Acrylic Pour/Squish video.Purple Garden

If you look close you can see that I have started imbellishing some of the flower stalks with a brush and some acrylic paint.

Quick video describing process of acrylic pour/squish . Plan on imbellishing hidden leaves and flowers with acrylic paints. More in detail videos to come.  This is a great way to create exciting back grounds or leave as is for a very unusual piece of art. There are all kinds of opportunitys with this type of art. I would highly recommend trying it for yourself. It is so much fun as well as being a jumping off point into other forms of art. At the least you will have a barrel of fun so give it a go!!

Acrylic Pour Paintings

Hello friends! Update on my latest artist endeavor. I decided I needed to find an art form that used a lot of paint so I could utilize my paint stash. As I was browsing YouTube one night I came across acrylic pouring. I had heard of the art form before but it didn’t catch my interest at the time. When you see all my pictures you will see it caught my interest this time. It is so addictive I can’t wait to see what will come out of the next pour. I want to start filming the process but haven’t taken the time to set up my camera, because I am too busy pouring paint, LOL! Also have the materials to do some resin pours as well. Will post those when I get a bit better at it. With resin you have to work really fast because it dries so fast, and it is expensive, in comparison to acrylic’s. But I won’t let that stop me. Will post more later, but for now got to get out to the art studio and pour some more paint!! LOL!! Also have a garden scene in oil’s I am working on in between pouring paint. Hope to have it finished shortly. That is if I can control my obsession for pouring…have an idea to incorporate my traditional painting with the acrylic pours. Stay tuned for more crazy paintings idea’s.. XOXO’s Barbie

Happy Holidays 2014!

Happy Holidays 2014! I can’t believe another year is almost gone! If they keep flying by as fast as this year did I am going to have to give up sleep altogether!! LOL.. I have so many things I want to do there just isn’t enough time in the day to get them done. I have to tell myself to slow down and focus on one thing at a time, and believe me when I say, that is really hard for me to do. I have so many ideas running thru your head I tend to get scattered. I have made a New Years resolution, you know we all have to have one of those, anyway I digress, my resolution is to have a journal ready to write down my ideas when they pop into my head, not a novel idea I know but it had never occurred to me! Yeah I know you must be thinking, what was she thinking! Well I guess I wasn’t!! LOL. This is my solution to staying focused. At the least it will keep me from feeling like I am going to lose the thought, and at my age that could definitely be a danger. This will hopefully keep me focused on the task at hand. Then when I have time, or feel like doing something else, I can go to my journal and pick one of my ideas and have fun. I also want to start doing thumb nail sketches and testing color mixtures before I start on a painting. I was watching an online class of Mary Wythe, one of my favorite water-color artist, and she shared how she used thumbnail sketches to get the most pleasing composition. She also did a quick sketch of the main subject and painted it so as to work out the colors she wanted to use. I am usually so impatient to get started that I don’t take the time to do the ground work, but in watching her I do see the benefits in those practices. So here’s to the New Year and keeping the resolutions we make!

I did get one thing done this year that I have been saying I was going to do and never had. That was painting my Christmas cards! I will have to say it took quite a bit longer than I thought so if that is something you want to do I would suggest giving yourself at least 6 months to get it done without feeling rushed. That is going to be my plan for next year as well. We’ll see if that happens..LOL!

In closing I have decided to open a Esty shop to sell some of my art that is beginning to pile up. I use to make jewelry and have a very large stash of that. Also have some of my hand-made journals and mini albums I need to pass on to someone else instead of just stacking them up. Running out of storage space as well. Don’t want to be considered a “hoarder”, oh well it may be too late for that..LOL!!!! It will probably take me a while to get this done considering I have to take pictures and write a description for each item, but I am going to focus and get it done one day at a time… Speaking of that I have two paintings I have not posted yet so will try to get that done before the new year begins.. Barbie signing off….

Angel of the Morning

8x8 oil on mixed media paper for use in my fabric art journal
8×8 oil on mixed media paper for use in my fabric art journal

“Angel of the Morning” a study in oils. I love angels as I’m sure a lot of people do. If you have been keeping up with my post you will know I am painting like crazy trying to get enough small art for my Fabric Art Journal I am making. Just about have enough ready to go. Now comes the hardest part for me, putting each page together using vintage lace and linens. That is a whole different art form and requires a lot of thought, for me at least. I have decided to use the copic stitch to bind it but haven’t decided what I want to use for the cover art. May choose one of my pieces I have already done or not… At any rate won’t know till I start putting the pages together so I will let that decision wait for a later post. I did not think, when I started painting pieces for this journal, about how I would incorporate each page or of the medium I would use, and how each one would work on fabric. I love the pastels but they presented a problem due to the nature of chalk so I had to come up with a method to seal the chalk so it wouldn’t come off on the fabric page. I described that method on the bluebird post, so if you would like more info on that process check out the bluebird post.

