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Blotch a Day!

I’ve been playing with paint (and tea bags and wine and such) and making faces.  It’s inspired by Carla Sonheim’s Faces 101 class.  I’ve been posting them on my Facebook page (catch up here) but I think it’s time I moved it to the blog.  It’s the way funnest think I’ve done since Monster Monday.  So, here’s today’s Blotch a Day!!

OolangI saw all kinds of faces on this one, depending on the angle.  But this one was the clearest.



Tada!  There he or she is.  I think s/he just spotted a quarter on the ground.  What do you think?

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Monster Monday-ish: Week 5

Monster Monday: Week 5

This week’s supplies: Index cards, a pen and some markers, crayons or colored pencils or any other color making items you may have on hand. 

A few weeks ago, I threw a Doodle Party! at the library. It was so much fun, kids don’t really have any fears about drawing, they just jump in without knowing what their drawing will look like when it’s finished.

We drew (surprise, surprise!) Monsters. I grabbed Carla Sonheim’s book Drawing Lab For Mixed Media Artists off the shelf and found about a bajillion awesome fun ideas. I had other plans for this week but, I don’t care, I’m using this one from the book because it is way fun and goofy.

We’ll be drawing a cubist monster.

Draw an eye on your index card.

Rotate the card around and draw another eye, this one should be about 4 times larger than the first eye.

Rotate the card again and draw a mouth. 

Rotate one more time and draw a foot (or fin or wing or?). 

Now, connect the different parts with lines.

Don’t think too hard about this part, it isn’t going to make sense. Inspired by my fearless Doodle Party! friends, I tried to surprise myself. If my line was headed for say, the mouth, I changed halfway through drawing the line and attached it to some other part.

Then, color it in. Use whatever you have on hand, I wanted to use highlighter pens – I know at one point we had more than one color – but I could only find one. I did use my single highlighter in my marker colored monster.

I only made three, I found that these took a little more time than the earlier exercises. I’m going to make more this week, it was so fun. I’m going to try it with collage.

I was so surprised by my results. They look nothing like I thought they would. For sure, none of them is perfect but, you know by now, that will never be the goal of Monster Monday.

Remember to relax and have fun. Please share your cubist monsters here or email them to me at

I know I am behind at posting everyone’s monsters, I will post the last couple of week’s monsters later this week.  That give you extra time to send some in.  Give yourself and art break and make some monsters!

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Monster Monday (aka Wednesday): Week Four

Sorry, I’ve been crazy busy like, Woah!  I lost track of the days but I’m back!  I tried to post yesterday but the internet was fighting me all the way.  

Week Four:

This week’s supplies: Pen, Music that you like and a piece of paper (Not an index card this time, sorry). Any old paper will do, I used the back of a print out.


Sit down in a comfy spot with your pen and paper. Play a song that you like. I listened to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, it’s my favorite song right now. Put the pen to the paper and just follow the music and doodle. Hold the pen loosely and don’t worry about how your scribbles look. Try to keep the pen to paper the whole time and just let it flow. If your chosen song is long, you don’t have to doodle through the whole song. Just doodle until the paper is pretty full and the lines intersect all over.


Now, try to find some monsters in your big doodle. Rotate the paper around and look for a shape that could be a monster. Keep rotating and looking.


When you find a shape that could be a monster, draw those monster lines in a little darker. You can add new lines, circles, or whatever works if you think that it will bring the monster out. If you’re having trouble, look for eyes.


Two big circles that are close to each other. Pupils really help define a monster.


Monsters are something I love to find, I tend to look for them in floor tiles and clouds.


I have a friend who said that monsters just don’t jump out to her, flowers do. If you find something other than monsters, that’s great.


The point is not to bring more monsters into the world, it’s to relax and have fun creating. So if you find something non-monster-y, please send it to me and I’ll share it.



