Friday, January 28, 2011

spotlight on...

Jerene.  A gifted textile artist, she has trended into painting and multimedia art.  I wanted to share Jerene's work with you, as part of my plan to make this a blog that shares the diversity of artists, and their work.

I've know Jerene for several years as an online friend.  We've chatted about many subjects, and found common ground in music and art.  We share many of the same interests and beliefs.  One of these beliefs is that art is what you make it.  It can be anything really.  It is what speaks to you and through you.

There are many different types of artists.  I follow some artists on Facebook and in blogs who are highly trained, and make their living as professional artists.  I also follow an online art community for women (Milliande) and artists who paint, draw or use whatever media they enjoy exploring, and do it for the pure pleasure of creating something unique.

I think there is room in this world for all types of art, and the artists who create.  Jerene has reinforced this belief as I have watched her evolve over the past 5 or 6 years, and especially in the past year.  I have celebrated her growth and shared her excitement as she took on new ways of expressing her creativity.

the green man, a recurring theme in Jerene's work
 Below you will find samples of Jerene's art taken from her Facebook page, Angel Heart Studio.  I encourage you to visit her page, and view more of her art.  I will enjoy watching her journey continue to unfold, and welcome you to join me.

hand made quilt

night sky 

playing with texture and color



art journal page

Saturday, January 15, 2011

you can call me bob

Many of you have heard of Bob Ross.  And some of you haven't.  Ross was a talented painter, who developed a way of teaching the art of painting by breaking it down into simple steps.  He believed, and I agree with him, that most people have inherent artistic talent, and that with the right training, time, and practice, can become accomplished artists.  That is the premise that Treasures by You is founded on.  It isn't a new concept, but we took it and personalized it with our own brand of teaching, in small groups with individual attention, to help people taking our classes discover their inner artist.

Painting is a personal thing with me, something I have been doing since I was about 12 years old.  I didn't begin to teach it until after I was an adult, first for my own business for 15 years, then as part of the experience Vix and I have established in Suisun City, California.

Today I want to take you all step by step through the process I use to create for our studio.  I hope this will encourage those of you who want to paint to take the leap.  As Bob Ross was fond of saying, "there are no mistakes in painting, only happy accidents!"

This is the photograph I will paint from.  Sometimes I use a photograph, sometimes I paint from what is in my imagination.  Often if I paint from imagination something that is real, I will google photos for reference.  (Shape of a head, the color of something, etc.)  I don't like to look at too many things because I don't want to be too influenced when I paint.  Just brief references, to keep me on target with what I have worked out in my mind.

This is the palette I used for today.  I use medium to heavy body acrylic paint and the colors for this painting are: phthalo blue, white, black, raw umber, chrome yellow, and raw sienna (just a dab of that really).

I used a 1", 1/2" and 1/4"  flat wash (or bright), and a #6 and #8 round brush. 

First I use a bit of raw umber and outline the rocks on the beach.  Then using phthalo blue and white, I paint the sky with broad strokes with the 1" wash.  Next I paint in the ocean, using more blue.  I don't over stroke because I want the colors to show some variation.  If you stroke the canvas too much, you end up with a solid color. 

 Next I start adding darker blue to establish the waves coming into the beach.  Again using a 1" wash. 

Taking a 1/2" wash, or bright, I take very small amounts of white paint and start to add whitecaps to the waves and surf.

Waves.  (The color looks different on some photos due to changing light in the room, so not to worry...)

Whitecaps, added little by little in small strokes, smaller the farther away on the horizon, getting larger closer to the beach.

I continue to add whitecaps, and go back from time to time and work some other shades of the blue/white mixture into the canvas.  I also go back and work on the sky a little more, defining the clouds just a bit more.


More white on the waves rolling into the beach, breaking it up to make it show more motion.  Using the 1/4" flat now for tinier detail.  Don't overload your brush, and if the paint builds up on it, scrape some off on the palette, or a rag (which is what I use).

Detail of the beach, where the waves are breaking toward the beach.

Water is about finished.  Foamier and more white where the waves wash up onto the beach.  I used the 1/4" and also the #6 round brushes for this.  Went over the lines on the rocks, but that will be covered when the rocks are painted.

More sky detail.  Adding some brush strokes for the clouds gives more depth.

Close up of the water near the beach.

