Teachings from a Dabber Bottle

I learnt some valuable lessons last night with compliments of one of my acrylic paint dabber bottles….

1. Always, ALWAYS, wear an apron when using dabber bottles. OR change out off your favourite shirt – even if it is just for a little touch up on your art…
2. Do NOT, under circumstance, squeeze hard on a dabber bottle.
3. Be patient if the top of a dabber bottle top has dried out. Spritz and dab….. then dab some more and spritz again if needed…..
4. IF the dabber top has dried out before using it on your artwork, always test first on a scrap piece of paper.
6. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE SQUEEZE HARD ON A DABBER BOTTLE. Yes I repeated this as it was most probably my biggest undoing…

Why you may ask….????

Because if you don’t you will end up with the entire contents not only on the page you are working on but also all over your shirt, your chair, the floor, your desk and your artwork. The bottle just EXPLODES everywhere. And it will only every happen when you are wearing your favourite shirt.

NOTE: My favourite shirt is now my favourite art inspiring “apron not needed” piece of clothing…..


An amazing day and storm

I have had a fantastic day. More of which I will post about later. But what I need to tell you all right now is the storm I am sitting in the middle of. I haven’t had a real chance yet to post about our move and the fantastic house we bought. ….. but let me say we are now living in Tamborine Mountain and right now – yes this very second – I am sitting out on our deck up amongst the storm clouds.

Yes – I am actually sitting outside in a storm cloud. I can’t see anything past about 2 metres away – it is all white. That is the cloud that is surrounding my house. And accompanying that cloud is a huge bank of storm clouds. They have been rolling past for about the last 30 minutes. There has been thunder and lightening – both of which have had my furry babies running to see who can get on Mums knee first 😉

However, I decided that since the wind and rain were coming from the West and my deck faces East – I would go and sit out on the deck and just sit amongst the clouds in the most amazing thunder storm I have been in since I lived in the Pilbara over 13 years ago. My furry babies ???? Well they are inside hiding LOL

I would love to have taken photo’s of my surroundings to show you what I am experiencing but I don’t think that even a professional photographer could do it justice.

I see the lightening and hear the thunder but I think that since the lightening isn’t striking ground right here it isn’t a clap and bang – it actually feels much calmer. And even though for a while there they were quite on top of each other it as, and still is, really quite gentle. No huge loud claps – although we did have one loud clap earlier but that was before the clouds came over and before the lightening storm cloud enveloped the house.

Now that I have re-read my post, I don’t think I have given this experience the justice it deserves. I suppose you just have to be there.

But I have to say – life in the Mountains is one amazing experience after another.

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A New Art Journal

I just can’t stop making journals right now. I LOVE making them. This one is make from sketch paper and is the one I will be using to practice drawing. It will mainly be lead pencil – hence the black and white cover. Not sure if this is finished yet – but my arm and neck need a rest as I have worked on this for a few hours straight. 🙂

Practice Journal

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Hand Made Stamps

I have been having fun lately making my own stamps using “Speedy-Carve”. A rubber type product that is easy to cut and carve into various shapes.

My first items were a couple of small birds for a spread I was doing. After cutting them out I had all these bits of Speedy-Carve that I was reluctant to throw away – there had to be SOMETHING I could do with them. I had the idea to use them to make a texture type stamp. I grabbed a sheet of clear acetate and my Helmar 450 Quick Dry glue. I used the Helmar glue because I knew it was tacky enough to hold the pieces in place as soon as they were placed down and would dry quickly and still be flexible

I applied a layer of glue to the acetate in small sections and adhered the various small pieces of Speedy-Carve into a pattern. What I ended up with is this…

Mosaic Stamp
The stamp is only about 5cm x 2.5cm as that is all the scrap I had. I now have a jar to save a lot more scraps to make bigger stamps.

Here are the bird stamps and samples of them all once inked and stamped onto paper.

Bird Stamps


The following 2 photo’s show the collage stamp used as a border on a page I am working on.
Whimsy Stamped Page


They really are easy to make – why not have a go.

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Inspiration can strike anywhere….

I decided this morning that I wanted to make Beef and Red Wine Casserole for dinner. Not having any red wine I nipped to the bottle shop. As I was looking for a “cooking” priced bottle of red I spotted a bottle that had my art brain careening around with ideas.

Tell me – is it wrong to pay nearly $40 for a bottle of wine just because the label inspires you?

Well I decided it was so I took this photo instead….

A Bottle of Inspiration

Now I have an even bigger problem? What to have for dinner tonight as I simply don’t have time to make my casserole now – I have to go create art!

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Whimsical Face – a work in progress

This is a face created using a stencil by Jane Davenport. Awesome stencils for when you just need a starting point… It isn’t finished as I need to add hair and journaling. Not sure I have finished shading the face either – Hence it still being a work in progress (WIP)

I have actually gessoed over a failed piece of art in my journal. The background art was created using Peerless paints – which are watercolor based but have leached through the gesso which I think has created a nice effect.

Butterfly Free

The Monarch of the Sea

The Monarch of the Sea

…and here is the finished piece.


Her “followers” were copied, reduced then collaged onto the page from this larger piece that I painted just to add to this layout….

Monarch Fish

I had posted a version of this fish earlier – but the tail wasn’t working for me so I changed it. You can see the original version in this post.

Lessons Learnt and Other Information:

In the first “cut” of this piece I printed various sizes of the Monarch Fish onto tissue paper and collaged them onto the page using Liquitex Matte Medium. However, since I had used Distress Stains for the background I found that even though the edges of the tissue paper were torn and soft** the colour drew to the edges and made a “hard” edge around the tissue paper and fishes. Not a very desirable result. So I decided to gesso over the entire background and start again.

I decided to repaint the background with a mix of Liquitex Fluid Acrylic and Distress Paints as they were the supplies I had with the colours I needed. I placed a small amount of each colour onto my palette and used a stippling brush with a little of each colour to repaint the background. As the paints used are both acrylic based I knew they wouldn’t react and pool in the same manner as the stains did. BUT just to be sure I printed the Monarch Fish in varying sizes onto copy paper using my laser printer.

I then fussy cut out each fish. They were then adhered to the page using Liquitex Matte Medium.

The last thing added was the lettering. As there were so many different mediums on the page I used an alcohol based marker – in this instance it was a Prismacolor Premier marker.

** to easily “cut out” images on tissue paper use a thin paintbrush dipped in water to create an outline. Leave for a few seconds then gently “tear” along the waterline. This creates a SOFT edge that is easily blended into a collaged piece.

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