Adding More Layers to Cold Wax Series

Last week, I started a series of four cold wax paintings using cold wax and alcohol inks. It was such a fun process. They have sat and dried in the studio for several days now and it’s time to add more layers to create added depth and color dimension. So here is the video so you can see the progression of this series. I don’t think they are finished…they just aren’t speaking to me, saying “yes, we’re done” yet. So, I will give them a few days and revisit them to see what they have to say then. In the meantime, here’s where they are now…enjoy.

You Tube Process video

I hope you enjoy watching my process, and

In the Meantime, Go Make Some Art! Bye!

Find the Art Supplies You Really Need!

You know how, as you watch a You Tube video, someone uses a cool new art supply that you don’t have, and you jump on those in-video description box links to take you to Amazon or wherever so you can buy some for yourself? Yeah, me too! I have made some phenomenal purchases that I am so happy about, and also some spur-of-the-moment ‘duh’ purchases that will sit in my studio, forever calling me stupid and wasteful.

Well, I hope to have solved that for you. I just joined Amazon as an associate and spent the day compiling an Amazon list (almost all Prime items and the best prices I could find) of all of my favorite and most-used supplies. The good ones — not the ones calling me stupid and wasteful.

I added an Art Supplies page to my website with all of those yummy products– photos and all, and all you have to do is click and whoosh — you are at Amazon where you can grab some for yourself. I do, as an associate, get a small stipend for products that are ordered via my links. It’s a way to help, in a small way, to partially replenish all the supplies I use to produce my free You Tube videos, which also get embedded here for you. So take a look and see what I have compiled. Maybe you’ll find something new and exciting you would like to try. Or maybe you’d just like to do that right here – without all the fancy photos and stuff. Same list, same links – just text.


I realize we all have tons of supplies, and usually more than we need. But, when you do need to replenish your gesso, or you really want to try a Stabilo All pencil, I hope you’ll think of me and use my links to get there. If I can return the favor, please let me know in the comments. We have to help each other – it’s a cold, hard world out there people! Okay, slight exaggeration, I suppose, but a girl can go broke trying to keep up, for sure!

Just thought you’d want to know – OK your turn — Go Make Some Art! Bye!

Cold Wax + Alcohol Ink? Yep!

It works great, producing gorgeous transparent colors!
Work in Progress – a series of four cold wax paintings on oil paper

What fun I had playing with cold wax and alcohol inks. I used the alcohol ink instead of oil paint with my cold wax and got a really cool medium to work with! The colors are very transparent, which I loved. I did add some white oil paint to my green to make a paler, more opaque color that I dabbled in here and there for contrast and interest. When I mixed the Stream alcohol ink with black, I added too much black oil paint, but I just used it anyway. I always like to add some white and some black to my cold wax pieces. These pieces are not finished – they tell me when they are done and I haven’t heard that out of them as yet. They are drying in the studio and I will add more layers tomorrow. I’m thinking maybe some orange will be striking on these.

The colors of Ranger alcohol ink that I used were: Stream, Botanical, and Honeycomb. I used Gamblin cold wax – my favorite. I videoed the process for my You Tube channel – here’s the result . . .

Have you tried cold wax yet? It’s a fabulous addition to any mixed media arsenal. You can use it in lots of ways, and it’s super fun to play with. Give it a try.

And til next time, Go Make Some Art! Bye!

Sundays Are for Practice

One of the watercolor faces that I painted – I feel like I am finally getting a better feel for watercolors.

Days get so hectic and busy, don’t they? I thought retirement was going to be lazy and relaxed. But I find myself getting my fingers into lots of pies (as I always have.) I guess I just like to be busy and productive — some might say I like to be in charge, but I think that’s wrong. I like things my way. I’ve earned that at this age, I think. Anyway, I digress. In addition to my daily art and YouTube video production, I am helping to organize my 50th class reunion. And then there is my job as copy editor of Punch Needle & Primitive Stitcher magazine, which I love! Most of these ‘jobs’ keep me in front of the computer a lot. But I really, really love my time in the studio where I can create without limits or rules or other people’s requirements.

