Friday, November 05, 2010

Me & Some Spray Paint

I am having some fun with spraying paint and stencil.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

New Art From Old

Fellow mixed media artist, Diane has visited my blog and left lovely comments.  A post of hers gave me the idea to try something new.  Like her, I printed an older piece on card stock after I altered the size to fit the board (6"x6") I wanted to use.  Printing it out this way allowed me to add some pencil work to the picture.  I added a little more highlighting on the forehead, nose and chin.  And I wanted the eye a lighter brown.  The other papers used in this piece are painted tissue paper and commercially printed patterned scrapbook card stock that I spray painted to make it my own.
I added the number two with a stencil and Golden's Molding Paste.  When the number two dried, I stained it with a pink Pitt pen then rubbed it with a bit of Interference Gold which allows the designs of the papers underneath to show through.  The last add was a collaged rectangle to finish it off.  I love the way it turned out.  Diane was inspired by Teresa Magel.
I am enjoying blog hopping.  Finding out what others are doing.  Studying,  Exploring.  And sometimes incorporating these ideas into my work.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Painting and Printing

Crusade No. 45
My color copies did not come out as intense as the original.  The reds weren't as red and the yellow looks washed out but I still used them for the purpose of experimenting and learning.  I painted on a corrugated cardboard which is showing up as pronounced ridges after a black and white gesso coating before I began to cover it with acrylic paint.  I guess, I can try printing on different types of paper, too.


Below is the first of three pages resulting from the original above.  Rotated 90 degrees and spray painted with red and black using stencils I cut out myself.  The particle face is cut out I did of my face and rose I made in different sizes but decided to use only one size in this.
On this I spray painted with reds and greens using a store bought stencil and the bottom of the spray for the circles.

Next, I cut up the copy and pieced it with paper that came out of the fax at work that had gibberish printed all over  it.  Of course, I took it and made copies.  (I thought it looked cool.)  I then painted one of the strips a dark red and used hand carved stamps.  I think it needs some blues some where and maybe journaling.  At any rate, I am not really happy with it, yet.
Thanks, Michelle

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stretching to Sketch Week #6

I love this pose from Kelly.  It is done mostly with colored pencil.  I have a fondness for using Golden's Titan Buff with almost everything.  And, so, I used it here over the pencil.  It is finished with a hand-craved stamp and brown ink.  For the background, I used a fax received at work that was gibberish and I copied over it a few times because I thought the pattern was kinda cool.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Found this here.  I like it.

Friday, October 15, 2010


When I reached for the blank white canvas, I stared at it for awhile then grabbed three cans of spray paint.  Using two stencils, I layered with black, red and golden maize.  With a pencil, I sketched in the face, then painted it with acrylics and inks.  I'm likin' the oil paintstiks, again.  So I used those over the acrylic paint on the face and hair.  Some pencil touches here and there and now I'm reconsidering the color on the sides.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I am a little late with this one.  The results from other who participated can be found here.  I started out collaging patterned tissue paper onto my journal page and used acrylic paint. inks and drawing pencils.  It was difficult to get the foreshortening on the legs and hands to reflect a bit of distance from her back.  Oh, well, that's what practice is for.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


What a day!  Beautiful weather with the temps unusually high for this time of year.  I found myself at Dick Blick in Dearborn buying a few Derwent drawing pencils.  I find these pencils wonderfully smoochy and different than the Derwent coloursoft pencils.  When I put some color down, I can use my figure to smear it a bit, almost like you would charcoal, but not quite.  I am up for experimenting.  
Let me just say, I get it, that the city of Detroit is not the big city I like to think it is.  By all accounts, our population has been dwindling for some time.  Sadly, there are so many thing that has left the city.  But, I must say, the metro area has wonderful art stores.  Two Utrecht stores, Dick Blick, and Green's.  Where I end up is determined by what I want.  If I am jonesing for some paint, pencils or yet, another sketchbook,  I am minutes away from being satisfied.  Oh, I know I could get pretty much anything delivered to my door.  But, there is nothing like holding it in your hand, really looking at the colors and gliding my hand over the papers.  Yes, my name is Allo and I am an artaholic.

Friday, October 08, 2010


This mixed media 5x7 canvas is painted with acrylic paint, ink and oil paintstiks.  It is embellished with glaze, stenciling and glitter.  It has paper and fabric collage pieces and the 1 1/2" deep sides are also painted and stenciled.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Stretching to Sketch-WEEK #4

For this week's challenge, I decided to change things up.  I had my guy take a picture of me copying Kelly's pose (somewhat) and printed it on cardstock to make a stencil.  I cut out the image and chose to use the mask (positive) instead in a painted page in my journal.  It is finished off with stenciling, writing and a collage piece of fabric at the bottom.  Check out Kelly's blog.

