Tilden Art Exhibit 2016

January 5 – February 28th

I am always looking forward to exhibiting with the Nature Journal Club.  This is an inspiring group of artists of every level and age.  Inspired and lead by the illustrator, John Muir Laws, we meet on a regular schedule to take a workshop or get out on the land and make observations.  Thanks to those at the Tilden Regional Park for making this happen for the Nature Journal Club at the Environmental Education Center.

Artists from the Nature Journal Club on Display
Artists from the Nature Journal Club on Display

Hansa Yellow – Color of the Day

What a bright cheery yellow and a bright cherry bird!  Hansa Yellow Opaque by Golden Paints is so fun!

"American Goldfinch" mixed media on canvas
“American Goldfinch” mixed media on canvas


Textured Gesso

Now that you have discovered some effective ways to gesso a canvas, how about adding some texture in your next layer.  There are several ways to do this.

I found a great detailed account using gesso and texture paste by Creative Flair Scrapbooking.  I really love their album of steps and finished painting.

And if you want to do it in 50 seconds, Amy Pearce can show you something simple in her video.


Green Gold – Color of the Day

I love the color green gold that Golden Paint makes.  It works well as a complimentary color to many of the bright colors that I use in my birds.  Green gold in wikipedia discusses the naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver that creates a green gold.  In terms of creating this alloy, the maker uses gold, silver and adds cadmium to create that great green color.

"American Goldfinch" acrylic and collage on canvas
“American Goldfinch” acrylic and collage on canvas

Gesso Fun

I am often inspired by other artists and try to discover how they created that wonderful “thing.”  In some cases you can look and discover, other times it is trial and error, and sometimes you are lucky enough that they have are willing to teach you.

In the theme of discovering gesso, I have been thinking about not only adding color to gesso but texture as well.  The more attention to detail I can add at the beginning takes my paintings that one step further.  I was reading the Blog Art and Cupcakes and ran across this great post:  Fun with Gesso – Color Love #27

There are three great techniques highlighted in this Blog that I recommend trying:  “Thin application of Gesso with a Stencil,” “Thick application of Gesso With a Stencil” and “Paintbrush Application of Gesso.”

Thanks to Art and Cupcakes for sharing!!

Saratoga Library and Main Street Cafe Exhibits

In preparation for SV Open Studios I am showing a couple pieces of art around town.

Saratoga Library

March 4 – May 1, 2014

"Bearded Rooster" mixed media on paper
“Bearded Rooster” mixed media on paper

Main Street Cafe and Books

March 29 – April 26, 2014

"American Kestrel" mixed media on board
“American Kestrel” mixed media on board
"Barn Owl" mixed media on board
“Barn Owl” mixed media on board











p.s. I just found out that I will also be part of a Mother’s Day Boutique on May 3rd.  Details to follow.

Adding Color to Gesso

Mix some of you acrylic paint into your gesso and never have to worry about a white canvas again!

This trick works wonders and there are several companies that make colored gesso if you don’t want to mix uisng your paints, like Holbein Acryla.  And if you like the color, try the black gesso!  It really adds contrast to your paintings.

Holbein Acryla Colored Gesso
Holbein Acryla Colored Gesso

Pyrrole Red Light – Color of the Day

I read somewhere that Pyrrole red came from the automobile industry, but I use it to create flashy artwork instead of paint flashy cars.

Pyrrole is great for lightfastness, does not fade much at all, and is a great mixing red when compared to cadmium colors.  I found some great technical information to share about the Golden Artist Color Pyrrole Red Light.

Mixed media on wood
“Common Raven” mixed media on wood


SV Open Studios May 3 and 4

Exhibiting with 4 other artists in May!
Exhibiting with 4 other artists in May!


I have just started getting my inventory together for this year’s open studios May 3 and 4.  I will again be showing with my artist friend Krishna Mitra.  I really enjoy the artists she has continued to gather at her home each open studios.  All of our work reflects the nature around us.  Click their names below to see more of their work.

Krishna MitraSlava ShabrovYelena ShabrovaHolly Van Hart