And so I begin a new book…

The first step is reviewing my notes. Typically I’ll be among my usual and idea comes begging to be written. Sounds crazy I know, but Elizabeth Gilbert describes this so well in her book. It so true! Any way I’ve had this story for months and it’s the one I want to work on. These are a few of the animals.

I’m thinking of so much right now but animals from the most beautiful color to the rarest of the world intrigue me, spark my curiosity really. I’m always left with a notion that beauty before me is purpose. We all have a purpose and in that purpose we are bound by love. Yeah deep stuff. BUT I see a book that children of any age can read. It must be read.

Oh Friday I begin my fall workshop. On various days I’ll post fun fall projects. I’ll also post on my book process ,Tuesday through Thursday. I’ll be painting some fish. Yes I have great ideas for mixed media fish. I hope you got my Road Trip e-book. If you haven’t there’s still time. It’s available for free till Friday October 11th.

Collage Animals

various paints and origami paper

You know when you get an idea and you’re excitied. And right when you get around to it the light bulb’s out. I love Eric Carle’s collage work. I had fun painting the papers but I don’t think the book idea is going to happen.

These guys are cute …

but I started researching fish and… alll these thoughts floureshed. I have some cool pencils, markers and watercolor that could be used to paint coral reefs, fish and some polka dot paper that would make a great Pippi Longstocking horse. My ideas are about all the animals I love.

These animals are so fun to make. I will always remeber the fun I had at Lee School.

Did you get my free copy of Road Trip?

Sennilier Swatches and Free E-Book

This weekend I tried my new Sennilier 24 color pan set. I’m happy. Not bad for a student set. The colors are smooth and easy to work with. There are a few colors that aren’t as warm or vibrant as I’d like them to be. I can fix these with a little India ink or mixing. The first three rows are pan swatches. The fourth row is premium paint swatches. There are a few differences. This is a good set to practice mixing various tones and for painting earth/nature tones. The blues and greens are beautiful. Some of the browns are too. My E-book will be available for free until Friday Oct. 11th. The Fall workshop will begin Friday. Every Monday and Friday I will post a fun project idea.

Road Trip Is Here!

This is a quick post. My e-book is here. It lauches tomorrow for free until October 11th. I’ve been looking at the sales for my other books. I hope you’re enjoying your books. It means so much to me. Thanks. Please share your book with your friends or tell them about it. Would you believe it, I am working on the next book. I still need to finish my creative exploration class. This Friday I’ll start the fall workshop.

Creative Exploration: Animals

Now that I’ve explored textures with water and brushes it’s time to paint some animals. No sketching just paint or what ever it is you have. Project rules are to choose one animal and explore various ways you can draw it. We can change the mood, character and emotion with various elements. There are many ways to draw.

Bird ( This was the warm-up which involved painting a bird with watercolor pencils and marker.

I really had to work through the bird. I had an idea of a flying bird yet it has a fish tale. Not to worry. I may have a story about a bird who looks like a fish. I’m going to seriously think about this. I’ll write about it tomorrow.

First bear on botton left

I wanted to test out some of the textures I created. I messed up on the mouth but this is practice. The importance is I now have a bear who seems sad. Why?

Scary Bear

I love this one. I was instructed to take the brush and spread some paint on the paper. then observe shapes and form a bear. Maybe this bear is misunderstood becasue he’s a bear and unusual.

Draw a bear using geometric shapes (bottom right)

I should have used a better contrasting color.

Use an unusual color and observe changes

Pink makes the bear seem goofy and maybe this could be a story about a bear who changes color.

Big Orange Brown Bear

Love this bear. Here I was able to fully use the texture I discovred with the 1/4 angled Princeton Brush. I believe I have a smaller size brush.

Here are my bears. I admit that I was tempted to give up and call some of these bears faliures. Instead, I let Adolfo’s words guide me. This is practice. Experiment and play like you are a kid. See what happens. You never know where ideas will take you. There’s no perfection. Don’t think.

Hope you enjoyed this. I’ll keep posting and working. This weekend I have a couple of projects planned. I’ll be swatching my new paint palette. I have an fun paiting project to test out my new paint. I’ll be planning the fall workshop. As always, I invite you to create with me.

Oh, I used colored pencils, markers and a little watercolor.

Happy Friday!

Creative Exploration: your brushes

The creativity continues with exploring paint brushes. I like to stamp with ceramic things, q- tips the back of a paint brush handle and what my curiosity demands. The brush makes some cool textures for animal hair. I bought a five pack of Daiso mixed media brushes for $1.50. They work good with acrylic but not with watercolor.

Another surprise was the size 8 brush. Some of these textures work well for bear hair. I painted backwards up instead of upward down.

The idea is to see what happens. You never know what you’ll discover. I have some cool textures for some animals I want to paint.