Friday, October 01, 2010



Okay, this is week 2 and I am feeling pretty good about the momentum and expectation of posting regularly.  I started out collaging paper unto this canvas.  Actually, this has become a very comfortable start for me.  If some show through, it shows through and if it doesn't, it doesn't.  The idea is to start.  And, I am not looking at a blank white canvas.  I begin to sketch in a face with pencil and ink making corrections and then begin painting allowing myself to still make adjustments with paint.  I work the paint until it works out.  I finished it using pencil, marker and gel transfer for the word "compassion".

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"I paint self-portraits because I am the person I know best"

Working in my journal with Inktense pencils, acrylics and graphite pencil.  
Kelly Berkey has written some things on her blog that I resonate with me.  It may explain why I have been doing these portrait practices in my journal.  I sit in front of a little mirror to use myself as a guide.  I do not consider them truly self-portraits (although, there is a school of thought that every work an artist creates is, to some degree, a self-portrait).  It helps me with placements of facial features. I guess I have to admit, there is something of me in each one.   This quote from Frida Kahlo kinda explains it all: "I paint self-portraits because I am the person I know best".

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stretching to Sketch-WEEK #3

I decided to participate in Kelly Berkey's "Stretching to Sketch" challenge.  We start out viewing a photo that she has taken of herself or one that her husband has taken of her.  The idea is to stretch, draw and paint the human form.  Kelly mentions: "I was always the photographer NEVER the subject".  Boy, does that feel familiar.  This is my response to Week #3.  I started out on a 4x6 card with the image that was painted using acrylics.  I painted and stamped a page in my journal then pasted the card onto that page.  Also used inks, pencil and a little bit of pastels.  According to the rules, there are no rules.  You can do whatever inspires you, which could be charcoal, pencil, sculpture, wire-work, watercolor, mixed media...  You can check out the other entries here.  Come over and join in on the fun if you are so moved.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How Do You Measure A Life

I am not quite done with this.  I'm thinking of adding a flower on the side of her head.  Around her neck, on the edge of her top it states "how do you measure a life".
How does one measure a life?  With family and friends and memories?  Time shared with people who are interesting?  I guess. I am thinking about this lately because the woman who lives next door recently celebrated her 100th birthday.  She is fun and interesting and sharp.  She and her husband (who has been deceased for a long time) didn't have children (she calls me her "little girl").  She is living by herself but I know she is not lonely.  She a has wonderful family that comes and visits.  I say the because I see other older people that live in my building and I know no one comes to see them.  I find that very sad.  Like my neighbor, I hope to measure my life with happiness. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's Where I'm From

Lemonade: Detroit Trailer from Erik Proulx on Vimeo.

It is where I am from.  And where I am living right now.  I find it difficult to explain why I love it, but I do.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


available on etsy

I got so excited about this I am posting a day early.  I loved the way it turned out.  I painted all four sides (which are 1  1/2" deep) with this lovely flower.  The canvas measures 5x7 as I have stated before.  It is collaged, painted, glazed and drawn on with pastels.  On the eyes, I used glitter.  Way cool!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

You’re Perfect You’re Golden Your Light Your Love

Jami Lula
In my eyes, in my mind
In my heart, in my Soul
In my life, I have been
Searching for something, but you were my dream
You’re Perfect You’re Golden
Your light Your Love (My Light My Love
When I breathe , when I swallow
Caress, I feel
When I listen, I hear
The most beautiful Music out of nowhere
You’re Perfect You’re Golden
You’re my light my Love
You’re perfect, you’re golden
You’re my light my Love
Li di de di de di Li de di de di
Li de di di de di
When I’m sad, and dark
Shallow and in doubt
When I’m trying my best to put one foot in front of the other
You’re Perfect You’re Golden
You’re the light of my life You’re my Love from forever
In your reflection, I’m perfect
So I’ll keep looking at you to keep witnessing my perfection
In you, as me
Li di de di de di Li de di de di
Li de di di de di
You’re always there you never leave
You’re holding me, you set me free
Your guiding light, your empathy
Your confidence to express in and as me
You’re Perfect You’re Golden
You’re the light of my life You’re my Love from forever
In your reflection, I’m perfect
So I’ll keep looking at you to keep witnessing my perfection
In you, as me
Perfect, Golden, Light, My Love

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This Is My Challenge

I am enamored with these 5x7 gallery wrapped canvases with 1 1/2" sides so much so I have ten now.   I am challenging myself to do one painting a week for the next ten weeks.  On Fridays, I'll post the finished piece.  This is gonna be fun!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stencil Me In Some More

page from my journal

Working with the same image, introducing color blocking and collage elements.  I wrote on this page then covered it up with a watered down layer of gesso.  Over that I stenciled then experimented with a bold stripe of color down the page on the image.  And then used a different color to highlight the features that were lost because of the darkness of that color.  The possibilities are endless.  But I stopped after adding a bit of collage (word torn from magazine).

