Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Quality Time Memories

"In family relationships, love is really spelled T.I.M.E."
~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I had SO MUCH FUN creating with my nephews visiting from Colorado last Friday!
Alcohol Ink Paintings by Nephews, Dillon & Cody Yates - First-Time Inkers!

We covered a lot of ground, did a bunch of different techniques (on tiles, Yupo and black vinyl),
had a lot of laughs and created some wonderful memories.

Cody and Dillon were naturals.
  I only had to explain things once to them.
They both quickly grasped all the techniques I shared.

Not bad for first timers!

 They are very pleased with their accomplishments and I am very proud of them!

Cody and I pose with the Sandarosa Sentry
Dillon and I with the Yard Guard
So grateful I was able to spend some real quality time with two super great guys. 
 Maybe someday they will find time from their mountain biking and snowboarding
and take up art. I know they both have a real aptitude for it!

"Spending time with your family and your real friends keeps you grounded."

And Don't Forget About -

Summer 2018 Class Opens June 6th

Thanks So Much for Stopping By

X ♥  O

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Be Yourself, and Accomplish Your Goals

“To be yourself in a world that is
constantly trying to make you into something else
is the greatest accomplishment.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hummingbird symbolizes joy and love
and accomplishing that which seems impossible.

for a chance to win two prints in this #Hummingbird #Print #Giveaway … 
On #MemorialDay, May 28th, I will pick 3 winners
of two unmated 5 x 7” hummingbird prints each (of your choice). 
These will fit into a standard 8 x 10” mat and frame.
Open to everyone - world-wide! See print selections here:

Spring/Summer 2018 Class Opens June 6th

Thanks So Much for Stopping By

X ♥  O

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Drive to Strive and Overcome Struggle

"All artists struggle to some degree with their emotional and creative output."
Michael Fantuz

6 x 6" Framed Alcohol Ink Tile ~ $129.

I have heard some instructors state that learning is painful. No pain, no gain and all of that. I have been serious about my art for very long time and know this struggle to be true. There were times when I'd had a bad painting day that I wanted to scream or just rip my hair out. But in hindsight, what did this feeling, this attitude, this anguish accomplish? Very little, I'm afraid. 

Since then, I've learned that struggle needn't be so painful if you adopt the right attitude. I've come a long way since then, and I want to tell you that it just isn't all that serious! Setbacks and throw aways are to be expected in the learning process, especially during the first thousand paintings or so, lol. It usually takes time, and lots of just doing it; again and again and again.

When we are struggling and making mistakes, we need to understand that it is all part of the learning process. I continue to learn so much more from my re-dos than from my keepers. And, we can't be afraid to take risks and "ruin" what we are working on; because that step beyond OK is usually what separates the good from the great. Yes, it's a struggle to get there, but it needn't be painful when the right attitude of accepting the process, experimentation and discovery are in place. Instead of asking; "why didn't this turn out?", it may be more helpful to ask, "what did I learn?".

My philosophy and teaching appeals to people who want to learn new approaches that free them from limiting thoughts, fear of failure and anxiety. Focusing on the process and embracing the joy of creativity, my students move into that happy place where time fades away. Here, we are in touch with a universal spirit, truly living in the moment.  Here there is no struggle, only go with the flow, create and learn.

Without putting too much emphasis on the end product, making mistakes, solving problems and building on positive experiences, the learning process isn't painful or frustrating. With my guidance, I see creativity, achievement and fulfillment blossom. When the right foundation has been laid, living with art and experiencing the joy of creativity can help us to live life now, with more engagement, love and enjoyment. See more ...

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Germ Of Happiness

"Growth itself has the germ of happiness."
~ Pearl S. Buck

To me, art is, and always has been, an endlessly exciting experiment.  I am fascinated by the exploration of a world with such diverse, limitless possibilities. Continuing to stretch my physical and mental boundaries as an artist and instructor, keeps me feeling young, alive, engaged and energized. 

Alcohol ink has certainly turbo-charge my peregrination over the past five years! Now, painting almost exclusively in alcohol ink, except for an occasional watercolor on Yupo paper, doors have opened up to me that never even existed before. I am so grateful to be one of the pioneers in the alcohol ink, fine art world. I feel so lucky to live in a day and age when I can connect with a whole community of others traveling the same art "dreamway" with a tap of my finger. The work and journeys of lots of awesome artists online and in person, is a continuing form of enjoyment, growth and inspiration.

After days of editing my video for our spring a.i. conference, I'm (understandably) in a Vincent van Gogh state of mind ... Thanks to Sharen Ak Harris, here's my first attempt on blackout film - "Starry Night Lighthouse" on modeling film and on black vinyl. See my discoveries and comparisons below!

Below is an experiment I did in alcohol inks on
Modeling Film (on the left) and Glossy Vinyl (on the right)
Starry Night Lighthouse on Modeling Film and Glossy Vinyl
*My Opinions and Discoveries

Modeling film                                     Vinyl
Wipe Back -                 didn't wipe back clean                        vinyl wipes back clean

Ink w/ Snowcap -           soft, creamy texture                                 harder lines

Color -                             softer/ more muted                            brighter/ more contrast

Application -                    Less surface glide                             Inks slide on surface

My Cost -                   $15. for 6) 8 x 10" sheets                   $19. for 40) 12 x 12" sheets

*These are my personal findings and not necessarily that of  the majority of other users.

