Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Painted Paper Swap

Oh, the joy of painted paper! What's even better, swapping some of it with other artists! Today I spent a great deal of fun with a few artists up at The Art Center at Lavretta Park hand painting large sheets of table paper to use in collage work. Imagine, art time in grade school, crayons, markers, paint, toys, you name it, we painted with it. 

Mixed media artists love some yummy papers, and collage artists collect painted papers from all over the globe. Painting large pieces of paper is a great way to try new techniques out on a large scale, loosen up a tight painter, and explore the wonderful world of color theory, all without rules or expectations. 

After the pieces are painted, they are cut up into manageable sizes, usually about 10" by 12", and stacked. These papers can then be used in all sorts of journaling, collage work, abstracts, and my favorite, paper swaps. 

When I arrived home this evening I found a package from the brilliant collage artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson. Her collages are stunning, all made from hand painted papers, so enjoying a delicious bag of paper from her is a an extra perk for me! You can view her amazing collage work on her website, Paper Paintings

If you are a collage or mixed media artist, you might consider hosting a paper painting party for your group, especially if you all are running low on unique, color and patterned paper, You can always swap with me as well, just message me at! 

Happy Painting, Ripping, Tearing, and Collaging friends! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Deeply Thankful

For anyone who has lived through incredible trauma or repeatedly had to 'overcome' much in life I would harbor a guess that you can relate to how I feel life is too good to be true. You see, I lived so many moments not knowing how the next one would turn out, that 'unpredictable' became my norm. To this day I still struggle with feeling like the sky will fall despite being surrounded by beauty, magnificent blessings, and being outrageously loved, and I loathe the angst. With that said, it never prevents me from knowing, like I am breathing, how good I have it, and how so undeservedly blessed I am to live the incredible life I do. 

(That would be me sending kisses to the universe)

As I type this, the sun is dancing through the windows, with a warmth and glow that can only be described as comforting. I spent some time outside today, just sitting, breathing, listening to soulful music and taking in the moments of solitude and grace. I was acutely aware of so many who don't have this gentle opportunity, to sit in safety, in beauty, in silence, and embrace a calm moment. With that knowing, it made me deeply thankful for the gift of today, and I said a great big thank you to the big guy upstairs for the blessing of my life, which is so fragile. 

Sitting outside had a purpose though, to give me respite from the grid so that I could jot down some thoughts, intentions, and possibilities about where I would like my artistic gifts to go. Some are obviously attainable and others are outrageous, but that is what is so perfect about creating a "Where Ya Headed" list, the sky is the limit. This list will evolve over the next few weeks and I am over the moon with what I am considering so far. 

Despite all the baking, all the family loving, friend gathering, and prayers spoken, I did manage to get three new pieces painted/finished to add to my Landmark Series. These are a bit different, in that they aren't watercolor mixed media, they are acrylic mixed media, but I love them just the same. The "Go Jags" painting is of my beloved alma mater, Murphy High School is of the historic school my son went to, and the Bienville Square Christmas Tree will be used as my Christmas card this year! If you message me your address I would love to send you one! (

"Go Jags" 8" by 10" acrylic mixed media on paper

"Murphy High School" 8" by 10" acrylic mixed media on paper

"Bienville Square Christmas Tree" 8" by 10" acrylic mixed media on paper

Today, I am in love with live, ever so thankful for the opportunity to be a creative and share my love of art with you, but just as grateful for the love and support I have from you. I will always be a painter, but the fact that I get to share my art with all of you, and that even with my fruitcakish art farts, you LOVE me and my art, makes me know that I am a blessed soul....deeply blessed, deeply thankful! 

(And yes, there is Le Mannequin Piss statue just behind my head, but thankfully, he is all dried up, ;) 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Washed Acrylic and Leftover Palette Paintings

Two pieces erupted today, both rather unexpectedly, and I love it when that happens. You see, most of the time I paint predictably, within constructs that I know work, so when the creative fairy or spirit or being decides to share something I am not looking for, I count it a blessing. 

This morning, I had leftover paint and chose to wipe the extra onto a mat board with a credit card. This effect is magical, but it is very easy to 'over do' and create mud, which is exactly what happened. Rather than chunk it, I got a bit frustrated and decided I would just wash it off, and to my amazement it worked. The 'mud' color washed and left the myriad of colors on the sub layer undisturbed. This, I shall do again, with intent, with excitement, and of course, I will share my process with you. 

(Before I washed this, it was the color of puke green)

Now, most of you know my color palette...bright, joyful, rainbow colors. And then there is this....

I had painted one of my Landmark Acrylic pieces and had a minimal palette of greens, black, and red left over. I also knew I didn't want to waste the paint so I grabbed my new "Fractured" journal and let the brush flow towards a figure. What I didn't expect was the mood, the disturbing mood that came to life on my page. Yes, it nailed the theme of my journal, but once I saw the image, it stirred in me deep emotion, yet the words wouldn't come. I love and I hate it. It isn't pretty, but obviously, it is part of me. So for that, I am thankful. 

Two unexpected gifts from my creative spirit today, and two processes that I will most definitely tinker with some more. As tonight closes its day, I am reminded so much at how very blessed and grateful I am to be alive, be healthy for the most part, and be adored and loved. I send ((((((thanks))))))) to all of you for cheering me on and being such great supporters. I would paint without you, but painting for you makes it all the more special! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Henri Matisse Acrylic Workshop

As a painter, I was drawn to Matisse's work for two reasons: 1. I found his use of color to be extraordinary and 2. I was fascinated at his ability to to create such profound collages using paper cutouts. Matisse's work is recognized with a distinct style, and his body of work as a whole drastically altered the art world and society at large.

This 5 hour workshop will be a celebration of all things Matisse. We will learn juicy tidbits of Matisse as a young artist, what motivated him to become a painter, and delve into this myriad of styles throughout his career. Students will create two paintings in Matisse's style. First, an 8" by 10" collage on paper using his paper cut out technique and second, a larger, 16" by 20" acrylic painting based on his front facing portrait styles with color blocking. We will approach this workshop in a fun, loose format, perfect for the beginner to advanced painter.

Students will need to bring a 16" by 20" canvas, tube paints in their favorite color palettes, and their own brushes if they have them. I will supply paper, brushes, specialty paints, pastels, and texture tools, as well as gel medium for the collages. Details about  the lunch break will be provided upon registration as well.

This class will be limited to 10 students and the cost is $60 per student. This class is full!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Beginners Mixed Media Art Class

My 6 week beginning mixed media class started this past week at The Art Center at Lavretta Park! I was so excited to launch this class because it is longer than most I teach which gives me lots and lots of time to share some of the coolest mixed media techniques available. This first class was one of introduction, sharing exactly what mixed media is, and then giving the students a chance to explore 8 different simple techniques of making textures with paint on paper. Once they 'played' around with the the studies, they cut out their test plates and constructed a booklet with their descriptions of each on the back which is a great way to remember how a particular technique works. Can't wait for week two!

Judy uses a 'hair color' tool to make swirled lines using a scratch out technique.

MarthaJane practices her sponge stamping technique.

Julane is laying a second color of acrylic glaze on top of her base layer.

Once dried, students cut out their test sheets, wrote a description on the back, and constructed this booklet. They can add to it as they learn new techniques.