Big Fat Art with Jane Davies

Meet Jane.

Jane is fun, quirky, straightforward, very creative and a whole lot spontaneous!

I had the pleasure of spending all last week with Jane Davies on the Sunshine Coast of B.C. Three days of Big Fat Art and another two of Monoprinting with the infamous Gelliplate. I was definitely in my happy place spending long days just creating with no means to an end, making unexpected marks, combining new colours and exploring lots of layers.

A little ukulele playing did not hurt the process….

Big Fat Art with Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

We spent the week exploring fast, carefree mark-making with various mark making tools, charcoal, water-colour crayons, ink and pastel. We combined unexpected colours, playing with opaque and transparent colours. We added texture through the use of paint and handmade collage papers.We learned how to add lots of depth to our work. We even added a few drips here and there.

We had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun.

Most importantly though we silenced the inner critic within and created with no concern for what is right and what is wrong.

Big Fat Art with Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

To be truthful, it wasn’t easy. It can be a little disconcerting to try new things and work against principles that have been ingrained in you by every art teacher and book out there.

What I loved about Jane was her constant encouragement to push past what we already know and try something different, and her love for the creative process versus the finished outcome.

For me that included No imagery – no flowers, birds or other whimsical things flying around and, gasp, maybe putting some purple in my work.

Ok, some things I just couldn’t manage to push myself past, BUT look how awesome it looks below with the reds and yellows!

Big Fat Art with Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

This, once again, reminds me of the importance of keeping an art journal. A safe place to try out new marks, colours and techniques. A place to make some really bad art with hopefully some unexpected surprises of greatness!

Learning from Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

Here are a few of my works in progress. A few things I learned about myself:

I love strong, bold colour. I love texture, but not necessarily patterned texture. I love depth.I love discovering little marks hiding underneath different layers.I love organic shapes. I love a wee bit of black in my work. I love contrast.

I am a wee bit scared of the abstract. I still don’t feel comfortable with the tension it often adds to work.

I also learned that I need to add more areas of rest and lightness to my work. I need to take a deep breath and work on the details of each smaller piece within the bigger whole, to be more mindful and to slow down and sit with a piece before I call it finished. I need to add more interestingness to my work either by contrast, line or layering.

Learning from Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

What a great week! I could spend all day, everyday, creating.

For more info on Jane please visit her website. Do not miss out on her tutorials tab. Jane is very generous with her knowledge and discoveries and has dozens of great video tutorials to share. Small doses of creative inspiration!

She also offers online and real life workshops. Sign up for her newsletter for more info on upcoming courses.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me an email.

Have a great week! I hope the sun is shining and the autumn leaves are in full color for you.


Inspired by…the re-blog

I have been given permission to re-blog!Or maybe I should call it re-post? I have to admit there is a secret side of me that wonders if anyone would ever notice if I re-blogged a post from,say 10 months ago. I know it’s a bit lazy, but sometimes my creative journey comes halting to a standstill and I am left sitting here, twiddling my thumbs, with nothing to write about.

Today though, Seth from the Altered Page has asked that I re-post one of my favorite posts for his Buried Treasure project. He is compiling a list of art blogs so that we can do a little perusing on our own to discover some new and inspiring material. I know I am in need of some creative inspiration. I would almost be happy with a rainy day so I could catch up with all my ideas.

Thank you Seth! There is definitely not enough time in the day to spend flipping through tabs. I am all about the one stop shop. So if you are looking for a little new material hop on over to Seth blog for a lovely dose of inspiration.

Without further ado I present you with a tutorial (of sorts). Check back in at the end of the week for an art journaling post!

Inspired by…playing with color

What a week! If I had have known what the past week had in store for me I may have increased my caffeine levels a bit.

life changes,5 yr plan,Lots of very big changes are happening here around our household. All plans in the making up until now, all talk and dreaming rather than action ~ until this past weekend ~ I am not sure what lit the spark, but trust me when I say it has been ignited.  Its go time. The next 6 months will be full of lots of positive change for us as a family.

Pick up the phone and start dialing…

I wont share too many details right now, but they include lots of moving parts. Moving homes, moving lives, moving ~ a 5 year plan is in place. Lots of balls in the air, now just a matter of timing and making sure they all fall in the right places.

Ah.. the ball in the air metaphor. A favorite around this household..

My husband thrives with all his balls in the air. I like mine lined up in a row, preferably color coded and all the same size. The only similarities between us being that we both like momentum and lots of it.

Today, in my world, my issue is with color. This is not a new issue, but one that I am slowly discovering needs to be addressed. I have the books, the links and all the information I need to be a master colorist. Now is the time to actually absorb all that I have read and instead of haphazardly throwing color around, placing it where it is supposed to be so that my paintings start to SING. Oh goodness, not so sure that is going to be happening around here…

golden fluid acrylics, paint, color

Somehow it just seems easier to go out and buy the perfect shade!

