Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all merry, happy, healthy, fun everything :-)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Giveaway winner!

Thank you for participating in the giveaway. It was really fun getting to know you better. The winner is a lovely lady from Austria. Congratulations Susi! I hope you'll enjoy the class :-)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

101 BIRDS - Painting #38

Is it bad to say that I love the paintings from my 101 Birds collection? Whenever I finish one, I think it is my favorite. But then I look back and feel like a mom and her children... I love them all. I'm waiting to come to a "full" number, like 40..... or be half way - 50, and then I'll show them all together. It will be like a big, colorful and whimsical bird quilt.
PS - I am LOVING comments on my giveaway! So much fun to read what your favorite soul food is - both the real food kind, and one for the artistic soul. Thank you!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Soul Food Class spot Giveaway and Interview

You might know that I am one of the 39 instructors in Soul Food Workshop. It starts really soon... Each instructor recorded a lesson in which we share techniques that make our soul sing and recipes that make us happy. 
To be honest, I had more trouble choosing the recipe for the workshop than the actual art. We can't show the finished art pieces, but little snippets are allowed, so that's what I am showing here. In my videos I will show a wonderful, very versatile technique for which you need only 3 art supplies (and I am almost sure that you already have at least two of them). Then I will show three projects made using the technique. I am really pleased with how my videos turned out, and hope that you will too (if you decide to join us - more information HERE).
Here is a link for a little meet and greet interview with me:
If you want to win a free spot in the class, please leave a comment to this post (if you already paid for the workshop, don't worry, you will get a refund). There are only two things I would ask you to do:
1. Tell me what is your favorite soul food
2. Make sure that there is a way for me to contact you if you win. Almost every time I host a giveaway, a person without an email link wins, and never shows up... which probably means that she never wanted the prize in the first place, and that makes me sad.
I will announce the winner next Wednesday (Dec. 18th)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

How I used the acrylic skin

I love it (the acrylic skin)! You don't really see it, unless you are looking for it - it just melts into the collage. I found an old painting, cut it in half and used it as a base for my collage. The only remaining visible part is the heart. Everything else is a mixture of different papers I had on the desk.
I often sketch little birdies on anything available. They are quick, simple sketches, but I can't make myself throw them away. The above one was sketched on a napkin, the other one on sticky paper.
 I wanted a little journal with soft covers for a while now, and couldn't find anything "exactly" as I want it in store. Don't know why I didn't think of making it myself in the first place. My stitching is not the best (working in almost complete dark is my excuse)  but it is still good enough to make me happy.
Danielle wrote that acrylic skin looks like a wax painting, and I smiled when I read it because at that moment I was adding an encaustic layer on top of my collage. 
I love how the sketch done on a napkin disappears into the collage...
At the end - a quick answer to Heather (as I don't have her email address, and don't want to seem rude by not answering her question). The crackle I used on my angel is the same or similar crackle to the one you describe - the one you rub a darker color on when it is dry and cracks show up. You can find more information about different products I use in a post I wrote here. Hope this helps!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Acrylic skin (for Julie)

I think I never made acrylic skins before. I often marveled how simple it seems and how fun it must be, but I don't think I actually had that "push" to do it. Until I read Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's post yesterday. She wrote that she saw a technique in THIS video and was desperate to try it, but couldn't because she is traveling. I understood that feeling so well - when you see something and you itch to try it immediately, but can't because you are at work, or have other stuff that must be done... 
I thought I should do it for her, because at that moment I was at home, had the time and the few materials needed for it. You will see it in the video - you need gloss medium (I used Liquitex Gloss Gel), some dimensional paint in a squeeze bottle (I had Scribbles 3D fabric paint), and a page protector.
 After letting it dry overnight, I was able to peal a thin (rather sticky) transparent layer of black scribbles. How fun!
You can put it over anything! Here it is just laid over the bird painting I'm working on. You can see the brush strokes clearly, but they will be lost once they are layered in a finished piece. This is just a quick example, the "I must do it now" kind of thing. I can only imagine how cool can it be with different colors, thought out shapes... 
I used pieces of it already, but am not done yet, so here is just a snippet of it.
Let me know in the comments if you ever used acrylic skins in your art.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

In her hand

I finished one of the angels, but didn't have time to take proper pictures, so this little detail scan is all I have to show today.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week-long cyber SALE

Happy December!
I hope you enjoyed my blogging activity in November :-) At the end, I skipped 4 days, but it felt good to think about posts, make videos and show up almost daily. I am not much of a planner and list-maker, but I might be better off if I tried to be... it seems that I manage to do more when I have a list or a plan. I guess the rest of the world figured that out long ago....
Anyway, jumping into the Cyber Monday Sale thing a bit late, so I am extending my sale for a full week. As I have 2 different etsy shops, my sale and coupons are a bit different too.
When you visit THIS shop, you will see that all of my collage sheets and digital collage kits are 25% off. Also, my one and only Online workshop is 25% off too.
I still remember how much fun I had creating these collage kits, and then creating with them. If you are new to this blog, maybe you'll want to see videos that show how I made them:

For the next week (ending 12/9/13) coupon HAPPY25 will automatically reduce the price for 25%. As I said, including the workshop (video HERE).
My other etsy shop, where I list my paintings will have a similar sale. All paintings are 20% off for the following week, if you use HAPPY20 code at the checkout.
Now is time of me to do some cyber shopping of my own! And tomorrow, hopefully, I'll be back to painting my angels. After 5 days of not working on them, who knows where the brush will take me!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I totally don't know where I'm going with color, but I do know that I'm adding as much texture as the paper will handle. Both strong and subtle textures... I hope they'll work together well :-)
I'm debating whether to go in with blues, greens, purples and make it dark, or make it almost white. I guess since there are two of them I could do both? What would you do?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Not just one...

