Monday, May 30, 2016

you have to love when and instructor 

says, i just want to make sure everyone has fun!

that's jacki long.  she is an incredible

collage artist, mom, grand mom, daily blogger,

instructor, friend and very funny to boot.

i have taken numerous classes from her.  recently

i spent a few hours journaling under her tutelage.

can you tell that i had fun  in her class?

if you get a chance to experience this lovely

lady don't hesitate!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

dyed clothing labels, drying

recently after seeing this photo of onion skin dyed
clothing labels, i was asked how to use onion skins.

one usage for the onion skin is to make

onion skin dyes



yellow onion skins


paper strips to test dye the color


jars with lids for storing the dye

boil yellow onion skins in a pot for

30 minutes or more.   during the boiling process,

dip  paper stops in the liquid to see the color.   label

the strips so you remember how long the skins

were boiled.  the longer it is boiled,

the deeper the color.  if you want a strong color

the liquid can be reduced with continued boiling

 after the skins are removed.

book made from the labels and a few teabags

when it has cooled,

add a little alcohol to keep it from molding.

be sure not to skip this step... i did have lovely mold growing in a few days.

store the dye in a cool place, away from the sun.

when the dye is finished, use it

as you would any dye, paint, dip, splatter...

another process i do with  onion skins

includes using fresh flower petals, onion skins, leaves

and boiling paper.  start saving now.   the flower

petals can be saved in a plastic bag and frozen then

brought out when you're ready to use them.  i will show

this process in a few days.  the clothing tags i used to

make the book were boiled.

here are the supplies needed for boiled paper


onion skins

any kind of paper

flower petals and/or dried leaves


a small rock to weigh down the papers

last week some of you were interested in my personal
college adhesive that i mix.  i give the 'formula'
here.  if you are interest in receiving future posts,
sign in at the right under join this site.

posting with paint party friday
thank you to eva and kristen for your weekly hosting

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

hints on collaging or

things learned along the way

i used to think of myself as having collaging issues.

by this i mean the papers dried lumpy or there were

pockets in the center of the collaged piece were bubbles

appeared after the adhesive dried or a section of the 

edge would lift.  you understand.  while i love to 

collage, these 'issues' took away from the pleasure.

here are a few things that have been helpful. 

the adhesive choices

i learned from kelly kilmer that it is important to
use glue sticks that say permanent  on them.  in my
rush to glue down a piece of paper, i did not always
thoroughly check to see that glue was spread over every
section.  this is key.  no glue, no stick.  it seems logical,
it is logical but i missed this for years!

acrylic mediums

most artists love matt medium as an adhesive.  it 
doesn't work for me.  i have tried to analyze why to 
no avail.  i have just accepted that it doesn't work for me.
and i also stopped mentioning this because inevitably i would
hear, 'why? it always works for me'

what i use

in my hunt for the perfect adhesive i have resorted to mixing
a personal acrylic medium.  here is what i use.

1.   the ultra matt medium and the nova gel are the thickest.  i put equal 
amounts of them in  a small plastic container with a lid.  

2.   i add the about a quarter of the amount of soft body gel gloss 
if i have some.  this ingredient is not essential.  

3.  then i add in the fluid matt medium a little at a time
and stir well until the mixture is like butter that has been
left out of the refrigerator for an hour, in other words soft and creamy.

as you can see, this is not scientific but there is some logic...
i don't like the  mixture to be glossy because it tends to show when it dries.  
the ultra matt medium is very thick, too think for my liking.  
mixing it with a soft gel gloss equalizes the shine.  
the matt medium brings the mixture to a nice consistency that makes 
using brush, finger or palate knife application easy.  

as with the glue stick, apply on the back of every bit of the paper to be glued down
AND add a thin layer to the substrate to insure bonding.

in a future post i will explain the next step that insures a flat, smooth

other adhesives i often use
these are applied to the surface and will show 

various masking tapes

enjoy your collage project!

Friday, May 20, 2016

handmade journal

i rediscovered the simple joys of 

hunting for a focal image,

 randomly ripping and tearing, gluing,

splash of serendipitous paint to prepare

journal pages.  then documenting bits of my 

life by journaling.  many of you know that

for many years,  i did this daily each morning

in my neighborhood cafe.   before realizing  

what happened i got away from this lovely 

habit.  looking back, i see that learning to paint  

took over.  but now i am delighted that there is time 

for both.  since i have had so many problems with collaging 

i am writing a future blog post on my favorite adhesives

including a personal adhesive mix,  

if you get a chance, click on the pop up gallery tab

to view the art in my most recent solo show. 

have a lovely weekend!

happy paint party friday to all who participate.
paint party friday is an online community of 
artist hosted by kristen and eva weekly.  visit 
for an array of eye candy delights!

Friday, May 13, 2016

post cards

i have dabbled in encaustics and like so much about it.

first of all the smell of wax is yummy, the unpredictable 

quality, the soft translucence like looking through a dream.

but sometimes talking out all of the equipment involved,

having a day warm enough to leave the windows open,

and the patience isn't a luxury that is available.  i saw this golden 

video  showing  faux encaustic options.  i used matt soft gel medium 

mixed  with fluid matt medium and a tiny bit of golden quinacradone

nickel azo gold and applied the mixture with a small palate knife, 

there are other recipes that i intend to try in the future.

let me know if you try it.

here is the golden video i watched.

sharing with paint party friday

have a lovely week!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

mixed media journal spread

and then the day came

when the risk to remain

tight in a bud

was greater than

the risk it took

to bloom.

anis nin

Friday, May 6, 2016

teabag painting

i love art supplies.  you could say i collect them

just to experiment with them.  sometimes it takes a

while for me to even get around to trying a product.

that's the case with clear gesso.  now i have it on 

hand always.  

what is gesso?

gesso comes in white, black, clear and even colors.  it is used

as a primer and sealer  and make an even ground for

acrylic or oil paint.    clear gesso dries clear to translucent 

depending on the thickness of the application.  i apply with

a sponge brush or inexpensive bristle brush.  

how do i use it?

as a painter and mixed media artist, i love layering

color on color, collage on paint, paint over collage,

paint over a sketch ... you get the picture.  you might 

even do the same.  

clean up

soap and water.  important to wash immediately after 

using or your brush will be a solid block of bristles.  especially

check the bristles at the base of the brush.  i squeeze the

bristles with my fingers.  if it feels sticky, i wash again.

where to use clear gesso


use clear gesso between layers or if you are not sure

about the next step.  it  protects the bottom layer and 

gives you the option  to remove the last layer.


apply a layer of clear gesso on paper, canvas, wood

before using pastels.  clear gesso leaves a tooth which

is a nice surface for pastels. and oil pastels.  this grit or  tooth

is what i did not like about it when i first tried it.  i was used to 

smooth white gesso and had not tried pastels at the time.  now i love it.


brush it on an altered book.  you can then paint over it and 

wipe off paint to retain the text below.


as with any product, experiment, break the rules,

let yourself play!