But, no,I have been told, many times, I only need 12 colors ~ with a bit of black and white mixed in.

color mixing, acrylic paint, tutorial

Taking that in mind I set out on an exercise to understand just how many colors can be mixed with 12 colors, a bit of titanium white, titan buff and black. This lesson was a little something I picked up from Julie Pritchard. Check out her site for some great online art courses!

All you need here is some white paper, a few transparencies, paintbrush and paint.

On the top of your white paper and transparencies write out your colors and a dark line

acrylic paint, color chart, color mixing

Along the side of your transparency and white paper write the following ~

pure, white, white++, titan buff, titan buff ++, black, white +, titan buff+

color mixing, acrylic paint,color chart

Grab your paints, paintbrush and palette.I used 24 colors because I am not very good at following directions. I laid out my paints according to the color wheel, starting with my yellows and working clockwise to green, blues..and so forth.

Using the example above with Quin Magenta

First square = paint a square of pure color.

Square below= add quin magenta with a bit of white mixed in.

Square below = added the quin magenta+ white + a bit more white. ( ++ white)

Square below = add quin magenta+ titan buff

Square below = add quin magenta + white + a bit more white ( ++titan buff)

Square below = add quin magenta + black

Square below = add quin magenta + black + white

Final square = add quin magenta+ black + titan buff

mixing paint, mixing color, acrylic, paint, art tutorial

Proceed on..complete above exercise with all colors. It takes time, but you will be very happy with the results!

1 color + white, titan buff + black = 8 colors

I completed this exercise using 24 colors I had on hand which  = 192 colors.

THIS is before I even began to mix colors…which I wont be doing, but will definitely take into consideration the next time I dive deep into my pocket to buy yet another tube of the perfect shade of green!

Imagine the possibilities!

Why the transparency you ask?

color mixing,acrylic paint, tutorial

Ever feeling a little lost wondering what color to add to your painting, maybe a little stuck wondering what color to use for glazing, or simply wondering how transparent/opaque your color really is??

The transparent color chart is your friend!

Well friends, that’s all I have to share today. Come back soon for more color info over the next few weeks. Don’t hesitate to comment if you need further explanation!

Off to hit “publish” and wait for the phone to start ringing:)

Inspired by..Creative Everyday (a community..)

Gotta love having an extra day to get things done. However, here I am still posting February’s challenge for Creative Everyday last minute…..

This months topic….Night.

A progression for you because it seems everyone likes to see the different stages a painting goes through…me included! (No intuitive painting here!)

Creative Everyday, birch, acrylic painting, trees,aspen,snow
reative Everyday, birch, acrylic painting, trees,aspen,snow
reative Everyday, birch, acrylic painting, trees,aspen,snow
reative Everyday, birch, acrylic painting, trees,aspen,snow
reative Everyday, birch, acrylic painting, trees,aspen,snow

Fascinated with snow…the painted kind.I especially love the contrast between the lights and darks. Hoping to work further with this in the future.

Short and sweet, but I have few other challenges to finish before the witching hour.

To check out other artists interpretation of “night”  ~ have a look here!

Adios my friends

Inspired by….some more intuitive painting with Flora

I am three weeks in to Flora Bowleys ecourse….Bloom True.

Talk about an emotional roller coaster ride….but one that I am loving! I laughed out loud when I heard Flora use that exact term to describe the process. At least now I know I am on the right path!

The typical painting goes something like this…

Oh, so much fun. Spreading paint with wild abandon.I could do this forever…this is what I love.Spray, splatter,swipe. Loving the cool colors and textures I am creating. Oh and I never knew how to make that color!! Wow, looking good..

Oh oh, now that’s just plain ugly. How did it just go from great to bad? Shouldnt have done that. Paint over. Damn, just painted over a part  I really like. You want me to add black and white..oh ok..well now its just really ugly. Wheres the gesso. No, dont touch it…let it grow,trust your instincts….

Its madness. I have caught myself talking out loud.. more than once. Sorry, I mean talking to the dog.

I love it…I hate it..

I  have had moments of feeling like a superstar…the next Rothko. I have had moments when I have questioned this style of working.I have had to leave the house more than once to just walk and clear my head.  My husband is very thankful he is away traveling.

Well here you have my process….plus a possible finished product.

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

Stop shaking your head….I know…poppies again… ahh…my comfort zone. I saw more than one parrot lurking around in there.

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

Not signed yet…so there is still lots of time for changes!

I have to be honest,  this style of intuitive painting is right up my alley. I have comittment issues  at the best of times and the beauty of this style is that it can go any new direction at any time. Makes me feel so free…

I do shake my head a bit at another poppy painting. But, there is a rhyme and reason to it all. I am trying to explore themes and different ways of presenting the same thing. Things that I love…things that inspire me. I have never painted just pods so that’s a little different.

I would be curious as to which stage of the painting you liked best. I know I was in love around Layer 4-5 and when I first started adding the images. I am finding that with most of my paintings I am loving the middle section of the process vs the final product. I believe there is a lesson to be learned here. I need to stop then…maybe go a little abstract and keep it loose. I find I am loosing all of the wonderful marks in my journey back into my comfort zone…texture.

