Tuesday, May 30, 2017

cardboard painting

Back when I was an art major in college, I lived on a very tight budget. In fact, I could barely afford the supplies for many of my painting classes. One of my favorite hacks for painting on the cheap was to use cardboard. Cardboard is affordable, often free and it can hold many layers of paint. I found that using cardboard is a great way to get a feel for painting on a larger surface, it works well for practicing new techniques and it's not "precious" which means it's easier to create without expectations or worry. I used cardboard for many of my college painting assignments and I've been using it ever since!

Just about any type of cardboard will work but my favorite is a lid to a box. Once painted, they are fun to hang on the wall as art!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

coloring page for you!

Hi friends! Today I've got a free coloring page for you. Download HERE  Happy coloring!

You can find a whole bunch of more free coloring downloads HERE

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

express yourself

The entire process of making art is TRICKY! It is easy to get caught up in the end result, to be concerned about judgment and criticism of your work, it easy is to feel shame or not good enough and when all is said and done, it’s terrifying to share what you’ve created.

The best advice I can give is to make time to throw all that pressure out the window and just express yourself with those supplies! Forget about your art looking like anything beautiful, forget about pressure to show or sell it, forget about fear and just express yourself! Here are a few of my favorites ways to LET GO and CREATE!

  • Work fast and off the top of your head- go with your gut!
  • Music can make a HUGE difference! Blast your favorite music and see what kind of brush strokes and marks it inspires.
  • Challenge yourself to move your hands, arms, or even your entire body while you are creating.
  • Experiment with holding your materials in different ways. I've found that holding my paint brush in different ways enables me to capture different kinds of energy and emotion in my mark making process.
  • Try picking colors with your emotions. Instead of planning or spending too much time thinking, try selecting colors quickly based on what you are feeling.
  • Try assigning a word or an emotion to your brushstrokes.
  • Embrace expression and abstraction!
  • Try to forget about things looking and feeling perfect and instead give yourself permission to get lost in the process.

Monday, May 22, 2017

NEW class painters bliss and a GIVEAWAY!

My latest online class Painter's Bliss starts today! And I am giving away 5 free spots in the class. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter to win!

begins May 22
$50.00 EARLY BIRD $40.00
Join me for a colorful and messy class dedicated to breaking free and finding the bliss that comes with the process of acrylic painting! I will be sharing all my favorite supplies, techniques, tips, tricks and prompts when it comes to painting from the heart. From art journal pages, to small surfaces to painting on a variety of unique materials, we will explore different painting surfaces. We will explore color, expression, movement, composition, how to "let go" and discover ways to listen to our intuition when painting. 
more information or register HERE

Enter to win a spot in this class!
Leave me a comment.
Tell me your favorite paint color.

I will randomly select 5 winners and announce them at the bottom of this post at the end of the day tomorrow, Tuesday, May 23rd at 5pm PST.


email me at alisaburke@gmail.com and we will get you access to class

Thursday, May 18, 2017

studio style

When you work for yourself and by yourself, it is really tempting to spend all day every day in pajamas. I love fashion but many mornings I have to talk myself into getting dressed. I do it anyway and always end up feeling so much better and like a regular working girl. 
While everyday is different for me- somedays I am painting in the studio, other days I am sewing, then I'm out and about taking photos, then back home for DIY projects, then back to the studio to paint- I try to at least pull some kind of outfit together. They are not always the most stylish but I figure when you are self employed and an artist you don't have to follow any rules- pattern mixing, paint covered pants, bare feet and hats are all welcome in my work place. As long as I am not wearing pajamas in public I am a happy gal!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

creating with jules- decorative planter stakes

Hello! I have some decorative planter stakes for you today.

Every time I see some painted branches around on the internet, they catch my eye. I just love how you can take something as simple as a branch (they don’t cost much!) and create a pretty cool craft out of them. I wanted to join in on the fun and create my own, but with a bit of a twist.

I decided I would do some painted branches but add some extra crafty bits to them. Up leveling, if you will.

You will need:

some branches (ours were prunings from our own backyard. They are really nice and smooth.) My branches measure between 30 - 40cm (12" - 16").

acrylic paints

extra decorative bits such as wool, beads, ribbon, fabric, ric rac or whatever else you would like to use from your craft stash.

craft glue
I started out painting the branches with acrylic paints. I used nice bright colours, painting bands of colour, some thin, and some wide. I added some spots here and there. Stripes also look good, in my opinion.

I took some wool and started winding it around a section of the branch, after placing a bit of craft glue underneath to hold it in place. I tied off the end and trimmed the excess, then repeated with various other colours in random places on the other branches.

I wanted to add some pom poms to the ends of my branches, so I used a really quick method for making them. I’d like to say that that was because I’m just super nifty, but it’s actually because I live in a house with two young girls who love to craft as much as I do and my pom pom maker was not locatable! But this is a quick and easy method all the same! 

You wrap the wool around two of your fingers. You need to leave a gap between your fingers to tie some wool around, so don’t do this first step too tight, or you wont be able to get the wool between your fingers. Tie a knot around the wool as in the photo, then slip off your fingers and trim through all of the loops. You’ll end up with a pretty scruffy looking ball; just give it a hair cut and it will be looking more like a pom pom in no time.

I then glued my little pom poms to the ends of the branches with craft glue.

I wrapped some beaded strands around by threading a beading needle onto some thread, and then tying the other end to a section of a branch. I then threaded on seed beads until I was happy with the length, and wound them around, with a bit of craft glue on the branch for extra hold. I finished by sewing into the above beaded strand and then tying the end off.

Another fun idea is to sew in some little seed beads into some previously wound wool. I was pretty excited when I found these gold beads last time I went craft-supply shopping. I love them.

I also tied some ribbon around in places with a knot. I liked the look of simply tying a knot and leaving bits of ribbon sticking out.I also tied around some small pom pom ric rac (one of my all time favorite craft supplies), and gluing some beads straight on.

And there you have it. Some bright decorative branches that you can poke into some plant pots, or you can put them into a holder or vase as “flowers” that will never die, if you’re anything like me and you leave the flowers a little too long before taking them out to the compost!

I hope you loved my painted branches tutorial. 

Jules :)

You can find more of Jules here:

Monday, May 15, 2017

sample sale!

When you teach and demo art for a living, you end up with a lot of samples! I spend so much time filming videos, practicing techniques, exploring ideas and warming up and the result is a ridiculous amount of art. So I've decided that every once in a while I will be offering a sample sale! I've got a big batch of floral paintings in the shop today. While they are original paintings, they are still experiments, samples for classes and my warm up painting so they are priced to sell! You can head on over to the shop to see everything HERE

And for those of you who aren't in the market for original art, I've got a set of 6 floral notecards and envelopes measuring 5" x 7" that I created from some of my favorite paintings. Details HERE


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