Fifty Phrases Series – #1 “Relax”

This piece was part of my preparation to send my first daughter to college, which happened yesterday.  It was also inspired by our current journey through the teen years with my younger two children, now almost 14 and 17.


“Relax” – 12x12x1.5 in. Mixed media on cradled birch panel


detail photo

This piece was fun to create.  I started with a base layer of collage papers and created a peeled paint effect with Vaseline and layers of contrasting color.  I finished by adding the stenciled word with drips and yellow stenciled designs to make the color story more cohesive.

I’d love to hear what word or phrase you say to yourself when family life gets stressful or challenging.

Thanks for visiting my blog and have a great day!



“Drippy Florals” and the “Nifty Fifty” project

Anyone who has followed my blog for a while knows that I love mixed media.  I don’t consider myself a “painter”, but am always open to a new challenge.  My latest piece illustrates this fact quite effectively.

I must admit that I’m an art book junkie.  When I saw that Carrie Schmitt was publishing the book “Painted Blossoms” this year, I knew it would be one of my purchases for 2015.

One of the projects in the book is entitled “drippy florals”, which is self-explanatory.  Here is my initial attempt…after some reworking of blossoms and the addition of leaves.

drippy floral

18×19 inches, Strathmore Acrylic Paper

This piece was created on Strathmore acrylic paper, which I bought in a 5-yard roll in order to cut it to whatever size I would like.

I wasn’t comfortable leaving the blossoms floating in mid-air and decided to experiment with creating a vase for them.


The above vase looked more like a tree trunk than anything, so I knew I would have to re-work it.


This photo shows the addition of the blue table.  I used a pink pastel to outline a possible vase shape, and also painted over some of the leaf shapes that I didn’t like so I could re-work them.


This is the final piece.  Because I know which frame I’m planning to use, I had a mat cut to fit and placed it loosely on top to see how it will look.

This project was definitely a learning experience.  I learned about color, painting and composition.  I learned that I’m a “planner” and prefer to have at least a general idea of what I want to accomplish when I start a new art piece, while still leaving room for surprises and happy accidents.  Since I didn’t have that in place when this piece was started, it created some challenges and frustration later on.

Creating this piece also prompted me to set some new goals.  When I compare this piece to those of artists I admire, I realize that they have created hundreds, or maybe even thousands of paintings.  The above is probably about my sixth floral…yes, sixth.  Therefore, I decided to create for my own development the “Nifty Fifty” project.  In the next two years, I plan to create 50 florals, 50 furry friends, 50 faces, 50 phrases and 50 abstracts.  Why the variety?  Mostly because I get bored easily and probably have a bit of ADD.  I’ll be creating pages for each category, so I invite you to visit again and check out my progress.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog.

Have a great day,