Friday, July 23, 2021

Relax, beach scene, sunset, coat hanger


I found this wood sign in a thrift store.  Went back to it several times, but I really did not want to clean it up.  It was old, grimy, and smoke stained. It also needed some wood glue to hold the letters in place as they were coming loose.  

The scene on it was cartoonish, and the shells were dull browns. I wasn't sure it would be worth the time to clean it and prime it.   

First I repaired it, then I tried to clean it.  What a mess.  It did not come clean, even with strong cleansers and rubbing alcohol.  So I sanded it down to get most of the dirt and paint off.  Then I primed it with a couple of coats of white primer.  

The shells and starfish are made from some kind of hard plastic.  I used a special primer so the acrylic paint would not peel off.  (Acrylic paint does not like slick surfaces.)

 Now I could see it would work.  I drew my seascape on it and got the first layer of color started. That's when I knew it would be worth it! I always love painting the colors of the ocean, and this was one I could really exaggerate.  I also added some pearlescent paint to my colors on the shells and some in the painting too.  When you view it at different angles it shines.  

The idea of taking something I would have thrown away and turning it into something beautiful and valuable really made me feel good.  Made me think about how God rescues us so often, and He turns our lives around for good.

Original hand crafted art
Acrylic on wood
Coat hanger (see below)
15.5 x 8.5 inches

Thanks for looking!


Casper, white calf, knife painting


Revisited this older painting.  Corrected a few things, added flowers, and exaggerated the eyes to make it even cuter.   I also changed the name and put it in a new frame. 

Sometimes they go into storage and when I bring them out for a new frame I just have to fix the things that don't look right to me now.  

Too funny how we see things differently over time!

Original art
Acrylic palette knife painting
Image size: 5 x 7 inches 
Custom frame (see below)
$155.00 (free shipping in the USA)

Please email me for availability: or to have something similar created!


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Spring Showers, arrowhead plant, swamp, mixed media

"Spring Showers"

Fun little knife painting that was a study of this water plant.  I found it a couple of months ago while going through some things in storage.  Thought I should finish it up and add some bling! 

I was thinking about the winter colors of oranges and reds giving way to lime greens and all the bugs coming out as the flowers start to bloom. I darkened the background and added some blues to symbolize rain, then added more texture with acrylic modeling paste to make the leaves jump out more.  I also added charms and beads to emphasize the ideas of spring. They catch the light at different angles.

About this Painting:

Mixed media 
6 x 6 inches
custom wood frame (see below)
$185.00 (includes shipping in the USA) 

Love the classy wood frame, which added the finishing touch. 

Hint: frames can really set off a picture, or kill it.  They also protect the artwork from damage over the years.  Look for something that enhances the art or brings out the colors first, and then something that also goes with your d├ęcor. 


Monday, July 19, 2021

Rough Shore, sand dunes, waves, mixed media

"Rough Shore"
" this world you will have trouble... Take heart,
 I have overcome the world!" 
 (Jesus) John 16:33

 Learned how hard it is to undo things that have been adhered to with acrylic modeling paste while I was working on this painting (off and on for the last couple of years)!  It certainly is difficult to change my mind once it has dried.  (This was one of my early experiments with mixed media.)

 I started it just before I closed my gallery and teaching center because of the pandemic.  Worked on it several times, but I struggled to resolve the texture issues that are left behind when you remove items that aren't working.

I wanted to contrast smooth areas (created with a brush) with thick areas (built up with a palette knife).  I was after the effect of waves crashing against rocks near the shore.  This proved to be quite a mess at first.  Needed to resolve texture issues and correct the size and placement of waves coming onto the shore. Finally found the effect I was after.

Then I got to have some fun! Added sea glass, beads, shells, and aquarium stones. Rearranged them several times before deciding on exactly where to place them.
I framed it in this lovely textured frame, which complements the whole effect I was trying for.  

  • Original Art
  • Mixed media on hardboard
  • Professional materials
  • 11 x 14 inches
  • Textured custom frame (see below)
  • SOLD
Email me if you are interested in something similar! Custom orders are priced by size.

Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

To and Fro, beach, crabs, waves

 "To and Fro"

Palette knife painting on a small wooden plank.  This was actually a failed attempt at transparent layers of water rushing up over the sand.  The wood grain was perfect for the sand and made interesting patterns that I wanted to exaggerate.  But the wood its self was damaged in a quite a few places and the thin layers of paint exaggerated the odd scars in the wood, which went in the opposite direction of what I was trying to achieve.

