Thursday, February 26, 2009


Hey Friends, This is a Painted Photo Collage. It is 6"x 12". If you scrolled way down, you would find the tutorial I made about how to make these collages. This little girl seems to be timid or a little apprehensive about this party. Maybe she is just overwhelmed with all the decorations and hoopla. Don't you love those paper lanterns? It is in my sale bin at my Etsy shop. Click here.

Happy Trails. (everytime I type my favorite line-Happy Trails-I want to go paint some horses)

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Hey Friends, Here is one of the first Painted Photo Collages I ever did. Can't remember where the initial image came from. I think it's awful cute and sweet. Would make a sweet gift! The frame comes with this one. The photo of it on the end table is dark but I hope you can make out the colors. I rarely take photos of my artwork, I prefer my scanner.

This measures 6"x4" and with the frame about 8x6. This would normally sell for about $50.00, but to clear it out of my studio, I think $25.00 and 3.00 shipping would work! Do You?

Happy Trails.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Hey Friends, This painting was done from some photos I took at the college my youngest daughter was attending. Maybe you have heard of it - Hollins College - here in the SW mountains of Virginia. She graduated this past May "08 so I'm guessing I painted it in 2007.

The sun was setting and casting long shadows. Everything was really green, with a few flowers blooming here and there. I gathered them all up into the foreground. It is one of the prettiest campus' you will ever see. I must find those photos and make some more! Click on this.

Happy Trails. BTW-it is 8"x 16".


Hey Friends, I'm still listing stuff in my Etsy shop that I found while cleaning the studio! My sale bin might get really big - Go check it out.

I can't remember exactly when I painted this-probably 3 years ago. It's a cute, bright, happy liitle gal. Would make a nice gift for that little country girl you know, or that teacher, or that antique collector. You could probably name a dozen more types.

I'm going to add this to Etsy now and then I need to list some paintings on Design Style Guide. This is a fairly new site that markets to designers and decorators. If you're an artist you might want to take a look.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Hey Friends, I'm back with another little orphaned Painted Photo Collage. I found it in a box of more artwork when cleaning on my studio. There is more paint than photo on this one. I thought I would give my camera a try with this last shot. Trying to give you an idea of what it might look like in a home, instead of using my scanner. This piece is 6"x4" and the frame comes with it. I like this particular frame with this painting, so I don't want to separate them.

I spent the majority of my day scanning, resizing, photomerging and such, all the work I'm going to be listing on Etsy in my SALE bin. I have to get up pretty often and pull some hair out or kick the cat! (kidding)

Happy Trails.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


This post is being published Wed. Feb. 18th.2009. Can't figure out how to change the date on a draft.

Hey Friends,

This was painted a couple of years ago also. It is watercolor. I remember why I gave it that title. I had a new tube of cobalt violet and cobalt green and the colors are lucious. Cobalts colors are heavy, they come from minerals. So when you put a brush, dripping with color, on watercolor paper (this is Arches) the mineral sinks to the bottom of the liquid before it starts to dry. You get a granulated effect. Just beautiful! I got the idea for this composition, while at a workshop, being held at a local artist home. There were easels and such everywhere.

This is double-matted, under glass, and the metal frame is gold and deep. It measures 20"x16". Normal selling price is $200.00 but for this studio sale, $100.00 and $3.00 shipping will work.

Shipping for this size would be around $23.00, so that's a good deal also. Click for my etsy shop.

Happy Trails.


Hey Friends,
I painted this several years ago, using watercolor. I remember the little area being close to Tanglewood mall area. Off of Starkey Rd. It has been demolished and a nursery sits there now. It is double-matted and in a metal frame that is a greenish-gray color. Pretty much the color of the under mat. It measures 20" x 16" and is under glass. It is a soft, dreamy type of landscape, some might say romantic.
This size normally sells for over $200.00 but a studio sale should put it at $100.00. And I'll ship it for $3.00. Normally shipping would be about $23 for this size. So that's a deal.

It's a pretty piece - don't let it slip away. Click here for my etsy shop.
Happy Trails.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Hey Friends, I'va been threatening to post some artwork on sale (really cheap) when I finished cleaning out my studio. Well, I'm pretty much finished and I've got several pieces looking for a wall to grace. I'm putting out this piece called "Looking Forward to Spring" as the first one. I was attempting to imitate block printing. The 3 paintings are acrylic thinned to mimic watercolor. I used Arches 300lb. watercolor paper. For those whoe don't know, 300lb. is very thick and stiff. I used masking fluid to block out the design before I painted. I made the jewelry between the images also.

This first signs of spring, excluding birds, are the little sprouts of green and daffodils, iris, and tulips. Don't you love spring?! My favorite time of year.

This artwork is double matted and framed in gold moulding. I do the matting and frame cutting myself. It measures on the outside 20" tall by 10 1/2" wide. This shape is easy to work with, it fits into a lot of odd spaces. This size normally sells for over a $100.00 but this is a studio sale so it is $50.00. Plus 6.00 for shipping. Click here for my etsy store.