I have decided that Sundays will be for practice – practice using art materials I don’t feel as though I have mastered or learned well enough, practice getting better at drawing and painting portraits, and practice using all the art supplies I HAD to buy because I saw a cool YouTube video where someone used them and I jumped over to Amazon and in the spur of the moment, they became part of my studio arsenal (come on – I know I am not alone in that!)

So Sunday, I decided to paint faces. I usually sketch faces with graphite in my journals in the evening while watching TV. Sunday, I actually sat down at my art table with my paints and practiced. I painted a few in watercolors, and then painted one in acrylics in my art journal.

So here’s a video I created by just filming myself while I worked. Watch me paint the watercolor and acrylic faces.
Acrylic girl in my altered book journal. I had fun with her hair!! But I am not all that happy with her face. More Practice is Needed!
This one was an inspiration from Petra Stein with a challenge to paint a face using only one color. It wasn’t easy, but it was fun!

This week, I received some gorgeous, metallic watercolors from 31purplefish Etsy shop. So much fabulous shimmer and shine. I can’t wait to play with them more. I will do a You Tube review for you – the seller (Kelsey) is amazing to work with and provides superb customer service. Her watercolors are amazing and smell divine!

Until next time, Go Make Some Art! Bye . . .

Creating Make-Ahead Mini Collages to Use Later

Use up all those little scraps of paper, add some ephemera, and save the mini collages for later!

This is how I spent the better part of my day – I have so many little scraps laying around that I just can’t bring myself to pitch. So, ‘use them up’ as my mom would have said! Nothing goes to waste here.

I work in art journals, altered books, and make mixed media pieces on art boards and canvases. It’s sometimes hard to get started (you know the feeling!) So, I made some little tickler collages that I can keep in my box of elements and just pick out to add to a project or even to get one started.

I’ve incorporated some of my digital collage pack elements (Envelopes & Tags, French Receipts, and Steampunk) and some Tim Holtz ephemera, as well as book pages, newspapers, playing cards, and whatever I pulled out of my “tiny scraps” bin. It is overflowing – that bin – so it’s good to use some of it up.

A bonus was that I discovered if I have fluid matte medium in my brush, then tap it onto my Distress Oxide ink pad, I can instantly age these papers! I am sure I am ruining the ink pad, but hey — it’s way faster than tea dyeing them and does a better job than rubbing the ink pad over the papers. So I’m down with it! I will keep a separate ink pad just for this use.

Here’s the process video with the info for the drawing.

I ended up with four collages on playing cards, three on kraft cardstock, and three envelopes with matching tags. I am giving away one from each group to a subscriber of my YouTube channel. So why not come on over and get yourself into the drawing? Or, watch the viodeo here for all the details, then jump on over to my channel and enter yourself!

All the supplies are listed in the decription of the video at YouTube.

Thanks for visiting today – in the meantime, Go Make Some Art! Bye . . .

Painting Vintage Girls – mixed media fun!

I had a blast creating this background, and then adding these girls to it.

I created this background on a Canson Artboard using a paper collage layer, followed by some acrylic paint, gesso, texture paste, and stabilo pencil. I added the flowers and sentiment at the bottom as a secondary focal point. When the background was completed, I sketched these vintage-looking girls onto the board, and then painted them using acrylics and charcoal pencil. I finished the piece off with some stamping of those little bubbles in the background. My thanks to Jeanne Oliver for the inspiration for this piece – I had a blast!

Here are the process videos for the background, and then for painting the girls:

I hope you enjoy watching this process – in the meantime, Go Make Some Art! Bye . . .

Mixed Media with Soft Textures

Old lace, dyed cheesecloth and muslin, and some vintage buttons add softness to this piece

I created this mixed media piece on a new-to-me substrate, which I really enjoyed. It’s an artboard from 7Gypsies. It is a half inch thick, solid core with a smooth paper covering. It was the prefect substrate for this project.

I started by adhering some dyed muslin to the artboard, then basically threw a bunch of media at it like plaster wrap, modeling paste, fluid acrylics, gesso, ink, and matte medium. I used vintage book papers and corrugated cardboard, as well as a fast food napkin that I stamped with “HAPPINESS.” I dried everything between each layer, and then proceeded with the next. I really love the softness of the antique doily and the dyed cheesecloth. Last, I used a script stamp and some Archival ink in sepia to give the background more movement and interest. When everything was thoroughly dry, I used E6000 glue to adhere the three vintage buttons.