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Stencil Me In- Part 2

Here I go again, havin' a stencilin' good time.  On this spread from my journal are the same images as in the previous post.  I am playing with spreading paint and layering to create depth.  O, look, the flower on the side of the head, creating a Lady Day experience?  Who knows what I was thinking of.  I like the image of the rose and that I could add a stem if I wanted.  There's more fun to come.  To be continued...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stencil Me In

This spread from my journal shows a much used stencil that finally fell apart so I just glued what was left into my journal.  How did I do it?  Well, I roamed through pictures of myself and found one I thought I could work with to make a stencil.  Okay, now what?  How do I do this?  I surfed to find tutorials on stencil making.  I like what Gary Reef is doing.  I used PhotoShop to get the picture "stencil ready".  Once I printed on card stock and used that as the stencil.  Another time, I printed on plain paper, stuck it under glass, put the acetate film on top of the glass and used an exacto knife to cut into the film using the printed drawing under the glass as a guide. 
These are some that worked out quite well.  Going clockwise:  acetate film, card stock, acetate film.  (The bottom one is very well used.  I got paper stuck to it.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Here's To Golden

"Pink" re-do in my journal

After seeing that Golden has developed digital grounds, I got very excited, so when they first came out I bought white (matte) then had to tried clear (gloss).  There are caveats to these products.  One being to allow it to thoroughly dry after application to your chosen paper as to not mess up your printer.  I read the literature and really wanted to give it a go.  I experimented with an older drawing with strong lines.  The paper I put through the printer was slightly shiny with pictures and text.  I brushed on the clear (gloss) ground like the bottle says, held my breath while it went through my printer.  Naturally, I didn't leave it as is.  Once glued in the the journal, I decided to paint the face so it would stand out a bit and then paint around the print.  I like the idea of these digital grounds and plan to do a lot more playing around.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Nature's Guidance

Nature's Guidance

When I allow myself a time of silence ideas flow freely.  Sometimes it's hard to contain them and other times the rush can be paralyzing.  I then think: where do I start?  What to do done first?  But when I start, it's magic.  I grab a pencil, a color, a brush and began as if called to.  It's interesting when I move myself out of the way what comes through.  The hard part is to get myself out of the way, to shut off that critical mind, to quell the chatter.  Painting has become a form of meditation.  It's my practice of letting go.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back Form Martha's Vineyard

I had a fantastic few days off on Martha's Vineyard.  I love this island.  I took the Fast Ferry over from Providence, R.I.

My mom's in there somewhere as a member of the Polar Bears, a group of ladies who meet at the beach and exercise way too early in the day.


The weather was perfect.  Lots of fun and sun.  Some shopping and eating.  Yum!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Be yourself: Everyone else is already taken."

This portrait is painted on 8x8 patterned scrapbook paper using Shiva oil paintstiks.

The above title is a quote by Oscar Wilde.  An Irish dramatist, novelist and poet (and an interesting character), living in the latter part of the 19th century.  Anywho, I am adding some quotes on the blog, to which I've included this one.  Right over there on the lower left side.
If you come across anything moving, inspiring let me know.
Here's another from Mr. Wilde.  "Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter."

Monday, August 09, 2010

Postcards From My Heart


My postcards arrived!  I love the way they turned out.  I went to Vistaprint to order 100 of these babies.  And they came in no time.  I feel good about them.  The image is from my sketchbook, where I used acrylic paint, ink pencils and a white gel pen.
Tell me what you think?
When you look at her, what one word comes to mind?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Fear vs. Dream

from my sketchbook

Last week my momentum took a dive.  I was on my way toward establishing incremental movements forward and I hit the wall.  Fear entered my thoughts and took over.  It gave me tons of excuses.  I am so tired.  I can't think straight.  Nothing I do is any good anyway.  Boy, oh, boy did I complain.  Yet, somehow I did manage to read a book and near the end this line jumped out at me: "You must not die with the dreadful feeling that your fears were greater than your dreams..."  Okay, I get it.  I need to saddle up and take the reins.  And ignore my monkey mind.  It'll take me in directions I don't want to go and waste my time and zap my energy and well, you get the picture.
This week I am working on some good stuff.  Yep, the ideas are flowing again.  And I am feeling good about what's next.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Moving Forward