I used watercolor and acrylic. I’ve got lots of brushes and some random things. Go around the house and see what you can find. Paint with a leaf, stamp with a soda cap, crunched up paper, the back of a lip balm and …

Creative Exploration: Two Colors

The next step is to take the exploration further with two colors. Here you want to play with your markers and colored pencils. Here’s a list of my favorites.

  1. highlighter + watercolor apply to wet or dry paper or scribble on a ceramic palette and add water
  2. blend with marker and watercolor pencil
  3. drop ink on water
  4. acrylic with marker makes great clouds
  5. painting with a wet highlighter: not to worry the water will dry as you write with it.
  6. add ink to the markers: I didn’t try this but you can!
  7. colored pencil over watercolor pencil: you get a soft texture
  8. marker over transparent layer: I actually colored over the wet layer and it created a nice texture. I’m not sure how to describe it. This is the magenta one by the way.

Playing around with textures made me realize that simple textures can make your work interesting. I’ve come to love texture. Texture can convey emotion or emphasize character. Friday I’ll begin painting paper. I’m going to make fish and bears. Now I’ll go finish exploring my paint brushes and test out my new paint.

Creative Exploration: Get to know your tools

It’s Otober 1! I need to get going on the fall workshop. This week I will be sharing my creative exploration projects for a class I’m taking. I’m building a creative journal for texture, technique and color exploration. The first part is is to gather up tools. Everything you can think of. No need to go out and buy new tools. Use what you have. The idea is to see what your tools can do for you.

I painted over glue, used a blush brush ( it’s an old brush that’s no longer used for make-up) to create different textures. The idea is to play like you did when you were a kid. You explore because your curiosity demands it. Without perfection.

The green leaf was made with a stamp. While the stamp was wet I applied water. I forgot about using marker like watercolor. When I’m out of a color I could use markers. Or markers would be an easy way to watercolor on the go. I just realized that my bamboo brush is great for hand lettering.

You see that’s the point of getting to know your tools. By the way, I am using a Canson XL 140 Ib. watetcolor pad. I’ll be making it look more like a journal book. Tomorrow I’ll explore even more by using a few colors.

If you are interested in the class click here.

Love You

Henry Ford said,”If you think you can or you can’t you’re probably right.” Many times we think we can’t because we see an awesome artist who is amazing with watercolor, acrylic or pastels or what ever it is you create with. We start measuring. We think we can’t.


I’ve learned that I can draw. This is the number one lesson I’ve learned. I illustrated the entire book with a Sharpie pen. No pencil. Ok, you can see a few pencil marks but 90% is ink drawn. This allowed me to trust in my drawing and love the process.

It helps to have the right tools. By the right tools I mean the ones that work for you. I paint with color. I’m not comfortable with my lettering and yet the entire book was done with black ink. I realize how much I miss and love hand lettering. I’ve started doing collage lettering.

This book got me to open up about ideas and asses my own life. I know that I am no expert on life. I write because this is my dream. Honestly, I will tell you what I didn’t want to reveal in the book. I held a bad attitude certain times during the trip. The reasons are personal but I also thought about the ideas in the book. This book is a response to always seek the positive. All I know is creating makes me forget. Creating makes me feel I can. Not I can but I am. Yesterday I read Wise trees. I smiled. Not because I wrote the book but because it inspired me. I do need this at this point in my life.

As I write this post I suddenly realize that we must always take responsibility for ourselves. We are the universe’s gift to the world. A child of the most high, I am. BUT YOU HAVE TO ACT LIKE IT. LIVE LIKE IT. Otherwise you are subjected to society and that’s the worst place to be. The issue is this is hard.

This week I’ll be sharing my exploration projects on creative exploration. Wate till you see my bears. They are weird but I guess that’s the point. Friday will be the day I launch my book and have it ready for free, the ebook that is.

P.S I am going back to my usual posting time evenings 6pm pacific time. I appreciate all of you.

Make Art Not War

I snapped this photo from my shop because I’m on my phone. The file is on my computer. Anyway, my favorite artists have understood me. My favorite artists encourage and demand that my quiet voice be heard. They have allowed me to become the writer and painter I am today. I can only hope and dream to encourage you. I planned to begin the Adolfo Serra creative class two- three days ago but I feel like my screen time has…I’m glad all of the digitizing is done. This is my least favorite part of the process because HELLO I was born to create. Yes I know I can create on the computer but I much rather paint. It’s been this way is kinder.

Speaking of creating I want to create a whole series of patterns with quotes in the circle.

OK. As always, thank you so much for reading. I will see you next week. I might do a special post going over all of the tips… everything I learned throughout the process of writing Road Trip, which has been a lot. I’ve certainly grown as an artist. Have a great weekend!