Why paint only one angel, when I can paint two? 
This is just the beginning, the first stage. They almost look like mirror image, but who knows, they might turn completely different. I don't even have a color scheme in my mind at this time...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Taking it slow

 As much as I love painting extra fast, from time to time I like to take my time with paintings. And whenever several weeks pass without me painting an angel, I get this nudge to pick up the brush...
So that is what I started today. I don't know how much time I will have in the following days, and it doesn't really matter since I want to paint this slowly. Layer by layer, day by day.... I wonder how will it look at the end :-)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy things. Grateful, always.

If I haven't made this silly "blog every day in November" challenge for myself, I probably wouldn't post today, because I didn't even touch a pencil, paint or anything like that. But since I did challenge myself, I'll share some private things that made me extra grateful lately.
So... in 2005, when I started blogging, I posted this photo-collage of our son:
It was for his 19th birthday. I guess that was the time I started wondering how will I feel when he finds a girl he wanted to spend his life with. I had many talks with myself, preparing to be ok with anyone he liked, as long as he was happy. So, needless to say - the day came! A week ago, he proposed to his girlfriend, and she said yes and OMG it is a big deal! And, how do I feel? I couldn't be happier! My heart is content, and has no doubt that they are super good for each other. I am so looking forward to witness their future, and wish them happiness and joy and everything good, as they truly deserve it. Such sweet, good, smart, hard working kids... LOVE THEM!
Today also marks a week of me admitting to myself that I am (finally) a runner! All my life I could barely run from one street corner to the next. My poor husband thought I had a heart problem, as my heart would behave like it was about to explode. My huge dream was to be able to run 3 miles, because there is a lovely 3 mile long path where we live. When I first thought of it, I didn't for a second think that I could really do it. But a little seed of hope was born. It took me 8 full months! And a lot of self-talk. It is mostly in the head.... and my head was telling me (still does) that I couldn't do it. BUT I DID!!!! Last Saturday I ran that path without stopping, fighting not with my breath or tired legs (they were fine), but the voice in my head... fighting it all the way. At the end I took a celebratory "YAY ME!!!" shadow happy dance picture.
This is getting too long, but I need to share two more happy things. Both of these made me tear up, but in a good way. You might know that in September our daughter started college in NYC, far away from San Francisco... After so many years of being every day with her, talking about everything, knowing everything... it hit me pretty hard. Anyway, she sent a birthday card, and just the front of it made me cry. Validation! Don't we all need it? It made me feel like I'm doing ok at this Mom thing... The front page was just the beginning, after I read two full pages of her tiny script and turned into an emotional puddle. So, so grateful.
Last, but absolutely not the least, I am grateful for your birthday wishes! I loved reading both comments and emails and they added to my happy day. Thank you so much! I also received the most original birthday card (book actually) EVER, and almost wanted not to share because it is very special and tactile, and difficult to show without holding it. I decided that snippets will probably show the best the textures, colors and just pure beauty of it. Can you guess who sent it to me? Yes, she did. Feeling very grateful.
It is so much easier for me to post my little paintings, than write like this.... but challenge is a challenge and I'm moving on. Hopefully, tomorrow there will be a bird or a face to greet you. Thank you!

Friday, November 22, 2013


Celebrating my day today (49!!!!!!!!), so only art I can showa re flowers I drew on the glass top of my table. Easy to draw, easier to clean and remove completely. Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Green Birds painting (video)

I almost forgot that I recorded painting the birds I showed yesterday. It was my experiment with black and yellow. As you will see in the video, most of the painting was done in those colors. I added light glazes of brown and Payne's gray at the end. It feels like Friday.... I really want to say "Happy weekend", and have to keep reminding myself that it's not...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When life gives you paint spills...

When life gives you paint spills, you PAINT!
Do you see that big blob of white paint? It was one of three blobs that happened when an open jar of new titanium white paint fell on the floor. Actually, not floor, the carpet. The only place in our home that has a carpet is my studio... It was there when we purchased the house, and it stayed even though it makes no sense. This is not the first time that paint splattered on it.
 I keep some of my big journals on the floor, so - of course - the paint found them. What do you do? Use the paint and quickly make something. I am not in the best mood today. I slept very poorly, and I noticed that at my age even one bad night translates into a day of low energy and not the best attitude. 
 There was no way that any blending and shading were going to happen, so I just attacked the cover of the journal with bold paint strokes and messy lines. And I loved it! It might become a new standard for me.... the freer the better :-)
Or maybe not. Maybe if I get a good night of sleep, I might start feeling normal again :-) Until then, I hope you enjoy the expressiveness of this face as much as I enjoyed painting it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Empty Journal Spreads

This is a big, thick, heavy journal and it doesn't look like it in this picture at all.
Which probably means that I have a freakishly large hand...
I LOVE my journal, but I'm almost not using it at all. Last year I managed to easily fill in a whole book, but this year.... many spreads are left without one single word. I think it is a thing of habit; I either write almost daily, or stop completely. Right now I stopped even painting in my journal, because it feels wrong to have so many "unfinished" pages.
You may have noticed that I don't really work in "spreads". Sometimes, when I have leftover color or feel like it. Mostly I just open to a blank page and don't even think if it looks good with the page next to it. As my daughter once said, "I wish I had a word counter in my head. It would probably be a scary big number of words that constantly go through there." Maybe I should sit down and write something now, as I too have a scary big number of words in my head and they might like to get out and live on these pages.