Friday, December 8, 2017


                                                              Urban Pirate

     Each Friday you can find me painting with a wonderful group of artists at the Museum of Art.  The open studio has a new live model each week and today it was our monitor because the regular model didn't show up. He did a great job!

     Just to add pizzazz, Keith put on a red bandanna which made him look like an urban pirate. I think I am finding that painting the human figure is my passion so I will keep on honing my skills.

I would be a delight to hear your comments.

Mary Ellen

Friday, December 1, 2017




Off the Deep End again; which is the new official  term for creative extremes.

Using my home made paste paper I fashioned a mamma bird with three little fledglings on a geometric background.

The colors are a bit bold, the design wonky and the birds have big confident personalities.

A mother's expression after a hard day with the kids.

Sunday, November 26, 2017




After my adventure with painting on coconuts I advanced to gourds. As luck would have it, my husband found 4-6 huge dried gourds at a local flea market; “Oh, Mary would like these!”, and so my short lived career in gourd painting began. 

Much to my surprise all of these over size gourds sold at different art shows that I entered which delighted me but I did not want to be known as the gourd lady so I stopped after my gourd supply ran out. I enjoyed my time with the hard shelled fruit. This is a small gourd and the only one that I saved for myself.

Mary Ellen

Saturday, November 18, 2017



     This is a TBT (Throw Back Thursday) item. Several years ago I was asked to do some coconut art for a charity fundraiser, I jumped in with both feet and started collecting dried coconuts which is not hard to do living in Florida. Each coconut has a unique shape so I can’t make daisy out of something shaped like a football.  Just to brag a little my most popular design was a football, I could have sold that  four times at a tent art show.

    I sit and look at the coconut to see what it wants to become. This fruit said; African Mask, so after some research on line I came up with this amazing creature. Not exactly fine art but I enjoyed my sojourn into painting on coconuts. 

Mary Ellen

Friday, November 10, 2017



Every once in a while a painting gets damaged during an exhibit. None of the handlers mean to harm my babies but it does happen. 

Yellow Flowers has a small scratch on the glass surface that I cannot repair. It does not take away from the textural rice paper and watercolor painting but I can not sell it at full price with a clear conscience. It is professionally matted and framed in a bold hot pink frame for a youthful unique statement.

So…I would like to offer Yellow Flowers mixed media for 50% off. The list price is $295 but for you it will be,   $150 + tax. In addition I will give you free shipping. 

Think about it, an original  work of art for 50% off plus free shipping!

Mary Ellen

Saturday, November 4, 2017



     Many years ago I volunteered at Art Mundo in Ft. Pierce, Fl. As a fundraiser they asked artists to design 12 original art pieces for their calendar which they would auction off. 

     I took the challenge coming up with “The Year of the Bugs”. 
My Praying Mantis is a watercolor /pastel background with home made paste papers for the body.  I used pen and ink to fill in the details and I think it is one snazzy insect.


Sunday, October 29, 2017


I’ve added a new painting adventure to  my life. Each Friday I go to the Museum of Art in Vero Beach to paint with fellow figure artists in an open studio setting.

 They are realistic painters and my style is so totally different. These fine artists are excellent portrait painters where I am  loose as a goose, as they say.

I’ve tried to paint more realistically but it looks stiff and awful in my opinion so I must follow my style. It just feels right for me.

I will paint 4-5 works while the others could spend two weeks on one pose. Last session we had the most lovely young model in a ballet dress. I was using watercolor on Yupo which I always thought I hated but that day it was a joy to work with. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017


We had a mango tree which was my tropical delight,
then during a windy storm it fell over in the night.

It’s fruit was the sweetest mango that I had ever tasted
but branches down and roots up it was wasted. 

I miss my mango tree.

No worries, I will not quit my day job! 

I love the jewel toned colors in this water color painting, they just speak to me. 


Friday, October 13, 2017


What are acrylic skins and how does one make them?

Wikipedia:"Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint made of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints are water-soluble, but become water-resistant when dry."

Acrylic paints  are composed of  linked polymer molecules that lend themselves to drying into an elastic film.  I took a glass non-stick surface and spread out many different colors of thin acrylic paint then swirled them about a bit to create interesting color variations. After the paint was completely dry I used a single edge razor blade to gently peeled off the thin films. Looking at the color patterns I saw flowers so I cut out the floral shapes and glued them down on my canvas with acrylic medium.

