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“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook

What’s the point of making art if you know how it’s going to end up?

I had colored in this magazine image a while ago but wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I also had a background laying around literally from years ago — and I figured they would be a good match. I can’t stand having unfinished pieces lying around!!!


I played around with where I could place it — I wasn’t sure what I was going for when I started, but I knew it would come to me once I was just present with the process.


Then I kept building up the layers around the image to embed the picture more into the painting — I basically just crammed a bunch of tissues, napkins, labels, magazines, wrapping paper — anything I was going to throw out anyway


To smooth everything in, I washed it over with matte medium and water, which acts like a seal over all of the layers I created. Then over that, I painted and smudged a bunch to add some color.


Then, I had fun obscuring some other images. Again, I wasn’t sure of what “theme” or “message” I was going for in my painting, but I always have fun letting the materials speak to me — it’s like a treasure hunt, and every little clue you scavenge guides you to the next one, until you have that “Aha! I’ve got it!” moment.

So I tore these images from magazines and just put the thinnest layer of napkin I could over it, just to make it look ever-so-slightly washed over.

Add some more napkins and paint around it to really blend it in, and voila — a little face is hiding in the picture now!


I tucked the little faces behind the shoulders of the girl, so now they are like her “guardian angels”

Slowly the piece started coming together for me — this is a young girl receiving messages, from who? What is she looking for, what does she hear?


I wanted to let everything dry to see how it would all come together…but of course, I couldn’t leave my painting without adding my signature tear drop. I always add that — even if I don’t know what it’s for.


I came back this morning to darken around the image a bit — it needed a bit more blending in.


Then I looked at the tear again, and realized maybe this was a girl who’s childhood had been snatched from her, and she was longing for it. So I had some fun with that idea by inserting a few little clues.


I added a little teddy bear being snatched out of the air, washed over with matte medium and napkins to obscure it a bit.


The word I inserted (with a tear coming out of it, over course) is “thoughts”.

We all long for our “teddy bear” every now and then…


What would you title this painting?

Painting is purely to discover what I can do with a bunch of random materials.

But isn’t that like life? Just discovering what we can make from any opportunity that comes our way?

The painting on the cover of my book, “Singing Tree,” would have never existed had it not been for a VERY unexpected detour…

“My Beautiful Detour: An Unthinkable Journey from Gutless to Grateful” Book available: Amazon Goodreads

So this week, look at all the scraps you’ve collected, just by going from each day to the next. What can you create?

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