Category Archives: art

College Art Exhibition


I recently had the privilege to attend my daughter’s first college art (minor) gallery exhibition with 7 other of her art class peers.

She didn’t tell me too much about what she was creating to keep it a surprise, so I was amazed at her work when I got to the gallery.

First, let me say, the talent in the class was so impressive.  I know what kind of hard work goes into these kind of pieces and according to Megan, they all worked for weeks on these to prepare for the show.

Here are some highlighted photos of what I captured.  CLICK ON PHOTOS TO GET A CLOSER LOOK

This is the invitation to the show.  Meg is on the bottom left.

Meg’s work was more mixed media art.. love it!  We’ll start with her pieces.

Her statement and by exhibit



Now, the rest of the students…

Left, below is corrugated cardboard and air brush painting.  Right, below is ballerina painting on fabric.

Below is wrapped canvas around a metal pole then the pole is put into a big rock. I love this.  Look at these faces?


Below, each drawing is done with thousands of tiny dots. Amazing!

Below is driftwood art and animal eyes.  Just beautiful!


Congratulations to all the students on their first art exhibit.  I was just blown away by all of the creativity and energy in the gallery.  I wasn’t able to take photos of all the art, but they were all great.

I’m hoping some of this art will inspire me to get back up in my studio when work calms down a bit… a lovely thought.  If I keep repeating it, it will happen. Right?

I hope you enjoyed this little peek of the art show.  Naturally, I am so proud of Megan.  I can’t wait to display some in my home.. if she’ll let me.

Thanks for dropping by.


Hand Art and more from the studio…


Let me lend you a hand, shall I?  A little LOVE for you.

I had fun painting my hand to contribute to Art is You.

I’ve also been working on a piece using Wood Icing.  I love this product. Not sure how I’ll finish it yet, but here’s how I got there…

I started off with a piece of cardboard from a cereal box (12×6″ish).  Gessoed it, let dry.    Then spread a layer of Wood Icing with a palette knife.  Then I made marks on it for texture, using a butter knife and the little center plastic thingie-majiggie from a roll of transparent tape. After the Wood Icing was dry, the cardboard started to bow a little, so I let it sit under a heavy book overnight.  That did the trick.


I spread brown paint all over the Wood Icing and smooshed it into the textured grooves and patterns.


Then I wiped the surface off with baby wipe or damp paper towel, but leaving the paint in the grooves. Groovy!

I just love this look.  The surface has a bit of a crackle to it.  It really looks like wood.


Once the “stain” was dry, I stared to spread some Cobalt Teal Heavy Body acrylic paint along the edge.  Yes, you know this is my favorite color.  Then I spread some Raw Sienna and Nickel Azo Gold acrylic paint.


I took a tiny bit of black acrylic paint and rubbed it in sections then wiped it off quickly.  Just to give it a worn look.  I’m not done with this, but this is what is looks like now.. I love these colors.    Wood Icing is pretty amazing.


Next up are a few background papers I was playing around with when a friend (hi Raine :^) ), came over and we took over my kitchen table and painted and sprayed and had a blast.

I used deli paper for the surface of these pages.  Lots of spray inks and acrylic paint and stencils….


For this surface, I used a Tyvek envelope.  Tyvek is the same material that Federal Express uses for their envelopes.

Acrylic paint (yes, I know.. teal again). Rubber stamps and stencils.

Where are you going?  I’m’ not done.

One one of my recent posts about my cousin, Wayne.. SEE POST HERE, I decided to take a piece of corrugated cardboard and see what I could do with it.

Here is my mixed media piece.  It’s about 4×6″ish.  Gessoed first, then added my handmade polymer clay Button ‘n bellishments, copper wire, stencil background with small bits of newspaper, image, handmade copper/patina paper that I had hanging around that I made years ago.

Getting up in the studio has been a challenge lately with my corporate job taking up a lot of my time.  I still try to balance my personal and business life.  Do I succeed?  Sometimes, I don’t think so.  All I know is that when I finally get up in the studio, I’m happy and peaceful creating art… for me… and for you.

More art and more recipes to come.  I’m reading a couple of new art books that are really challenging me to try new things.  Stay tuned on that….

… and as always.. thanks for stopping by my blog and your interest.


Re-post – Gel Skin Art


Here is a re-post of the “skins”, I made a while back.  Thought you would enjoy a 2nd go round on reading it and for the new subscribers and visitors.