Fabric Book Pg. #2 I’m Sorry

I'm Sorry
Fabric book page #2 is of a vintage little girl painted with a mixture of water-color and gesso on a background of Venetian plaster on fabric. This is my second page in my fabric book class. I am going to add some vintage lace around the edge but not until I am ready to put all the pages together in book form. The old envelope was from Vintage Papers, in the form of a digital download. The rest of the papers I used was from my collection of papers and napkins. I also used Tim Holtz re-inkers to distress the page and make it look older. I want to paint either some sheep or chickens next. Am really having fun in the class. I really love the Daniel Smith water colors. Wish I could buy them all but will have to be happy with the few colors I have for now.

Angel Fabric Book Page

As above so below
As above so below

The idea for this angel fabric book page came about as I was contemplating a tribute to my Mom and Dad who have passed. I wanted to do something special as a remembrance of them and an acknowledgement of how very special they were to me. I miss them so much but at the same time I know they are so happy to be with God and the Angels in heaven. They were married for 49 years when Dad passed and Mom had to go on without him. She was a strong woman but a piece of her heart was missing. She passed on May 25, 2014.
As I was painting the angel I felt the essence of her coming thru the brush. I know it sounds weird but that is how I felt. Especially when I got to the wings. I had not tried to paint wings before and wasn’t sure how I was going to start but had an idea of how I wanted them to look. As I added layer after layer of gesso and water colors they appeared on the fabric just as I had imagined them.

Angel wing close up

I have long admired the fabric journals of dj Pettitt and longed to be able to do one myself but just didn’t know where to start.  I have been following Kate Thompson as well and love, love, her style.  Was so excited to see she was one of the teachers for an online class called “Painting Under The Masters”.  So I signed up and what a great class it was.  I finished it but had some issues painting with acrylics since they were so different from oils, I just couldn’t get the technique down.  Without having to go on suffice it to say I took more classes and finally found Kate Thompson’s class on Fabric Books.  I was so ecstatic. She paints with water colors mostly but also uses other mediums as well. But the most exciting thing to me was her technique for her Fabric Books. I don’t know if it is all her own or a combination of her’s and others but it is some awesome techniques she shares in this class. I would highly recommend it. There are several different types of bindings, and different ways to add old lace and other pieces of fabrics, she even uses some encaustic techniques which I have long wanted to try. That will be one of the things I will do for sure. If you love old fabric and have the desire to incorporate it with your art this is the class for you. I will try to figure out how to add a link to her class so you can find it if you choose. This is a pretty long post so if you have any questions on how I painted my Angel post a comment and I will get back to you. XO’s, Barbie
Kate Thompson’s web page for her classes.

Extreme Portrait

My extreme portrait
My extreme portrait

I am taking a class from  Jodi Ohl called “Extreme Portraits”.  This is one of the lessons from that class.  I tried to show all the stages of painting a portrait so you could see how a portrait progress. First of all let me explain the process of the beginning wash. I always start with a sketch. After I get my sketch done I transfer it to my sub-straight. I usually us white transfer paper. Then I use my water-color pencils to outline the sketch. My pencils of choice are Derwent. After that I take a water-color brush and drag the color to the face. At this point I am just trying to get rid of the white area so I can start the painting process. It also helps me to see where I want to add shadows and highlights. After that is done I begin adding my darkest darks and my mid-tones. Just trying to get the shape of the face and shadow of eye sockets, mouth and nose. Then I start refining the facial features. I did her in acrylics and finished her off with some Liquitex ink. I have found the inks make a really nice glaze when mixed with a glazing medium. If you are wondering why I put the turquoise on her face. It was our lesson to add unusual colors to our portraits. I have been having a really hard time doing this in fact this is the first one I have had the guts to put the color on her face. I worked so hard on her to get her just right, which is what you are supposed to do, then to put the color on is scary to say the least. I tried on an earlier one and just about ruined her to the point of no return, LOL, but I salvaged her in the end, so you can see why I was scared to try it again! At any rate I just jumped in and went for it and I will have to say it was very liberating. In order to grow you have to be fearless and be brave, as Jodi says, and she was right. I want to become looser with my portraits and I believe this has really helped me to loosen up. So what did I learn? In art it is all about being you and not worrying about right and wrong rules.. Just do your thing, not only in art but in life as well..XOXO


Mixed Media Poppies

Poppies on Canvas I have always loved poppies! I was watching one of Donna Downey’s art journal YouTube video’s one day and she was using one of her poppy stamps to create a journal page and I decided to try it myself. But instead of stamping the poppies I decided to paint them.