I begin to paint the rocks in using the raw umber, black, white, and a bit of yellow.  I am using the 1/2" flat brush at this point.  (I use wash, bright and flat interchangeably but am talking about a flat, square, wide brush, good for filling in and also fine lines and small areas if you turn it on its side.

I start with dark areas, add light areas, then go back and forth, building the rocks from the back to the foreground.

Close up of rocks.  I keep adding areas of dark and light, to suggest shadows and areas of rock in the sunlight.

Next I mix yellow, blue and white and dab on the rocks (dab is the best way to describe it) and vary the colors.  Anytime you paint something like foliage, trees, rocks or most anything, the way to bring it to life, so it won't look flat, is to mix several shades of the same color, as I have done here on the water, rocks and moss.

Adding a bit more color in small amounts to the rocks.

Finished rocks.

And last, I add the waterline to the edge of the beach, so it looks like the water is washing up on the beach, and not the beach washing out on top of the water! :D

And this is the finished painting. 
Now that I have taken the mystery out of painting, grab a brush and let's paint!

Friday, January 14, 2011


You may or may not paint.  If you paint, then what I am about to talk about will make perfect sense.  If you don't paint, then it will help you understand the process a bit better maybe.

Creation.  I am talking about the process of creating a painting.  I do the designs for the TBY studio every month, and I can tell you it is not always an easy process.  Sometimes when the time comes to paint, my mind is a creative void.  Even trying to decide what to write about for my first "real" post in this blog has been a struggle.  I finally decided that just jumping in with both feet would be best, and that I should start at the beginning.  The start of my creative process.

Sometimes I see things, or photos, and a painting jumps to mind.  Then sometimes it is a color or group of colors I am thinking about.  I often discuss ideas with my sister and partner Vix.  She gets me jump started many times.  This month we were talking about painting in monochromatic colors, or keeping a palette that is muted.  This would be an alternative to the bright colors I usually paint in (I am a lover of color, the brighter, the better).  I sat down with my sketchbook, thought about what we talked about, and this is what I came up with:

pears and grapes
I started with some browns and golds, then added some greens toned down with brown.  I could tell you exactly what shades I used, but you get the idea.  Muted.  And I liked the colors when I finished.  Then it was time to paint my next idea.  I was in a groove now and thought well, how about a jungle cat?  There are rich tones of brown in the cats, and I was thinking cheetah specifically because of the distinct facial markings.  So I put up a blank canvasboard, sat for a few minutes to clear my head, and began to paint.  I ended up with this:

But something was just not quite right with it.  I couldn't put my finger on it, but I wasn't totally satisfied (I rarely am with my paintings, a trait that many artists share).  So I talked about it in a Facebook group, where I had posted the step by step photos for Vix, because she teaches most of the classes.  One photo in particular was commented on by my sister Dooj.  She liked the look of this:

And I did too.  So I thought about that all night.  When I am in a painting, I often wake up at night with ideas about adjustments to make, sometimes big changes and sometimes just a tweak.  I got up early this morning and knew what I needed to do to the painting to satisfy myself.  This is how it ended up:
More subtle, like a big cat would be.  I knew as soon as I finished that last blade of grass that it was finished.  I wanted the eyes to be the focus, and now I feel they are.

I want to say that it isn't easy for me to discuss how I create, and what I paint.  I have never tried to market my painting.  I have given away some paintings over the years, but to open up and put my work out there for people to see and critique is like standing naked in a room full of people.  Vulnerable.  Not an easy emotion to deal with.  But I am older now, less vulnerable to what people say, and I still paint as I always have, to please myself.  If others gain pleasure from what I do, that is an added bonus for me. 

That is what everyone should strive to do.  Paint for yourself.  For your own pleasure.  Let what you paint come from the place inside that leads from your heart to your fingertips, in whatever media you use. 

That is the essence of creation.  Do it for YOU, a part of you.  And share it with joy. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Welcome to the first post for Treasures by You!  In the following days and months we will be posting art related information, and showcasing our art, as well as our guests' art.  We've been doing this since April 2010 and are building a wonderful fan base, and wanted to find a way to share with anyone who visits our website, as well as our fans on Facebook.

We look forward to this new year and are planning some exciting art!  We will prove to you that yes, YOU can experience what it is like to paint, and have fun doing it!

So stay tuned....lots of fun ahead!