Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Negative Painting

I love works done in the "Negative" style of painting.   That is where the artist emphasizes the negative space around the subject in order to introduce many layers.  It can be so simple, yet complex at the same time and the light and shadow work together to bring certain aspects forward, and push others back into the depths of the painting.

I'm not the greatest at this style, but I absolutely love it and I plan to paint more in this way.  During the Southern Hemisphere spring I was able to enjoy many hours sitting in my sister's garden with my sketchbook.  She has some spectacular fruit trees that are a symphony of blooms during the spring.

I painted this little one from the sketches and photos I'd taken in her garden and gave it to her as a gift this Christmas.  I loved doing it, it gave me such a wonderful sense of joy. 

I hope you're enjoying your week.  Happy painting.
Thanks for checking in. xx

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Journey of Twinkling Proportions

I become so single minded when I'm producing a new online class that I am often amazed at how the video footage turns out. Switching hats from artist/instructor to producer/editor is never easy, but in the world of online art classes, that's what we have to do.  I've been producing online art classes for several years now and am thrilled at how I have become better and more efficient with the technology. That's a huge feat for someone like me.

In the first few years I stumbled my way through filming and editing, it was a tedious labor that consumed so many hours I had to questions whether it was worth it.  But now I know my equipment better, and more importantly, I have a greater sense of what works and how to present it to an online audience.

I am a very simple person, bells and whistles don't always sit well with me, so I wanted to produce my classes in a simple, intuitive and very uncluttered way.  This has proved to be extremely popular with my students and I receive a lot of feedback about how easy my classes are to navigate, how clear the content and instruction is, and rewarding the experience.

It is a great honor everytime someone registers for one of my classes, I know people have an abundance of choice these days, and not all of them are high quality.  But quality is paramount to me, and it's one of the reasons why I only produce one or two classes a year.

Last year I completely rebuilt Mastering Twinks Part 1.  When I first offered it, it was in an eBook format, and most people loved that, but as time evolved, people started crying out for video, so rather than build the old class into video format, I totally rewrote the class.  New content, new material, new platform, new thing I ever did!!  Then I produced Mastering Twinks Part 2 and I am beyond thrilled with the's probably the best class I've produced to date.

So many people love the art of luminescence and marvel at that unexpected shimmer, or depth that a luminescent painting presents.  Twinkling h2O's by Luminarte are one of the hottest luminescent products on the market today.  Beautiful, vibrant, shimmering watercolor cakes that are infused with mica.  With this wave of excitement building, so has the demand for the Mastering Twinks classes.

It has been truly overwhelming and incredibly humbling.  These classes are not just about luminescent painting, they are a complete immersion into the fundamentals of watercolor technique, color theory, drawing skills, and mixed media techniques and processes. Hundreds of people have taken these classes so far and many of them have never used luminescent watercolor paint before.  In fact, many people take them and use regular watercolors as their foundation.

Mastering Twinks Part 1 is currently available as full open access now, and Part 2 goes live on February 20.  That means if you sign up for part 1 now you will be able to work through it in time to begin part 2.  However, both classes are forever access so you can take your time and work through them at your own pace. And when you register for Part 1, you receive a 15% OFF discount code from Luminarte which you can use to purchase any products in the Luminarte line.

If you are interested in knowing more about either of these classes, please click the image boxes in the right side bar of my blog, or click the links below.


Click here for more information on Mastering Twinks Part 1 - Twinkling Discoveries

Click here for more information on Mastering Twinks Part 2 - Twinkling Expressions

I hope you will join me at some point this year for these amazing twinkling online workshops.

Thanks for checking in. xx

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mastering Twinks Part 2 - Video Sneak Peek

Over at The Sketchbook challenge the theme this month is "Sketching & Collage".  It is a total serendipity for me as I LOVE working in my sketchbook with collage.

Collage can take on a life all it's own and once you explore the possibilities, you'll be amazed how your art comes to life in a way you never imagined. I love to work collage and Twinkling h2O's on larger sheets, usually as part of an exhibition or commission. But before I tackle a large work, I always explore my ideas in my sketchbook first.

