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New Florals of the Day

I’m keeping up fairly well with the floral of the day project. It’s a three-florals-a-week kind of thing, but there’s really no set end date, so onward it goes. There are some good days, a lot of meh days, but it starts to add up to something after a while.

Something big, blue, and more graphic. I like it!

These formed the body of a really nice card. I’ve been adding some metallic highlights with the Kuretake starry colors, since I started playing around with those.  I made a little video of the unboxing and the first time I used them.

Small Paperclay Art Doll Boxes

These are some painted paperclay art doll boxes.  I’m debating two things: paperclay slip to make the little origami objects more permanent and matching? Also: I want to take the shine down a little, the glare is a bit much.

Other than that, I’m pretty pleased.


Art Doll Cat – switching up media in artwork

I like to change gears pretty frequently. The more abrupt and big the change the better it is at refreshing me, it seems!

Here’s a little work in progress.  I’m told that this is too sad and creepy, supposedly, but I like her as she is.  It’s going to be one of my little hybrid house-figure pieces when it’s done.  I’m only making a few more of that type of doll, and then I’m moving on to something else that’s pretty neat – little niches/boxes with heads on them.

Modern Watercolor Floral – Working in iterations

I’ve been productive with my daily watercolor florals.  I’m experimenting with adding some neocolor 2 water soluble wax pastel into my routine.  I like the stronger drawing capabilities this gives me.

Today I worked on this ranunculus – and came up with three similar versions. I still don’t feel like I’ve quite nailed it yet, but I’m moving on to some other things before I try again. I want it to have a lot of motion and looseness, but I still want it to read correctly as a form, and I feel like it keeps falling apart at the center.

Watercolor Floral Wreath Walkthrough Video

Enjoy this video walkthrough as I paint a floral wreath in watercolor. Watercolors are so inherently relaxing for me, and I hope that my video captures this, while providing a few welcome tips.  It’s a free and fast tutorial in watercolor painting.  I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed filming it, and I’d love to see any circles, wreaths, or other floral shapes that you decide to make!


Published : Cloth Paper Scissors

Hi everyone. I’m incredibly excited to announce that my article on using Melissa and Doug Scratch-Art in Mixed media and art journaling applications has been published in the Holiday edition of Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine.

In this feature, I walk you through whimsical kinetic altered art tags, from start to finish. I break down my drawing process using Scratch-Art so that you don’t need to be intimidated at all! Try some, you’ll love using it.

Christmas Tags, Cloth Paper Scissors Nov/Dec

Some tags in the style of the article and in the background – one very happy contributor’s copy!

This was a really gratifying experience – not only do I get to share my favorite technique, but I get to share my art with a whole new group of other artists, makers, students of art, and people who appreciate handmade so much!  It was like an early artistic Christmas present, if ever there was.

Periodically I’ve seen people ask if Cloth Paper Scissors is a good periodical to write for or have a feature in, and I have had a fantastic experience as a writer, from start to finish. Everything from editorial process to payment was professional, easy, and comfortable for a first-timer. I can’t recommend it enough, from that standpoint.

If you’re more of a reader – I love the projects, the diversity of content, and the unexpected new finds in artist features. You will too.

The issue is available now, Barnes and Noble carries the magazine – but I suggest subscribing if you’re a hard core art journal fan!

Learn More Here

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Accidental Animals : Intuitive Painting and Inner Voice

Accidental Animals : Intuitive Painting, Companions, and the Inner Voice.
Recently, I found myself trying intuitive painting for the first time since somewhere in my high school years. (Thank you, Tam LaPorte, Alena Henessy, Flora Bowley and Lifebook 2015, in general.)  This was harder work than it might seem.

queen of the night

I think intuitive painting is always an exciting proposition because it places you into a relationship with your interior, it takes away your rationality and your intellect and it forces you and your inner world into a conversation. If you’ve never painted before, and you’re scared for that reason, you’re going to have to push through that. If you’ve painted so much that painting is familiar, it takes away the relevance of your acquired skill and leaves you with no advantages. In fact, all your muscle memory and your acquired habits, bad and good, are now a liability. It’s even harder to be intuitive when you have a body of knowledge to cling to, and you’re very susceptible to even more inner-critical interference.

