Tag Archives: canvas

The one with the canvas that took months to complete

19 Oct

Happy Saturday!

Last month, I shared a few photos of a canvas piece I’ve been working on for a friend. Today, I am happy to report that I have finished it! I will warn you; this is a long post as I’ve been taking photos over the last few months (I think I started this back in April?). So, grab a blanket and a cup of coffee on this gloomy fall day, and take a look. And if you are so inclined, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments at the end.

Oh and by the way, everything used for this piece, including the canvas, is recycled (well, except the paint and adhesive). Yes, this fantastic 3′ x 3′ canvas was given to me by a good friend (her company prints photos on stretched canvas and when they are done with them, she gives them to me!)

So heres where we started. One large 3′ x 3′ canvas. First layer was of course, gesso (not pictured).


I knew my color pallet was going to be purple (my friends favorite color) and yellow (to match her office) so that part was easy. A lot of times my second layer of miscellaneous paper helps me determine the colors I’ll use. Since that wouldn’t be the case here, I went with papers that would complement my pallet.

2I used Regular and Soft gel medium to adhere the papers (I used both cause I ran out of the regular part way through). I used the old gift card to smooth down the bubbles.

3 I used a combination of book pages and wall paper samples.

4Using one of my favorite stencils, I added some texture down the left side of the canvas with Golden Course Modeling Paste. I love using the paste as it gives the piece dimension and interest (and it’s so touchable!)

5Here I’m starting to add acrylic layers. I used all types of “tools”. For example, a large plastic bowl as a circle stencil.

6I began adding more color using a (new) kitchen sponge. It adds great texture.
Ok, I have to be honest here. I wasn’t too happy with the the way the background was turning out. Actually I was getting frustrated. This process usually comes together nicely and I’m always pleasantly surprised at how it all comes together. Especially since it’s so random. That’s part of the fun! But, this wasn’t turning out how I pictured it in my mind and I started to panic. After all, this is going to hang in my friends office (where we both work) and everyone will see it. I know, artists; we’re kind of a mess. So, I left it alone for a bit. I imagine she thought she was never going to see it completed. And everyday, I walked by it and hated it even more. Until I realized the purple wasn’t right and that was throwing it off for me. So, I bought a new tube of purple (more blue than red this time), started over (and by that I mean new layers on top of the hated layers) and LOVED it!


Look at all that textury goodness!


This time, as I added layers of paint, I pulled some off with cling wrap. Now, I am loving the background.

13Next, it was time to concentrate on the focal element. I knew I was going to use my signature flowers and my friend had given me her favorite proverb. So, I covered about a dozen pages of thick magazine pages with gesso, allowed them to dry, and drew the petals using Winsor & Newton black drawing ink.

14After a few attempts to choose the right shade of yellow, I finally settled on this. Too bad the purples were all off.

16As you can see here. I thought I had the petals completed but when I put them on the canvas, I realized the purples were too red compared to what I had going on in the background (a more bluish purple). So, I made new sets of petals……

17And finally landed here. Or so I thought. More on that in a minute. I was really pleased with the center parts of the flowers (the anther). I used painted granola bar boxes and a circle punch to create them.

18Ok, so here we are. Flower petals (before I redid them) and the proverb (printed out on printer paper) which I went over with drawing ink so it was really crisp. I’m playing with the placement (and not too happy). It seemed too heavy with this design.

19Moving things around…..

20Finally deciding that yes, these are the correct placements….

22And that’s when I realized that I still didn’t like the insides of the flowers. The purple was too much. Yes, after I had adhered them to the canvas. Yep, I was back to hating it. Until I decided to soften it up by adding some yellow.

24Much better!

23I also decided that the printer paper was too dull. So I cut each letter out with an exacto knife and glued them down on gesso covered book pages. Again, much better! That took an entire afternoon.

29And now we have this……



26I think it was a happy accident that the placement of the proverb makes an upside down abstract flower (do you see it?)

So, from start to finish, this took about 5 or 6 months. And it was quite a journey. It reinforced my love for paining and mixed media. Even though I had moments when I hated this piece, I think in the back of my mind, I knew it would all come together. That’s the beauty of it; you get to keep trying till you get it right. Kind of like life. I’m back to my much smaller canvases this week, but I am ready to challenge myself again on a large canvas when the inspiration strikes.

Oh, and my friend loves it. We’ve joked for a while now that I would know if she liked it based on where she hangs it in her office. You know, if she hangs it behind her, not so much, but if she hangs it where she can see it, then clearly she likes it. Yeah, she has it on the wall right in front of her desk so she sees it all day. Now, if she could just get me to quit parading people in her office to take a look at it. First I was afraid for people to see it and now I want everyone to see it. I say it again, artists. We’re something else!

