Category Archives: Creating Art

Creative Art Activities

Hello Oils. I love you.

I did it. I set up shop last night and hung out with my palette knife. We are best buds. Completed in the AM today, this dahlia inspired floral portrait is dressed in various green hues with hints of warm and cool patches, just like the ocean’s current.My painting session consisted of Gerry Rafferty Radio on Pandora, delicious colors that felt like butter while mixing and an ice cold martini. Thanks, Nicky.

Gotta love Gamblin’s Transparent Orange. I use it as an intense under painting color and it stuns the eye in details. Here is my floral work in progress. By mid session it reminded me of Blanche’s bedspread in Golden Girls. No Joke. Not good. Had to work on my palette choices. Can you sense the GG’s? or Miami Beach? Well, it is what it is.

Have you painted lately? What colors live on your palette these days?

Thank you for being a friend. -MJ


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Recycled Beauty

zinnia made from only 3 paper towel rolls. 

A fellow teacher introduced me to this process. It is super cheap and easy and exercises your playful side. If you have a naked white wall in your home, this could dress it up a bit and be a popular discussion piece at your next household gathering.

Materials: At least 3 or more paper towel rolls; a pencil; a ruler; a scissor; tacky glue or hot glue and a glue gun; clothespins; a large flat workspace; a playful, open mind.

Press down on the paper towel rolls. It should look like someone sat on it and flattened it a bit. The open circles on either end will now look like a pinched oval.

measure 3/4 inch for slices

flatten roll to create a pinched oval shape

Measure and mark off the paper towel rolls into 3/4 in slices. Now cut on the 3/4 inch marks starting at the pinched ends.

vine made from 1 roll. you will have many more to work with

Once you have a collection of sliced pinched oval shapes, start laying them out on a large, flat surface in a branching pattern of sorts or a giant zinnia shape starting with a design in the picture above or another design that your imagination might invent! My vine above was made from only 1 paper towel roll. You will have many more ovals to arrange if you cut more than 1.

Once you are happy with your design, begin to attach them with tacky glue or hot glue. Use the clothespins as a vice to keep your connections together and move on. This will keep your hands free to do the creative busy work of attaching rather than waiting for the glue to dry while you pinch each individual connection.

Mount your finished piece onto a wall will small unobtrusive nails or clear tacks. Witness the artistic beauty made by your own hands!


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Capturing Beauty

In my iPhoto application on my laptop, I have an album titled “cool stuff”. This general term names a folder that is home to a selection of images that inspire me to mix colors, make art, and take more photos of cool stuff. I posted some of my favorites. Some photographing tips: 1) Rock the Zoom. Crop your images with the zoom lens on your camera to filter out noisy negative space. This makes for crisp, clean dense images. 2) Don’t Center your Subject. Line up your tree, stuffed animal or sister with the left or right edge of the camera’s viewfinder. This helps to create a natural boarder for your photos.

psychedelic clean up

yum. colors.


hand painted papers

happy water buckets

happy water buckets

sequins on glasschalk pastels in cool colors

brush gathering

feel the colors

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