The skin with the beads, is my favorite.  I’ve been tearing that up and using it in my work for about a year now. Here is an example of how I used it recently in my coffee filter art piece; see post here.

First up was Golden’s Self Leveling Clear Gel and the Clear Tar Gel.  I took a palette knife and spread a good amount on some freezer paper.. like frosting a cake.

I sprinkled some finer glitters and shiny things like colored micro beads, sequins or whatever I had.  The self leveling gel and the tar gel had the same results.  I think I will try mixing color into the gel to make it a solid color, then adding the pretty shiny things.  Adding snipped colorful fibers or fabrics would be an interesting effect, don’tchya think?  I’ve done it and it is.

Then I took fluid acrylics and dropped dots all over a sheet until it was crowded and ran a knitting needle around it making swirls and shapes.

I also took blobs of paints at the top of the freezer paper and spread them downward, but they came out too thin.  Not so great.  Using heavy body paints might work better.  But, still interesting and one of a kind.

Once they are dry, you can peel them off of the freezer paper.  Now what do you do with them?  How about adding them to a collage page, journal page or  cut into strips or chopped up to put into some dryer sheet collage art cloth… see my tutorial here on how to make it.

I haven’t been back up in the studio since before vacation.. sad.  I’ll get up there, get my creative juices flowing and be back with some fun stuff.

Thanks for stopping by?


In the Studio – Tutorial & Give-a-way!


It’s still darn cold here in Massachusetts.  We are all wondering where Spring is.  We’ve taken 1 step forward and 5 steps back.  I wouldn’t doubt if we went from cold to hot and have no Spring at all.

Well, I’ve been sneaking in some art work in the studio and made a little tutorial for you.

You can see from my photo below what I used for materials/tools – palette paper, acrylic paints, Staz on ink pad in brown, Portfolio oil pastels (optional), Wood Icing,  drink coaster (I’ve been collecting them from restaurants for years), blending tool, Stampbord shapes.  Also not shown below… cheesecloth and gel medium.

Note: Click on all pictures for details.

I started out by taking a piece of cheese cloth layed out on palette paper and spread it with Golden Gel Medium… let dry.

It will rip right off the palette paper with no sticking.

Rip it to the size you want and paint with acrylics.  Here I used raw sienna and turquoise.  Set aside to dry.

Take a coaster and spread it with Wood Icing.  Let dry. and do the same with the small shapes of Stampbord.  I only iced 2 shapes for this piece.

While the Wood Icing is still wet, you can stamp shapes into them; I chose not to for this project.

Once dry, I scraped into the Wood Icing with a sharp tool to make designs.

I painted the coaster and smaller shapes with Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold fluid acrylic.

Once dry, I spritzed them with Walnut Ink and rubbed into the surface.

Then I took the blending tool and brown Staz On ink and rubbed the edges of the shapes.

Oooooo… ahhhhhh… McDreamy.

Now, take the smaller shapes and spray more walnut ink to get into the scratch grooves you make and wipe off the raised areas.  Paint with acrylics or use Portfolio crayons to make beautiful colors.

Here is what I ended up with.  I scratched some circles and painted them and put some splashes of red in there to make them pop.  I also did a little rubber stamping on them.

I glued the cheese cloth on the coaster the added the finished Stampbord shapes.

Here is my end result.  Coaster measures about 6″x4″.

I love the colors of this piece.  Makes me happy.  So happy, that I am going to give it away.

Leave a comment here and pass it along to a friend to also leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner in one week (Wednesday, 4/27).  Make sure you leave your email address so I can let you know if you won.

Thanks for stopping by and playing along.


In the Artist’s Studio


Been away for a little bit..sorry.  Work has me shackled.

Here are some fun things I’ve been playing around with in the studio when I get up there..

First… a couple of crooked houses.. look how cute my black bird is on top of the roof… all together… “awwwwwwwe”.

Click to see more detail on any of the pictures.

Next .. paper towel paint spills and then sprtized and stenciled.

These were left hanging to dry on my easel.

…and, I’m working on this canvas… LOADED with textures (gel medium, beads, paper doilies, embellishments)..then once dry.. painted with pearl ex powders… yummy.

Click on the picture for a close up and click again to see more deliciousness details.

Be good and thanks for stopping by.

I’ll be back with more to show you and a tutorial…


Styes, Watercolors and Holiday eating… oh my!


I sure hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving Holiday break.  It was nice having a 5 day break from the full-time job, but the days sure do go by so fast, don’t they?

