Summertime, summertime, sum sum summertime!

Summertime, summertime, sum sum summertime!

Friday, July 22, 2016


Last week's  post promised an example of this technique
on good, smooth watercolor paper.
Again, let your tar gel design (lines, shapes) dry before painting!
watercolor, art+blog
I do love me some analogous colors!
The specimen above was done with liquid acrylic inks.

ART TIP: Always wet the brush before beginning to paint with acrylics.
Lightly blot the water out and use. The paint flows better that way!

VARIATION: Mix tar gel with transparent fluid acrylic to create colored lines and shapes.
ANOTHER ART TIP: Always cover your work surface with old newspapers or other protection!
Guhin, art, blog


Saturday, July 16, 2016


Here’s a painting idea for you to up-cycle a previously-used canvas.

Tar gel is very viscous and dries clear.

ART TIP: Pure black doesn’t occur in nature, or so many artists believe. They think using pure black makes your painting appear artificial, fake, phony! I tend to agree sometimes, especially with figurative work. And, when I see an entire background that’s solid black, I want to tear out my hair! But that’s just me.

1.     Paint the entire thing with very dark colors of your choice (I used umber, deep red, and dark violet on an unwanted painting).

Guhin, art+blog
The light areas shown here were
actually apologies.

2.     Let dry.

3.    Apply strings of tar gel in line patterns, and some shapes as well. Drizzle fine lines from a skewer or knife, or pour some tar gel into a squeeze bottle. Try various size tips and not ON the paper but from above. Allow to dry before the next step.

tar gel, Guhin, how-to
Next week's post will show more tar gel methods!
4.     Apply a coat of white gesso when the tar gel is dry, and quickly scrape while still wet. I didn’t have an old credit card handy, so I grabbed a square of Styrofoam. Leave some gesso in places! Scraping reveals the raised tar gel designs. You can even wipe them with a rag if the tar gel lines and shapes aren’t showing up well enough. That's what I had to do. (But again, you’ll want some gessoed areas for the next step!)
painting, acrylic, technique
Don't let the coat of gesso dry!!!

tutorial, mixed-media
Scraping off some of the gesso.
5. Let what's left of the gesso dry completely. Then use liquid acrylic ink or diluted high-flow acrylics to complete the painting. Transparent paint allows the darker layer below to show through. Watercolors even work well.

Bright wallpaper, anyone? 
ART TIP: Plastic vessels you might ordinarily discard (but
cleaned ones!) make great palettes. With so much goods-packaging available, why add new Styrofoam plates to the landfill after a paint session? I know they’re sturdy, but they don’t decompose for a million years! When an artist recommended them in her recent art book (new plates!), I was sick at heart. Just wash old ones, please.

REVERSE VARIATION: On absorbent paper such as good, smooth watercolor paper,
   no need for the dark layer or the gesso! See next week’s post for examples!
Although my finished acrylic painting (see above) looks rather juvenile to me, I encourage you to do more with this fabulous method! Add collage to the painting, or use the technique over a collage. Use more transparent colors than I did, perhaps. Go a little nuts with it!


Saturday, July 9, 2016



It's not that I think the final product is so terrific. As you've likely heard before, it's the process!
First, I just played around with warm colors of acrylic paint on canvas, creating non-objective shapes.
This is only Step 1!
Next, I grabbed a Pilot metallic marker in gold. I'm not one to go for glitter or glitz, normally, but I did like the shine with my color scheme. I drew lines and scribbled here and there. Not done yet, though.
art, techniques
Step 2, a gold metallic marker.
Thirdly, I mixed clear tar gel with red and umber acrylics (lots of them, to make the mixture more opaque). I filled a clean squeeze bottle with the mixture and went to town.
But wait, there's more! To add more interest, I pulled the tines of a fork through the dark brown in six or seven places.
Guhin, art+experiment
End result...and the tar gel added a slightly raised texture.
Do try scribbling with a shiny metallic marker, or squeezing a tar gel mixture, or combing through with a fork...great techniques! 

