Today I painted.

Not the usual a journal page a la Juliana Coles style. I have taken two or three classes from her. Ps her classes are fascinating and cathartic.

It’s not done but thought I would share it with you. I woke up thinking about this. When you do that you have to make it.

Going to write the number of cases world wide and the deaths on it sooner or later.

The start. I journaled across a piece of Canson watercolor board with a soft pencil and smeared it.

Circled random words with a grease pencil. And added yellow paint. Wish I had a nasty green yellow but nope.

Notes on possible words to use.

Adding words with a grease pencil. Dots were done with the end of a paint brush dipped in paint.


Notes from the news. Reminds me of watching Hurricane Dorian last August.

Using my Pentel brush pen to add lettering like on his chin. A white gel pen on the scarf and eyes.

Now. Trying to take away some cuteness. Paint on eyes was dabbed on with a finger then swirled around with the end of the paint brush. White paint lettering on scarf so it shows more.

Painted with that cheap acrylic paint. The kind in the small bottles. It has a tooth you can write on unlike the expensive stuff.

Next up cases and death toll world wide.

Try it. Very cathartic.

In the meantime. Knitting. Yarn at my feet on the stool.

Sock progressing slowly but looks like I will have plenty of time to finish this pair.

Margaret whose going to be sticking closer to home.

Day 644 – that couple at PCM 


Making progress on the big painting. The guy definitely needs more work. Eek. Funny how different they look in a small photo. 

No matter how many times I walked a way from it I didn’t notice it. Hmm I was tired. I think everyone in the studio had spring fever. Nobody stayed late painting like we usually do. 

Colors heavy body Golden and liquitex Tutanium white, nickel Azo gold, burnt umber, napthol red, ultramarine blue, dioxzine purple, pyrrole red. Thanks for looking.

So why use artist grade besides they will last forever. The pigment load is higher.  That means you get more intense color with less paint. You can actually use more paint when you use the cheaper student grades to get the color you want and you may never get intense color. 

Thanks for reading. 

Margaret xxx 


Day 1064 Comissions 

A problem when you are suppose to paint the same thing twice. Eeekkk this is the second one. Thinking it could use a few more greys in the center!?  

This is the first one. I drew my friend Monica who giving her talk at the DuPont Planetarium at  Ruth Patrick Science Center, USC Aiken. She really does a terrific job. 

Kids come from all South Carolina to visit the Science Center and see the Planetarium. 

It took me a while just to figure out how to transfer this  identically to a piece of 300# lb watercolor. 

I traced the original. 

Transferred it with Saral. 

Traced over it with a pencil. 

Traced over it with my Lamy Safari. 

And the. I tried to remember how I painted it. The whirlpool vortex was not easy to ain’t the first time let alone another time. Eeekk.  

Finally it was time to splatter the night sky with white gouache stars. Be sure to use a stiff toothbrush.  I got a soft one first. Oops. Worked much better with a nice stiff toothbrush. 

Touched up the Whirlpool Vortex again. And calling it done. I hope! 

Painted with lamp black, burnt umber , Ultramarine Blue, alizarin, aureolin yellow, and some Joe’s turquoise. 

Margaret who has another commission to get done. Xoxoxox

Day 1057 – Those Sta Wet sponges – A Cheaper Way!?

If you have a sta wet palette I bet you have one of those EXPENSIVE yellow sponges in them. 

Occasionally my palette gets infested with mold. Yuck. And I need a change. I clean it out with bleach to kill the molds but then I reuse that same old sponge. 

UPDATE: After I posted this I reposed you could sanitize sponges in the microwave just like you do for your kitchen sponge. Hopefully it would kill mold. Or maybe freezing it would. Of course at the cost of these sponges vs the coast of paint might as well toss it if mold grows and start fresh.  

Today I realized that my Trader Joe’s sponges would work just as well and be cheaper at 2 for $2.59. They are 10×14 instead of $6.80 for one 12x 18″ Sta Wet sponge. Math is in favor of Trader Joe’s sponges. 

Sta wet on left Trader Joe’s on right 

I love these for wiping up counters, dripped watercolor. I usually have one on the floor and one on the sink. AND you can throw them in the washing machine or the dishwasher to clean them. 

Bytw the Trader Joe’s sponge is slightly thicker too so would hold more moisture. 

Going to be buying a couple more packs when I go to Atlanta this weekend. LOVE Trader  Joe’s. 

Margaret xoxox who loves saving $ on art supplies. Leaves more $$ for when I can’t save it on art supplies. 

Day 1011 Some Grafitti aka Extreme Journaling

Well let’s hope I don’t accidentally delete this post this time. ROUND TWO!! 

This is the assignment for week five of the Juliana Coles The Book of the Night class.  Based on the Persephone Demeter Greek Myth.  As usual first we journaled. Then I painted it out.  

And I painted collaged and stamped it.  

I added some red paint wiping it off and some purple on the spring side. 

Added the white lettering with caran dache neocolor ii and scribbled on it some of the neocolors. 

I also used my new favorite toy a 6B lead that I bought at Cityart last Thursday for $1.29. They have a storefront and gallery in the Vista. 

The lettering on the leaves was done with the lead.  I also enhanced the skulls in Hades on the bottom right with the caran dache neocolor iis. They didn’t show enough 

Then I added some more red to the wrap on the girl on the left. I was hoping it would add to the flames of hades.  Not sure it did But it’s done for now.  

Ttyl. packing one more day til I leave for Charles Reid class. Margaret xoxoxox 

Day 1001 One day at a time. 

Another day another post. If I quit now I am back to day one. Onward.  One day at a time. 

Trying to catch up my Book of the Night journal the online class I am doing with Juliana Coles as teacher. 