Pretty In Pink
Today, I listed my first piece on Etsy.  I've had the banner up of my shop for awhile, but today I made a move forward.  I listed a painting, yes, just one.  I cannot begin to tell you how difficult it was for me to move past self imposed obstacles.  The mind chatter was relentless:  what are you going to charge for shipping, are you going to consider shipping internationally (why am I obsessing about shipping), you can't post just one piece, what are you doing, you don't have any shipping materials, again-what are you doing, your profile doesn't seem finished and on and on.  Okay, so my profile is not finished.  I can always add to it.  I decided to not let that stop me, to not let that and some others things postpone my move forward.  Waiting for everything to be perfect, is a great excuse for me not to do anything at all.  I was leaning on that one a little too long.
So, today, I released her name, wrote a bit of a description and let go.  She's on Etsy now.  Today, I am breathing easier because I am not holding on to "what if".  Today, I took a step toward how I envision myself: a working artist.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Seven of My Favorite Art Supplies

from my sketchbook

  1.  Moleskine notebook - I use the larger one (5.25x8.25in.) sketchbook.  The pages are pretty sturdy, which is a good thing for all the abuse I give 'em.
  2. Pitt pens - brush tip.  I love to work over acrylic paint with these pens because just before it dries I give it a little smear with my finger tip.  Great for shading.
  3. Everything Golden - paints, grounds, mediums.  Golden paints are wonderful, whether, heavy body or fluid.  The grounds will open your mind to amazing possibilities.  And the mediums are just perfect.
  4. Prismacolor Pencils.  Tons of colors.  Smooth and creamy.  Great coverage.
  5. Derwent Inktense pencils.  I cannot tell you how much I enjoy these things.  They are watersoluble.  So when I put water to these guys the colors are intense, brilliant.
  6. Stabilo pencil.  I like the black for its deep richness.
  7. Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper.  The 140lb. hot press is my favorite.
Currently, these are some of my favorites.  The list tends to be a bit fluid.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Elevator Pitch in 30 Seconds

This is a quick overview of your blog, 30 seconds or so that you can say to someone who asks about you and your blog. Here are some guidelines - should solve a problem, clear, short, stands out, intriguing, energetic and consider using a question.
Here is my Elevator Pitch:
My blog chronicles my development as an artist living in Detroit, who desires to make a living creating life affirming, soul-stirring images.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Now and Then

There are times when simple words of affirmation help bring me back to center, to peace.  Most of the photos were taken while on a walk in downtown Detroit.  The others I took on trips to Hilton Head, Savannah and Martha's Vineyard.  The music is a beautiful chant by Rickie Byars Bechwith.  I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Ambassador Bridge

One night in early summer, I was on the upper deck of the Detroit Princess, cruising on the Detroit River.  When we got close to the Ambassador Bridge, I was ready to take a picture.  I don't know too much about bridges but I think it is a beautiful one.  It is a suspension bridge by design.  The construction started in 1927 and finished in 1929 and it connects Detroit, Michigan, United States of America to Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  That makes us kinda international, huh?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

When A Door Closes


Get to Know...Mike Greer Photography

Company: Mike Greer Photography

Tell us about yourself and your company.
Wow! Not an easy question to answer. First and foremost, I’m a husband and father of three. I’m biased, but I think I have the best family in the world and I thank God for them. My formal educational background is in mechanical engineering. I spent 17 years doing that in the automotive industry. I didn’t know it at the time, but my heavy involvement in computer graphics during those years would lead me into what I do today.

In 1987, I bought my first personal graphics computer and started messing around with digital imaging. In 1992, our first child was born and we purchased our first “serious” camera. Because of that, my interests in digital imaging grew even more and I became even more ingrained in the technology. By the late 90s, due to the exploding popularity of the internet, I was considered by many an expert in digital imaging. Then it happened, somebody asked me to shoot their wedding. I discovered that I really enjoyed it. Then I shot another one. And another one. And another one. So I started Mike Greer Photography. Then in 2001, another monumental event happened - 1,300 people, me included, got downsized! What to do? Search for another job or go for it? Well, I decided I never wanted to experience getting terminated again. So Mike Greer Photography became a full-time business.

Since that time, we’ve specialized in wedding photography and have had a tremendous time doing so. Then in the spring of 2010, another life shifting event took place. We moved out of our house into a studio. We still specialize in weddings, but we’ve added high school seniors and newborns (less than a 1 year old). Our studio is located in downtown Farmington, next to the historic Civic Theater.

How did you get started?
Oops, answered that one above.

