOD" for months. Last week I hauled those boys out and base painted all 9. This is the first one to be finished. I am not particularly happy with this.  I wanted bright, happy, eye catching. It's bright, it's kind of happy, but beyond that, something is off.

So the other 8 houses are sitting on the table in front of the Scan N Cut, which I have yet to master. There are not enough hours in the day.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Mixed Media Canvases

I did this canvas several years ago during an online class with Christy Tomlinson

Completed this yesterday

And another, but changing the branches

When I first started doing mixed media, Cathy and I took every single class that Christy Tomlinson offered online. Most of the classes were only $35, and you had hours upon hours of video, Christy talking about products and methods, and whatever else you needed to do this at home.  If you are interested, I think those classes are still available at the Scarlett Lime online store.  She now has some monthly deal with planners. 

In one of those classes, we did the bird canvas. She had us print out a bird image from clipart, or a magazine, whatever, and use that as a base for the canvas. The birdcage was just lines with a marker over painted scrapbook paper. I have had this hanging on my studio wall for at least 5 years, and always loved it. Doesn't look anything like the original that Christy did in class, but it has held it's appeal to me through out the years. So I decided to try my hand at a few more. The canvases are gallery, which means they have the deeper edges. Size is 4x12, and you can buy these at Michael's.  They used to come in a 3 pack in the store, but my local store doesn't carry the packs anymore. I used old book pages, pattern pieces, and Tim Holtz tissue papers to collage. I used a palette knife to lightly apply some gesso, then very lightly added florescent pink and orange from Golden. A little stamping and some rub-ons were added, and Distress Ink pads were run around the edges. 

The blue bird and cages are die cuts from an old Tim Holtz big die. No idea if you can still buy those. The other, smaller bird is a stamp that I put on water color paper, then painted. You don't have to draw to do these. Be creative! I then painted some torn cardboard pieces, put rub-on letters on old book pages, and put everything together with Liquitex gel medium. The bird cages are also mounted on old book pages. 

Onward to more projects today. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Gel Printing

See the little veins of color?

First attempts, and the hemp was not small enough

Clean up print and my favorite

Getting there

Looking like marble

Now we have it!

Printing on top of a marble print

in self defense, I had to get them all up off the floor
I have mentioned before that there are hundreds if not thousands of free tutorials on just about anything to do with art and crafts on YouTube. You can also subscribe to mailing lists, which I do for a select few. One is the Gelli Arts Plate company. A free video was posted this past week by Birgit Koopsen. Holy Moly, folks. If you have a gel plate you really need to try this technique. I warn you, it is messy. As in Jake had hemp pieces stuck to his fur when he walked across the papers on the rug.

The concept is simple: make some background prints in light colors. Mixing 2 or more colors will yield the best results. Set those aside, then take a few pieces of craft hemp. I used cheap stuff from Dollar Tree, 3 in a pack. Pull the strands apart, and I mean really shred them. If you have the strands too thick, the lines on your prints will be too thick as in the double photo above. Mix 2 or more darker colors on the gel plate, place the thin pieces of hemp around, and print. Make sure to also do a ghost (second) print, because these are usually the best.

You will have hemp on your brayer, plate, the floor, everywhere. So once you start, just go with the flow and keep printing. The more tiny hemp pieces, the cooler the marble effect will be. This process is addictive. I couldn't figure out why the dogs were bugging me yesterday afternoon. I had missed their supper time (3:30), and they are so abused. How could I possibly feed them late???

To view Birgit's video, go to the Gelli Arts blog here. You can also do a search on that blog, or on YouTube for a long, long list of videos by Birgit. I am going to watch them all.

I don't want to go to work this morning. I want to play!!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Poor Baby

One bare leg
Jake is pretty much back to normal. However, the Airport vets shaved the same leg that was just shaved in December when Jake had the lip surgery. The fur was not long, and now has a very long way to go to grow back out for the summer months. I told my boy that having one shaved leg could very well start a fashion trend.

He doesn't believe me.