Some of my Favourite Tools

I thought I would show off some of my favourite tools:

From the top left: Atomizer: for spraying paint [much cheaper than an air brush] and it is also useful for spraying a layer of acrylic medium&water onto watercolour paint to fix it.
Sponges for applying paint texture and painting the sides of paintings.

bottom left: paint shapers. I love these tools for drawing and scratching into the paint, applying thin lines.
pipette: for picking up inky paint and squirting or dripping or creating a line of paint.

middle bottom: drywall putty knife... for smoothing out paint or if you press down, then lift in heavy body paint it makes really cool textures. Above that is a makeup tester which doubles in the studio for scraping out paint.

right side: my deckle edge ruler... for ripping collage papers and watercolour or printing papers.
top middle: syringes with various tips... these are all great for applying paint or ink in thin lines or for writing with. Good for squirting too!
dimensional fabric paint: this is my favourite paint for writing with... I use it especially for my spontaneous mark making on my journals.

And below everything is a piece of rice paper I painted... rice paper is becoming more and more of a staple in my work.


Dreaming Indigo

Mixed Media on 4- 4x4 wood blocks.
[acrylic, ink, resist, paper]
I've been experimenting lately with combining resists [salt, frisket, stencils, contact paper, heavy plastics] with monoprinting. Indigo is one of my all time favourite colours so I have been working with a monochromatic palette to test out my results. Alot of them will end up in my ever growing collage paper box but these little ones I am happy with... they take my mind in different directions...



Mixed Media on 16x20 stretched canvas.
[rice paper, acrylic, ink]

And the muse is offering only florals of late... I guess she is longing for spring too! This piece was started with random pieces of different types of rice paper, then earthtoned ink pours while it was still wet, so they really ran all all over. Once it dried it was a big old mess, so I just started playing, linking shapes with colour. When I stepped back from the linking, the tulip shape was pretty much there... so I went with it. It's a bit of a leap with the center of interest going out of the picture plane, but I'm hoping the cruciform design helps keep the eye moving around. Sometimes I think I should just make a big mess to start... then I have that 'got nothing to lose attitude' that makes me try anything that occurs to me... and I often end up with something interesting.

Tulip in progress.


Night Bloom

Mixed Media on 8x10 stretched canvas.
[rice paper, texture mediums, acrylics]


Remnants18 Group of 4

To make the string patches for my built up works, first I use small pieces of cardboard wrapped with plastic and using matte gel adhere the fabric bases [linen in this case], then wrap the strings around the cardboard, taping them to the back and then adhere the cut out pieces of handmade/cast paper on the top to hold it all in place. Then I let them dry overnight and then they can be peeled away from the plastic and used as focal points in my mixed media works or on journals.
Mixed Media on 4- 8x8 stretched canvases.

[acrylic texture mediums, handmade paper, string, linen, acrylic, metallic pigments]



Getting over Brown

Mixed Media on 14x18 stretched canvas.
So I wore a brown school uniform for all of my high school years... and have strongly disliked browns ever since. Although I often used them in the underpainting, they rarely showed up in the final work and certainly not as the dominant tones. They have crept into my artwork very slowly... first with my handmade paper figures... then later into journals. It was the journals that gradually won me over to the beauty of earthtones... especially burnt sienna, sepia, raw sienna, red oxide... This is my first brown tone painting... it was supposed to be the underpainting... but I have decided to live with it for awhile...
I still can't get myself to wear the brown pants I bought 4 years ago... but maybe someday...



Mixed Media on 16x20 stretched canvas.
[handmade paper, texture mediums, string, metallic pigments, acrylic]

The Lines are Down

Mixed Media on 16x20 stretched canvas.
[handmade paper, texture mediums, string, metallic pigments, acrylic]


Done by Default

Ley lines
Mixed media on 12x16 stretched canvas.
[rice paper, tissue paper, inks, watercolour, acrylic]

This piece has been hanging around the studio for several monthes... I have this ongoing issue with calling something done. Often I am just not sure about it... So in my world... there are two options with work I am not sure of... either it gets gessoed over or I have to change or add something. With this piece I loved the way the paints had crawled across the papers so I didn't want to gesso over it which means it intrigued my eyes enough to keep looking at it... and there wasn't anything I wanted to change or add... so it is done by default.
There is something I love about it, with earthy, icy and treelike forms and associations, for me it has that 'je ne sais quoi'... I guess since I don't come from an art background... and won't be acquiring a BFA anytime soon, I am more and more inclined towards putting my work out there with it meeting my own criteria for creativity which basicly comes down to 'Do I like to look at it?' and 'Does this interest me enough to look at it for a long time?' So my work stops in places interesting to me... afterall who else do I have to please really???

I would be so interested in hearing about how other creators decide something is done.


Spring Fever

Mixed media on 12x12 stretched canvas.
[rice paper, watercolour, ink, acrylic, metallic pigments]
It happens this time of year... longing for colour, my garden... longing for spring.


sTrain of Thought

Mixed media on 8x10 stretched canvas.
[rice paper, ink, acrylic]
I've been reading Eckhart Tolles A New Earth of late... trying to stay present while I am painting. I find it much easier to stay in the moment while painting than any other activity... until reading this book, it never occured to me to try and stay present in the rest of my life. Funny... I knew art was a sort of way of meditation, a path to mindfulness/ mindlessness for me in the past... yet I just accepted that the rest of life had to be lived in time... lost in the machinations of the mind and ego. Art for thought or thoughtlessness?


Remnants13 Group

Mixed media on 3- 6x12 stretched canvases.
[handmade & cast paper, string, metallic pigments, acrylic paint, cotton, linen fabrics]


aSpire to Serenity

Mixed Media on 16x20 stretched Canvas.
I finished this last week... but then had to go out of town unexpectedly before I could post it.
I was away for a whole week and I really really missed my studio... Out of desperation, one day, I sat at my parents kitchen table and painted with some old craft paints on canvas panels my dad had laying around. Those paintings aren't worth showing but at least I got a painting fix! lol!
Before I had to go away I was just starting to feel like I was beginning to get focused... starting to get somewhere, have an idea of where I was going... and now I feel like I kind of lost where I was... so who knows where I'll go from here... Maybe this painting's title was a reminder to myself... despite life circumstances, aspire to stay serene... like I knew last week I might need reminding.


Letting Loose

After a long day of fiddly controlled painting, I finally threw 2 new canvases on the table, got out my favourite 2 inch brush, the spray bottle and let loose. Moments of being... fully present, fully engaged... I'm not sure if I want to call them finished, but there is a raw vitality to them that I like! Maybe they can fit in with my 'Wild Nights are my Glory' storm series.


Artifacts from the Future

Mixed Media 4x4 journal.

Mixed Media 7x9 Journal.

I've started adding my spontaneous calligraphy/ mark making/ symbology to the edge of the spine. I think a row of them on a bookcase would look cool. A recent buyer gave me the idea... he described my work as 'artifacts from the future' I like that kind of paradox!


Stringing the Blues

Mixed Media on 4- 8x10 stretched canvases.
[handmade&cast paper, cotton string, acrylic]
These pieces made me think of my father's guitar... Almost everyone in my family is musical except me [still trying to make peace with that!], so I've been surrounded by music all my life... it is necessary as air.