I started last week with a sore eye… ended up at docs and found out I had a stye …geesh (ew, some of these images are gross.. mine is/was not that bad.. ..  So, hot compresses all day, he told me, but those didn’t seem to work UNTIL I added a tea bag to the hot compress and then it started to get better.  Plain old black tea bag or as my friend, Amy, calls it “dust in a bag”… love that.  The tanic acid seems to be a healer.. remember that.

.. and speaking of healing, I will need a healer after eating too much at the Thanksgiving gathering.  Everyone ate too much.. ok.. me.. there I said it.  I need to pull out my Weight Watcher’s food journal again and keep track of my eating.. god I hate the keeping track stuff.  If you can keep track of what you eat in the long run.. you will succeed… but who can?  I digress.

Maybe I can incorporate a food diary and art.  So making my daily food journal on some cool collage/painted pages.  I have to be realistic now.. will I really paint 10′s of pages to write a food diary on?  Maybe some quick swipes of credit card painting and some doodling?   God, that’s depressing (just kidding.. no I’m not…… really.. yes I am.. nooooooo).

.. and speaking of art (I needed to change the subject)…..   I bought some really cool Koi watercolor paints on ebay last week and I was playing around with  them as I lounged in front of the Christmas tree during some time off.  Yes, it’s up already.  Ugh.

These paints are so cute.. great for travel or just working in a different place than your studio.  I really like the effect they leave.. very light & dreamy.  I actually snuck in a little oil pastels (Portfolio) on the pages too… another nice effect.

Playing with them in my 5×7′ish (that’s a measurement.. no?) moleskine journal.. here’s what I did:

She is so funny.. as I look at her she looks like a beautiful cyclops.  That’s one big friggen eye.

This page was just the excess paint I smooshed around and blended when I changed colors.. no waste.  Rubber stamping on top of these pages will look so nice I think.

You can use any kid’s watercolor sets.. This one is just compact and I thought the price was decent.  Merry Christmas to me… a little early.  Shhh.. I have a few more gifts coming my way.

Now, go make some art.

Thanks for stopping by.


Collage Redo


I just had to…. It was bugging me for over a week… the last post I did with my final collage was really bothering me.  I put it away for a week and took it out again.. I still didn’t like it.. too busy.. just too busy.  I felt like the transferred queen and the polymer clay face were fighting each other and the embellished metal piece to the right was just too much.  I got some advice from some artistic souls and I was inspired to attack it… gently that is.  Well, no …not really.

Here is the one I posted last week that I thought was final….

I needed another set of eyes to look at it.   I ask my husband and he says.. “ohhh.. nice”.. hmmm, that’s it???  I work for hours on this and I get a “nice”??  Men… do they really think about those things?  I mean, it must be like asking them “do I look fat in these pants”?   The safe answer is “no, honey, of course not”.  Ok… I’ll accept that.   I think if I asked him to really take the time to look at it, you’d know what he’d be thinking… NOTHING…. of course unless the Patriots are on the t.v. and they are winning .. ….fuh-get-aboud-it.   Then I asked my 16 yr. old daughter and she says  “that’s pretty cool” (as she lifts her head up from texting or watching some stupid reality show.. I mean really… REALLY? I’m going into my woman cave… make your own dinner!

Ok, that’s it.. I’m going in for the critiques from other artists.   Am I ready for that?   Well, I’m glad I did.  Amy told me that the blingy thing on the right was the first thing she saw.  I knew it.  I put it away in the closet.  That will be my “what not to do” collage.  Then my friend, Raine (and I can’t link to her, cuz she ain’t got a blog YET), looked at it and said it seemed too busy and little too much of this and that.  Yes, finally, I knew I had to change it.

I ripped off the embellished metal piece with the black fabric down to the bare canvas.. what a mess (it was secretly fun).  Then I went over it using the same method I used to make the bubble texture and then painted it the same.. see the tute here.  I also ran a black ink pad over the high peaked bubbles.

Ripped off the polymer clay face and replaced that with another piece of CitraCollage (see in the same tute above).

Then I added 3 of my handmade polymer clay buttons to replace the black fabric and embellished metal.

I painted black and white stripes on the sides and stained with walnut ink.

Here is the final final and some details.

So what do you think?  Better?    Thanks, my friends.

Happy Halloween!!!


Final Mixed Media Citra Collage


Well, here I am again to show you my final mixed media canvas, as a continuation of my blog post last week.