Learn how I achieved this look by watching my 45 min. video - STARRY NIGHT IN ALCOHOL INK
- Make sure to catch my 'INSPIRED BY VAN GOGH' presentation (on Yupo paper) (along with 11 other presentations) at the SPRING 2018 ALCOHOL INK ART CONFERENCE - LEARN MORE AND REGISTER HERE!!!
  This is a Virtual (online) conference - watch the sessions from the comfort of your own studio or home 
- All sessions streamed on a private FB group 
- Lifetime access to replays of sessions and access to materials
- win wonderful door prizes compliments of our SPONSORS! (Ranger, Jacquard, Legion Paper, Marker Supply and Art Resin)

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Have a really great day!

X ♥  O

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Have Courage, Take A Leap Of Faith

"The most salient mark of a creative person... is not physical courage...
it is a personal courage, a courage of the mind and spirit,
psychological or spiritual courage that is the radius of a creative person:
the courage to question what is generally accepted; the courage
to be destructive in order that something better can be constructed;
the courage to be open to experience both from within and without;
the courage to imagine the impossible and try to achieve it;
the courage to stand aside from collectivity and in conflict with it, 
if necessary; the courage to become and to be oneself."
 ~ D.W. MacKinnon

This is a very short video showing a couple of shots of my new gallery at 33 South Main St. #HomeTownUSA #ArtOnMain in Medord, NJ 08055. The work in my #currentartshow will be coming down soon to make way for my new show, in #May2018 - #Hummingbirds #Hummingbirds_MagicIntheAir. If you are interested in viewing this show before it comes down at the end of April, email me at: We are #medfordartwalk in #artsytownusa, #destinationmedfordnj. Many of the paintings in this show, BOUNDLESS BLACK AND BRILLIANT WHITE are demonstrated in the 6th Week of My ECourse. Registration closes April 20th! #aiecourse #Fundamentalsofalcoholink at:

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Have a creative day!

X ♥  O

Monday, March 26, 2018

Shine Your Light!

"Those who are at times described as being
“too emotional” or “complicated” are the 
very fabric of what keeps the dream alive 
for a more thoughtful, caring and humane world.  
Never be ashamed to let your feelings, smiles 
and tears shine a light in this world."
~ Marc Chernoff

'Shine On" ~ 5 x 7" Matted Alcohol Ink Painting on Vinyl

 I love working on black substrates but the tiles limit us to a small size. This is one of my first attempts on mat black vinyl. The inks work good on the mat vinyl too. I ordered the 40 pack of glossy 12 x 12" vinyl and it's a great deal.  I'll cut them to various sizes - with 4 x 6"'s I'll get 6 pcs. out of ea. sheet for my studio classes. I'm gonna try it with my students on April 7th! I also ordered some black boards from Blick that I'm going to try too.

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Have a really great day!

X ♥  O

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Strength Supersedes Struggle

"We grow because we struggle,
we learn and overcome."
~ Robert G. Allen

I am an avid collector of inspirational stories and quotes. Some of these treasures date back as far as high school. The really special ones have been read many times and I think of them often. A few of these pieces have even inspired my art and writing. It has been a while since I reread and posted this one, so I thought it might be a good story to go along with this piece. Many of these scenarios, like the one posted below, are "Author Unknown".


An Inspiring Story About How Struggles Strengthen Us

When he was a small boy, he had loved butterflies. Oh, not to net and mount them, but to wonder at them and their habits.
Now a grown man with his first son to be born in a few weeks, he found himself once again fascinated with a cocoon. He had found it at the side of the park path. Somehow the twig had been knocked from the tree and the cocoon had survived undamaged and still woven to the branch.

As he had seen his mother do, he gently protected it by wrapping it in his handkerchief and carried it home. The cocoon found a temporary home in a wide-top mason jar with holes in the lid. The jar was placed on the mantle for easy viewing and protection from their curious cat who would delight in volleying the sticky silk between her paws.

The man watched. His wife's interest lasted only a moment, but he studied the silky envelope. Almost imperceptibly at first, the cocoon moved. He watched more closely and soon the cocoon was trembling with activity. Nothing else happened. The cocoon remained tightly glued to the twig and there was no sign of wings.

Finally the shaking became so intense that the man thought the butterfly would die from the struggle. He removed the lid on the jar, took a sharp pen knife from his desk drawer, and carefully made a tiny slit in the side of the cocoon. Almost immediately, one wing appeared and then outstretched the other. The butterfly was free!

It seemed to enjoy its freedom and walked along the edge of the mason jar and along the edge of the mantle. But it didn't fly. At first the man thought the wings needed time to dry, but time passed and still the butterfly did not take off.

The man was worried and called up his neighbor who taught science. He told the neighbor how he had found the cocoon, placed it in the mason jar, and the terrible trembling as the butterfly struggled to get out. When he described how he had carefully made a small slit in the cocoon, the teacher stopped him. "Oh, that is the reason. You see, the struggle is what gives the butterfly the strength to fly."
And so it is with us. Sometimes it's the struggles in life that strengthen us the most. ~ Author Unknown

Did you enjoy this story? Have you read it before?

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Have a really great day!

X ♥  O

Thursday, February 15, 2018

"Forget Love ...

 I'd rather fall in chocolate."

"There are four basic food groups: 
milk chocolate, dark chocolate, 
white chocolate, and chocolate truffles.

Guess what I just had for lunch!
Giant Chocolate Mousse Heart Cake
Come on over, there's plenty to go around!

Hope everybody had a nice Valentine's Day!

Last Saturday's class project ...

Thanks for stopping by!

X ♥  O