Thursday, September 17, 2020

Goodbye Summer 2020

 Goodbye Summer. I missed you... I think.

Friday in the Garden
12 x 12 Mixed Media

I was determined not to waste a single summer day, but it happened. Maybe it was the weather that caused me to waste time. Certainly it was current events, what with a worldwide pandemic and my husband and me right smack in the middle of the range of senior citizens who needed to be extra cautious in public. So we were. We stayed home, and while I intended to spend the summer painting in my lovely studio I didn't get around to doing much painting. I gardened. I puttered around the house. I fiddled with my collage papers. I wrote copious plans in my journals, plans for someday, just not right now, thank you very much. I'm hibernating.

Bless her heart, Crystal Neubauer recorded some encouraging collage related demonstrations on Facebook and directed viewers to join her in making 5-minute collages as a way to begin the day. If you've been around this blog from its beginning 10 years ago you'll remember that daily collages prompted this blog, One-A-Day, in the first place. I was making 5x7" collages, one every day and writing about what I learned in the doing... and here I am, doing it again. 

Upon being prompted by Crystal I gathered scraps of watercolor paper and cut dozens of 4" squares, gathered a box of collage compost, and my YES! Paste mixture and began. I'm just 4 short of 100.  One Hundred small collages finished. I call them Lagniappe. That's pronounced LAN-yap, and it means a little something extra, a gift, like a baker's dozen or 13 donuts.  I heard it in New Orleans years ago and always liked the idea. 

The painting at the top of this post is one of a small series that I call In The Garden. The collaged bits are from a vintage fabric sample book, just perfect for the painting and reminiscent of my past work in textiles. I wish I had lots more of these fabrics or similar vintage wallpaper.

I'm back to sewing, making masks again. In the spring I used my very last tiny bits and pieces to make masks for a local medical clinic but had to quit when I ran out of fabric. Recently a couple of friends gave me their scraps so I'm at it again. I set up my sewing machine on the dining room table and am doing an assembly line routine of cutting, pinning, and sewing, an hour one morning, 15 minutes while the kettle boils. It all adds up and no matter how long it takes I'm sure I'll have dozens of masks ready long before we can safely bare our faces.

I live in the Portland OR suburbs and if you've been following the news you know that our normally clean pure air is the worst in the world this week due to all the wildfires devouring our forests and farms. I'm thankful for tightly fitting windows and doors and a good air filter on the furnace as I join thousands of others praying for rain. 

That's all. I'm just checking in with all ya'll. (giggle if you must; I'm Arkansas born and that's how I learned to talk way back when). I hope you're well, exercising your creative muscles, reading some good books, and have found better movies than we have on Netflix. 

Yes, okay. I'll take some pictures of my little collages to show you, maybe next week if you ask nicely.

Anything else you want to know about? 


Friday, May 29, 2020

How to Begin a Painting


My friend asked me how I begin a painting and what are the layering steps. That's a question that frequently comes up, one I also like to inquire of other artists. I'll answer by showing you some of the beginning layers... they're Are Not Pretty.

10x10 acrylic on paper
This first image is of a finished painting which I began as described below:


Layer 1:  I chose 6 boards that had color already on them, but which had no relationship to one another, hoping to make a short series out of them, related somehow.

Layers 2-6: I chose a limited number of colors for my palette: yellow ochre, ultramarine blue, black and white, and began making marks using a variety of tools: brushes, squeegee, old credit card, painting knife, trowels, a dental pick for scratching lines, a silicone scraper, grease pencil, and probably some other things that I've forgotten.  I worked for one hour and turned these 6 boards....

into this....

Yes, I know they are still ugly, but they are related and the layers of paint on paint on paint give me something to respond to. If you click on the pictures you can get a more detailed look at sections of each piece. At this point there was so much wet paint on each piece that I had to give it a rest and let them dry.

My next step will be to go over all six pieces with my electric sander in order to reveal bits of the color that's underneath.  I'll take pictures and show you my progress in my next post.


And by the way, I have a new website, a gallery at DailyPaintWorks, where I have work for sale. I'd love it if you'd go have a look and let me know, frankly, what you think. Make a note of the address,, and share my good news, if you please.

If you aren't familiar with DPW treat yourself to a subscription that features the work of hundreds of painters delivered as a once-daily email to your inbox.

Monday, March 16, 2020

DIY for Artists, an Inexpensive Painting Surface

Whiteboards as an Inexpensive Painting Surface

Inspiration Board for CVP2020
Art2Life's Creative Visionary Program  

This great idea comes from Eugene OR artist, Patti McNutt  who often uses ordinary whiteboard panels for a painting surface. It’s available at lumberyards in 1/4" thick, 4 x 8-foot sheets and sometimes as small as 2x4ft. 

Ask for MDF White Vinyl panels.

To save time and effort apply a couple of coats of gesso or interior house paint to the raw side of the full sheet of whiteboard. Cut the large panel to the size you require for your work. The whiteboard side becomes the back of the panel and you paint on the side to which you apply gesso. The slick white surface offers a place for a signature, title, project number, and any other information that you want to accompany the finished work. 