The assignment from the week I was in Charlotte is very long and involved. Though I took notes in it I did this page wrong. Oops.  

It now looks like this.  

But I keep trying to figure out how to use the other figures. This option orrrr

This one.  The added paper collage is old citrasolv National Geographics I did several years ago.  I have quite a stack. 

The bottom layer of this page is purple tape painted black. Then journaled on with white gel pen. Never have the news on while journaling. And then a haunted forest added. I had to turn off the news and the first song on was The Night With a Thousand Eyes.  Perfect.  Then I added the eyes.  

Here it is when I started this morning.  

Prisma art sticks Caran dache Neocolor ii white paint pen. 

Two more pages to finish.  Eek. Will post the correctly done page tomorrow. Stay tuned.  

Margaret xoxoxo 

Day 992 Peggi Habets Class

At Nancy Couick’s Art Studio in Charlotte was just great. A very cerebral thought provoking class. Peggi imparts ALOT of knowledge in a jam packed four days. 

A tiny little woman with a lot of knowledge and a definite joy in sharing what she knows. 

Her next painting. She’s working on a series of ballet dancers for a show with three other artists. They start with a photo session.  

After she decides on the photo  she then makes 3 small 5×7 ” black and white pencil studies. 

More black and white studies. 

She also uses the Pythagorean theorem to design her pictures as well as 2-3 color studies for her paintings. Colors combos might be complimentary colors analogous colors and tertiary colors. 

Something I definitely need to work on.  Hers are immaculate. Mine not so much. 

My color studies. It’s also a good place to work out design problems. I have another one of these but not painted it yet. 

She also gets you to form a story for the painting. This is a large future color study  for a full sheet watercolor of Raisin who loves Frisian horses and owns several. 

3×4′ acrylic

This is the same photograph painted as a large acrylic. I never quite finished it because it does not have a story. So now I can go back and fix this one. Yeah. 

One of Raisins freisians 

Margaret xoxox

Day 988 Wow 13 more days

Til the big 1000!! 

Since 13 is a mystics number surrounded by bad luck impending done a journal page on palm reading seems like an appropriate post.   The assignement this week was to completely cover a two page spread with masking tape. Then study a palm reading chart and react to that. I am not exactly a girl who believes in palm Reading so this was a little difficult for me. 

I pondered the assignment of reading your palms for 4-5 days. Then I did all these pages in less than an hour.  I was flipping thru the old Bazaar magazine looking for images to collage on another page and found the red headlines. I thought perfect. I glued them on. The grey was a scrap from ripping out collage items for the other page. Perfect color. 

I literally pulled a couple of pieces of somerset collage paper out of this heap and traced my hands and glued them down quickly.  Then I started scribbling with Prismacolor artstiks and gel pens. 

Next I stamped some old Teesha Moore stamps that I had for years and never used. I still had the third page blank. I lettered with the paint pen and drew some arrows. Then it popped into my head to do an X-ray hand for the scar page-write down all your scars-because some scars are visible but some you can only see in an X-ray. Still have to journal those. 

This is a WIP. It will change. I got some transparent purple ink to paint on it just not had time. And I have a list of things to still try out. Here are what I brain stormed. 

Yellow gold aura. Lightening bolts

Light green on x ray hand thalo blue thinned on background

Outline letters in yellow? 

Green glow 

Heart Malagra

Anyway time to get going. Busy day. 

Margaret xoxoxo

A bit of fluff or?! 

Really enjoying making these pages in my reclaimed Saks catalog – from my sons recycle bin. You can’t tell but there’s actual journaling under this page. 

This is the first one I did. 

I forgot to take photos of the process but it started out journaled on and then white and green and finally blue acrylic paint. 

The cover 

One of the pages in process. 

Then I added collage elements. And Prismacolor art sticks and neocolor ii and hmm white paint pen. Some stamping. You name it it gets done to these pages. One of the things that makes it fun. 

Go sign up for Juliana Coles awesome Book of the night class. 

I think I like the graffiti like aspect of these pages. I do love to look at some interesting graffiti. I actually left this at life modeling in the art studio Saturday and nobody decided they needed it more than I did. Hmmm does that mean it was respected or they hated it. 

Ttyl Margaret off to charlotte for a class in wc. Let the fun begin. 

Day 979 -21 Days left

Till 1000. The goal is nigh! 

Taking an online class in extreme journaling with Julianna Coles. All my questing for a book at goodwill, salvation army, thrift stores and in the garage where I found a forgotten stack of books I found the perfect book in my son’s recycle bin in Atlanta. It’s a heavy thick very slick Saks sales ad. Since it was trash I didn’t feel bad about altering it. It also had some nice photos of women in it. 

Despite babysitting the grandchildren single handedly, lecturing to middle schoolers about art quilts aka show n tell and driving about four hundred miles I bounced out of bed to start the monster mash process this morning. 

I worked on the cover since I did not like the big script Saks on the cover. 

Oddest thing happened when I opened a huge old Bartletts to cut out poetry. I don’t think I even turned a page. It opened to a page that held a poem about “locking all your heart aches inside” and “hide it in your trunk” “will hide all your failures””will rise to meet you yet” and of course I cut them out and glued them on.  

I don’t think it’s quite done the more I look at them. Bout maybe they are never done? They will tell me. Lots of fun.  Go sign up.  


The first double page spread. Thinking it’s still too busy. 

I painted stamped collages scribbled and painted and lettered and I could go on but it’s time for French. Acrylic paint caran dache neocolonial ii prismacolor paintstiks paint marker. 

The books about the size of a piece of printer paper. Can’t wait for the next chapter. 

Margaret xoxoxo #julianacoles