art journal whimsical animals

My animal paintings are intuitive, though they do not have the “look” of intuitive work. Intuition plays a part in every stage of their raw starts, accrual, layering, finishing touches, and ultimate meaning.  The marks move from the general to the specific, and can become quite controlled looking. However, none of these creatures make sense to me until I’m looking at them as they feel “finished.” Then, a strange thing happens. A couple of days later, I dissect the contents of these little paintings and an incredibly obvious meaning and message will cross the border into my conscious and rational mind from the murky seas of intuition. It’s a light bulb moment – a “duh” moment, actually. They are usually carrying a message that I desperately needed to hear, like Lassie coming over the ridge to pull me out of some emotional or problem-solving well.

Perennial Favorite

“Heroes” and “Queen of the Night” were both made a couple of days before an elective surgery with a biopsy component. “Perennial Favorite” was made during a time of intensive stress. None of this was consciously chosen – conscious responses to these stressors would not be as cathartic or as interesting to me, nor as relevant in a mysterious way, to those looking.

When these paintings and drawings happen for me, they feel very dangerous, though they are also great fun. It’s a strange source of vulnerability – they are fundamentally harmless and enjoyable, and it’s just that which I traditionally won’t allow myself to trust. There is an incredible vulnerability for me in putting artwork out there which isn’t either refined enough to be respectable as a representational drawing or an abstract surface, or clever enough to ping the radar of visually sophisticated people, or somehow already barking and sitting up to please an audience that only exists in my fears.

It feels dangerous and indulgent to insist that my delight is somehow enough. That my self-soothing is somehow enough. That my bemused discoveries are somehow enough. But these things are enough. I realized I was adopting a “that’s OK for everyone in the world EXCEPT me” mentality. I’m not generally inclined to do that, so I wanted to change this.

I’m an outlier on a lot of life’s bell curves – it was time to claim some space in the middle.

Taking pleasure in cute things, CUTE things, is part of our mammalian biological heritage.  Animals are also a safe vehicle. They open up the traumatized, they enact political and social satire that would get an author killed if it wasn’t hidden safely in a barn, they bypass our rational minds with such immediacy and skill that if there are such a thing as messengers between the unseen world and the mundane world, the animal is the form that gets my vote as most likely. Angels or not, I do know that the animal is the best messenger between the halves of my psyche that do not like to talk to one another. They are the best carriers for the feelings of this circumspect and cynical thinker.

If anything is going to break through that first layer of paint, Rorschach, and collage, it’s generally going to do it on four little feet.

Whimsical Animal Intuitive Painting Video – Art Journal Page Time Lapse

Painting whimsical animals with intuitive painting techniques – watch my free time-lapse video on my Youtube Channel and see how I respond to the paint and make new friends on the journey.

I can tell when I’ve been thinking too much.  The work I do shows it with a stiffness.  It might not be apparent to someone else, but it’s apparent to me.

I envy people’s work when it looks loose and happy.  I still have trouble allowing myself to be happy.  It’s ridiculous, I know.

You have to ask yourself what the deal is, when happiness feels radical and uncomfortable. The reason Art with a capital A rejects the anodyne is that it’s “too easy” or “not enough” but I wonder why it is that it’s so uncomfortable for me, to just let cute things happen and not worry.

So that was my mandate – play with paint, literally. See what happens – literally.  Just  be investigative, no really busy thoughts, if something seems right, do it.

I’m really pleased with the work. I’m genuinely having fun.

Here’s a time lapse of my page. You can see the moment I commit to the characters.  You can see the moment when I decide that they need superhero capes, and it’s a decisive one.

Are you having fun yet? How do you know when you are? How do you make a commitment to having fun when you’re getting frustrated with a painting? When do you stick to a decision and when do you know to backpedal? I’m curious about your process.

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