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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!



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