Secret Identity

focus image

Another page for the A Layer a Day group on Facebook. This week’s theme was “secret identity” or that identity which we hide from the rest of the world. I immediately thought about my gaming character in “Lord of the Rings Online”, a hunter elf. But I also realized that this image spoke to the fact that I tend to hide anger but focus it in a laser sharp way like the flaming arrow in this page.

I planned to do this page with negative painting so started with a collage but I used very, very little of the background in the final version.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I wear many hats (mixed media)

Me in many hats

The question was “How do you identify yourself on first introduction”? My mixed media response is, “I wear many hats”. Like many people, how I introduce myself varies situationally so there was no simple answer to this prompt. I started with a charcoal sketch, roughed it in with acrylic paint and then took out markers and pens to finish it off. Lately this seems to be my “go to technique”. Lately I have been improving on it by either outlining in pen and erasing the original sketch or using a workable fixative over the charcoal before applying acrylics. In this page I had some greyed out areas due to charcoal contaminating the paint but I lived with it. Live and learn!

Me in many hats
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2020 Closure

butterfly balloon lady

I just wanted to float away from this year when I started to think about the topic of “closure”. Like many others around the planet, it has been a year of almost total isolation for me. One of the good parts of the year involved participating in France Papillion’s “A Layer a Day” group on Facebook where members call themselves “butterflies” after the surname of our group leader. I painted the balloon to represent all the butterflies that kept my spirits up with kindness, compliments and jokes during the year.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Rainbow Warrior

This quickie page was themed on the idea of a personal rainbow. I started with black gesso and later scrubbed on white and blue paint with a baby wipe. The next layers were my favorite colours of pinks, purple and blue. The butterfly was drawn with a Pitt big brush marker.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Red is a Joker Colour

I don’t really have a colour I “hate” but red is just so loud and bossy. It screams in bold caps and demands to be the star of every show. It also isn’t a good team player because you have to find EXACTLY the right shade to complement fininicky reds or they get in a snit and go all clashy on you. Loud and self-centred colour it is.  Because I am not fond of red, I always have left-over red papers in my nearly used up pads of scrapbook paper, so I started by collaging some. It was cheap paper so I had some wrinkles and I ended up having to add more paper as I caused some damage trying to flatten the wrinkles. Oh well.

Negative painting focal image.
Collaged red papers

I used the negative painting technique to define my focal image and then used paint and water soluble markers (with water brush) to create my red-garbed joker.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I Love Purple

Colour I love!

I absolutely do love the colour purple.

Layer 1 Lindy's magicals over gesso.
Perhaps it is because it was the compromise colour in my childhood. I wanted to wear pink like all the little girls and my mother insisted that blue brought out my blue eyes and pale skin better. The compromise was always violet.
When I was in university I had a favorite purple outfit and purple ombre sunglasses. This led some to nickname me “the purple haze” for a time.  I am channeling this memory in this page.

I used some foam stamps with Lindy’s magicals and had trouble getting a good true colour photo due to shimmer.

Added some decoupage napkin elements
Drawn focal image using acrylics and markers.
Colour I love!

Completed the piece with doodled flowers and bubbles as well as some embossed script and words.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Blue Moon

Blue Moon

I sometimes like to work on black gesso pages. This page was inspired by a T shirt design that I saw someone wearing in a photo right after I heard the prompt for the week was “Colour I am”. The bird at the window speaks to me about my blue feelings of being confined during the pandemic. I am not totally a prisoner but sit at my window, not flying.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Just a tree

More explorations on the “roots” theme. I stayed with negative space painting for this page, beginning with using a collaged base, coloured with inks. I then over-painted with acrylics and final touches added with pens and markers.


  • torn book pages, music paper and Tim Holtz decoupage tissue.
  • Lindy’s Gang magicals 
  • Acrylic paints (various)
  • Posca pens and Tombow markers.


background collage
Coloured with Lindy's magicals.
negative painting to reveal basic shape
Just a tree
Doodling and over-stamping.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Journeys on the Night Train

Another experiment in negative painting. I was inspired by dream journeys where I am on a train and see scenes of places I have visited or lived in or simply passed by rushing by through the train windows.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


This weeks topic was “Gifts from our Roots”.  I was musing on the mixed blessings and curses from my own roots when I thought about the Persephone myth, one that has long resonated with me. 

Because I was taking a bit of a contrarian approach to the topic, I thought it might suit a “negative painting” technique where the foreground images are constructed through hiding parts of the foreground.  

Persephone climbs up the roots from the underworld still clutching a pomegranate.  The seeds she consumed in the Underworld will keep pulling her into darkness.

I like to feel that the seeds of darkness also help one see the light and feel empathatically the darkness withint others. 



Step 1, background collage.
Step 2. Paint through stencils
Step 3 Define the focal images by painting out the background.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email