All Clean Now


I cleaned up my office/studio space–which is also the actual office area on one side and the dining room on the other…video evidence may make you think otherwise…but I assure you–we have cleaned, organized, re-organized, thrown stuff away, donated stuff, and moved more out and about…and then organized again–which is one reason why it takes so long for me to do things…I work in circles anyway–and then add in all the critters and the kids and their clutter…and it gets even more complicated.

Cleaning can be annoying.

For one, I put things away in safe places…which means–I put them somewhere and forget where that may be…a lot…and it is always stuff I think I will absolutely know where I am putting it.  I spent three days, no joke, trying to find my three hole punch last week.  I found it, after asking my husband if I could borrow one from his work…and then I put it on the shopping list–figuring if I bought a new one, the old one would show up quickly.  Apparently, the threat of having another hole punch in the house did it–the old one showed up.

Good things come from cleaning as well.  I found some old sketchbooks and art journals.  I mean old as in before I ever took an art class, online or otherwise.

As I flipped through these journals, one thing struck me, rather loudly.  I used to have some real fun doing this stuff.  I am not saying I don’t have fun painting faces, or girls, or whatever.  I do … I am currently working on a very large canvas of a whimsical face right now…but I’ll talk more about her some other time.

Before, however, I wasn’t as concerned with … faces, shading, doing things right, shadows, outlines, perfect lines.  I doodled, a lot.  I always have, ever since I was a kid.  In these journals, I would cut stuff out of magazines or wherever, glue it in.  I would sew things to pages.  I would staple and tape.  My brain did not squinch over the whole–is it archival? thing…no, I was worried more about … being me, expressing myself, playing…and that is what I miss.

My new desktop and my printer, with me as a translator, have communication issues.  We’re working on them…but until I learn to speak the required languages and in turn, teach these two to work together…pictures of my work here are going to be few and far between.

You can follow me on instagram if you like…but I almost never post finished paintings there.  I always post works in progress.  Now, if you love knitting projects–those I post all finished and usually being worn by their happy new owner…

I may not show any new work until the finished journal flip-through videos…which may take a long time…but we’ll see…I have to come up with something here soon because I am enjoying what I am doing right now.

I took the silver leaf journal I made/bound myself…the one where I glued in questions from Brave Girls Club and then sort of traced an edge along the inside edge of the pages to make it pretty.  Today I took that journal because I am trying to get back into both a written journal and art journalling…and I wrote out my answer to the question…but I felt very quickly that there needed to be more.  So, I added some paint…and then some more because it just wasn’t covering what I had written.  I had intended to slap on some colors, maybe doodle a bit around the edges, and then write a mantra or main thought of what I wanted to happen around what I had answerer/written before the paint hit the paper.  I did that–didn’t really like it…used a black Stabilo over top of it — in one word, I summed up the entirety of what I had written and what I wanted to remember moving forward…

There is no face on this page.  I guess the word is the focal element.  There is paint, and doodling, and edging…and I really like it.  One day–I’ll show it to you.  It finally feels like me…and that feels good.

I expect to be doing a lot more work, in and out of my journals, using paint, using pens, using yarn…from here on out.

Thanks for following along.


Number Twenty-Nine : The Tutorial : Part Three, The Final Installment


Need to catch up with the previous two tutorials?

Click here for part 1.

Click here for part 2.


And now…on to part 3 here…

I use prismacolor soft core colored pencils to add details, add shading, add colors, augment and define.

I used at least ten different colors in a variety of shades, all over the face.


I smooshed a rough line of charcoal around the outside of her and sweep over it to blend it out.

The final step is to add the white highlights to her eyes, using acrylic paint and the end of a paint brush here.

The hair has a layer of metallic paint over it to add shimmer…you can’t really see that in the pictures too well.




Number Twenty-Nine: The Tutorial : Part 2


Remember Twenty-Nine?  Read part 1 of the tutorial here.


Here I put on a layer of flesh-colored paint.  It was thicker than I wanted, but I had to put it on fairly thickly because of the texture of the watercolor paper that she is on.  I do not always add flesh-colored paint, not at this stage, nor any other.

I am using higher quality artist paints at this point.


Now, a coat of red over her lips…and her hair…plus a little bit for shading.

I swear, there is a method of my madness.


A darker blue went on over the background…and then was spread around to add depth to the face.

And some white to add in some missing features, like the nose…I also tried to bring the whites back to the eyes a little bit.


I had to let her dry a bit before moving on…


Details pulled out with payne’s grey…


One color on one side…a different color on the other…blotches and splodges…

Two different colors on the hair…

A new background color…

Drying time…


More layers…new hair…new background…some white effects…

And dry…



A layer of a pale pink to bring all the underlayers together…


And then–so much for unification of layers…more layers added…


More layers…adding to the background some more….


