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Outside the Frame

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

I was so honored to be asked to collaborate on an art project with the County Park Friends! Celebrating community, culture, health, and the outdoors with their new #outsidetheframe installations which are part of a campaign to heal from the pandemic trauma. What a fantastic idea – bringing art + nature together.

4 mayors from neighboring cities came together for this project and selected a handful of artists so that there will be beautiful frames all around Santa Cruz County for the summer!

I was asked to paint 3 designs (my choice) so I came up with ideas for floral, abstract + California poppies. I finished the first 2 before I left for my trip back East! It was such a fun project. I figured it would take me a weekend to paint one from start to finish so I was so happy that I was able to complete them on time.

Mark offered to roll white house paint down as the first layer (my least favorite job) so I said: “yes please”! No need to spend money on gesso, the house paint was fine.

I used a sharpie marker to loosely sketch out my design (tip: pencil may have been a better choice as sometimes it’s hard to paint over the lines if you make a mistake!)

Then I painted with Nova paints straight from the tubs for the most part – I did add a little Golden High Flow Acrylic white in when I wanted lighter colors.

Scout (my sweet Lab) came and kissed me during this paint session. Love that dog so much!

I blocked in my colors and then added a 2nd layer to everything. At this point, I hit the mid-way “ugly” stage. But I knew that would all change when I grabbed my buckets of paint pens!

Posca Pens to the rescue! I just love these – mostly for the colors! I order the 8 piece pastel set and I used mostly the 5mm nibs for the lines. Sometimes a 3mm. Because these are large I knew from a distance the thin lines wouldn’t really show.

I outlined in different colors, added dots, and other shapes, and watched it all come to life!

I love them so much once I added on the Posca Paint pens!

Once these were done I applied 2 coats of Liquitex Matte varnish which were a bit stinky but necessary. The County Parks will add some Anti-graffiti spray or varnish on top as well!

These 4ft x 4ft frames will be on display in Capitola and once I know where I will let you know.

I'm thinking about doing a mini class on painting wooden frames (smaller than these!) to hang outside or even for a decoration inside your home. Let me know if that is something you'd be interested in!



203 views3 comments


Roslind Sherman
Roslind Sherman
Jun 30, 2021

They look fabulous ... Did you pre-make the frames ... and did you weather proof them ( or was that necessary)😍


Mc Corsini
Mc Corsini
Jun 05, 2021

These are wonderful, I would love a class on painting the frames.


I'd be interested in having a class on making the frames! :-)

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