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WIP. Happy little mountain and trees.

Inspired by the Netflix streaming Bob Ross’ painting series. I decided to pull out my Shiva oil sticks and oil pastels and create my own little happy landscape.  It’s in progress. I’m not so happy with the mountin but I like the foothills and trees.

via Instagram
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Weeks 31-34

Hi ho, my lovelies.

I thought by grouping my LIfe Book posts, I’d discipline myself to post more frequently and cover more artistic ground.  Not so much.

Ah well, try, try again, right?

Today’s post is Life Book 2015 Weeks 31-34.

Week 31 Hamsa Protection with Rachel Rice

Week 32 You are Wise with Tam

Week 33 – haven’t started this lesson

Week 34 Painting the Muse with Alena Hennessy


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Life Book Weeks 18-21

Week 18 was 2 bonus lessons; I did the 2nd lesson with Kristin Van Valkenburgh. I used fiber paste, stencils, acrylics, Dina Wakely scribble bird stamp, washi tape, Shiva oil pastels, collage, and more. It’s a many layer piece that the photo doesn’t do justice to.


Week 19 was with Jessica Swift. This was a personal art journal pair of pages, so I’m sharing a closeup.


Week 20 was with Jenny Doh. A very free, expressive lesson, which is harder to do than it looks. The background was done with fluid acrylics and acrylic inks. The angel was drawn with Prisma and Stabilo All pencils.


Week 21 was another 2 bonus lesson week with the very fun Lynn Whipple and painting an apple with Tam. At this point, I’m caught up with the lessons, so I did both.


This is another more personal journal page, so it’s another close-up.


While watching Tam’s How to Paint an Apple lesson, I had the urge to do a mixed media on wrapped canvas. The apple I chose as a model was an odd shaped one, and I spent a lot of time working on this painting. I like the way it turned out. Might take it to my new office.

Next up includes 2 lessons I am very excited about. I just finished the lesson with Jeanne Oliver and Tam’s lesson on drawing a male, front-facing portrait. You can see my first sketch for the lesson here.We have 2 movies left for SIFF 2015 and then, it’s a photo field trip to try out my new wide angle lens, so stay tuned and thanks for stopping by.

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Life Book 2015 Weeks 14-17

The theme for April is being present. In the moment. Tam had a terrific definition for being present, so I’ll save the Buddhist commentary for a moment. What the April lessons have in common is being present by following your artistic impulses, experimenting, playing. Remember how carefree you were as a kid drawing? Before some inconsiderate external critic suggested that your creations could only be loved by your mom?

I’d like to go find that teacher and kick ’em in the junk, but that’s not a very friendly thing to do but the idea does put my inner critic on my side for a change.

Being present.  It’s bit scary posting this set of pages. They are not finished works, nor are they meant to be. They are play-time with personal words and symbols. Experiments with color and form with little regard for composition. Visual expressions of the moment, what I saw and felt on the days I made them, using colors that struck my fancy in the moment.

These are mixed media pages: acrylic paints in liquid, ink, spray, marker and heavy body formulas, Stabilo All pencils, Pitt Pens, Neocolor2s, Gelatos, Distress Stains, tissue, collage, pastels, watercolor pencils, colored pencil, graphite pencil, alcohol markers.

Week 14: Field Journaling with Alisa Burke.  To be honest, I was having lunch at work, read the pdf and had ideas. I didn’t watch the video for this lesson. I’m sure I’ll go back and watch in order to take notes at some point. I like the color and elements of this page, but feel value is somewhat lacking.



Week 15 Little Things, with Tam.  3/4 face, two page spread.  Tam’s definition of the present is pretty terrific and I’m mostly paraphrasing, but goes something like this: the present is real while the past and future are imaginary.  Since I’m working in a large (9×12 journal), I decided to do the 2 page spread.  And struggled with working more loosely, simpler face shading, more black and white.  I had to set this aside for a couple days to appreciate it. I added more little black and white doodles after this photo.  I also re-worked these pages in another journal because i felt the version here, in my Life Book art journal, the pages, well, sort of work together, but not as much as I’d like.  I love Tam’s art so much and want to buy an original piece someday. In the meantime, for the Life Book lessons, I tend to copy her composition, in my style, doodles, writing, and darker color scheme, which brings different problems.