Next a glaze…usually I just glaze the skin–the face, the neck…shoulders if they are there and not clothed…for Twenty-Nine, I glazed the entire piece…



And here I leave her to dry some more…

One more layering technique to go…well, mostly…

Stay tuned for the next tutorial in this series…






Number Twenty-Nine: The Tutorial : Part 1


Read about how this face, and her twenty-nine other sisters, were created and why here.

This is number twenty-nine.

These lovely ladies do not receive their names until the process is complete and I sign the work.

So, for this tutorial, she will be known as Number Twenty-Nine.

All of these girls were done in the same journal.  They are all 9 inches by 12 inches.  Every single girl has the same painting process.

This is the process I am sharing with you now.

She was drawn using a regular #2 pencil, one I grabbed off the floor where one of the kids had tossed it and forgotten it.  Yep.  Happens a lot here.  What can I say?

Using nothing more fancy than a large round brush and craft paint, I added color.

Sometimes I use pale vanilla white colors.  Other times I use blues, or even greens for the initial flesh tons.  This one is actually a nearly dried out antique gold.

I cover all areas of flesh.  Sometimes I even cover the eyes and the mouth.  Sometimes I leave the eyes alone and just cover the skin and mouth.  Sometimes I only cover one lip.

I do not mind if I stray outside of the lines.  Layers upon layers are yet to be added, so there is no problem.

Baseline hair color added.  Usually the hair color stays in the same color family by the end, but not always.

Now the lips…lips do not always match hair, but when the hair is pink, why fight it?

Eye color added.  Sometimes I paint the eyes the same color as the hair…or sometimes the same color as the lips.

I also take the eye color and use it to shade here and there around the face, the ear lobes.

Slowly building up those layers.

A random color thrown in for the background.  Backgrounds almost never stay the same color as they begin.

I do use some of the background color to shade various areas.

That is the beginning of Twenty-Nine.

What didn’t I do?  I didn’t fill in her pupils…sometimes I forget that.  It will get done later.

Sometimes I shade more with the colors I use.  I do keep the paint colors to as much of a minimum as I can.  I normally pull out four to six colors and use nothing but those.  Any color I use, I also use to add shading somewhere in the piece.

Until next time….




Something Lost…


For the first time in months and months, I was stirred by a question I read in an email newsletter to which I subscribe to write some morning pages…

It was one of those questions I knew would need more than just a simple writing down.  It needed more energy, more love…so I wrote out my response to the question…I wrote out my prayer to the Universe…

and as my youngest child slept on beside me (thankfully…else this would not have gotten done…) I added one layer of paint…but the words still showed through…so I added a different color paint over that…and then another coat over that…then I missed the original two colors and how they worked together so I added them back, one coat at a time…allowing time for each coat to dry before adding the next…

You first saw her after I grabbed a chunk of charcoal and drew out a quick form…

WIP. .. first morning pages in a long time

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Then I let her sit, until I was able to come back to her.

This morning was that time.

Layer upon layer.  Patience in between each daub of paint to let things dry.

More layers.  More paint.  More drying.

A remembering of the faces, of the energies, of the spirits, of the bits and pieces of me, that I love to draw and that I love to paint slowly returning to my hands, to my heart…

I painted her in a journal…the scanning does not do this one justice…in real life, the paper does not look nearly so rumpled and warped…I swear it…


I thought maybe if I could just get a close-up of her face, you would get a better feel for her…

But no.  Some days, the scanner and I really get a long well…and other days…I watch the movie Office Space…and giggle while looking for that baseball bat.

So I took a picture of her for instagram with my phone that I thought turned out better and gives you a better feel for her…

Her scan didn't do her justice…was hoping this might…

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She is 9 inches by 12 inches, done with a variety of paints and metallics, as well as charcoal and colored pencils.

There will be more of her story to come…as well as those of her sisters at some point, I am certain.





Thirty Faces Project



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I know I talked about this project in a recent video, but since the time of that video, I have done some work and found the space I wanted and needed within that project.

I felt nearly finished when I completed my 25th sketch, but I knew I needed more.  Maybe I am just conditioned by all the face challenges I do.  I had to sketch out thirty faces.  I have been painting initial layers and leaving them be until I have more time and inclination to paint them out.

So far, I have twenty-five based out (that initial layer of paint).  Which means i have five more to base out…and then a mere twenty-eight to paint to completion.

I do not have a time-table for the completion of this project.  I will just keep working at my slow pace until I am done.

I do have a new project once this one is more complete.  I plan to pull out all the sketches that I have … mostly from last year, I think, and paint those out.  I am nearly ready to jump into those sketches again.

New things are brewing under the surface.  I am anxious to explore them, but I do understand that it takes one step at a time to make the journey.  Running ahead and missing all the signposts along the way accomplishes nothing.

I will keep you posted as I continue along…