Here’s the entire process:

I thoroughly enjoyed creating this piece. Come see how I did it.

Until next time, go make some art! Bye . . .

Creating with digital images

Mixed media journal page using digital, downloadable images

I created this art journal page using some of my digital, downloadable collage images for my background.

Here are the art materials I used for this page with links so you can buy some if you want:

I hope you enjoy watching the process, and that it inspires you to create something that makes your heart sing! In the meantime, Go Make Some Art! Bye . . .

Digital Collage Packs

Digital collage Packs are a great resource for using in your art!

Image theft is rampant in the art world since we are all posting our images and projects online these days. It’s super important to know where your images came from, who (if anyone) they belong to, and if it’s okay to use them.

I’ve scoured the internet for copyright-free images that are in the public domain. These images are free to download and use in our art projects without having to give credit or worry that we might be stealing another person’s images.

So many of you are creating art for your own personal enjoyment and to share with friends and groups online. Even if you aren’t selling your art, you still don’t want to steal another artist’s images, right? That’s where my digital collage packs can come to the rescue. I’ve curated over 10 different packs, each with multiple images in downloadable PDF files. There are categories like French Receipts, Vintage Papers, Maps & Book Covers, and Beautiful Backgrounds that are ideal for using in art journals or collage projects as first layer backgrounds, or in accent layers. Want to talk focal point images? Check out the Vintage Ladies and Vintage Men packs, Funny People, or the Steampunk collection. And because we all love our layers, I’ve included Bits & Bobs Thrift Shop and Die Cuts & Paper Dolls as well.

Do you create Junk Journals? Love tags? I also have a large collection of envelopes with matching tags. I’ve created each one to allow empty spots for journaling or embellishing with stamps and sentiments. The envelopes come in two sizes: 3.5 x 5 inches and 3 x 2.25 inches. The matching tags fit the larger of the two sizes. And the smaller size envelopes coordinate with the larger size so you have maximum creative power when putting together those special folders and junk journal designs. These are just a few of the designs I’ve created for you to use:

I’d love for you to visit my web site and see all these great instant download collage packs. You will get the pdf of all the images immediately after you complete your purchase, so no waiting for an email to arrive! Just download the file and print the images – all the images – as many times as you want to print the images – they are yours to use over and over again!

Until next time, go make some art! Bye….

Sally Van Nuys

Who is Sally?

I have been a terrible blogger in the past. I would rather be in the studio creating art than at a computer screen banging on my keyboard. But, you are all out there and the reason I create is not just for my own satisfaction, but to share what I create with all of you. So – blog.

So, who am I and why should you care?

  • I’ve worn a lot of hats in my time from writer, to painter, to antiques dealer and more. My most important role has been mother and grandmother to three kids and five grands.
  • I am an Ohio-based artist living on the north coast. I create something artful every day. It might not always be worthy of sharing with you, but it’s something I am called to do. It’s in my soul.
  • Are you interested in mixed media, acrylic painting, sketching, and watercolor? I share a lot of ideas and techniques for folks just like you on my YouTube channel every week. (Link in my social menu.)
  • Do you like to keep up with the latest art supplies, and maybe save some money on all those supplies you care obsessing over? Maybe I can help – I will try!
  • Do you like to read blog posts by different artists who share what they are creating and a bit about how they do it? You are in the right place! Follow my blog for notifications about new posts – I promise to try to be a “good” blogger this time.
a recent page in my art journal – mixed media fun!

Here are some topics I hope to share in the coming months:

  • Art Journaling and Altered Books
  • Mixed Media Techniques and Completed Works
  • My Favorite Art Supplies and How I Use Them
  • Interviews with Other Artists Sharing Their Passions

So, let me just say, I am happy you found me here and I hope you will become a regular visitor. Leave me a comment so I can get to know you. I look forward to seeing you and hearing from you a lot in the coming months. Thanks for being here!