Layering Traditional and Modern

wood slice painting

I’ve been wanting to paint a wood slice ala hip and trendy style for a while now. In my grandfather’s old stuff, my mom found this slab for me. It had a print on it already and even though I always feel bad covering a form of art, I gessoed a handful of layers and got myself a nice wood canvas. I sanded down the gesso to a smoother texture, though the wood grain still added a nice texture to the base.

I chose to do my painting in this almost graphical-pop art-new wave style to counteract the traditional landscape subject on the natural canvas. It took tons of layers and I spilled some retarder which caused me to fear it may never dry. Luckily, it did and was thoroughly sealed and finished. It’s a handy painting compared to the framed paper paintings on my wall. For example, it makes a good…

1. Piece for wall art

mountains on wood

2. Table tray for cocktails and candles

mountains on wood tray

3. A miniature stage for toddlers to dance on

mountains on wood with kid

Hopefully I’ll scrounge up another slab of wood soon…


One of Each: Paired Paintings of European Buildings

european paintings paired (2)

Why choose between watercolor and acrylics? I got back into acrylics for the first time in a very long time with this British street scene. I went for almost an oils-approach with tons of texture and smudging. I’m crazy about acrylic mediums like gels and pastes. They make unimaginable depth.

england street on canvas (2)

As is often the case with me, this is based on a photo I took while abroad – this one in Nottingham.


The acrylic canvas was a spur of the moment idea but after I was so happy with it, I decided I needed it to be part of some sort of set. Because, of course. So I used the same general palette for a minimalistic, subtle, watercolor complement.

bath building in watercolor (2)

This one was a loose interpretation of a photo taken in Bath.


Apartment Cocktails in Watercolor

watercolor cocktailsAs we begin the holiday season, you are likely planning out your season calendar of errands, family events, and work projects. On a related note, I decided to paint up the favorite cocktails in my home.

cocktail watercolor paintingDisclaimer: I have never wanted to try a bloody mary, but one of my roommates is a big fan so it is included despite my personal opinions on the drink.



Hello again and Lily’s First Birthday

I’m back!

I officially graduated with a bachelor’s in Business Administration, concentration in marketing, and a minor in English Literature. Now, I once again have the time to create and share those creations with all of you!

My best friend’s baby turned one back in April!

Here’s what I whipped up as part of my present to Lily and a quick shot with the birthday girl herself:

lily teacup


March Wrap Up

march journal experiments

Long time no chat! With my house being staged to sell, midterms, and work, I haven’t had as many opportunities to make a mess or art. I had to abandon my NYE resolution to make a wall calendar page a month as I can’t hang anything on my walls currently. Instead, I just experimented with a water brush I bought during Black Friday; because who doesn’t visit art supply stores on Black Friday?

march desk set up

Here’s my palette and new brush alongside old sketches. I thought I would test out the line and wash look with the water brush before using the brush solo. All the colors are, once again, from my Windsor Newton set my grandmother gifted me at Christmas.

march flowermarch notebooks

Goodbye March! Hello Spring Break! I recently had a chance to start some projects that I hope to share with you all soon. I’m also working on a new blog name and look that I’ll be phasing in, so keep an eye out.

Suspended Watercolor Planets

Suspended watercolor planets

I like painting planets because they’re easy and pretty, like flowers, but more subtle and cool.

I used watercolors to paint these on a large sheet of what I believe is watercolor paper, but may be print paper, it was from a large folder of miscellaneous art paper hand-me-downed from my grandmother. I mixed all the greys because 1) I don’t have gray and 2) I wanted more dimension and variety to the color than just using mixed down blacks. Once done and cut out, I suspended them with thread and push pins (I know nails look cooler but I love the ease of a thumbtack), attached to the wall in two spots to keep them each still at an angle, unwavering.

watercolor planet paintingCutting out watercolor planets

Also, here’s to back to school!

Mood Board Updates and a “Blue” Color Study

mood board update winter 15

This mood board is a bit late, it was the result of experimenting back in December with holiday catalogues, mostly from Anthropologie and White Stuff UK, along with watercolor “studies” as show farther below.

mood board back

The board itself I created with the intention of an antique, distressed wall look. I used primarily old house paints, neutral colors including white and soft browns, mixed with a few craft acrylics in colors like yellow ochre and black with a touch of a glaze-style paint I found in select spots. I built up the texture with some layers of tissue paper mixed into the paints, hard brushes and chipping at the paint. I also blended the ombre and splashed effects with a large sponge.

blue study

I was experimenting with different shades of blue watercolors and came up with this little study sheet. The patterns were inspired by the same catalogues on the mood board.

The board is free standing so I can lean or tuck it in where ever I like. It is, however, quite large for elaborate inspiration boards if I wish and to be used as a photo backdrop.

free standing mood board

2016 Calendar Update: February

2016 Calendar February Page

To keep the flowers from being too classic flower-y pink February, I went for neutral shades. I was thinking more of a sepia-filter effect than the Autumnal look I got but it works.

First thing I did was dip my paper in leftover coffee. I kept the calendar lines casual and carefree then lettered in the numbers and heading based on my font book. The flowers and vines are all watercolors. I enhanced the original coffee ombre dip with distress inks.

Happy February!

December 2015 Wrap Up: Parisian Christmas Present and January Calendar

Madeline Christmas Gift set

For my redheaded best friend’s baby (often mentioned or alluded to on this blog), I coupled Madeline’s Christmas with a Parisian style box/dollhouse that I painted. Madeline was a special favorite for both my friend and I when we were little so I know we will be passing that tradition to my little “niece.”

paris building boxPainted Paris dollhouse Storage Box




Box Lid Painted Paris Building Style

I actually was testing out new paints, hand-me-downs from my grandmother, a heat set type of painting called Genesis. The colors she gave me are gorgeous and the finish is nice and the ability to layer handy. However, heat setting takes time and effort that can drive me nuts. I’ll have to use them some more to form a full opinion.

doll house storage box back (The color carries around the box without additional details.)

As stated in my New Years Resolution post, I thought I would try making my monthly wall calendar pages by hand as a way to have a visual calendar without buying one as well as having an opportunity to practice techniques.

2016 calendar Jan

For January, I tried out some resisting methods with a white crayon and used both regular pan watercolors and Aquastick watercolor crayon-like things to paint the night sky and moons. Since my activities don’t start until late January, I didn’t feel the need to leave much room for writing and marking.

Happy 2016!

Miniature Warblers on Miniature Canvases

birds in a row

It’s that time of the semester that I start making a lot more junk and doing a lot less productivity. But here you are, three little birds, warblers actually, on three little canvases.

Mini birds 3 set

I had planned to do four (4 pack of canvases) but my TV show was almost over by the time I finished the third bird. Three is a good number for decorating anyways.

Bird 2nd of 3

All done in solely acrylic paint. I lined them up in between the top of my curtains and my ceiling.

Mini bird painting 1 of 3