Thursday, June 30, 2016


As readers might know, I love to experiment...uh,
with art techniques, that is!
When someone suggests I use a high-temp glue gun, I'll use the low-temp. If I don't have any parchment paper on hand, I'll try the paper made for pastries instead!
Today's post will tell you how I made a couple of quick stencils with a glue gun. They're durable and original. And yours will be much nicer than mine, I'm sure!
TIP: A higher wattage glue gun and the thicker, longer glue sticks will make the process go faster and easier.
art+blog, printmaking
Create your design on a silicone or Teflon mat if you have one. I tried a plastic page protector as my work surface, eventually prying the design off! (So, uh, I don't recommend that.) I then worked on commercial deli paper, which released the design well. Only had to peel off a little paper from my stencil in a couple of places!
MORE TIPS: Don't touch the hot tip of the glue gun, or the hot glue itself! OUCH! And place the glue gun on a protective surface when you set it down...the hot glue might leak out!
Wait for your design to cool before removing from the surface. Use on white, black, or multi-colored papers or canvases. Spray paint or daub sponges over your new stencils.
Guhin, art+blog
A non-objective painting with stencil in place, ready to be used.
TIP: Any fine threads of extra glue you might get are easily removed.

stencil, how-to
                 Something the cat threw up? A lacier stencil experiment.


stencil, how-to, tutorial
My final step was to scribble in a few marks.
Give this easy art method a's addictive!

Sunday, June 19, 2016


I'm sure this product has been around for awhile, but it's new to me. I found it at Hobby Lobby. It's a very thick surface-prep medium that dries matte and opaque. Use it to prepare a canvas for either acrylic or oil paint. Create thick, impasto effects!
mixed-media, collage, painting, texture
You can tint the white color if desired.
I used a sturdy canvas panel that had previously been painted. A knife or brush can be used to apply the product.
mixed-media, floral, still life
I blocked in the composition using the gesso.
Stippling created heavy texture where the bouquet would go. Let the gesso dry overnight if you apply thickly. It dries without yellowing.
Next, I used acrylic paint, and finally, collaged translucent napkin paper onto the piece.
mixed-media, art+blog
Floral still life in an impressionistic style.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Rainy Day Blues: Other Kind Artists' (work that I love!)

Blue has always been one of my fave gals out there will understand when I speak of a vivid blue dress I had as a kid. Loved that dress to pieces!
Guhin, art+blog
This is titled Ignorance. Isn't it great?!
The mixed media piece above is by Meera Rao, a very talented artist. See her blog at

This fantastic collage, below, is by Lynn Edwards. Find more of her well-designed work at

One of Lynn's Boho series (all terrific!)
The sculpture is by Empress Wu, a gifted gal by the name of Wilma Simmons, and is part of a series. This one is Perseverance. The exterior  "walls" are gesso painted fabric, with layered gauze, newspaper, and tea bag paper, amongst other media and techniques. I admire her work very much!
Guhin, art+blog
My gratitude to the wonderful artists who allowed me to show some of their "blue" works! You women are the greatest! (I almost said girls, but, you know.)

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Who among us has not gazed thoughtfully at a painting by Jackson Pollock and thought, "What a piece of crap?"
Rob Long

I've been doing some extremely abstract paintings… no paint, no canvas; I just think about it.
Steven Wright

Man: Mr. Mellon, your wife was just showing us her Klimt.
Thornton Mellon: You too? She's shown it to everyone.
Rodney Dangerfield

If I like it, I say it's mine; if I don’t, I say it's a fake.
Pablo Picasso

Public Art is art that’s purchased by experts who are not spending their own personal money.
Dave Barry

A primitive artist is an amateur whose work sells.
‘Grandma’ Moses

At the Last Supper, how come no one sat at the other side of the table?
Gilbert Gottfried

When having my portrait painted I don’t want justice, I want mercy.
Billy Hughes

Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.  
Edgar Degas

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.
Twyla Tharp

Why do they call that funny little statue a bust when it stops right before the part of the body that it’s named after?

Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes; art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams

The murals in restaurants are on par with the food in museums.
Peter De Vries

There are only two styles of portrait painting; the serious and the smirk.
Charles Dickens

Good art is in the wallet of the beholder.
Kathy Lette

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.
Pablo Picasso

An artist cannot talk about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture.
Jean Cocteau
Thanks for viewing this post...I hope you enjoyed it! Paula