Happy Trails.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I'm showing you additional Painted Photo Collages so you can get a bigger view of what you can do with this technique/application. The photo above is what I used to make the painting below.
Isn't he the cutest dog ever! I used real sand dollars and star fish and shells. I ladled on the garnet gel (golden) and the shells will adhere to this gel. The sand castles were made from sandpaper (I bought them). The heart was a stamp. I painted and enhanced the photo.

This is one of my favorites. It was a lot of enjoyment too. Hunting for the right ingredients, then laying them all out and moving them around, like a puzzle, before making them permanent.

Here is a close up of the dragonfly in the bottom left corner. Found him in a magazine. Some of the lillys are photos, some are painted. All of the background and foliage are painted.

Here is a close up of the paper lantern. Found in a magazine also.

Here is a close up of the hair. I over did it a bit, maybe. But I love her hair. It is totally natural, too! Very curly. And you can see the dragonflies across the top. They are plastic and come in a lot of colors , in little cellophane bags at craft stores. You just paint over them w/ your acrylics.

This little girl was a great joy to paint. This was my first version, but the entire time I worked on it, I was thinking about a version where she would be looking out of the door. Here she is looking into the door or into the house.

This version she is inside and looking out into the world (a fairytale world) Maybe she is already
dreaming of her prince charming! Same photo used in both versions.

Here is another favorite. This is Brady. He is now 4 1/2 years old and very burly. But his trip to the ocean really produced some great collages. I painted this frame to go with his painting.

Here you can see the little beach buckets I cut from rice paper and stained with Thalo Blue.

See his baggy swim trunks? A closeup where I added a thick gob of acrylic matte gel and then impressed the long swirly shells. Using the shells like a stamp. I enjoy that.
If you just found my blog, look down at the last post and you will find the explanation of this Painted Photo Collage Technique. It , of course, will take time for you to get the hang of it. But I enjoyed the learning and experimenting part of it. Since you work from photos that other people have taken, it can be a learning experience everytime! Sometimes not much fun. So if you want it to be all fun take your own photos.
Happy Trails.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TUTORIAL - Painted Photo Collages

In this shot I'm just showing some photos I'm assembling for a large collage. It will have a lot of photos of this family with a nature theme as a gift for the grandparents.

In this shot I've got a basic layout taped down and then the first coat of acrylic. I mix my own. I use Golden acrylics and it is about 50/50 mix of soft gloss gel and matte medium. This will get three coats. Must dry between coats and then left to dry one extra day after all the coats are on . (I don't know how that one section of text got up there-That isn't how I typed it)

Now switching to some different photos because they are clearer, easier to see and snap these demonstration photos of. Now I'm pouring water over the coated photos which I have in a little tub because I have no running water or sink in my studio. They usually have soaked long enough after 15-20 min.

In this shot I have started the long, tedious process of scratching and rubbing the paper off of the back. If the paper starts to dry out too much I mist with a water bottle. You can't get the paper off if it's too dry.

Here you can see the pile of paper on the left. And this isn't all of the paper. It's a much bigger pile but I forgot and threw the first pile away. When you are just about finished, rub the paper side some more. Use your fingers or a wadded paper towel that is damp. The surface you paint on will be smoother if you get as much paper off as possible.

I'm holding the piece up to the light so you can see how transparent it is. Now it feels like a thick piece of rubbery plastic. And you are ready to glue to your canvas.

It seems to work best for me if I coat the canvas first then the back side (paper side) of the photo. I usually don't have to rush unless it's a large canvas. It is a lot easier to work on a canvas panel rather then a stretched canvas.

Here you see me lifting the rubber photo to get some air bubbles out as I'm using the brayer.

A brayer or rolling pin will insure good contact and no air bubbles. Now let it dry for a day or so.

In this shot you may be able to see the baby is on a kitchen counter. There is stuff in the view and a window to the right, etc. Now start covering everything in the background. And I think I don't need to go into the stuff about planning and choosing background colors etc. Artists usually think of these things on their own.

I've got the background all covered with what I would call a neutral, no, a cool gray color. I left the top of his head (it was cut off in the photo) so when I paint his hair, it should be a smooth surface and maybe the painted hair will have a little glow.

In this shot you can see I've added more of the yellow balls, and I applied a section of cobalt blue to the background and then swirled a comb through it. Doing the background swirl in sections is easier because the acrylic won't dry out before you get the comb through it.
Here you can see the comb thing on the left (it is a cake decorating tool). The background swirl is finished. To the right of my paint brush are yellow ducks I cut from rice paper to go along the right edge.

Here I'm applying the yellow ducks with golden matte gel. I finished the touches on his hair and the yellow balls. Sorry for the glare, I'm not much of a photographer. I have an epson scanner that I use for anything I'm going to show on the web. If the work is too big for my scanner I take it to Photo USA and they scan or photograph it and put it on a disc. Life is so much easier with a scanner. I would be spending hours trying to fix my photos. Anyway, I wasn't real happy with this little photo painting so I want to do it over. I'm going to experiment with some new paper I found at Dick Blick. Next post I'll show you some more finished pieces.

Happy Trails.