Till next week,


The one where it’s my one year anniversary!

15 Sep

Happy Sunday!

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since my first blog post; something I never thought I would do. In fact, the reason I started blogging was to hold myself accountable. I figured I would keep creating if I had to produce a post every week. And then I thought about it; for a long time. And kept putting it off.  I guess it was partly because sharing my art so publicly was a scary idea and the nagging voice in my head kept telling me that no one would care enough to read it. But I was talking about it a lot and one of my friends suggested choosing a date to launch and sticking to it. That was really good advice. Thanks Viki!

Over the last year, I’ve created a lot and tried to post every Saturday (and sometime on Sunday). I’ve received lots of good feedback and comments and it’s been more fun sharing than I anticipated.

So, I thought the best way to celebrate my one year anniversary would be to share some of my favorite pieces from the last year. Let’s start with the art cards:

art card 3

art card 6b

art card 6How about some of my favorite art journal pages:


Challenge 11

LayoutAnd my favorite granola bar box canvas pieces:

canvas 9


GB8It’s been a pretty amazing year. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been developing my style. I’ve shared art journaling with a lot of people (on the blog and in person). I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for me.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  I truly appreciate it.

Till next week.

The one with projects in progress

7 Sep

Happy Saturday.

Due to work obligations, my next 3 weekends are tied up and I am sure I’m not going to have a lot of time to create and blog. I’m so thankful that I can schedule these posts ahead of time! Unfortunately  that means I don’t have finished projects to share this week, but I thought you might enjoy seeing a few I have in progress.

in progress 5I’m working on this 3′ x 3′ canvas for a friend. I made her a smaller piece earlier this year and she must have liked it since she asked if I would do a large canvas for her office. I have to say, knowing it will be on display where our colleagues will see it (and know who created it) has hindered me in some ways. But I’ll share more about that when it’s complete. I will say that this is the first time I’ve worked on a canvas this big which is really exciting.

in progress 4A glimpse of the progress….

in progress 2Some elements I will use…..

in progress 6I’m also working on 5 granola box canvas pieces and I will share more behind this project once they are finished as well.

In progress1

in progress3In various stages…..

in progressSo there you have it. Two big projects I’ve been working on. I can’t wait till they are finished so I can share more about them.

Till next week,

The one with watercolor flowers

24 Aug

Happy Saturday,

This week, I finished another granola box canvas and it’s either on it’s way (or hopefully there by now) to Las Vegas cause I made this one for my mom. She’s an artist as well if you’ve been reading for a while, you know that we share a small mixed media art journal.

As usual, I had to reinforce the sides of the box with masking tape….


A layer of gesso and then a layer of various bits of paper (which gave me my color pallet for this piece) were the next steps. I’ve been using Golden Regular Gel medium (adhesive) but I’ve discovered that I like the Soft Gel medium better so when this container is finished, I’m back to the good stuff!

GB2Using one of my favorite stencils, I added some Golden Course Molding Paste. I like this element because it adds such a rich texture to the piece.

GB3After the molding paste dried, I continued with some home-made stencils, adding more layers and color.

GB4I set the canvas aside to start on the next element: the water color flowers. I love using magazine pages for this. I put down a layer of gesso (let it dry especially if you are using water colors. Since your brush is really wet applying the water colors, the gesso can pull up with the brush strokes if you don’t). Next, I brush on color and once that’s dry, I drew my flower petals. And yes, I used my favorite, Winsor & Newton drawing ink.

GB5I decide on the placement for my flowers as well as the quote I added “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Albert Einstein. I think Mom is going to appreciate that!


GB7And now comes the fun part; drawing in all the finishing touches.


GB10And here is the finished piece. I’m really pleased with the way this turned out. What do you think?

Till next time,

The one with the newest granola box canvas

22 Jun

Happy Saturday.

Last week, I shared a photo of some of the does that spent some time  in our yard. This week, we were treated to 4 bucks (and one feisty doe) so, of course  had to post one (of the many) photos I took. Isn’t he something?


You know, I never get tired of seeing wildlife pass through our tiny part of the world. So, this week, I finished another art piece on a granola box canvas. I love the size of these boxes! They’re about 5 1/2 x 6 3/4. Not too big and not too small. Anyhow, this one was for a very special woman I work with. She takes care of our entire building and everyone in it and always makes time to stop by, say hello and share her beautiful smile. I look forward to her visit everyday!

After prepping my canvas (using masking tape and gesso)

CB 2

I began with a layer of misc papers and Golden Gel Medium…..

