Art Thoughts

Marin Open Studios: The ICB Experience

Marin Open Studios ICB

Marin Open Studios is always a fun event. I love the experience of visiting other artist’s studios and getting a glimpse into their creative process. I enjoy looking at their art and I always marvel at the tremendous variety of creative expression. I also really like talking to artists about their methods of working. I […]

Textures and Patterns Lesson

Textures and Patterns, Demo 1

Introduction to Textures and Patterns: Textures and patterns are eye-catching and add interest to paintings and drawings. This exercise is a great way to build skills and strengthen your powers of observation of textures and patterns. It will get you to start looking at the world of everyday things around you in a different way. […]

Bonnard and Animals

Bonnard, Demanding Cat

Bonnard: Painting Arcadia, a special exhibit at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor Museum is a trove of wonderful paintings. While I have seen some of this art exhibited or reproduced before, many images were new to me. Or perhaps I was just seeing them through fresh eyes. What I noticed most were the way so […]

Color Wheel Circles Painting Project

Color Wheel Circles Demo 2

My Color Wheel Circles painting project is a great introduction to the color wheel and color mixing. I’ve been using this project with students for over eight years. This painting project doesn’t require drawing skill because the design is made with circle templates and ruled lines. This frees students to focus on color. This project […]

Stain Painting Surprise

Stain Painting Demo 1

Stain Painting Project This stain painting art project encourages freedom and experimentation with color and brush-work for all ages. Results can be surprising and unexpectedly pleasing. The Acrylic Flow Release mixture can be irritating to skin and eyes, though, so caution should be used. I wear gloves when brushing the mixture on the canvas and […]

Collage Magic

Butterfly Collage Demo

Collage with Colored Tissue Paper and Black Marker An art project using art tissue paper where the dark lines of the marker magically show through the transparent tissue paper of the collage. There’s even more magic because when the colored tissues are layered and over-lapped they make new colors. This is a great project for […]

Mono-prints are Easy

Student Mono-print, Summer

Mono-print Paint Project A mono-print is a print that is produced once, not in multiples. This method can be addictive and fun. It encourages experimentation and can yield great results quickly. This is a good project for all ages. If you are using acrylic paints, not tempera, encourage students to paint quickly so the paint […]