I did not hold back at all with my acrylic skin flowers, it is totally colorist, expressionist and wonky. I added purchased papers and stamping to give even more mixed media variety.

I was really in the zone for this one!

Sunday, October 8, 2017



                                               A CHILD’S WONDER

My artistic rabbit hole adventure at the time of this painting was pointillism. 
I was aware of this movement but did not know many details so off to the research on line:

       “Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image.
Georges Seurat and Paul Signac developed the technique in 1886, branching from Impressionism. The term "Pointillism" was coined by art critics in the late 1880s to ridicule the works of these artists,…”

With the child’s face I used larger dots of warm and cool colors to give the illusion of depth. I thought it was a modern adaption to an older technique. I must relate what a man said of my painting at one of my outdoor tent art shows;

 “ The kids looks sick”, well thanks for your honesty.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

                  FEATURED PAINTING         



     This particular abstract painting has had many different lives. It started out as a colored inks exploration, I was enjoying the loose splatter/ drip techniques when I knocked over a bottle of masking fluid all over the first stages of art piece. Watercolor paper can be a bit pricy so I continued on. 

     I layered complimentary colors until I thought it was done, standing back I could see an aerial view map of roads and lakes of the Michigan landscape. My sister-in-law took a look at it and said I should name it Pizzicato, she has an extensive music background. That sounded better than aerial map so I agreed but first I had to look up the definition of pizzicato.

(plucking the strings of a violin or other stringed instrument with one's finger.)

It takes more than one person to help me get through the day.



Thursday, September 21, 2017


                                                                                  PANDA BEAR
                                                                                  Paper painting

     Who could resist such a face? 
This little panda baby is almost huggable.
I took a not so successful underpainting and covered it with various rice papers to create a panda bear. I really like the colors that peek out in his face to add to its artistic expression. Please notice the textured white rice paper to give the illusion of a furry face.


Saturday, September 16, 2017



I deeply admire the work of colorist Anne O’brien-Gonzales. I have her book; Bold Expressive Painting plus three of her painting demonstration DVD’s.
Her style speaks to me with its loose brush strokes, a bunch of color with a touch of mixed media whimsy. 

I set up a still life with my Fiesta water pitcher, an old spice tin and fish salt and pepper shakers. The palette was complimentary with rice papers added for texture. The lilacs are out of my imagination.

I can almost smell the sweet scent of the lilac flowers.

Saturday, September 9, 2017


Mixed Media

I deliberately misspelled Molin to Moolin and collage to cowllage for my entry to Art Mundo's exhibit  of
"All Things Bovine". 
Local artists from around the Treasure Coast submitted cow paintings and I feared that many would 
think of this play on words for my Moolin Rouge but I was the only one. I think it has a fun whimsical happiness persona and it is all a figment of my imagination.

Friday, September 1, 2017



This unique art project took an esoteric turn when I tried to symbolize actual board games that people play while implying the human interaction games we all play at one time or another.

First there is the checker board background that could be checkers, chess or parcheesi. Floating off of the background are sheets of Masa paper molded into the classic X & O’s shapes.  These X’s & O’s have gold painted on the top surface in my triptych of matching shadow box frames. 


Saturday, August 26, 2017


Windmill Easel

All of the easels I have used over the last 30 years were cheap or free, wobbly, hard to use and generally unsatisfactory. I have known about windmill easels for a few years but never had the nerve or the money to purchase one. After I retired from my open air tent art show career I took the earnings and the advise of my artist friends and splurged on this a windmill easel.

I can set it at any angle.
This easel suits my style of painting because I like to use the drip technique so being able to turn the canvas or paper at different angles aids in getting the paint to flow in any direction. I can easily set the easel at any angle (upright for acrylics and 45 or so for watercolors) and even lower it to a horizontal position for mixed media work. The windmill arms turn 360 degrees in both directions.

It rotates 360 degrees.

Solid horizontal position.

No regrets but the down side is the size of the easel. I have a 10x12 bedroom as my studio and it is difficult to find a spot where the light is just right but I don’t trip over it or hide storage that I need to get to. In my next life I will order a bigger studio but until then I will be happy with what I have.