Constantly learning…. It feels good and while I do get a wee bit frustrated, it is nice to know I am making progress!

Thank you for all of your comments as I stumble through this process. At times I still cannot believe I am putting it out there, but I really do love and appreciate the community that I have become a part of….so much fun!

Have a great weekend!

Do you want to be part of this crazy, creative process with Flora Bowley? It is really quite fun! For more info on her course click here.Flora Bowley  {artistically afflicted blog}

Inspired by…my camera settings

I have been working very hard at finishing some of the unfinished canvas hanging about my studio. It has been hard.

I am a starter. I love the process of coming up with an idea and executing. Unlike others, I love a blank canvas.

My downfall is when to call it quits. If a canvas is leaning against a wall or laying on the floor it is still fair game and should not be surprised if it is gessoed over. The closest art store is 2 hours away so when I get the urge to paint it is quite often over some unfinished work that I may not be loving.

Not a good habit… because not only has many, many hours probably gone into that piece, but as we all know, every painting has an ugly stage. A stage that needs to be worked through in order to learn and grow.

I know I am heading somewhere with all of this….

Ah yes…my new technique. Photographing my art work and playing with the balances in my photo editing program.

winter birch, acrylic, painting, mountains

This is where my painting stands now. A bit too blue for my liking. I may have just bought a new tube of cobalt teal…

winter birch, acrylic, painting, mountains

Playing with my white balance. Adding more contrast. Taking out some of the color.

winter birch, acrylic, painting, mountains

Once again playing with the white balance. Adding a bit of warmth,  fading the blues and cooler colors.

winter birch, acrylic, painting, mountains

This looks like a very cold winter day. I am thinking I may add snowflakes to this one.

So, one unfinished painting, with many different directions to go in. I love the flexibility of acrylic paint. Always remember…no fear. You dont like something ~ change it!

I am thinking this painting may become a field of beautiful red poppies…..

I jest. Actually, if I recall correctly, this painting use to be of bumble bees….

No, I will finish it. I have to finish it because that is the goal.I just wish I didnt feel so done with it. I wish I had the same enthusiasm I had for it in its first couple of hours…the honeymoon stage.

I am thinking more branches, less blue, more white and a little something to make the trees pop out….and maybe a few more months leaning against the wall. I know something will eventually come to me!

Next week….playing with darks and lights using photo editing techniques!

Inspired by….Bloom True (the e-course)

I am at it again. Stalking poor Flora. Read about her here….over here and here… I really should become her PR gal. Hmmmm…

This time I am taking her newly released e-course Bloom True. As I expected it is everything I imagined and more.She is true to her word.

I am OPEN to it all!

So bear with me for the next 6 weeks as you help me intuitively paint myself to greatness.I will try to limit my ” Help ..What do you see?” questions.

I have really been enjoying our classroom community. I love reading everyone’s comments and thinking “Yes, I get what you are saying, I see that…I know where you are coming from… ” But it is our own process and each and everyone of us will find our own way.Its just so nice to know you are not alone in your process. Everyone is finding and sharing.It is a great learning environment.

The key is trust.Not an easy value to uphold when painting. Especially when you have an inner critic sitting right next to you, critiquing every move…..

Currently we are working on our mark making. I have been searching the house high and low for tools. Just recently I received a lovely bottle of wine as a gift…wrapped in some fabulous cardboard.

What am I thinking you ask? I am eyeing the cardboard with great enthusiasm thinking the ridges on it will be a fine mark making tool. My children and husband no longer speak, they just glance sideways at each other and hope and pray that they did not inherit this gene….

So here you go. What I have found helpful in my mark making process. Fun times and lots of play….
acrylic, painting, mark making, Flora Bowley, Bloom True
My very own homemade cut outs. These are made from sturdy paint chips, a couple of different hole punches and an exacto knife. Anything goes…
acrylic, painting, mark making, Flora Bowley, Bloom True Fruit and veggie mesh. Great for spraying paint or inks on.
acrylic, painting, mark making, Flora Bowley, Bloom True Scrapbook paper cutouts, ridged cardboard,raised paper…
acrylic, painting, mark making, Flora Bowley, Bloom True Anything to scratch, etch and move paint around.

mark making, acrylic, painting, scrapbook Scrap cuts outs. Love these. Once again great for spraying through or painting on top.
And last but not least. My favorite…
acrylic, painting, mark making, Flora Bowley, Bloom True
Spray bottles, fluid paint and ink. I am loving these. My walls and floors are not!
Great for spraying through cutouts, or into wet paint. Great for drips!

So there you have it. Add a paint brush or two, fingers and rags and you have an arsenal of great mark making tools!
I would love to hear what you are using. Please share and feel free to add a link!

Thanks for dropping by…and remember…..

practice, patience and perseverance

For more information on Flora Bowleys workshops click here!
Flora Bowley  {artistically afflicted blog}

Trust me, it will change the way you paint.If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at