Week 16.Being Here Now with Alena Hennessy.  I enjoyed Alena’s class last year.  For me, I find Alena’s lessons are like Jane Davenport’s, with tools, techniques, and inspiration to create a page all your own. I may use some of her elements or maybe not.  When I’m watching the videos and taking notes, I sometimes get ideas. I make note of these ideas so when I sit down, I can try them out. Alena’s lesson involved working 15 minutes, 10 minutes and 5 minutes, so I did 2 versions, 15 and 10 minutes, on 9×12 watercolor paper.  I liked the first one so much, I taped it into my journal.  When I finished the background, pan-galactic gargleblasters popped into my mind. I looked over the page and thought that the world must look like this page after having one.  It made sense at the moment. Which is the point of the lesson, init?



Week 17 Feel the Moment with Jenny Wentworth. As I watched Jenny’s video, I had the urge to work the page in Quin Magenta, Payne’s Grey, and Pthalo Blue. Why? Cuz I love those colors.  I gesso’d my page and started to work. Jenny used charcoal to sketch her gal, then activated it with a wet brush. My charcoal didn’t work very well wet, so I switched to my trusty Stabilo All pencil. Many layers commenced because I had to bring light to her face.  Most of my heavy body acrylics are Amsterdam brand. I love the colors and most of the time, they work quite well for my needs. Today, though, we were having a struggle.  Perhaps I wasn’t letting layers dry properly or perhaps I used too much water to thin them on the page, but I had a lot of trouble with them lifting off the page and behaving more like water soluable Neocolor 2s than acrylic paints. Her eyes are the color of the original background.  This gal is growing on me. It’s been a long time since I created a face without mapping it out in painstaking detail – erasing, drawing, re-drawing. I worked very quickly on this page.  Three of the pages were worked fairly quickly. It seems I spent a rather long time on Tam’s lesson, but it was a 2 page spread.



This sort of in-the-moment play-time is good for the soul. It’s liberating and expressive.  Whether or not you share such pages with anyone doesn’t matter, but give it a try. A little expressive freedom just for you. But if you want to share, I’d love to see your pages.



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My Summer Girl

Yeah, it’s nearly Spring, but Tam had a sale at her Etsy shop and I ordered 2 classes: Summer Girls and A Christmas Whimsy.  I started with Summer Girls and realized how much I missed the weekly Life Book Lessons.  And signed up for Life Book 2015 as soon as I finished this girl.

I really enjoyed this mini class and how my gal turned out.  My Summer Girl is based on a journal sketch from one of Jane Davenport’s classes, Frolicaholic, I think. She was a stylized dragonfly with a sort of 30s hairstyle.  Dragonfly Girl, as I like to call her.  What could be more summery than a dragonfly?

Dragonfly Girl is on 140 lb watercolor paper. I used Neocolor IIs, Tam’s floral stencil, Stampin’ Up stamps, a text stamp I picked up at Seattle Recreate and a music score and broken glass stamps I picked up at Impress, collage, Prisma pencils, acrylic paints, and various pens.

I took time this time to really work with Tam’s graphic pencil and using it to create shadows.

Up next, Life Book 2015.

Happy spring!


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Whimsical Krampus Handmaiden


My friend Marva invited me to join her upcoming Krampus themed show at Bedlam Coffee next month.
Most of my pieces are altered digital photos of Marva in her awesome Krampus costume.

I really wanted to include a mixed media art piece. I sketched a few whimsical Krampuses and they were OK. It wasn’t until I got to Lesson 2 of Radiant Faces with Tamara Laporte that I was inspired.

That lesson produced Inner Child and her dark cousin, Krampus Handmaiden. I have to give credit to Jane and Teesha and Mermaid Circus for helping me with finishing touches. I’ve heard the message in many classes, but it clicked in Mermaid Circus.

This piece is 16 inhes by 14 inches cold press watercolor paper. With collage, stencils, acrylics, Neocolor 2’s, Aquamarkers, Promarkers, Pitt pens, Prisma pencils, and Montana markers.

Edited with #aviary >

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Radiant Faces Lesson 3


Lesson 3 of Radiant Faces is with Christy Tomlinson who has what I call a whimsical impressionist style.

I tried working the entire piece with her supplies, but it was trickier than I thought.

My Girly Girl was done with Stabilo pencil, acrylics, Pitt pens, Collage Pauge, alcohol ink, various papers, Stayzon ink, stamps, stencils, and Prisma pencils on 9 x 12 canvas.

I am enjoying the class and it is stretching my skills. I’m not totally in love with her but I like her. I want to try Christy’s techniques again because I like the idea of shading with Pitt pens.

Edited with #aviary >