Granola 1Originally, I started with a pallet of yellows and greens,

granola 2but that wasn’t talking to me so I moved on to reds and blues,

granola 3which turned into mostly shades of reds and pinks as I added layers.

granola 4

Using my (favorite) Winsor and Newton drawing ink, I started sketching out some flowers.

granola 6

filled them in with black acrylic paint…..

granola 7

And completed it with this fantastic quote: “Those who don’t believe in magic, will never find it.”

granola 8

A big shout out to JC, who lent me these fantastic letter stamps by Close to My Heart (I LOVE this font!)

granola 9

granola 10

granola 11This little bird stamp is on tissue paper and I used Golden Gel Medium to adhere him to the canvas.

Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. And in case you were wondering, it was a big hit with my friend.


The second one with the granola bar box canvas

27 Apr

Happy Soggy Saturday from Nashville.

I’m heading out to the Zero Landfill project again this morning to see if we can find some tile for my workspace next to the sink in our garage. I never realized how fantastic it was to have that workspace when we bought this house 6 years ago, but now I know better; washing paint and adhesive down the drain in the house is a no-no. Anyhow, my hubs wants to tile the workspace for me and who can pass up free tile?!

Today I’m going to share another canvas I made from a granola bar box. I started this one with a really good friend in mine. She is one of those people who is bright and cheerful and makes you feel like a better person just to be around her. I wanted this art piece to somehow reflect that.

canvas 1I’ve shown you how I’ve constructed these canvases before but I never showed you the underside (you can read that original post here), so here’s what that looks like.

canvas 2I started with some colorful scrapbook papers and this butterfly stamped on a piece of kraft paper.

canvas 3

And then I started adding layers. I used a battery (the 3 red circles) a clothes pin (the green in the lower left corner) some Inkadinkado clear circle stamps and my all time favorite, bubble wrap.
canvas 4

I decided my focal point would be flowers. So, I found scrapbook papers that went with the colors I’d been using and after several attempts, decided on what you see here. I used Soft Gel Medium as my adhesive. At this point, I thought I was going to add those rhinestones, but they just didn’t look right. However, I did break my cardinal rule of no glitter (it gets into everything) and added some cause it’s for JC and she loves glitter!

canvas 5I used Winsor & Newton drawing ink for the stems and some embellishments  (and if you haven’t tried drawing inks, you are missing out. I LOVE them!)

canvas 6I added a Stampin Up! stamp that reads “Time spent with friends is time well spent.” to complete it.

canvas 7

canvas 8

canvas 9I was really pleased with this piece. It turned out even better than I imagined and i think it captures my friend well. She is sparkly, bright, beautiful inside and out and a good friend.

Let me know what you think!

See you  next week.

The one with the canvas out of a cereal box

7 Apr

Happy Sunday.

It finally feels like Spring here in Nashville! I love watching all the trees burst with flowers (seemingly) overnight! One of my favorites are the Bradford Pear trees:


So, this week, I will share another up-cycled canvas; this time I made it out of a cereal box. I reinforced the edges of the box with masking tape and then covered with gesso. After the gesso dried, I cut the bottom of the box off, reinforced those edges with masking tape, re-gessoed and let it dry.

CB 1

CB 2

Next, I covered it with some scrapbook papers and book pages using my favorite, Golden Soft Gel Medium. This piece is for a friend whose favorite color is purple, so my choice of color pallet was easy.

CB 3

I thought some texture was in order so I used a circle stencil with some Golden Course Molding Paste.

CB 4

CB 5

CB 6

I printed off a picture of this bird (I did my best to make sure it royalty free) and painted him to fit my purple color pallet.

CB 7

And now the fun part. Mixing shades of purple and adding to the piece. A bit here and there; using a stencil, painting the molding paste, adding until it felt right……

CB 8

and not liking any of it so I covered it with a thinish layer of gesso. Using gesso in this way is a great way to tone down strong colors, unify colors (paint or paper, or any other material really) that may not at first glance go together; there are lots of fun ways to use it!

CB 9

I used some painted newsprint that I had left over from my last art journal layout. My thought was to add some letter stamps as part of the background. Funny thing, the ink didn’t hold up to the soft gel medium. I’m not sure if the ink wasn’t dry enough or what, but after I adhered the pieces to the canvas, the ink disappeared. Oh, well, sometimes you try something and it works and other times, not so much.

CB 10

I used bubble wrap, another stencil, applied paint with my fingers (takes me back to my childhood – I LOVED finger painting!) and really kept adding layers until I was happy.


I think you can see all the textures and layers here. With my background finished, the only thing left it to add the focal point.

CB finish 2

I really love this quote and I thought it was perfect for my friend.

CB finish

And here it is all finished.

I’m pretty pleased the way it turned out. Tell me what you think; I always enjoy your comments!

Till next week,