mixed media workshops

“Patina” Workshop

Last weekend was the Experimental Mixed Media Painting Workshop: PATINA that I taught at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Maybe I always feel this way when I spend a whole weekend with people who are excited to be painting and enjoying each others company, but this was a wonderful group that “geled” almost immediately. It was fun to hang out and create with them. The fact that it was a whole weekend made it possible for out of town folks to attend and enjoy our town as well!


We started out with acrylic textures on paper and heavy duty foil, then applied acrylic paints wetly to take advantage of the the textural imprints. With the emphasis on patina blends we explored mixes of iridescent pigments with transparent pigments.


I think my favorite blend of the day was Titan Buff, Micaceous iron Oxide, and Iridescent Bright Gold (Golden fluid acrylics).


My Demo: acrylic patina mixes on textured paper with textured foil and screen collage


the “share” table with stencils, rollers, scrapers, foils, screen, punchanella, color mixes and more.


The students’ work was relaxed and free!


We all love shiny things and the light was sparkling off the paper!


Forest like textures. . .


and vibrant designs.  And an invitation to everyone to “steal” ideas from from each other. I always do!

If you wanted to come and weren’t able to, I hope you will make it next time! I’m planning another mixed media workshop at Sebastopol Center for the Arts November 11 and 12th and hope to see some of last weekend’s students back!

Workshops This Spring!

It’s a busy spring season coming up, and I’ll be doing what I enjoy most – sharing approaches to painting and spreading my own creative wings with like-minded people! Hope you can join me.

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For more information about these workshops and to register visit my website!

Seb Arts Opening and Healdsburg Jazz

Tomorrow night, Dec 2, the Sebastopol Center for the Arts will be hosting an opening of the annual member art show 6-7:30pm with wine and appetizers and displays by the teachers who will be offering workshops in the new year.

I have a piece in the show, but will also be at a table sharing my sketchbooks and Muse Group art books along with information about two weekend workshops I’ll be teaching next year at the Center: Quick Capture Sketching in Ink and Watercolor and Experimental Mixed Media Painting. For more information about these workshops you can visit my website or just come see me at my table tomorrow evening.

Last week Bob and I attended the Healdsburg Jazz member party and were treated to the Latin grooves of Carlitos Medrano and the Cuban Descarga.


fountain pen and watercolor in 7 X 10″ Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook

Can you tell how intrigued I was by this singer, especially her generous shape and those fabulous boots? Years ago I gave up wearing shoes with more than one inch of heal in the interest of comfort, but I can still enjoy how they look on other women and wonder how it’s even possible to walk in them.


You can never see all the musicians from where you’re sitting, but that lends itself to the process of vignetting and designing interesting edges that don’t touch the sides of the paper. I like the larger size sketchbook, but don’t want to take the time in my quick sketching to fill the surface with paint. Highlighting the skin tones and instruments tells the story will enough. And I find that most Jazz musicians wear a lot of black, a difficult color to pull off in watercolor. So I clothe them in white!

New Monday Muse Group!

If you’ve been following along here and gotten a taste for the Muse-filled mixed media paintings, I hope you’ll think about joining us for the Monday Afternoon group in my studio in Sebastopol, CA.

Frankly, although I’m the teacher of the lessons, I derive much of my inspiration from this spirited group of artists who are constantly forging new territories and together creating an exciting creative space.

For more information visit my website and let me know if I should save a space for you!


Crackles and Strings

The Monday Muse Group’s lesson this week explored acrylic gels and pastes, that bewildering array of white jars one encounters on the shelves of art stores. I occasionally buy a new variety on sale and it sits on my shelf until I get around to trying it out. So in the class demo I used my crackle paste and tar gel.


crackle paste, fluid acrylics and inks, collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

This must be the track of my daily circuit. Just try to follow the logic of it. Like a snail’s glistening trail it leads you in circles and gets you lost.

But still, it does fascinate. . .for a while. . .in a way. There are subdivisions, categories, directional flows, but it is loathe to be labeled or pegged or directed by external forces, driven underground by such demands. . .slippery, like that snail, (though perhaps not as slimy).

On the jar of Golden Crackle Paste the instructions read “Apply to primed rigid substrates. . . Allow three or more days for curing and cracking.” I find that being loathe to be directed by external forces, I tend to ignore directions.

So here’s what I did in the example above. Using a stencil I scraped the crackle paste over the openings (squares) and leveled the top with a palette knife. The layer was thin enough that I didn’t run into problems with putting it on a paper surface. By the next day the surface had cured sufficiently to give me some marvelous cracking patterns, which I painted over with flowing transparent pigments that settled into the cracks nicely. I also applied a top coat of matte medium which hopefully will keep the paste from flaking off. So far, so good.


Golden Clear Tar Gel and fluid acrylics on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

The description on the jar of Clear Tar Gel says “Generates fine lines by dripping from a palette knife or other tool.” If you want to try the Liquitex brand, it’s called String Gel but is the same thing. It reminds me of mozzarella cheese when it’s melted and you pull a slice of pizza off the mother pie and a long string of it is still attached. It’s hard to feel in charge of this medium, but if you want to practice with it, you could actually write your name or draw a border on your paper like I’ve done here. It’s fun to apply lots of transparent layers. I’m going to save this one until I know what to add next!

By the way, we do a different mixed media lesson each time in the Monday Muse Group and at the moment we have one opening for a drop in. The session runs weekly through the end of October. Visit my website for more info and to contact me about joining in.