Tag Archives: mixed media

Ghost Horse in the Badlands / acrylic experiment

I’m having too much fun here!! Somebody stop me!! hahahahah

I’m trying to think of different ways to paint with acrylics that I don’t need a brush. I started with making mono prints and palette knife paintings. There are more things you can use to make different textures, like sponges. Also, there’s the acrylic pour which looks like a lot of fun. I might take a class sometime. I know you can get some cool effects with acrylic that I never did before, so if you have any tips let me know.

I made a quick watercolor background for this experiment to try a new color violet that I bought. I don’t use watercolors very often. I’d like to learn how to paint with them too, but these days it’s been fun with acrylics. It seems like most artists have their hands in more than one medium.

Can you guess how I painted the lines of the horse without a brush?

YES! It’s a cake decorating tube! I have these things from long ago when I did a lot of cakes! I don’t care if I waste that 30 year old plastic icing bag. I can squirt the rest of the acrylic back in the tube it came out of and clean the tip with water. It’s ok for now in another plastic bag. I might want to do another experiment before I put it away.

It felt a little awkward starting out and you can see my shaky lines on the horse head and neck, but then I got the hang of it, just like icing a cake! I could finish this painting, paint a blue sky or something, maybe work on the badlands rocks, or try to make a ghostly look on the horse like a thin wash, I don’t know.

Doesn’t that make a pretty photo with the icing bag on top of a watercolor blend where I tried my new violet with a green ?

I think this experiment worked out. Not for Plein air painting but for doing abstracts at home with acrylics.

stick bushes on dune sketch and collage update

It was sunny and cool with a crisp wind from the North. Felt great to be out there and I got used to the wind. I was on the leeward side of a dune.

I can’t decide what scene to paint next. I have a couple sketches of good possibilities. Now I like this one for a painting. It looks easy. There’s a white building back there across the road but I didn’t think the sketch needed the building.

This is the background and gold fish for my collage. I used acrylics and my palette knife to scrape shades of blue. The fish are my mono prints that I cut out. Some are on wax paper which I used as a printing plate, some are on watercolor paper tinted blue, some are on blue craft paper and some are on green glitter craft foam. They’re not glued down yet. I might have too many fish. They were fun to make. I could save them for another project if I have too many.

The next step is to do some mono prints of kelp and cut them out. Then the hard part which will be a mermaid and I still didn’t get her drawn but I will. Then I have to try to arrange the pieces. and glue them down.

I like the ones on the glitter foam which shows little bits of sparkles.

oops. This pic is sideways. Well, just pretend it’s abstract flowers or something. Yeah, it’s not sideways fish, it’s a design.

I like the smears of color on the fish from doing the mono prints. Every fish is different.

plan of the day / fish mono prints

Not a mono print

Is it art? I don’t know. This is my palette for acrylics, a plastic lid. This is a close up. I could cut it down and enter it in a small works show. No one would know it’s a messed up plastic lid. They might think it’s abstract modern art if it was framed. They might love it! But I’ll never enter it because if I put my name on it they’d reject it if they knew it was mine. For real. They know who I am and how much I h8 the art world. hahahah

This is why I need to find a partner in crime, some guy that could flirt with the old white girls in charge of the art world. he could get sales for me and prizes. Together we could get rich. oh well, that’s a pipe dream.

This is a background for fish prints.

I’d really rather work on my big new swamp painting but it’s not in the cards today because of rain. Tomorrow it’s going to be too windy to take the big canvas out to paint in plein air. Yesterday it was cloudy. Also, I don’t want to take the overlook on the weekends because people don’t want to come out on it when I’m there with all my stuff. I tell them to come on down when they stop half way but a lot of people turn around.

I’d rather paint in plein air than paint at home so I can compare what I’m doing to real life. The swamp painting will have to wait.

This is a watercolor background for my mono print fishies. I used ultra marine blue and cerulean blue and splashed some alcohol on the paper which makes the paint separate a little and gives a watery look.

I have only one important thing to do today and that’s grocery shopping. Then I’ll try to do some fish on these papers. I’m not crazy about the blue watercolor. I might see if I can find a brighter blue paper to work on. But this might be better than the black paper I used before. It’ll be ok to mess around with and try to make some mono prints that look like fish. If I get something that works I’ll cut them out and save them for a collage.

self portrait of me dancing

self portrait of me dancing

That’s me dancing like a fool because the band is rocking. The crowd is a blur. They start moving too. They’re all pretty well lit. The orange paint is the loud music.

This close up is a guy catching my dance on his phone. He’ll probably put it on YouTube, or whatever, and I’ll be famous because it will go viral. It’ll be titled, “Old lady shakes it down.”

My daughter gave this to me for Christmas. She knew I wouldn’t follow the patterns in the book to make their designs. The book has some blank colored paper that you can make up your own idea and use the little precut pieces of color in a collage, or you can follow the numbers and make their pretty pictures too. The pieces are small so it would take patience to do one of their designs. This could add another design element to my mono prints and palette knife paintings.

