Thursday, January 16, 2020


Don't you love a brand new, snow white canvas? Especially when it's stretched, primed, and deep! I've read that all that whiteness is intimidating to some, but it inspires me to try something different. 
I wanted to do a cityscape for a change, 
but my grand idea flopped.
I had planned this artwork as a collage/painting 
with lots of interesting artsy papers combined with
a very wet, blended sky. I thought the watery acrylics 
would contrast nicely with the hard edges of cut paper pieces.
I  used dioxazine purple, Quinacridone Violet, Indian 
Yellow, Titanium White, & a few other colors that I 
mixed from leftover acrylic paint I had on hand. I 
liked the idea of a complementary color scheme...
& purple is the complement of yellow. (Also, 
yellow-green is the opposite of red-violet!) 
To enhance the wet-on-wet effect, I used a floating medium.
Flow release medium works much the same way.

I extended paint to the sides too.

Art ideas can change as you go along.

Yep, I had cut a variety of textured
and painted papers, but as I arranged
them on the canvas I realized that
they were too precise and perfect for my
"messy," loose, freely painted portions. 
I painted the buildings & more, including a   
few shadows, and then stamped in lines,  
shapes, & textures. See below,
though I want to do more to it.  
   I hope you'll try a cityscape if you haven't
   already. If you want to create a collage that's
   not too tight and hard-edged, 
   consider torn papers. 


Saturday, January 4, 2020


I'm happy to take you through my process, especially since this shrine or construction is very dear to me. I knew and loved a young man who was on the wrong path, wild and a bit rowdy sometimes. He nearly died in a car crash, and was left with head injuries. (He's much better now, many years later, thankfully.)
Here you can see a toy car and small head in the upper part of the photo.
I based this new  assemblage roughly on a
votive offering placed in a church or shrine
as thankfulness for a miracle received.
Mexican retalblos are small oil paintings, generally made
on tin. An ex voto is a votive offering to
a divinity, usually Christian. Read more  about them here:
(click on this link)

  Materials I used:
Strong, clear adhesive 
Wooden shelf, picture frame, and small box
Found objects (many are pictured below)
Discarded beads
Acrylic paints: Diox. purple, Quin. red and Quin. gold,
    Mars black, Titanium white, and Ultramarine blue. 
Copper patina
I decided against some of these objects and altered others.
  Traditionally written (usually at the bottom) are inscriptions, names, dates, and stories of miraculous recoveries and escapes. I chose not to do that.
For more history on ex votos and info on modern, current ones, click here:
This might have been where my friend had gone if he had died years ago.

Here's a close-up, below, of the broken, burnt glass that sits below the devil.
I also put rusty barbed wire just below 
that (not too visible, sorry), and again 
where "Hell" ends, just below the car and boy.
Here you can see the beads and the costume jewelry pin.

My recent assemblages might seem a little sinister
to some of you...I mean, Medusa? Now this!
But I have always loved icons and myths.
Have I gone to the dark side? 
What's your opinion? I'd love to know.
Below is a link to a much sillier assemblage
that I created quite a long while ago.


Do you think this is appropriated art? 
I'd love to hear your comments! This was a love project for me, and
I feel I've put my own, original stamp on the artwork. And I didn't include any inscription or a saint although I do have religious elements in the top half of the piece.  (There is also an image you can't see of a saintly figure, in the dark, under the hand.) 
Do you find it too depressing or ominous, with the devil and horns?  

I do need a title for this piece, so if you have a good idea, 
please let me know!
Thanks for viewing this post. I appreciate you.   ---  Paula


Monday, December 30, 2019


Cheap and plastic, yes, but thrifty!

Save paint in these containers...they have lids!
And the painting knives would be great for kids.
(Kids don't always clean their tools properly.)
And you get three knives to a package! 

Mixed media artist could use these so often!
Dollar Tree or Dollar General, I don't recall, but well worth a trip!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Make Your Own Animal Print Sneakers (& More!)


 I'm seeing a lot of cool athletic shoes, dressier ones too, with zebra, leopard, and other prints. So this idea came to me to embellish plain white canvas shoes with black acrylic paint. 

