Character Journal – Spread 3

Character Journal spread 3

Here is the third spread in my character journal.  I added some rhinestone gems to their antennae for a bit of shine.  The 2 smaller flowers were created using torn pieces from a printed copy of one of my paintings.  I’ve been keeping the journal near when painting canvases and using any leftover paint on the pages as a start to a new background.

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon A Time

I completed another spread in my character journal.   The moleskine paper really crinkles and rolls up with collage and a lot of wet media, but I kind of like that.  I noticed the paper can tear easily at the inside seam and probably should start putting masking tape there before I cover the page with gesso.

Character Journal

I applied gesso to both pages, let it dry and then added some collage.  I used acrylic paints for the background along with some gesso scraped through drywall tape to create the small white circles.  I drew in the character with a charcoal pencil.  I used some quinacridone nickel azo gold paint mixed with titan buff for shading her skin. I used colored pencils to add more detail to her face and dress and a black pitt pen to outline her facial features.

I had a wonderful Christmas but it can be so tiring.   I am looking forward to some down time and some art time.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wish you a very Happy New Year!


Sweet Harmony

Sweet Harmony

Finally finished this painting that I started working on in July of last year.


Here is how it started and here is the blog post where I wrote about it.  I got stuck on what I wanted to do with it so didn’t do anything for a long time.   I think I was just having a hard time letting go of all that color, as I have done before. Last week I pulled it out of the closet and grabbed some markers and paint pens.  My  granddaughter and I got busy adding some more marks.  I drew in the floral shapes using black india ink in an oiler boiler bottle.  Next I started adding  Golden’s titanium white paint mixed with a little soft gel medium.  I scraped some on with a store card and lightly sponged and brushed some on areas closer to the ink lines.

Sweet Harmony 2Sweet Harmony 3I had previously added vintage music papers to the sides of the canvas and had added various colors of Gelatos on top of the papers.  I decided I wanted the music paper muted a bit more so I went over it with a layer of white gesso and then brought back in some of the color with the Gelatos.  It’s hard to see unless you zoom in, but I added music notes to some sections of the flower shapes by stamping them onto deli paper with permanent ink.  I then layed the deli paper over the section I wanted to collage, traced the outline, cut out the shape and then collaged the pieces onto the canvas.

I’m happy I was finally able to let it go and get this piece finished up!


Meet Lucy


Here’s the first spread I did in my character journal.  It is a small moleskine journal that measures around 6 by 8 inches.  The dragonflies are die cuts from K&Company and the circle flowers are pieces of a print I had made with the Gelli plate.  I drew and painted in the character and asked my granddaughter Tena what I should call her.  Right away she said “Lucy”.  I think that the name Lucy fits her perfectly.

Lucy 2

Here’s a close up of Lucy.  If you haven’t seen the new animate anything app, you should go check it out.  I animated Lucy on my phone and it is so awesome (although a bit freaky) to see your character come to life!  I wanted to post the animation here but it doesn’t look like WordPress supports the file.

I’m working on finishing up a larger painting that I had started probably about a year ago and am also almost finished with another spread in my character journal.  Happy creating!

Layers & Texture

texture 1

I have been working on this painting on and off for a long time.  You can probably tell that by all the layers and texture.  I just couldn’t get it to where I liked it.  I am still not that thrilled with it but I’ve decided to let it be finished.  This painting is on a canvas and is 11 x 14 inches.

texture 2

There’s a lot of different media in this one.  I started with collage which can’t even be seen anymore.  Some of the layers were created by applying  molding paste with a palette knife.  The little circles were added using a stencil and molding paste.  I used acrylics, gelatos, watercolor crayons, gouache, colored pencils, charcoal pencil, posca paint marker and gel pen.  Could be more but I can’t remember since I have been working on it for so long.

I’m hoping to get some time in over the holiday weekend to start a new larger painting.  I’m also looking forward to working in a new journal I recently started which is inspired by Karen O’Brien’s Imaginary Characters book.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Just My Imagination

I recently purchased a book called Imaginary Characters – Mixed Media Techniques for Figures and Faces.  I first learned of this book through a Cloth Paper Scissors magazine called Faces that I had posted about previously.  Karen O’Brien, the author of the Imaginary Characters book, and her girl in the red shoes character takes you on a wonderful little folktale journey.    Karen teaches you how to create your own one-of-kind characters and provides more than 30 well explained projects to get you started!   I just love her little characters and the book has many full page images for your viewing pleasure.   I have to say this book just makes me smile every time I open it.


Here is a character I created on mixed media paper after reading through Karen’s book.  Fun, fun, fun!!!

Whimsical Portraits Workshop

Wax Collage

Three months or so ago I took a wonderful workshop given by Ivy Newport.  Ivy creates all kinds of lovely art in the softest of colors.  This workshop actually has two lessons and is called Whimsical Portraits and Dreamy Landscapes.  You can find it by clicking here.  I wasn’t going to post about this until I created the Dreamy Landscape piece but, as usual, I got sidetracked by other things.  I know I’ll create the other piece, but just not when.

In this workshop Ivy shows how to paint over a photo so that it ends up looking very different from the original.   Because I used a photo of my mom, I couldn’t bring myself to change the photo drastically.  So instead, I just added a little color.

I wanted the piece to tell a little story about her.  Mom grew up on a farm in Missouri surrounded by corn fields.  She graduated from school when she was 16 and moved to Chicago with her best friend.  Her sister and brother-in-law owned an apartment building downtown Chicago.  She and her friend got jobs and rented a room in the apartment building.  She told me once about how, on Friday nights, they would walk to the pier and greet the sailors.  Sometimes they would get asked out on a date to see a movie.  The butterfly represents her change from being a small town country girl to moving to the big city.

My dad was from the same small town as my mom.  He was in the Korean war and once he returned home, they married and settled in Central Illinois where the raised me and my sisters.