If you buy a 4 x 8 ft panel you can cut it down to 32 twelve-inch square panels. Each panel will be slightly less than 12” due to the slight loss from the blade cut. These are great for practice panels but I’ve been able to insert my 11 7/8” panels into both float frames and into regular 12” frames.

Look for MDF White Vinyl (1-side) panel which is currently $23.81 at Home Depot. For $24, each 12” panel would cost you a mere 75 cents.

If you choose to use ¼” birch plywood, at $28/4x8 sheet, your 12” panels would be only 88 cents each.

Of course, some of you want panels that are exactly 12” square, just like the art supply store sells. You can still cut 20 twelve-inch panels for $1.40, as well as twelve more 10” panels from the scrap.

Unless you’re handy with a table saw don’t cut the panels yourself. Find a handyman or friend who will do the cutting for free or in exchange for one of your paintings. Don’t expect Home Depot to cut the wood accurately. They don’t have time to be careful, nor are their blades sharp enough. (Experience speaks here.)

I have lots of my own original work for sale on my DailyPaintworks gallery. Have a look here:

Friday, February 14, 2020

It's not too late to sign up for Art2Life free workshops.

Nick Wilton

The first of Nickolas Wilton's Art2Life free workshops begins today. What a nice Valentine gift, three workshops with no strings attached. Click here to sign up.

Nick offers these workshops each year as a lead-in to signing up for his Creative Visionary Program, a 3-month online art course that I took last year.  Watching the freebie convinced me that this program was for me... and I sure chose a winner.

My work and my approach and my process of creating good art have all improved leaps and bounds.

I didn't go to art school but I have attended dozens and dozens of classes and workshops over the last 50+ years and I can say honestly that CVP is the best of the best.

I learned SO much and gained confidence in my process so that my work never fails to give me pleasure.

If you haven't already signed up to take the free workshops, please do so.  Click here.  You'll learn something valuable to your own practice.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

WooHoo... Free Art Workshop... Join me...

There is an exciting opportunity coming up that I want to share with you...

My colleague and friend, Nicholas Wilton, is about to begin his annual Art2Life Online Workshop.

It is an entire week of teaching from Nicholas, designed to help you make art that is stronger and more like you.

Because it is held online, you can participate from home — no matter where you are in the world.

And... it is completely free!

I am going to be following along with the workshop again this year, and I would love for you to join me.

Nicholas has been teaching this workshop since 2016, and in that time, has helped over 60 000 artists push their art to exciting new places.

The free workshop has recently been revamped to include all-new examples, stories and more.

Specifically, the free online workshop will explore exciting ideas like:

How to use a ground-breaking concept called Differences to quickly make your art more arresting and impactful  

How to use the principle of Value to create art that is instantly more balanced, refined, and striking
A simple but surprising approach to creating amazing Color and a sophisticated sense of harmony throughout your work  

Exactly what to do when your art feels stuck or incomplete (this will revolutionize the way you think of mistakes forever)  

Ways to make your creative life feel more spacious, joyful and personal to you… even if you’re in a creative funk or short on time

Even if you just take ONE insight away that helps you shift your art… 

I know it will be well worth your time.

And it might just help you see your art (and yourself) in a whole new way.

Hope to see you there, 


P.S. Nick has a habit of seriously over-delivering in his workshops.

In the past, here’s what people have said about Nick’s free teachings… 

Your classes have been absolutely amazing for me. It feels life changing. It's like I've discovered the core of my art again after being buried for a very long time. Your way of describing the process is true and simple”

Gordon Studer, Art2Life Workshop attendee

Give your creative self something special this valentine’s day.

Best of all? It’s totally free.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Monday, January 27, 2020

New Year, New Intentions

Inspiration Board

One of the first things I was asked to do when I began the Creative Visionary Program with Nick Wilton of Art2Life was to create an Inspiration Board.  This is the one I did which shows what inspires me as I go around living life. 

Broad expanses.
Gates and doors.
Pattern. Repetition.
Color, always color.
Photography and sketchbooks to document the journey.

Painting broad expanses is a struggle for me but I will persevere. I instinctively go for the detail, probably the influence of all those years doing embroidery with thousands upon thousands of small meticulous stitches.

I entered the three-month workshop in the spring with the intention to consciously use this board to inform the work I created.  Sometimes it was successful, sometimes I simply needed to dig deeper to figure out a new way to do things. 

Come in the Back Gate.  Sold.
The big success for me has been the growth in how I approach my work and the confidence I've gained.  I'm figuring out how to add direct painting to collage, to add collage to paintings. Such great fun.

I'm continuing with CVP and have signed up for another year of working with Nick and his team, which brings me to giving you notice about an Art2Life workshop, a FREE video workshop in 4 parts taught by Nick. It begins on Valentine's Day, February 14.  Sign up by clicking here.

I'm planning to have an Open Studio and Sale soon, probably in March. Work is accumulating and there's sure to be something for your walls. I'll let you know when you can come to see BOTH of my studios, the one that took over the master bedroom and the one in the garage.

That's plenty about me and my art journey. I sure would like to hear from each of you. There's a comment area below where you can send me a report from your corner of the world.

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