Art & Creativity, Uncategorized, Works in Progress

Painting Process: Lhasa Ladies 2017

EPSON scanner image

Lhasa Ladies 2017 // Mixed Media on Wood // 18×24 inches

I first received a request for this commission back in October of 2016. Now here we are in February of 2017. Thank goodness my kind neighbor who wanted this done has been so patient and understanding! I’ll admit, I wondered if I would ever be able to push past the creative mental block brought on by keeping up with a toddler while pregnant. Let’s just say that motivation and inspiration have been lacking and, lately, the desire to take a nap usually wins out over painting.

All that to say, I’m so glad I had a goal to work towards. The creation of this painting truly brought me so much joy and a sense of accomplishment. It reminds me to not give up on creative goals and that there will always be an excuse or seem like there’s not enough time. If I want it badly enough, I will make the time. What’s your excuse for not doing that thing you love?

Here are just a few process photos…






EPSON scanner image

Close up of final painting


Around the Home, Art & Creativity, Works in Progress

Happily and Completely Lost – Assemblage Art

When’s the last time you were so lost in something, undistracted by the world, completely absorbed in the moment, expressing your creativity, unhindered and unafraid? That beautiful place is exactly where I lived for large sections of the past three days. Initially inspired by a sleepless night, when my brain just wouldn’t shut off, I formulated an idea for some artwork. Artwork that I wanted to create for my favorite person (AKA, hubby) and myself. Just because. Just to enjoy in our home. Not to sell or to get anyone else to like it or for any other silly reason.


Here I’m experimenting with layout of my objects

I got really excited about this art. There wasn’t anything else pressing on the agenda. It’s funny how I almost felt guilty for fully enjoying three days of pure creative process. I don’t know if I’ve ever had that much fun making and hanging art. Perhaps it’s important to interrupt the “ought to’s” and agenda on a regular basis to keep those creative juices flowing in other work, no? I think it’s true and beneficial, for the soul even.

I started out with three 24″x24″ wood paneled old paintings that I decided to repurpose. I also gathered other small, inexpensive canvases and painting surfaces, old frames, etc., things I already had laying around. I even picked up a few random goodies at Brook’s Woodcraft, one of my favorite stores in town (full of treasures!).

Anyhow, here’s a little about the process (in pictures & captions), as well as the finished three collages. If you feel so inclined to create some personal and significant art for your own home, feel free to steal ideas…


Metal, wood, silver, gold, canvas, you name it


I taped off some simple patterns on the small canvases to include in each collage then used gold spray paint


Once all my components were ready to go, I used Gorilla glue, wood glue and lots of heavy objects to hold everything in place while drying


The Yellow One – FinishedCollage #1


Details. I love the “banana paper” on the left, it’s such a fun texture


Picture frame and embroidery floss. How can you go wrong?


Here you can see the thickness of the 24″x24″ wood panel that it’s all mounted on. No framing necessary


The Red One – Finished Collage #2


Some hand lettered (white paint) scripture


Yes, I used a bit of graphic design too and printed out some compilations of digitially colored vintage wallpaper patterns


The Blue One – Finished Collage #3


Our wedding date


Of course my favorite part of this one is the metal letters…but the “E” was painted in


All three up above our dining room table. I definitely made sure to mount these into wall studs, they’re a bit hefty


It’s about time we had more art on those white walls


I love the way the sunlight and bold colors reflect off the metal

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thanked God for the gift of creativity and beautiful white walls to hang art on, especially in the past few days. If you’ve tried something like this, or decide to, feel free to  link back to your project in the comments of this post, I would love to see it.


Activities & Events, Art & Creativity, Works in Progress

Before & After: Two Paintings

Lately, I’ve enjoyed the process of just painting with acrylics. Last year I did a lot of mixed media, using multiple materials and photographs in my work. But I’ve shifted more into using an underpainting/overpainting method with acrylics and have loved the results.

BEFORE: If you look at the  painting below, I start out with the underpainting, adding lots of color and picking out some of my main points of interest. At this stage I block in a very general sense of my subject matter, focusing on deep hues and shadows.

swallows_photo 1

AFTER: Notice that in the later stages, I begin to better define my subject matter by going back with a lighter color, allowing areas of the underpainting to show through and highlight with whites.

swallows_photo 2

swallows_photo 3

Two Little Swallows: Acrylic on wood panel // 8 x 8 x 1.5 (in)

peacock_photo 1

peacock_photo 2

peacock_photo 3

Peacock Feathers: Acrylic on wood panel // 8 x 8 x 1.5 (in)

Two Little Swallows will be displayed at Art Central in San Luis Obispo for the Month of October. Peacock Feathers will be displayed in a series of small paintings (along with several other larger works) at Open Studios Art Tour, October 11th/12th & 18th/19th from 10am to 5pm at our home! Please contact me ( if you have any questions about the event.


Art & Creativity, Works in Progress

Blog Tour: Connecting With Other Creative Souls

Let me introduce you to Sue Donaldson, a gifted speaker and writer. She reached out to me when I was the new girl at church, in that very social, hospitable “Sue” fashion, and recently invited me to join a blog tour with her. I also happen to be reading Sue’s book right now, Come to My Table, an enjoyable read with a great message.

photo 1b

Come to My Table, by Sue Moore Donaldson

The idea of this tour is that creative souls from all around will answer the same set of questions, linking up to one another’s journeys. This allows you and I to get acquainted with some new creatives. I encourage you to drop by Sue’s blog and read her answers to the questions here.

