The journey of an abstract series

1 May JackieMWoodArtSeries 7

I decided early this year that I would create in small series to explore the type and style of art that I want to make moving forward. Each series consists of five pieces (why five?, it had to be an odd number and three wasn’t enough and seven was too many. So like Goldilocks, five was “just right”.)

This series, which we will call The Series Still to be Named, was created on 7/8″ cradled birch panels.

They began their art journey looking like this. A few layers using a color palette inspired by a pin on Pinterest. While I loved the palette online, it didn’t translate to paint and the pieces quickly got stacked and left alone.


A few weeks later I took a road trip to the beach. The spring trees were amazing, bright greens and pinks against the deep evergreen trees. The colors (and the trees of course) inspired new ideas for this stacked and alone series. Hmmm, could that be a name brewing?

With fresh inspiration, this series began a new journey. They went from this…
JackieMWoodArtSeries 5

To this….
JackieMWoodArtSeries 4

To this…
JackieMWoodArtSeries 3

To this…
JackieMWoodArtSeries 2

To a completed piece…
JackieMWoodArtSeries 1 JackieMWoodArtSeries 7 Oh my gosh can we talk texture. These guys have some serious gotta-touch-it texture. YUM! The colors still bring me back to that fantastic drive to the beach.

Here you can see the color palette and tools used on these pieces. While I did use my hands a bit (one of my favorite tools) I didn’t pick up a paint brush to bring this series to life. That flower/amoeba/organic-like-shape was fun to create, I used the spatula and the rubber tipped tools to build up the layers.
JackieMWoodArtSeries 6

I still have a few finishing touches, but I will share all five pieces later today on Instagram.(Link in the sidebar on the right.)

Which Paper Will It Be?

24 Apr Canson Bristol Test

The only way to develop your art is to do it. Lots of it. As I look ahead to what that could mean for the canvas (actually it would be cradled board, but that is another post) piling up in my studio I decided that I needed to choose a substrate that wouldn’t take up a ton of space. That of course had to be paper. Small space needed and it can be any size, perfect.

Now the big question was what type of paper. I LOVE the Fabriano Artistico hot press watercolor paper. Hands down that is a fantastic surface to work on and I will use it in the future, but I needed to find something that was less expensive while I explore and discover the art that I want to make moving forward. I went to the art store and found four paper option to test out. They were all similar types of paper, Bristol Vellum. (I do not like texture of any kind on my substrates so hot press or vellum paper is the perfect choice for me.) The difference in the papers was brand and price.

Below are the results of an afternoon creating four similar pieces on a sheet of the papers under test.

Blick Bristol Paper Test

The Blick Bristol paper surprised me. This was the least expensive pack and I expected it to act like a cheap paper. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it held up fairly well to the wet media. It did curl initially but flattened out after the first layer dried and the paper did not fall apart under the layers of paint. While it wasn’t my favorite of the bunch, it is definitely a paper I will use again.

Blick Bristol Paper Test


Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Test

I used the Strathmore 300 series bristol paper extensively last year. Both art journals that I work in are designed with this paper. It stands up to wet media well and I like how the paint works on the surface of the paper. It is a great medium priced paper that will always have a place in my studio.

Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Test


Strathmore 400 Series Bristol Test

Once again I was surprised by a paper. The Strathmore 400 Series paper is rated higher than the 300 series with a price tag to reflect that. Since I spent so much time with the 300 series I figured that this 400 series paper would be fantastic. Far from it. This was the worst paper in the bunch and yet it was the one that had cost the most. The paper curled, it wasn’t easy to move paint around, and it was hard to get smooth lines with the pencil marks. This is one paper that will never be in my studio again.

Strathmore 400 Series Bristol Test


Canson Bristol Test

I just have to say, “I LOVE THIS PAPER”. From the first swipe of paint to the last pencil mark the Canson Bristol paper was fantastic. Very little curl, which was amazing considering how many wet layers I added. The surface was easy to move paint around and draw on. The Canson has become my “cheap” paper of choice.

Canson Bristol Test

What’s Going On?

17 Apr

I had big art plans for 2015. I had grandiose ideas of all that I would accomplish by April. I had sticky note after sticky note of details and goals. I thought I had it all figured out. Then one by one those plans unraveled. Life kept getting in the way and pulling me away from the studio. I fought it, got angry over it, then doubted I could make it all happen.

As I fought and got angry I also began to realize that all of the pressure I was feeling was my own. No one else put these expectations on me. I did that all by myself. Why did I have to cram so much in every week?

I stepped back and let the expectations go. I discovered that while I can be very productive under pressure, I can NOT be creative. Giving myself the space to breathe allowed the creativity back in. I am now creating something everyday. Don’t get me wrong I still have lists (type A personality here), but I am allowing for huge blocks of time for the studio. Time to experiment and discover.


I am having so much fun!

All those big plans are still going to happen, I just am not going to rush them. Right now I am going to make art. Later the new website and blog will come online. Later I will get a shop setup. Later I will research and get prints made. Later I will apply for galleries. For now I am going to continue creating everyday. I am going to build up a body of work and discover the style I will move forward with.

You can follow along on my creative journey here on the blog or follow me on social media (links in the sidebar). Time to get back into the studio.

Mix it up

3 Feb

As I dive into full time studio work, I have realized that creative breaks are vital to the process. These breaks can take on many forms, but for me they still involve the studio and getting messy. I like to pull out one of my art books or find a video on youtube showing a technique or style I haven’t tried before. Something to mix it up.

I love color and tend to use a variety in the pieces I create, so when I saw this video by Jane Davies I knew that a black and white approach would really mix things up.
It was a bit rough going in the beginning. The process didn’t gel with me and I found myself fighting and not loving what was happening on the table in front of me. Before I covered the whole thing with gesso (my favorite “undo button” in the studio), I took a step back, turned the paper 180 degrees, and got out of my head. The goal wasn’t to create a piece or get locked into a composition it was to experiment with black and white.

Once I let go, the whole process came together. I quickly worked on five pieces, jumping from one to the next as the layers dried. I had fun working quickly and using a variety of mark making tools from a paintbrush to an applicator bottle to a charcoal pencil to a white gel pen.

In the end, I have five black and white pieces that have a wee bit of Jackie splashed through them. What will I do with them? I have no idea, that wasn’t the point of the play. They may get cut up and collaged into other pieces or they may get painted over or they may get framed as a reminder to let go and try something completely different. I just enjoyed mixing it up one studio afternoon.

Art Rework

27 Jan

As I shared in this post, 2014 was a time of learning and discovery. I spent the year working with paint and playing with mediums. The result of my time in the studio was a renewed passion for creating art and the desire to turn it into a full time gig. With 2015 in full swing, I am creating and planning, scheming and painting. I have big goals for the year including an online shop, making over 100 pieces of art, and a studio move.

As I began this new journey I realized that I had to make a few changes to feel like the path was all my own. This may not make sense (my crazy head rarely does), but with the memory loss there are times when it can feel as if I am two people. The old Jackie and the new.

We had many pieces in our home that old Jackie had painted and I didn’t really care for them now. They simply didn’t make me giddy happy and ready to dance when I saw them (That is my gauge on whether or not to put art in my home, if it makes me want to dance with joy I find a space to treasure it.). I thought about giving them away or just throwing them out, but luckily the pieces were never sealed, so I decided to paint over them.

A before look (old Jackie art)

And now

The colors, the textures, the scribbles, the numbers all make me giddy happy. Best of all, it feels like me.

These pieces were just the beginning, I have reworked 10 pieces in our home and the new versions are exactly what I need to give me the courage to jump into being a full time mixed media artist.


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