Canvas Immersion/Froggie Emergence

My six-week Paint Mojo class is over.  I haven’t completed every assignment, and I will probably return and do a few of my favorites again.  The big project was a canvas immersion.  We started it in week one, with a 30″x30″ canvas that we divided into equal squares and randomly added doodles, symbols, and marks using a variety of tools, including fat brushes, skinny brushes, bamboo sticks, and oil pastels.


In week two we added paint and ink in warm colors and cool colors, keeping warm and cool mostly separated.  I forgot to take a picture of that week.  Week three we began integrating the warm and cool colors throughout and adding more marks. It became kind of a muddy mess at this point.

week-3In week four we chose just two colors plus white and black and began calming down the mess.


In week five we turned the canvas every which way and tried to begin seeing the possibility of a picture emerge.  We could either create an abstract painting or find the hint of an emerging image and go with that.  I kept seeing frog eyes peering out at me.


And, week six brings us to the finished product.  I THINK it’s finished, anyway.  I keep seeing things I want to change and little details I want to add.  But this is where it is for now!



Garden Magic

Garden-LadiesThis is the third in my series of mixed media paintings on 12″x12″ medium density fiberboard.  I’m really enjoying the size and durability of these little boards, and have been cranking out more paintings than usual ever since I started my Paint Mojo class.  The purpose of the class was to find your “mojo,” and maybe it’s working!




At Dawn She Danced

At-Dawn-She-DancedYesterday was Friday, my favorite day of the week because I have the day off and usually have lots of time to do art.  I met with my tax lady in the morning, lounged about in the sun with Mellie for an hour during lunch, then took off to Home Depot in search of some wood to paint.  I found a piece of 4’x2′ medium density fiberboard for less than $6 and had them cut it into a 2’x2′ piece and four 1’x1′ pieces.  I decided to use the 2’x2′ piece as a paint catcher and palette–I put it under whatever I’m working on and let it catch the overflow, and I mix my paint on it as well.  Eventually I will use the messy, painty surface as the first layer in a painting!

I was anxious to see what it was like to paint on the wonderfully cheap fiberboard, so about 2:00 I started slopping paint onto one of the 1’x1′ pieces.  I loved that I could add as many layers of paint and water as I wanted and it would never soak through or tear because I was painting on a hard piece of wood!  Shaylie came home around 3:00, and we chatted while I painted.  She took off to go somewhere at 3:30, and I told her I might be napping when she got home.  She came home at 4:00, and I was still painting.  At 4:30 I decided the window of opportunity for a nap had passed, so I kept on painting.  At 7:30 I realized I hadn’t had any dinner, so I took a break in my painting to eat.  While I cooked, I eyed my painting, and couldn’t decide if I even liked it!  I considered painting over the whole thing with white gesso and starting over.  Shaylie said no, she liked it!  I asked her what it needed.  She said a cat.  Of course!  I added a cat.  I added some fluorescent paint to brighten it up a bit.  I finally quit at 9:00, still not sure if I liked it, but decided to sleep on it.

This morning over breakfast I thought of the caption, “At dawn she danced, basking in the benevolence of the sun.”  I added that and some splotches of pink and yellow this afternoon after work.  It was a long journey for such a small piece, but I think it’s finally finished!  And I’m pretty excited about my super duper cheap fiberboard–I can paint with abandon on those and never worry about “wasting” expensive canvas.   :)

Elfin Dream Catcher

Dream-CatcherOne of last week’s Paint Mojo course assignments was dream catchers.  I enjoyed dripping ink and spreading it with a bamboo skewer to make little feathers, but I wasn’t really enthralled with the end result.  While trying to figure out what to do to fix it, I turned it upside down.  Suddenly my dream catcher was a feather headed elf!

Palettes of Possibility

Palettes-of-PossibilityThis was another fun project from the Paint Mojo class I’m taking with Tracy Verdugo.  The background is a paint palette (random color bits from mixing paint for other projects, combined with some additional stenciling and marks for added interest).  I added the faces on top, and painted the negative space with my favorite shade of quinacridone magenta.  Shaylie suggested this one might be a portrait of me, Karlie, and Shaylie.  :)

Free as a Bird

Toucan-PrintToucan-Print-3I started a new online class this week–Paint Mojo with Tracy Verdugo.  She is one of my art heroes.  I love her gorgeous paintings and her art wisdom.  She has only been painting for about fifteen years, but the workshops she teaches around the world are almost always sold out; she has an art book published; and her first e-course (the one I’m taking) has 230 students enrolled at $200-$250 per person!  I want to be her when I grow up!

Anyway, we are practicing mono prints this week, with the theme “free as a bird.”   I drew a toucan and then “engraved” the design on a thin foam sheet.  I covered the foam sheet with paint, and printed the image on paper.  I tried two different prints… one with light paint on a dark painted background, and one with a mixture of yellow and orange paint on a white background.  I covered the first one in so many layers of paint that I lost the “print” feel, so on the second one I used a lighter touch and more analogous colors.

I’m not sure which one I prefer, or even if I like either very much, but it was an interesting learning experience.


This project just might be the most fun I’ve ever had painting.  I started by creating backgrounds of random color, just painting with a credit card, smooshing paint around with my fingers, rubbing some paint off with a wet paper towel, slapping down another color, etc.  I let the backgrounds dry.

background-2background-paperThen I tore pieces from the backgrounds, without giving it any real thought.  I glued pieces randomly down in my journal, along with some torn book pages.


After the torn bits dried onto my page, I looked at the shapes I had and started outlining things that I saw, sort of like finding pictures in the clouds when looking up at the sky.  I outlined, painted in, and then painted a blue background all around.  Added a few details, found what I felt was an appropriate quote by Albert Einstein (!), and done!  I LOVE how this turned out, and I had so much fun seeing what evolved.  It sort of took on a life of its own.


Wings and Jubilation


I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting in my art journal.  This page was a result of a 21 Secrets Spring 2014 class that I just got around to doing. Each individual feather is cut from different papers I printed using the Gelli Print technique.  I love the bright combination of colors that resulted from using lots of random prints.


Jubilation was created using the gel transfer technique.  I found a photo of a woman leaping in a magazine, and a photo of some old historical guy in a children’s book. I used gel transfer to transfer the images to my page, then painted over them.  The background is layers of paint and stamps.  The historical guy looked kind of dour and judgmental, which reminded me of my inner critic, and that led to the caption.



She Was Not Alone

Not-AloneMy 21 Secrets Workshop continues to inspire me to experiment with new techniques and art styles.  I created this page in my altered book, using collage, image transfer, and stamps for my background.  I purposely gave the pages a weathered, antiqued look using stains and sandpaper.  After creating the background, I was trying to figure out what the focal point should be when the caption just came to me out of nowhere: “And in that brief moment of utter stillness and silence, she understood she was not alone.”  So mystical, magical!  I wonder if it was another subconscious message inspired by my daily morning pages??  (Trying to find reasons to stay inspired to continue that somewhat tedious practice!)