Next, here are my answers …

1. What am I working on?
A series of small animal paintings on wood surfaces that incorporate patterns I’ve designed, gold leafing and painting with acrylics (top image). I’m having SO much fun focusing on simple but (hopefully) captivating color combinations, pattern and contrast. My theme for this year is “SIMPLIFY”. Life is complicated enough as it is. Creating simple art doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy. But I’m aiming for uncomplicated, which may take more thought and planning at the beginning. The graphic designer in me really enjoys that, though.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I would consider myself a mixed-media artist because I don’t use just one medium on any given work. I’m incorporating pattern design cutouts, gold leafing, glue, and other materials along with acrylic paint. Perhaps the advantage I have when it comes to creating unique, original artwork is my graphic design background. I can design my own patterns on the computer and use them in my paintings. I also tend to approach art from a more design oriented approach, keeping in mind current color and interior design trends.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I’m a much more energetic, joyful person when I have consistent opportunities to “get into the zone” and create. My husband is very supportive of my passion for art and notices a difference in me on days when I get to paint. It’s my hope and desire to spread joy no matter what my circumstances are (a joy rooted in the deeper place of faith in the Divine Creator), but art and creativity is one of those special ways I’ve found to express myself, an avenue of expression in which I feel most ALIVE.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?
Generally I start out with a concept or idea and sketch it out, including some of the main colors and strategic pattern to be incorporated. If i’m ever feeling stuck or uninspired, I like to surf on Pinterest or Instagram for ideas and have found a number of art and design blogs I love to read up on. Once I have a concept and a sketch, I start painting! Adding patterns or gold leafing usually happens towards the end. If I’ve left some exposed wood in my painting, then I’ll apply some stain to make the wood grain stand out more. When I’m feeling satisfied with the results, I’ll add a coating of clear sealer.


I generally start out with a sketch, including color ideas

Now here’s where you get to start your tour!  Next Monday, July 7th,  a couple of creative, courageous women will continue your tour, answering the same questions.

Candace Clark is a Wedding and Portrait Photographer. She’s passionate about capturing the small and often overlooked things in life and making them beautiful. You can find her blogging at Fingerprints Updates!

I’ll give a shout out to the others participating later this week, so stay tuned.

Enjoy and thank you for joining me in this creative journey, it means a lot!


Art & Creativity, Works in Progress

On Becoming Unstuck & Some Recent Projets

Hello  blog world, art world and any other world that coincides in some way! It’s been a while since the last post. To be honest, I was feeling a bit stuck. Writer’s block, painter’s block, creativity block…whatever you call it, I had it. For a couple of weeks. It’s hard. And I’m trying to figure out how to better navigate those times of “uninspiredness”. I know, it’s not a word, but hopefully you get the idea.

Two words have emerged as themes for me lately, POWER and SIMPLICITY. Power, because I want the work that I do, however much or little to be work that grabs the viewer. To make an impact with it. Like BAM, hit you over the head, but in a really great and refreshing way. The second word is simplicity. Sometimes I try to overdo my work. I put way too much thought into it. Often less is more and I think it’s time to work on simplifying my style a little bit.

Anyhow, while emerging out of my general state of being creatively stuck, here are a few things I’ve been working on…


These little plants (aren’t they cute?) inspired a recent painting


And here’s the painting, done on wood panel. It’s 12″ x 16″ inches

The approach for this one, which is quite a bit different from anything I’ve done before, is built up color and texture first (the colors you see in the pots and leaves) and then I painted in the negative space between the objects using white. It was challenging, but a lot of fun.


I used some fun, textured papers in the background

Another new technique I tried is the direct photo transfer method. If you follow the link, you’ll find a helpful video I used to learn how to transfer a black and white image (in this case it was a printout of some journaling I did) to the surface of my painting.


I used the direct photo transfer method for the words you see in the background using gel gloss medium

Another project I’m working on right now is a package redesign for a surf company. More on that at a later time. But as I experimented and brainstormed some concepts for the package designs, these are some of the pieces I worked on…


I experimented with some more mixed-media, as well as water colors on canvas


I had fun with the colors in that wave on the left 🙂

Two more things I’m working on right now are:

  1. A painting for Powerful Women, a show curated by Lena Rushing, which will be on display at Linnaea’s in May.
  2. Some design work for Little Acorns by Ro, my sweet cousin’s fabulous shop. You should check it out, she creates some really lovely family-oriented goodies.

Well, that about sums up what’s going on around here. I’m enjoying a new stage of experimentation and trying not to put so much pressure on producing…just EXPLORING 🙂

Art & Creativity, Works in Progress

Summer Succulent Garden

Hello there! It’s a wet, raining day her in San Luis Obispo, which is so fabulous for many reasons. For one, I can hear the pitter patter of rain on the roof as I work, which I love! For two, the beautiful succulent garden (behind our yard) that inspired my most recent paintings is actually getting some much needed water. Here are just a few “in progress” images I wanted to share…


I added lots of colorful layers underneath the final layer of paint.


I cut out some of the black and white photos I took and figured out an arrangement.


This is my painting palette as it’s being rinsed off.


And here are two recent paintings, side by side, so fun!

Works in Progress

Morro Rock, Version 2

Morro Bay is a quick (and enjoyable) drive from where I live. Sea lions, boats of all types and sizes, seagulls and human beings make Morro Rock and it surroundings a fabulous site to take in when you need some fresh ocean air. Here is the photo I began with for this painting:

morrorock I took it on a day when my soul was in need of being refreshed by God’s goodness and creation. In the painting, I incorporated photos of the rock and the plant in the foreground, then I added paint over the top of them. There are also a lot of torn paper textures in the water. I hope you enjoy it.