patina in acrylics

“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!

Muddy Angels


acrylic on acrylic textured surface with gold leaf on canvas, 24″ x 24″

I’ve always believed in the angels that walk among us, as us. The ones that get their feet dirty with the messes of everyday living and that occasionally sparkle with divine light shining through the cracks!

In my own struggle to capture these earthly/heavenly creatures of multi-dimensions onto a two dimensional surface,  I started by borrowing from one who succeeded in this – Michelangelo. Through all my struggles with intention, technique and media, not to mention feelings of inadequacy, I finally stopped and saw a rather startling depiction of a story unfolding in my own life just now. In the interests of allowing space for you, the viewer, to react with your own personal interpretation, I must leave it at that.

Technique-wise I employed my favorite Golden acrylics, light molding paste for textural build up and Micaceous Iron Oxide and other copper and gold mixed with other pigments to create that other-worldly patina.

Over the years angels have been coming to roost on my canvases. You can see more of them  and here and here.


A Single Tree


acrylics and collage on gesso textured w/c paper, 10 X 11″

Years ago I bought some Golden brand Micaceous Iron Oxide fluid acrylic because I loved how it imitated the effect of a rock surface with its gritty gray mica surface.  But recently I was shown Chris Cozen’s book Acrylic Solutions where she gives recipes for mixing acrylics to make “patina” colors.

Patina.  The metallic look, the subtle light catching sparkle, the appearance of aged, worn shiny surfaces.  I learned that if you have a gold acrylic and micaceous iron oxide you have the ingredients to make all your acrylics do the patina thing by mixing them with these paints.  Silver and copper also make great mixtures with the other acrylic colors.

In my workshops we’ve had exciting results with patina experiments.  We made color charts to keep track of the mixtures.  I’m going to share a couple of them here, (even though they weren’t made for the purpose of sharing online) just to help you get the idea.  Hopefully if you like this, you can discover your own patina mixtures!



I particularly like the warm “neutrals” like Micaceous Iron Oxide, Iridescent Gold Deep and Transparent Red Iron Oxide.

Deepen the Mystery


acrylic “patina” paints, collage on paper collage textured surface on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

“The job of the artist is to always deepen the mystery.” -Francis Bacon

This piece needs a Rosetta Stone to decode, or at least someone familiar with Japanese seals and signatures.  I always gravitate toward the mysterious, the unexplained, the textures and shapes that lead the eye through the piece without giving too much information.

But really the intent here was simply to try new ways to add text to paintings by putting stencils and stamps aside and drawing the letters on.  I have a deep admiration bordering on envy of people with beautiful handwriting.  I blame my own lack of calligraphic ability on my left handedness.  Lord knows, my mother who was a third grade teacher, tried for years to improve my handwriting. Actually she was still complaining about my handwriting into my middle age.  (But this is revealing a bit too much about the decades of my life.  I don’t know when was the last time I saw the handwriting of my young adult sons!)