I often get asked about my process and technique with collage and as luck would have it, I have just finished filming a watercolor collage piece for my upcoming class "Mastering Twinks Part 2 - Twinkling Expressions."  So I thought I would cut together this short video sneak peek of my collage project that shows you how I created this energizing little "Villa" scene.

The work in this video uses Asian Fiber Paper infused with gold thread for collage over a Twinkling h2O background in my Stillman & Birn "Beta" Series Sketchbook.  Once the collage was sealed, I made a quick pencil sketch of the scene, then went over it with Sumi Ink and a Black Dip Pen.  I then painted it all using more Twinkling h2O's.  I take you through this project step-by-step in the class, it is one of over 20 projects I created and is just a little taste of what's to come.

As you can see, the results are wonderful.  So random and full of life.  Collage helps creates depth and texture in the most amazing and unpredictable ways and can really bring your art journal or sketchbook alive.  In this class, I also teach you how to tint your own collage papers using glittering Twinkling h2O's.

"Mastering Twinks Part 2 - Twinkling Expression" goes live on February 20 and registration is now open. If you're keen to learn this and many other amazing luminescent techniques then you're in for a real treat with this class.  It is jam packed with over 60 videos, 20 projects, technique, drawing lessons, PDF's, hands on exercises, and inspiration that will keep you busy for months.  Plus all registrations come with lifetime access to the materials so you can work through it at your own pace.

If you're new to Twinking h2O's and watercolor in general, then you might like to consider taking Mastering Twinks Part 1 - Twinkling Discoveries first. This class is open access so you can get started immediately.

Thanks for checking in. xx

Friday, January 10, 2014

Words To Live By

"Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed and rearranged to relocate us to the place we're meant to be."

It's been quite a few weeks since I last blogged.  The longest period away from blogging since I started some years ago.  I am very sorry to those of you who check in on me every day.  Sometimes life swings us in directions that we don't expect and we have to rearrange or energy in order to accommodate our priorities.

I have been going through some unexpected and rather large transitions of late.  My little life has been somewhat shaken up by circumstance and choice and I find myself facing some pretty big challenges in the coming months. Over the past few months I have had to direct all of my energy towards my family. My husband and children have needed me more than usual and it has always been my priority to be present and available for them.  But having an energetic and complex autistic child is an added challenge that I must rise to meet.  In this there are always self-sacrifices.

I have also be working very hard (mostly in the wee small hours of the night) preparing my new class offering "Mastering Twinks 2 - Twinkling Expressions".  This class is probably my best class yet, my "Magnum Opus" so to speak.  I have been pouring my heart and soul into what is shaping up to be an extraordinary online class experience, and with only 6 weeks to go before it begins, I already have several hundred registrations, people who are trusting me to exceed their expectations and who are giving me the honor of guiding them through the a very personal phase of their own artistic journey.

Many of these participants have come from my other classes, mostly "Mastering Twinks 1 - Twinkling Discoveries".  But there is a big group of people who are coming into this class without having taken any of my classes before, they are trusting my reputation and their own instinct for what I can offer them.  I am deeply honored by their trust and it has been an amazing journey preparing this new class with that in mind.

 I have continued to work in my art journal or illustrated diary as I am now calling it.  But the entries have been too raw and personal for me to feel comfortable about sharing.  And I find that every time I sit down to the computer to blog, I am blocked by a need to remain quiet.

I have also been rethinking many of my commitments for the coming year.  2014 is going to be a year of transition and rebuilding for me and I have to accept my limitations and my priorities.  My art is changing, my ideas are reforming, and dreams are morphing.  I have to open myself up to these changes and let life take me to where I need to be.  If there is still grace to choose a word for the year, then mine will be "Acceptance".  

I will share with you some of my challenges over the coming weeks as I feel ready.

(This page was done in my Stillman & Birn "Epsilon" Series Sketchbook using Luminarte's Twinkling h2O's , Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils, and Tombow Dual Brush Water Soluble Markers.)

Thanks for checking in xx