I started out on a gessoed canvas with Montana’s paint sticks, pastel light blue, yellow, pink and green. Just started punching the tips down on the canvas and letting the paint go where it wanted to go. Let the paint dry for a day or two. The paint was pretty thick. Then I decided I would try using some Pan Pastels, so off I went with the pastels. I liked what was going on but needed a punch of color but before I could add paint to the canvas I had to seal the Pan Pastels, I used a Gelli Plate which I painted a thin coat of Gel Medium on and stamped the canvas. It works great, no smearing!! Unfortunately I had managed to make the once brightly colored canvas boring. I had used Distress paint before and it worked out well so I decided to go for it and began pulling out some of my favorite colors. As I was spreading the paint I remembered I had, quite by accident, used the Distress paint on a canvas and then used a stencil with Matt Gel Medium and surprisingly the medium took on the color of the Distress paint! What a happy accident! One thing to remember when you use this technique is to let the medium dry completely. Now I was satisfied with the back ground and moved on to painting the poppies. After I got the poppies finished, I added some drips for the stems, did some doodling with Faber-Castel pitt pen in black, fine tip and the Uni-ball white gel pen. Finally did some ink spatters and called it done. I now see some things I would like to change, if I do I will post the new updated picture along with the techniques I used. Hope this inspires you to try your hand at painting poppies…

Documenting the Painting of a Sweet Little Girl


Little Girl With a Winning Smile
Little Girl With a Winning Smile
What a winning smile
What a winning smile

Deciding to paint this cute little girl started one day when I was perusing Pinterest. I came across her picture and thought, if only I could capture her in a painting I would feel so accomplished. But all my fears and doubts came in and I told myself, well maybe someday when I am more accomplished as a portrait artist. So I just pinned her and moved on putting my aspirations on the back burner. Then about 6 weeks ago I started my online class with Jodi Ohl “Extreme Portraits” and she challenged us to choose a subject that we had not done before. So I immediately thought of the little girl with the winning smile and knew that would be my portrait! After I choose her I started thinking about how I would paint her and I felt totally lost. You have to understand I am fairly new at painting portraits and have never painted a child or a person of color so I had no reference for either. I am not one to back down from a challenge so I thought, what is the worse that could happen???

Trying to get my fears of failure under control I decided to draw her first. That was the best decision I have ever made. Not only did it give me confidence in my ability to paint her but it helped me to understand the planes of the face and how to shade and highlight her.

Wasn't sure I could capture that smile so thought I better draw her first.

Wasn’t sure I could capture that smile so thought I better draw her first.

After I got her drawn I started to think of how I would start my painting and I remembered I had bought some Derwent Coloursoft watercolor pencils in skin tones. It worked great! As you can see in the photo showing her washed in.

This worked really well to get a portrait started.
Used Derwent Coloursoft  pencils to sketch her.  It worked really well for getting the portrait started.

From there I had to work out the colors of the skin which was a real hit and mostly miss process, but I had gone to far to give up at this point so I pushed on. If you pull her up in a larger view you can see the texture of the gesso I used for the background.

Trying to figure out how to proceed.  All new territory for me.
Trying to figure out how to proceed. All new territory for me.

Finally success after several days and numerous layers of acrylic paint I got the skin tone like I wanted it. I won’t bore you with every detail of how I got the painting finished just suffice it to say it was totally worth the effort. Here is a list of the colors I used to get the skin tones. Titanium white,Quinacridone blue violet, red oxide, ultra marine blue, Alizarin Crimson, Van Dyke brown, Payne’s gray, ivory black, cad. yellow medium, Dioxide purple. Also forgot to mention how I prepped the birch panel. I used Gesso and applied it with a large palette knife. It gave a interesting texture to the painting but should mention the paint didn’t take all the same. Some areas was more absorbent than others. It seemed to have something to do with the amount of water I used when applying the acrylics. I used a glazing medium for thinning most of the time. Also used Golden’s open acrylics as well as some heavy body Liquitex Acrylics.

Little Girl With a Winning Smile
Little Girl With a Winning Smile

Father’s Day Card

Father's Day Card for the Father of my Children
Used one of Jennifer Bishop’s digital downloads aka the Fishy post card. It is from her new Steam Punk series. I tried to keep the card fairly simple. It didn’t take me long to design the card . Her work is so lovely. Added some Glossy Accent’s to the fish and some of the lurer’s. Used my We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch to make the envelope. It is really simple to use after you have done the first one. I needed to make a larger envelope to hold the card since it was so dimensional the one that came with it wasn’t large enough.

Card With Envelope