What’s the best part about your job?
The best part of what I do is that I get to use my creative abilities to make people look beautiful and capture times of high emotional importance. I’ve discovered that most people don’t think they are very attractive and their self image suffers greatly because of it. So when I get to present images to people looking beautiful, it pleases me greatly. In addition, when mothers see their graduate-age children or see their babies frozen in time, there is a feeling that I’m doing something that is meaningful to people. I love it.

What sets you apart from others in your industry?
The industry tends to want to categorize photographers as “traditional” or “photojournalistic”. Traditional photographers are very heavy on posing. Photojournalists are very hands-off and seek to document things as they happen. In my opinion, neither is better or worse than the other. They are just different. However, I’m after great-looking images regardless of the approach. If that means hand off, so be it. If that means I need to direct people, then so be it. I care about 2 things: not being intrusive and great-looking images.

Do you have any hidden talents?
Many moons ago I played collegiate basketball. I’m also a pretty good cook.

This interview was originally posted on July 15, 2010 by Laura Davis Events.  I think it is a wonderful example of being open, following your bliss and loving what you do.  Congratulations to Michael for crawling through the window that opened when the door closed.  Thanks, Laura.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

No Cable For Me

I am not making a declaration.  It's not that I have been emancipated from some corporate scheme to control my mind.  And it's not that I don't like cable.  It was a financial decision.  You see,  I am not working with a lot of big money here.  Out of all the things I am currently paying for cable is not one them.  I'm thinking, I can't miss what I never had, right?  Yes, there are plenty of programs on cable I'd love to see.  But, I watch a little more television than I care to admit.   And I get juicy bits and recaps at work of shows others are watching.
My t.v. is a little older with a digital box and I have access to thistv giving me movies, movies and more movies.  I get RTV.  I believe, the R is for retro, giving me The Rifleman, I Spy, Kojak, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Bachelor Father, Wagon Train, Peter Gunn, It Takes A Thief and more.  Now, if they could just get rid of Simon and Simon and Knight Rider.  That would make me happy.
Sadly, after I attached that box I lost three Canadian channels I enjoyed.
Ummm, let's see, if I were to pick a "back in the day" show to see again my choice - The Rookies.  I love police stories and the 70's are my "back in the day".  When was your "back in the day" and what show would you like to see again?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Look! I'm a Genius.

I bought a book, awhile ago, that I thought I'd use a lot, that I'd work out of a lot, that I'd try to keep open while following the instructions and doing the techniques within its pages.  Let's call that kind of book an "art workbook".  So, I went to Kinko's and had them shave off the spine and re-bind with a coil binding.
I can fold the pages back.  And when open it stays flat. 

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Oh, Detroit!

The fireworks were held more than a week ago.  Actually, Monday, June 21st, earlier than usual.  They are always kinda early around here.  The event takes place over the Detroit River.  Rather breathtaking.  For those that ask why so early, I wish I could offer the reason being, because we share this celebration with our friends across the water in Windsor, Ontario.  They have Canada Day and we have the Fourth.  But this year, even that didn't make sense.  So to answer the question "why so early"?  I really do not know.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Off, YAY

I always have a tough time deciding what to do when I get a Saturday off.  That doesn't happen very often and I don't want to waste it.  I went to the Eastern Market and people watched, mostly.  Of course, took pictures and tasted samples.  Chef Marc Diozlija, at the Wolfgang Puck Grille in MGM Grand Detroit's Hotel and Casino, demoed a delicious dish.  Shrimp and corn risotto.  Yum!

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Beginnings

This is not the end, but a new beginning.  It sounds cliché, I know.  On Sunday, my nephew graduated from high school.  Although, his high school career is over, his life is taking on new beginnings.  Off to college and many new starts.  Congratulations!!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Thank You, Misty

At the beginning of the year, I treated myself to an online class with Misty Mawn, whose work I have long admired.  I mean, I can sit here and look at a wonderful painting of hers for a very loooonnnng time.  Sometimes (I'll admit it), her work brings me to tears.  I can't explain why.  I guess, it touches me so.  I think, man if I can paint like that.   So, in January, I started her class "Drawing and Painting Portraits" and have been painting ever since.  God, I hope I'm evolving, improving, developing better skills.  And, oh, my goodness, I have fallen in love with those yummy oil paintstiks!  (I used them in the above picture.)  Thanks, Misty, for those fabulous videos and fantastic instructions and demonstrations.  I loved this class!!!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Okay, so she doesn't look very joyous.  I do like the way the word looks and the colors I used.  In the dictionary, it says joy is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.  I see now that I need to work on her joy as well as mine own.  It is a great word.  It makes my insides smile.