What to Do When You Can’t Sleep? Art!

So yesterday, I woke up at 5 am. Tossed and turned but couldn’t fall back asleep. I lay there wondering if I should really get up at 5 am?? Nothing else to do – I could NOT sleep. So I got up, made my coffee and headed down to the studio. I looked around and decided to create a small abstract in a handmade journal. I figured I may as well turn on the camera and film as I went — then I would have a video for my YouTube channel. It was just a little piece to get me warmed up. I loved the way it turned out! Here’s that one – but there is more! It’s only 5am after all – lots of day left to play in the studio!

A quick abstract in my small handmade journal

That felt good! So I decided to create a new cold wax oil painting. My last ones (a series of 4) are still waiting for additional layers, but I wanted something new. I grabbed a piece of Arches oil paper and mixed up a limited palette of orange, Prussian blue, green gold and some white. I love the cold wax process! I just work intuitively, knowing it will become an abstract, so I am not looking for any reality whatsoever. Just playing with color and texture. This one took a little over an hour, and I am keeping it just the way it is. I seldom like a cold wax painting in one session, but this one just spoke to me and said, “I’m done!” And so it is. I also filmed during this creating time, so here is the new cold wax painting video.

Cold Wax and Oil Painting on Arches Oil Paper

Since I was filming, I decided to get ahead on my Fast, Fun Friday videos and I filmed next week’s episode of that, as well. Here’s a sneak peek:

Create custom background stamps – tune in next Friday for the video details!

So it was a super productive morning – I got all this done by noon! So what did I do then? I played some more! I am taking a great, online class with Renee Mueller called Les Femmes. It’s available over at jeanneoliver.com. I have really been enjoying this class, working with charcoals and pastels, which are fairly new in my arsenal of art supplies. I decided to challenge myself and create a portrait on black card stock paper. I haven’t worked on black before, so I thought it would be fun to apply Renee’s techniques with it. Yes, another video — why not? I love to share my processes (and sometimes failures) with all of you! So here she is in all her majesty – not! It’s not terrible – I had issues along the way, but I learned a lot about working on black!

Portrait on Black

So, my arting for the day was done at that point. I had a blast in the studio, jumping from one medium to another. I don’t want to wake up at 5 am every day, but once in a while is okay with me. More hours to make art!

What would you do if you woke up at 5 am? Tell me!

In the Meantime . . . Go Make Some Art! Bye!

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 https://youtu.be/lLBiHmX-BQo

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 . . .