Small Wins – Mixed Media Bird Canvas

You’ll hear me talk about a “small wins” approach to making art with great frequency – and this is because it’s something I regularly make use of.

“Small wins” is a great philosophy for keeping beginner artists engaged and satisfied with their results along the way, but it’s also there for us no matter how much art we have made, no matter how much time we have spent.

Any time I feel a little depleted, or if I find I feel creative, but not fully present, I use simple motifs, bright color that I like to look at, and simplified composition to get a result that is more likely to make me happy.

Now, notice I said more likely. There is no guarantee that what I set out to do will work on the first try. As always, sometimes there are many many attempts in order to get even a pretty simple result.

This little painting was very cooperative, and fun to make. I used acylic inks, and other than that just craft paint and chalk paint (you can use gesso if you have it, but I wanted to see if this could be done with materials anyone can get at the craft store.)

Check out this fun video of this painting that I put together here on my YouTube channel.

Art Journaling Unpacked – Going by Feel

I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of feel in art journaling. This isn’t so much about the emotional component, but the tactile component and the satisfaction that lies in that aspect of making things.

For me, the tactile experience, the feel that certain materials give in the friction between the implement and the support, even the smell of certain materials – that physical aspect of art is the chance for mindful awareness within it, and it gives back to me so much more than I give to it.

Art Journal by Feel – I stopped looking altogether while drawing these shapes

I know that I spend a lot of time concerned with the improvement of my visuals themselves. There’s nothing wrong with taking great joy in your improving competence and grasp of how to do things over time. But I think it pays to simultaneously develop a willingness to go by feel, to do things that may undermine the visual polish and sheen of well executed work.

Art Journal by Feel – This is a scratchy scouring experience with this brush
Art Journal by Feel – Controlled doodling in contrast with uncontrolled markmaking

The horizontal stripe format inspires me to write, which is something I haven’t really embraced much within my visual journaling. I worked the prompt “I love…” and decided to adopt a positive focus. (Something I have found challenging but crucial.)

Art Journal by Feel – I love the raised blobs of heavy body acrylic through this simple stencil

Likewise, I am not normally someone who uses a lot of stencils (I get very lazy about dirtying and cleaning them) so that was all the more reason to use this very basic pattern.

Art Journal By Feel – snippets of writing don’t have to be pretty to work with these raw marks

A lot of my work actually starts by feel, now that I think about it, not just fast journal pages like this. The willingness to just randomly start with a mark placed anywhere on a canvas and then develop that into a full painting is something I think I have developed through making pages like this – seemingly not that related to something like this, but having very similar starting points.

They look completely different but both start with random choices and marks made based on feel.
Art Journal By Feel – The finished spread. It’s not refined, but it is a special record of a few days in my life, and an exciting test of a color palette

So – is journaling by feel something you’ve ever tried? Have you ever done a whole spread this way, or is it something you rely on in different parts of the whole? Comments are welcome!

Paint Your Heart And Soul GIVEAWAY 2020

I have so much news, but I’ll start off with the most exciting bit. Ready?

Have you seen the Paint Your Heart and Soul 2020 teacher lineup? Have you noticed my picture there? Yes! That’s right! I’m going to teach in that great online course next year!!! And….. I’m giving away one FREE spot.

Keep reading for details!

You might have already heard about this amazing course as it is one of the most popular art classes in our online art community. However, if you’ve never heard about it before then in a nutshell, this is a year-long art class with weekly lessons, where you can learn how to create gorgeous art, using different art supplies and techniques from professional artists from all around the world.

This course is great for everyone who is looking to learn (beginners and experienced artists are welcome!), explore, get inspired and to improve, and add to your artist voice!

I’m especially excited, because of the great team of participating teachers and the variety of art techniques we are going to explore! As a matter of fact this edition the biggest edition ever with over 65 downloadable video lessons and PDF documents from 37 amazing artists! We did everything possible to keep the same Early Bird price as we had last year! (make sure you don’t miss out on our early bird sale, as the regular price changed from the last year)

Don’t miss out this sale, don’t wait till the last moment! PYHaS2020 is the biggest edition, there will never be a PYHaS of the same size in the future!

And what’s more – I’m going to give one of you a FREE spot in the course, please see details below!


To enter the Giveaway raffle, do the following:

1. Subscribe to my newsletter

2. Share this blog post on your social media.

3. Comment below on this simple but age old quandary: watercolor, acrylic, or oil?

Each share on a different social media counts as one entry – multiple entries are encouraged!

I will announce the lucky winner on October 8.

*If you’ve already paid for the course and win the spot, you will get a full refund!

I can’t wait to start creating together!

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