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.


IMG_3413 (2)

Here is the finished painting from my previous post. I started off by drawing lines with a Stabilo pencil in wonky square shapes.  Next I randomly collaged on some music pages and some dress pattern tissue.   After the collage medium dried, I added paint in various colors to each of the squares letting the paint activate and smear the pencil.   Once that dried I lightly added more paint using a brayer over various areas of the canvas.  Next I doodled in flowers and other elements using black paint and also using black and white Posca pens and then lightly painted around some of the flowers.  I added some paint spatters randomly on the canvas and painted the sides black.  The canvas is 20″ x 20″.


Here is a close up of an area with the pattern tissue.  I love the texture and lines it gives to the painting.

Works in Progress

I haven’t completed anything this week to post about but thought I would share a few things that are in process.   The first picture below is a portion of a mixed media painting on canvas that I have been working on a little each evening.  Lots of color and things to look at in the layers of this one. The second picture is of a journal page that I started over the weekend but then got side tracked working on the canvas.  I’m hoping to finish them up this week and will post more pictures when I do.

WIP Wonderland


WIP Journal Page


Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts 1

I started working on this painting in between washing clothes and packing to go out of town for a few days.  I grabbed a canvas and added a little collage along with some coral acrylic paint.  While that dried, I got busy on folding laundry and packing.  I went back to the canvas and added some stenciling and more paint then back to packing.  The next time I went back to the painting I wasn’t sure what to do.  I  wanted to keep it moving so I grabbed a charcoal pencil and started scribbling down a few random thoughts.  I started with a few words in one area of the canvas and finished each thought in another area either on top of or on the sides of the canvas.  When I went back again I smudged in some circles using yellow Gelatos and did some scribbling with the charcoal pencil.  I wasn’t thinking too much about what I was doing, other than getting some play time in before I had to leave and figured I would finish it when I got home.

Now that I am home though, I’m kind of liking it the way it is so I’m thinking it may be finished.  Love it when a painting can come together so quickly without having to put it aside for hours or days thinking on what to do next.

Random Thoughts SV

Switching It Up

Paper Paint Collage on Wood

This painting was going to be another page for my Life Book journal but, after it was finished, I decided to mount it to a wood panel instead.

LB Inspired

This is how it started out.  I planned on adding a little character figure to it and thought it was going to be another Juliette Crane inspired page.  I got sidetracked with other things and put it aside.

Paper Paint Collage 2

When I started working on it again,  I decided it needed a little collage.  I had an old adding machine paper roll laying on my table and colored some of it with pink and blue watercolor markers and then scribbled on some circles with a blue pen.  I tore bits of the paper and added it randomly to the water color paper using Collage Pauge.  The adding machine paper was so thin that you really can’t even tell there is collage on the painting.  Next I added some more paint and doodles.  I then thought of Flora Bowley’s Life Book lesson and decided to paint in some floral and other marks using black India ink instead of adding a character.  After the ink dried, I scribbled over some of it with a white pen.  To make the circles pop out, I smudged in a bit of Red Cherry and Passion Fruit Gelatos.  I’m loving that even though there are so many colors in this, they all seem to work together.