Art Abandonment

art abandon 4

I am part of a Facebook group called Art Abandonment.  Here’s a little description from the FB page of what the group is about:

Art Abandonment is a group designed to encourage random acts of art, left in various locations around the globe. The idea is that folks can make something and leave it for a lucky unsuspecting person to find. Artists can then post locations and photos of abandoned goodies…and finders can let everyone know that they are the lucky finder! O’ sweet abandon!
 If you aren’t a member, you should go check it out.  You will need to send a request to join the group if you are interested in participating.  There are currently close to 17,000 members.

Last week I went on my annual trip to Nashville, Indiana.  It’s a wonderful little artist colony that I have been visiting every year with my sister.  I decided to take some art to abandon each day I was there.  The first one is a collage I created on clayboard.  The other two are little 4 x 4 inch canvases.

art abandon 1art abandon 2

art abandon 3

Abandoning art is fun and exciting!



Getting My Paint Mojo On


I recently bought Tracy Verdugo’s new book, Paint Mojo.  I sat down planning to read it through from front to back but every time I turned the page and saw another picture of her wonderful art work, I knew I wasn’t going to finish reading it before I had to start a painting.  I just kept feeling that pull to go make art so strongly that I jumped up, grabbed a canvas and started painting.  I used inks, watercolor crayons, fluid acrylics and soft body acrylics.  I made marks, sprayed paint puddles with water, dropped alcohol onto some of the paint and watched it separate.


 After all that fun, I got stuck on what to do next.  I decided to collage some pages from a vintage music book onto the sides of the canvas and think about it overnight.  The next day still not knowing where this was going, I used Gelato’s, to bring the color down from the painting onto the sides. I had every color I needed that pretty much matched the paint on top.  Now I am stuck again.


I’ll have to let it sit some more.   I do know I am going to call this one Sweet Harmony because when I was adding the Gelato’s and they were matching up so nicely, I would say to myself “Sweet!” and then, I saw the word harmony on a piece of the collaged music paper.

Now I’m off to go finish that wonderful book…or try to.

Mail Art – Update

Em's art card 001

Ok, so you know how my granddaughter and I planned on exchanging mail art after she moved to Nebraska?  Well, I had sent her my first card,  then she sent me her first card, and then I proceeded to misplace it!  I looked high and low off and on for over a month for that card and had just given up on ever finding it.  Then, while looking for some ink to use in a project, I found it sitting right on top of a stand that holds all of my inks.   Right there, in plain sight!  I hate it when that happens!  But, I am so glad I found it!   Her prompt was butterfly and her picture is of me chasing butterflies.  I love it!

She did give me a prompt for my next card to her.  It was to have something to do with flowers.  I decided to do a silly card using distorted photos of me and grandpa as the flower centers.  These pictures are so awful but they are also pretty funny and I knew she would get a kick out of it.

art card July 001

The prompt for her next card is “puppy love”.  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

Hello Love


I had the words “Hello Love” (in an English accent, even!) stuck in my head for awhile.  Why, I do not know!    I did know that I had to get the words out of my head and onto a canvas as soon as possible.   I had created a background that was just full of yummy colors and shapes.  I knew it would be perfect for what I had in mind, but dang it was hard painting over so much of the yumminess.  I’m so glad I did though.


I used an art board panel to paint the background using various stencils and other items to make shapes.  After finishing the background (and trying to let it go, which took me awhile) I used a stencil to trace a bird on the left and then flipped the stencil over to trace another bird on the right.  I also traced the hearts through a stencil.  Next I painted out the top of the canvas around the hearts and birds using a pastel blue color that was transparent enough so that some of the layers below peaked through.  I did the same with the bottom of the art board using a yellow paint.

I applied a coat of gel medium to part of a page in a vintage music book and let it dry.  I then colored it with some orange and pink Tombow markers and smudged the colors around a bit.  Next I cut out a strip in a scalloped shape and collaged it across the canvas.  I outlined it, the birds and the hearts with a Stabilo pencil.  I used a small paper punch to punch out a couple of music notes and collaged them into the hearts.  I printed the words “hello love” onto some over head projector film using my injet printer (printing in reverse) onto the smooth side of the film.  I carefully laid the film onto the canvas and rubbed the words on using a craft stick.  For a bit more texture, I added some white paint at the top with bubble wrap and stamped on some flowers and dots here and there.


I no longer have the words “hello love” in stuck in my head.  :)


Book Inspired


Whenever I go to a thrift store, I always find myself in the book section looking for vintage children’s books.   I am drawn to the lovely vintage colors in the pages and illustrations.  I had been wanting to use some pages out of one of the books I had bought in a collage.  The pages had such great color and lines.  The book was in good shape and I couldn’t bring myself to tear out the pages.  Every time that book caught my eye though, I would think about how great some of the pages would look when torn and added into a collage.   I finally decided to go for it.