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Monster Monday! Week Three

Monster Monday! Week Three:
This week’s supplies: Index cards, magazine and/or colored paper to cut up, scissors, glue sticks and something relaxing. The relaxing thing could be a glass of wine, a cup of tea or just some music you enjoy.
 First step, relax.  Try to slip into mellow mode. This is meant to be a fun and enjoyable exercise. You may like making monsters more if you let go of any expectation of a finished object. Give yourself permission to relax and stay in the moment. Maybe you won’t end up with any monsters at all. It’s ok. 
No pens or drawing this time. We’re limiting ourselves to collage. I love collage so very much. It’s fun, feels like putting together a puzzle and is less intimidating than drawing or painting. If you don’t like something you glue down on a collage, you can just glue something else over it.
Writing, painting. making music, blacksmithing, any creative thing can be processed through collage. You can make a collage on the topic you want to get ideas about and just let the colllage (and ideas) come together on your paper.

Today, we think about monsters!

Like last week, cut up some pictures from a magazine. You can also use pretty paper. I recommend you make lots of different shapes and sizes. You can use shapes from the magazines that appeal to you or just cut things up into abstracts pieces.


Glue a large-ish piece down on each postcard.  Rotate the card around until you shape looks like a potential monster body. Using your cut up collage pieces only, make some monsters. You can cut the pieces up more to make them look like what you want them to look like.
I put together all the pieces until I found my monsters and then glued the pieces down. Sometimes when I collage, I put a piece down, glue it and then move onto the next piece. Every way you make a collage is right.

Remember to relax and have fun. if you do end up with some monsters, please share them here or email them to me at
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More Monsters!

My site was down for a couple of days, there were some gremlins (not monsters!)  in the servers.  At least that’s what I assume it was, I don’t really understand a single thing in the email that customer service sent me.  But it’s up now and I have some monsters to share!  

First from Jo, who was on top of it, she sent them right away.  She said that she didn’t see many monsters but I think she found some truly creative dudes in there.  I love that they are titled, too.  


Heidi sent some more monsters in, too.  I love how simple and basic the shapes are.  They still have tons of personality.

And Vicky sent in her week one monsters.  She played around with multiple colors.  She said that too many colors made it harder to find the monsters.  I’m going to try that out, I’ve only used one color.  I love it when people bring in variables I haven’t even considered.  

I hope this inspires more monsters!  I’d love to share them.  You can email them to  


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Monster Monday Week Two!

This week’s supplies: Index cards, magazine to cut up, scissors, glue stick and a black pen. 

Cut up some pictures from a magazine. Try to make them abstract and illogical. Are there colors or shapes that appeal to you?  If so, use those. If not, that’s OK. I don’t always feel it. Cut up a buncha nothin’. That’s good too. Try to make them about 1” by 2” but if a different size works for you, that’s good too. Just keep your index card size in mind. 

Using a glue stick, glue a piece down, rotate your paper and glue on another piece; the only rule is that they must overlap a bit. 

Continue until you stop, maybe three to six pieces per index card.  Repeat on about four index cards. Put them down and walk away. You don’t have to wait as long as you did for your paint blobs because these don’t have to dry. If you are inspired to draw right away, you don’t have to walk away, go for it. 

Find the monster in the shapes you made and draw it in. Again, the goal here is to have fun and to look at a thing in more than one way. You can extend your monster beyond the shapes that the collaged pieces make or you can limit yourself to the collaged shapes.

Here are the other ones I made.  You can tell that I didn’t try for perfection, just to have fun.  

I got some messages from people last week who did the week one Monster Monday exercises but were too shy to share. You can email them to me and I’ll post them anonymously if you want but please, please, please share them somehow.

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More Monster Pictures for Week One!

Thanks so much to everyone who sent in monster pictures.  Here are the pictures that have shown up so far. It’s not too late to send yours in, there is no due date.  🙂

The first set are from Jenny, who said that she found them really challenging to do.  She just doesn’t see monsters, she sees flowers and pretty things.  I think they are fantastic and I love how she played with colors.