So I squished out large blobs of paint and took my palette knife and covered the scarred wood with wonderful mixtures and textures!  I added some pearlescent paint in the water and two little crabs running back and forth on the beach, which made me laugh.  Good memories.

About this painting:
Acrylic knife painting
(mixed media)
Wood support, wired and ready to hang
12 x 5.5 inches

Thanks for looking!

Sandy Daze, beach, shells, sand dollar, mixed media

"Sandy Daze"

Here is a free art lesson:
I cleaned and sealed this unusually large sand dollar, which was bleached white, before adding color to it.  I used very thin glazes of paint to get subtle value changes.  I would add color and rub it off, leaving a soft stain behind.  This made the flower shape stand out, which is what I wanted.

Next, I tried it in a wooden tray, a shadow box and on a regular canvas.  But I wanted some kind of wood support to give it more protection, without it being so deep.   This inverted cradled wood really set it off!  I liked the way I could use the edges as a frame too.  It was the perfect depth to show off the sand dollar and still give it some protection.  I primed the wood surface and then created the sandy colors for the beach.  I used professional grade acrylic modeling paste (which doesn't crack or loose its hold as easily as student grade) to adhere the sand dollar and build up thick areas of sand at the bottom.  (I added some sand color to the modeling paste before using it.) The shells in the sand gave it more balance and interest.

Painting transparent glazes (thinned paint with acrylic matte medium) for the water gave the illusion of the sand dollar being in the water instead of on top of it.  Then I used gel medium to adhere beads and create some texture for the splash.  (The texture is rendered with a palette knife by tapping gently onto the thick gel medium.)

  I used a paint brush and more opaque paint as I moved away from the sand dollar.   I love the sandy areas in the water, and put some of those back in when they disappeared. Using small detail brushes for extra shadows under the splash and under some of the shells gives it more depth.  Then small liner brushes are nice for extra details and lacey lines of seafoam. Had fun adding some pearlescent paint for extra shimmer in the water (as well as on some of the small shells at the bottom).

I painted the back and then the edges of the frame before using matte gel medium to adhere the shells to the corners.  Then I sealed the whole piece with two coats of an acrylic semi-gloss clear medium and varnish.

 I use professional-grade acrylic colors and mediums also because they have more intense hues and are thicker in viscosity. 

Feel free to email me with questions if you want to try to create a mixed-media piece of your own!

About this painting:
Mixed Media on Cradled Wood
10 x 10 x 3/4 inches
$270.00 plus shipping

Thanks for stopping by!


Be Still, wood plaque


This was a little plaque I found with the words already on it.  It was plain white with a bit of wood grain showing.  I cleaned and primed the surface before I painted over it in thin layers.  I added the letters back onto it where they had almost disappeared.  I used a matte medium to make the glazed colors so they would be transparent.  This glazing technique adds a nice luster and depth to the painting, and it also ensures that the integrity of the paint is not jeopardized.  Then I used a semi-gloss sealer over the whole thing to give it a uniform shine and to protect the painting.

I generally do not like words in my art, but this was simple and the words didn't overpower the painting.  It really spoke to me.  There is always a refreshing of the soul when I  go to the beach. (I also like the nice twist of creating my art over the words.) I will most likely do a few more of these and see how it goes.


Be Still
Acrylic on cradled wood
10.75 x 5 x 1.5 

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Blessed Shores, painted bowl, seascape, angels

"Blessed Shores"

I found this interesting bamboo bowl at a thrift store.  It goes perfectly with my seascape theme.   The painting is small, and the large bamboo sides of the bowl frame it out dramatically.  

I painted it with thoughts about when I lived on Guam, where I graduated from high school.  I was part of a youth group that put together island adventures frequently.  We explored hiking trails that led to hidden waterfalls, swam in crystal clear pools in deep caves, and had many beach parties and retreats.  Amazing memories!

This bowl was in rough shape.  I cleaned it up and repaired the broken corners before priming the bottom. The bamboo was gray and dingy at first, so after I cleaned it up (with alcohol) the colors came back to a warm brown tone, which I loved.  From there I tried to use similar colors in the sand to give it harmony.  The angels were added for symbolism of my new found faith as a teenager.


Acrylic in a bamboo bowl
image: 5.5 x 5.5 inches
Overall size: 12 x 12 inches

Email me:  for availability or for information about having your own custom painting created! (Animal portraits, kids with pets or livestock, homesteads, vistas, inspirational art, etc... )  
Price list by size.

Thanks for looking!