Experiments in Blue: Week 38



I’ve created most of my 2016 Experiments in Blue over the weekends of the past nine months; and then I try to post them each Monday that follows. Some weekends I have a lot of time for messing around in my studio, and I can make an entire painting in blues. Some weekends I’m traveling away from my studio and my experiments come to life in my sketchbook (which I mostly carry with me everywhere). Some weekends I literally have one hour and I make something super quick and easy. This past weekend fit into that category. I was away most of the weekend, too busy to make anything until last night. And, would’t you know it, last night I didn’t feel like drawing or painting, even something small.

“What if I mess around with some paper?” I thought to myself. So I dug into the boxes in my studio and pulled out all of the paper, both sold and patterned, that was mostly blue (and some fluorescent pieces for “pops”). And I set about creating a blue-themed cut paper design in my sketchbook, which you see pictured above.

I forgot how much I enjoy cutting and pasting paper into designs, something I used to do in my art practice all of the time. And it got me excited to get back into collage again.

Here’s to making more time for experiments, and the unexpected results that come from them.

Happy Monday, friends!


The Jealous Curator Show at Bedford Gallery



You may recall that earlier this year I wrote about my friend Danielle’s (aka The Jealous Curator) fantastic book Creative Block. And recently 20 artists from the book were curated by Danielle into a show at Bedford Gallery: From Blog to Book to Gallery. Last night I attended the opening, and it is a beautiful show with many amazing works. Here are just a few of my favorite pieces(too many to photograph!) and my own work down at the bottom of the post:


Kate Pugsley.


Stephanie Vovas’ large scale photographs.


Large scale Jenny Hart.


Danielle Krysa.


Martha Rich.


Hollie Chastain.



Jennifer Davis.


Leah Giberson.


Aris Moore.

photo 2

Lisa Golightly.




All six of my pieces in the show.


My hummingbird.

All work from the show (if not already sold) is available through Bedford Gallery. The gallery does not have an online shop, but you can call or email at any time to purchase with a credit card. If you are local to the Bay Area, the show will be up through February 1, and I highly recommend a visit! Here are the seven artists (including Danielle) who were able to attend the opening last night: Kate Pugsley, Lisa Golightly, Stephanie Vovas, Danielle Krysa, me, Leah Giberson & Trey Speegle.


One last note: both my book Whatever You Are, Be a Good One and Danielle’s book Creative Block were included in Brain Pickings Best Art, Design and Photography Books of 2014!  Have a happy Monday, all.


For Sale :: Art for Good Mail Day Show



I was very honored when Lisa Solomon and Susan Schwake asked me to be part of the Good Mail Day show at Susan’s gallery Artstream Studios in New Hampshire this month.

In the Good Mail Day show 60 artists create 4×6 inch artwork, all originals!

I created the two pieces above.  I have always loved vintage postcards, especially those that contain hand written correspondence. What better way to celebrate the beauty of mail than to use vintage postcards as my canvas. Each of these pieces is made with a vintage postcard, neon pink gouache paint and a tiny tipped micron pen.

These two one of a kind pieces can be purchased online here and here.  SOLD OUT! But many more by other artists still available over here.

Have a great Tuesday, friends!


New Creativebug Class :: Geometric Paper Collage



For those of you who love creating collage, you may be excited to know that I’ve launched a new Creativebug class today called Making a Geometric Paper Collage! In this new class I teach you how to create a small collage with six pointed stars made from paper, like the one pictured above.

If you have a Creativebug subscription, you are all set — go ahead and watch the course! If not, you can either buy a class ala carte or sign up for a monthly subscription (a bargain at 9.99 a month!).

Learn more about the course (including the materials you need) and buy the course here. And in the meantime, you can watch this little video about all of my Creativebug classes! See links on my sidebar to the right to go to the Line Drawing Class (which includes hand lettering and photo doodling) and also Painting an 8-point Star.

Have a happy Tuesday!


Playing Around with Collage




I’ve been trying lots of new things in my art practice lately, and to help me do more of that, I’ve been studying again with a small group of artists under the tutelage of well known mixed media artist, Lisa Kokin. Each week, Lisa gives us another mixed media assignment. A week ago, we were instructed to make a collage on the back of a hardback book cover (which makes for a great substrate, BTW). I had been cutting hands out of a collection of 1950’s LIFE Magazines, and decided I wanted to make a collage with them. Normally, I’d have arranged the hands in some grid-like formation (much like I did with my Collection a Day project), but Lisa encouraged me to layer the hands with paper and to break out of my traditional way of arranging things. What resulted is the collage above, which I made last week in her studio.

I was so excited with the result (and the process of layering) that I made two more collages over the weekend, also from collections of things I’d cut from LIFE Magazines. If you’ve ever looked at a LIFE Magazine from the mid-20th century, you know there are a preponderance of certain types of imagery (packaged and canned food, cigarettes, liquor, etc). These collages are themed around that imagery. Next up, cigarettes:

And televisions:



I am also using colored paper from the ads, photographs and illustrations in the magazines to create the layered effect. So the colors of the collages also reflect the colors one would find in magazine of the time (full disclosure: I did use some yellow paper in the hands collage that didn’t come from the magazines).  Lisa has been encouraging us to work within constraints — and I’ve loved this challenge (ie: in this case, only using the magazines themselves as the raw material).

After I was finished with the cigarette and TV collages, I noticed I had a lot of interesting scraps on the table from cutting the shapes from the magazines. I used those to make this collage/ink drawing in my sketchbook, which was in some ways more fun than making the collages themselves!



I plan to continue this series and I’ll share them here! Stay tuned for more.

And happy Tuesday.