I collaged torn pieces of the book pages onto a piece of mixed media paper and added a coat of collage medium to the top of the collaged papers.  Next I randomly brushed on acrylic paints.  In one section I let the darker red paint set a few seconds, sprayed with water and then lifted some of the paint with a paper towel.   Using a rubber stamp and a black Faber Castell big brush pen, I randomly scribbled over the stamp and pressed it onto the paper.  I like using the big brush pens because if you stamp something and do not like it, you can quickly wipe it off with a baby wipe as long as you have an acrylic medium covering your paper.  Once dry the ink becomes permanent.  I also love the pens because they have no smell.  I mounted the painting to a wood panel,  and let it dry overnight.  I then added some lines using Claudine Hellmuth’s Studio paint the comes in a little bottle with a tip for drawing.  Next I adhered some drywall tape to the painting.  The tape was already yellow but I wanted it to match the yellow of the Studio paint color so I painted it with gesso and, once the gesso dried,  I brushed on some of the Studio paint.

I am glad that I let go of my apprehension about using the book pages.  I love all the rich colors and lines in this one.

A Gift and a Thank You


My sisters friend, Tina,  loves to go to estate sales.  Once I had asked her to keep an eye out for a vintage plastic doily that I could use as a stencil.  She found one that I have used many times in my art pieces.  Recently she found a vintage plastic fan that she thought I might like to have.  I had just bought the May/June edition of the Somerset Studio magazine and fell in love with a wonderful little bird painting that was on the cover.  I was really excited to see that the artist used joint compound on the piece.  I decided to thank Tina for the gift by making her a piece that was similar to the bird painting and use the fan to create texture in the joint compound.

After painting a 4×4″ wood panel with a coat of gesso, I spread a thin layer of joint compound on the bottom portion of the panel and then spread out the fan and pressed the ends into the joint compound (I washed the fan with water right away and scrubbed out any joint compound stuck to it).  Once that dried I added a coat of gel medium over the entire panel top. Once the gel medium dried,  I painted the top of the panel using Tim Holtz distress paints in Broken China and Peeled Paint (I added a little white paint to each of the colors to make them more pastel).


I added some Tim Holz tape with music notes to the sides of the panel and toned it down with a few coats of gesso and then some gel medium.  I added some more tape that had words on it across the top of panel, toned it down with some gesso and then painted over it lightly with the Broken China paint mixed with white.  After drawing a black line with a Pitt pen, I added some little birds.  The birds were cut out of scrapbook paper, collaged on and outlined with the pen.  The word “imagine” was printed onto white gift tissue paper, torn out and glued down with gel medium.  I added a final coat of gel medium to the entire piece.  I love that little fan and am sure I will be using it again many times.



An Exhibit!

acrylic collage 1

I was asked a few months ago if I would be interested in doing an art exhibit at a local gallery.  I felt so honored to be asked and also quite nervous!  I have been very busy the past few months painting and collaging away getting ready.   I haven’t had much time to post on the blog but wanted to share a few paintings I recently completed.  These were done on paper and then glued to a wood panel.

acrylic blue red 1

Also wanted to share the poster/flyer for the exhibit.  It has a picture of the largest collage painting I have ever done.  It measures 3 ft x 2 ft.  and was so much fun to create!

Poster DAVIS




Hello Soul


I’ve been taking Kelly Rae Roberts Hello Soul Hello Mixed-Media Mantras class.  It is great fun to watch Kelly and her friend create art.  The first part of the class is very therapeutic.  There is a lot of soul searching and listening to your whispers.  I also learned a lot of wonderful techniques and how to enjoy the process of creating art even more than I already do.  I didn’t think that was possible!


I started working on four canvas panels but so far have only finished one of them.  After the collage was added, I added more paint and did some stamping.  I sketched in the girl with a graphite pencil and then painted her in with Titan Buff fluid acrylic.  For her hair I use Faber Castell markers.  Now I need to move on to the others.  If only I had more time!


Summer Garden

Summer Garden 1

This one is a bit busy and kind of reminds me of all the activity happening in my flower gardens in the summer.   I got inspiration for this one from a video on Traci Bautista’s blog here.

Summer Garden 2

Summer Garden 3

I added a little collage by cutting strips from a vintage book page to use as the flower stems.  Now that I look at this more, I’m thinking maybe I should have added some leaves to those stems.  I haven’t varnished it yet so maybe I will.

Finding Balance – Not

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This is a collage I had been working off and on for awhile using some of my painted deli papers along with prints made with the gelli plate and some old book pages.  I wanted to get the papers down just so and was really liking the way it was going.  I planned on calling it Finding Balance.  I think I lost all balance though when I added the darker blue circles and squares.   Just not loving this one.  I don’t like the placement of the blue circles or the darker blue square shapes added to the center of the lighter blue.  I had originally planned to have green drips coming down from the collage papers.  I wish I would have stuck with that idea.


This will probably go in the closet for a while until I come across it again and try reworking it.  I still had fun with the journey of creating it though.