Spirit horse abstract / mixed media


That’s metallic gold oil paint stick on watercolor paper with watercolor paint. When I’m trying to do an abstract painting I don’t know how to proceed, or how to start at all. So I stole this idea from one of my favorite artists, Matisse. He taped his brush to the end of a yardstick and stood far back from the paper. You have less control of your drawing. Lines go where you don’t want them and you can’t erase with oil paint sticks. this is an exercise for artists who want to loosen up their work.

I hear that a lot, loosen up, and I don’t think it’s really necessary to follow the trend and draw and paint loose and fast. But I do kind of enjoy taping my charcoal or a paintbrush or in this case, my oil paint stick, to a yardstick. I could knock out a whole bunch of these in one day! IMG_2308

This photo shows how I set it up. I taped the paper to the board to protect the wall in case I went off the edges with the oil paint stick. I taped my charcoal sketch from last week above it and didn’t bother transferring the original sketch to the paper first. I just started in drawing with the oil paint stick on the white paper freehand. That should add to the abstraction.

That little stub taped to the yardstick is my gold paint stick.  From where I was standing I couldn’t see the end of the thing on the paper. It’s too stubby. Drawing and not being able to see what you’re doing also makes it more abstract. Some artists like to sketch without looking at the paper. There are a few tricks you can use to get an abstract look. The brush on a stick technique is fun.


The first photo I posted was taken inside on my work table. I like it because it shows the gold reflecting. This photo was taken on my patio in natural light.

I think I have time to do another. I want to use my white oil paint stick on watercolor paper. That will be impossible to see what I’m doing. I might do just the head.

self portrait as ghost / mixed media


ok that was fun. I  had an inspiration to draw myself with white and silver oil paint sticks on watercolor paper then use the same blue watercolor all over top of the paint sticks to see if I could make a transparent effect. The oil paint sticks resist the watercolor. I hope it looks ghostly. If it’s working I might use the effect again some time.

As I was doing this, I wondered if there’s a face morphing program that an artist could use to make a ghostly look. I saw an app that could put your face on a hot dog! It was a scream! I think I remember the beginning of face morph programming. Was it when Michael Jackson did his video where he sang, doesn’t matter if you’re black or white? He had good looking people of different races and sexes blending into each other. Now you can do it too. Those guys who code computers have to be geniuses.

Do computer programs have an imagination? Would they give you a ghost if they weren’t programmed to have a ghost as an option? I think they are limited to what the programmer could put in which isn’t the whole brain of an artist. They have a limited number of choices to work with for the creative process, where my brain has limited experience, but more than an app. As always, feel free to opine.

Daffodils / mixed media


I’m not crazy about the yellows I got with my oil paint sticks for this one. I hoped it would look yellower on a violet background. They’re still too green. I might try again with pastels next time it doesn’t rain. But I saw some other plants blooming that I also want to sketch so I’m not sure if I’ll continue sketching daffodils or just wait until next year and do a painting of them.

Today when I got back to my car in the parking lot at the botanical garden, I saw a squirrel sitting at my front tire with something big and white in its mouth. When I got in the car the squirrel ran over to the trees but came right back. I sat there for a few minutes getting my things together for my next stop and the squirrel came back to my car. I heard this scratching sound under my car and got out to look. The squirrel ran away but came back and started scratching again so I started the car and he only went about 15 ft. from the car then came back. I inched forward and saw him going to the trees. I wonder what he was stealing off my car. That was weird.

Orchid / mixed media


I was alone in the greenhouse on Saturday. It rained all day but it was nice to be there sketching. Then later a photographer came in and spoke to me. I asked him if this is a slipper orchid and he told me it’s a pitcher plant, which makes sense because the bottom center petal is pitcher shaped, but it doesn’t look like the other pitcher plants I sketched in the past.

I used oil paint sticks and watercolor.

The sun finally came out! YEA! I’m going back to work on my sketch of the daffodils later when it warms up a little.

I saw a bad art movie on Netflix, Velvet Buzzsaw. It’s about bad art first fascinating then KILLING art world elitists. Does the really bad art kill ordinary people too? I watched the whole movie, like you have to look at a car wreck.

Orchid with buds / mixed media


I drew this much larger than life so I could do the detail of the red veins in the petals but it’s showing up on my computer screen close to the actual size of the orchid.

The flowers are oil paint sticks and the background and the yellow inside the petals is watercolor. I also used my yellow paint stick in the petals.IMG_2202

This is my charcoal sketch from the day before. The bud opened up a lot in one day. I erased this sketch when I went over it with the paint sticks, so I redrew the flower on the left using the paint sticks. I didn’t need to do it again with charcoal because it’s easier the second time.

There are a few more orchids I’d like to draw. I’m not sure if I’ll do it this year or wait till next year because one lady working in there said, “Oh, you’re back.” She didn’t sound happy about it and I ignored her, but now I feel like I should try to find times when she’s not there if I draw in the greenhouse again.

I love gardeners despite that important lady. Gardeners grow my inspiration.