I used a ratty, stiff old brush to create the effect of animal hairs.
 Four years ago I posted several other, similar ideas. See below. 
I used a sponge dauber, of course.
Thanks for viewing this craftsy post. Please check in again for a step-by-step tutorial on an assemblage!

Monday, December 9, 2019


I tried pour painting for the first time!

If you haven't used this technique before, study up on it first. I'm always jumping in head first and I also experiment, a lot. So my first two results, below, are mixed, but I did enjoy the effort.

Here are some of the materials you'll need:
  • Canvas surface and acrylic paints
  • White gesso
  • Plastic or rubber gloves
  • Paint pouring medium
  • Silicone oil (a medium that helps make "cells," which are soooo cool!
  • Plastic cups with lids to keep paint wet
  • Craft sticks for mixing
  • Squeeze bottles for more pour control (optional)
  • Paint brushes to touch up and embellish pours
  • Plastic drop cloths (or many, many layers of newspapers or butcher paper) 
Set your canvas on a jar to raise it up.
I used cobalt blue, a yellow-green, and a metallic blue-green for my first pour. I also substituted some pure pigment medium for some of the pricey pouring medium, in the spirit of exploration. (It's a Createx transparent base.) I had to add water, too, so the mixture would be thin enough. The pouring paint must not be too thick!!! 
My first finished fluid art.
Again, with my tendency to NOT follow rules, I added some Createx extender
to the second attempt, and even used an old, painted canvas as my base,
rather than a new, gessoed canvas. 
I also added  "Cell Magic" (silicone oil).
The heat I added didn't create cells, but I like the crackle effect.
 I do recommend that you read other instructions
 and see some videos if you are serious about trying this painting effect. 

Thanks for viewing this post. I always appreciate followers of this blog. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


I've been a fan of myths and legends since I was a child. Medusa, especially, caught my fancy.
She was a Gorgon, but before that she was a beauty. Raped by Poseidon, cursed by Athena, she was said to have wings. One of her sons was the winged Pegasus.
I always have a concept in mind before I begin.
I also prefer to build upon a structure or support.
Below I've pictured a few of the materials I
gathered ahead of time. Didn't use them all!
The costume pin reminded me of snakes!
I often change my plans as I go. Materials not shown are an old rubber ball and a metal ball-chain necklace that "fancied up" the edges later. Of course I also used paints (acrylics) & adhesives.
I cut the doll's rubber "hair" off and
affixed the ball to the face, to serve
as forehead and top of head. When
dry & secure, I punched holes in the
"scalp" and glued in the toy snakes.
The baby-doll face was waaaay too
cute, so I created her unsightly nose
and mouth from molding paste.
I adhered the lovely face image looking down at Medusa, and placed her in a bubble of glass (slightly domed, from a small picture frame).
 Below is a detail of the topmost part. Note the blue eyes on either side of the "turned-to-stone" figure--because, you know, MEDUSA!
The horse's wings came from a composite angel.

Another close-up, below, of the 2 key-chain "snakes."  
On the two outer sides, I made marks: ancient Greek symbols.
They seemed too obvious until I partially obscured them.

This "junk art" can be either a tabletop piece or wall-hung.     
Most of the materials were either discards or thrift-shop finds.
In need of more assemblage art inspiration? There are many more examples on this site.


Saturday, November 30, 2019


CAN'T HELP MYSELF, JUST GOTTA GRIPE ABOUT SOME SO-CALLED "MIXMEDIA" ART (not my's "mixed media" or "mixed-media," darn it!). Here's a link to my post on Bloglovin' :

Also gotta remind anyone (still with me) to see some of my previous posts, like the one below using CitraSolv.

And here's an example!
 Guhin, art+blog, lesson  There are more CitraSolv ideas if you wish to check 'em out.
Here's another example: 
Thanks for following my blog. I'm at work now on a new assemblage, done soon, 
so I hope to see you back here. 
It's titled "Medusa" and I plan to post the step-by-step
process for you. Not really a shrine, but sorta 
shadow-boxy, and not "pretty--pretty" at all. 
DO come back to see it and I hope you'll comment!  
-- Paula