I’m tellin ya.. I had a dog of a time with finishing this piece.   Don’t ask me why.. just slap on an image and call it day, right?  Wrong!

My first problem was I tried to work on it at night.. no daylight, after my full-time job, dinner, dishes… What am I crazy?  Don’t answer that.   But.. no pain, no art.  Is that what they say…  pain, gain.. tomayto, tomahto.. you with me?

I decided to choose an image of a queen.  Now, the quest to find a copyright free image.  Thank goodness for Karen’s Whimsy.  A great site for images, free to use as you wish.  I found my queen..c’mon your majesty…let’s get transferred.

So, to bottom line this frustrated artist’s story… I transferred the queen image 3 times.  Let me tell you.. it was ugly, people.  The two before the successful one were done on cheap printer paper.  Rubbin off the backing paper after the medium dried?  It came out, but not as clear as I would have liked it.  Not my favorite way to transfer.  I never seem to get all the paper off… and just throwing on a coat of gel medium doesn’t make it much better.   I ended up ripping out the two layers of medium; again, ugly and frustrating.   My third try was done with an inkjet transparency.  I don’t know why I just don’t do it this way.  It’s practically perfect every time.  Note to self:  “Judy, use transparencies”.

Ok, here is the undone canvas I left you with last week:

.. and here is the final that I just finished today.

As you can see, I’ve added quite a few more enhancements:  I took another piece of my citra solv magazine paper (tutorial in last week’s blog post) and transferred the queen on it (using inkjet transparency and Golden Gel Medium, Semi-Gloss).  I also transferred some roses on my music paper and also under my polymer clay face.  I rubber stamped in a few places with titan buff acrylic paint.  Also added some foil melts.. fun.

Here are two details pictures:

There you have it.. citra collage papers used on a mixed media canvas.  I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and the final result.  I did enjoy creating this piece.. bloopers and all.  Lessons learned.. I love that.

Thanks for stopping by.


Grow, Be Happy & Succeed!


Hey Bloggers: (just plain ole “bloggers” today)

I found this somewhere and don’t know who said it, but really makes you ponder.  Soooo….keep on dreaming, playing and be happy. (I said that)


We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

You have to laugh and find humor every day.

You’ve got to have a dream.  When you lose your dreams, you die.

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

Anybody can grow older! That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.  Have no regrets.


That’s the simple message for today…

I’m taking the day off from work to have a fun art day with a couple of my artsty fartsy friends.   What to work on and what I need to bring.. that’s always the tough part of having an art day away from your own studio.  Keep it portable and don’t bring EVERYTHING.  I think I’ll work on an online class I joined and have not had time to be involved.  That’s what I love about Julie & Chris.. do it at your own pace and the videos will always be there to play over and over. AND.. they will always help you even when the class is over.  Life is good.

Ok, my little “Labor Dayers”.. Have a great holiday weekend.  Yes, summer is over and pssst… come closer… don’t tell my kids, but one is back in high school and my oldest is off to college for her 2nd year and I’ll have the house to myself again….. Yaaaaay!!!  Ok, did that sound mean?  Really, I love having them here … if sleeping til noon means that they are “here”.  Let’s go….. contribute to society or else.  I love ‘em.  Someday I WILL miss it.. I know I will.  We had a great summer, but it did go by fast, as they all do.

Thanks for stopping by.


Buttons & ‘Bellishments


Hey Bloggerdoodles….

Been a bit busy in the studio lately finishing up some pieces and oh ya, working full time.  I didn’t get a chance to blog last week, so sorry about that.

I wanted to shout out about my upcoming workshop here in Massachusetts at Scrapbook Cupboard in E. Bridgewater.   I am so looking forward to a fun class that I know everyone will enjoy.

I’m calling my class “Buttons and “Bellishments”.  Get that?   Bellishments instead of “embellishments”?   Hmmm. ok.    Here is a look at the samples I made for the class.

Look how purdy…

Buttons and embellishments made from polymer clay for all your mixed media, journaling, fabric and scapbooking with and edge, needs.  We’re gonna stamp, texture, glue, rip, antique and adorn these puppies and you will be so excited to walk away with as many as you want until you run out of clay or energy, whichever comes first.

If you are local, please join us for a fun day of making your own ONE OF A KIND pieces.

Check HERE for details.

.. and as always, thanks for stopping by.


Next up.. I’m still pondering that… maybe some resin paper???