Laurie sent in these incredibly cute monsters.  I love how happy and friendly they all seem, like Laurie herself:

These are by Heidi, who had a blast making them and I think it shows:

Finally, here are some early monsters that I made.  I cut them out and turned them into postcards to mail to friends.

If you feel the need to do something useful with your monsters, Mail Art is always a fabulous option.  Mail them to someone who might appreciate them!

Tomorrow is Monster Monday, Week 2!  I’ll be sending out another fun monster game to play!  I hope you’ll play along.

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First Monster Monday Pictures!

Yay!  Jo sent in these Monster Monday pictures!  Woohoo!  I love them.  

She reported learning as she went, which is –  oh, I don’t know – like, the awesomest thing ever.  It’s a feeling I am always chasing down and my biggest hope to share with others.  So, yay!  

She played with one of my shapes to make her own monsters.  That is so freakin’ clever and imaginative.  Way to be awesome, Jo.  Thank you for taking the leap and playing along.  

If you’ve got some monsters to share, please email them on to  And use this series as an excuse to play, like Jo did.  

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Monster Monday – Week One!

First Monster Monday Exercise! I got the idea for this (and some of the other ones I’ll post down the road) from Carla Sonheim. She is awesome and playful. I’m taking her Year of the Fairy Tale class online this year and am really enjoying it. 

This week’s supplies: Index card, acrylic paint and a black pen. When I sat down to work on this, I realized that I don’t have any index cards, so I used these index card sized alphabetical cards that I found at a thrift shop. Any cheap, smallish paper will do. 

Optional supplies: A small paint brush, water, a paper plate to use as a palate, a rag to clean up with. 

Paint a blob (finger paint or with a paint brush) on an index card. Repeat at least 4 times on other cards, 8 is a lot, 10 is maybe excessive but don’t let that stop you if you are inspired. 

Try not to have any preconceived ideas about what these shapes might end up as. Walk away. Let them dry for a couple of hours. 

After they dry, it will be time to find your monsters.  Turn the cards around and around, looking at them from different angles. Take your time if needed but don’t think it through too much. Allow your intuitive, non-logical mind help you find them, they don’t have to make sense. 

Maybe a running dog thing…
Nope, I don’t see anything here.
Maybe…I’m just going to check one more angle…
Aha!  I see it now…
When you see a creature in your shape, draw it in with a pen. You can extend the shape out or limit yourself to the interior of the blob only. If you just see part of a creature – for instance – only an eye, you can start with that and see if anything appears.
Don’t aim for perfection. You’ll never reach it.  The goal here is to play and have fun.
Please email your Monster Monday pictures to me and I will share them here. Have fun!
Here are the other monsters I found:
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stick a fork in me

I had a crazy productive day today.  I took this completely beautiful and fabulous cat print that I picked up at the Madison Print and Resist Zinefest in the fall,

Made by an artist at

Took some fancy goo

And put it on a canvas.  I used tissue paper and a doily to make a frame around it.  It’s on a stack of freshly ironed, indigo dyed dishtowels.  Christmas is coming right up, ya know.

But gooing and ironing wasn’t enough for me.  Inspired by a friend’s project, I also used some of this horrible, cheap, plastic yarn and experimented with basket making.

I’m actually really thrilled with the result.

How cool is that?  I used the horrible cheap yarn because I happened to have it on hand and we just had a big snow storm so I didn’t want to go shopping.  

I really wish I had used nice, natural cotton rope.  I think cotton will make a nicer shape, too.  Oh, yeah, there are more of these in my future.  


There’s more!  

I took a bunch of close up pictures of my dishtowels. Yep, that’s sounds pretty obsessive, I hear it.  But it turned out cool.


I added a favorite quote to the photo.  Fun.  I wonder if that would work as a print.  

But I won’t be finding out today.  

You can stick a fork in me, I’m done.