Saturday, December 27, 2014

Excited to Teach in the Polymer Clay Adventure!

I'm so excited to be teaching a video workshop for the Polymer Clay Adventure in 2015! Here's a peak at the 'Cups and Saucers' we'll be creating together using polymer clay and Pebeo Fantasy paints, then incorporating them into a mixed media painting. To find out more about this amazing online retreat, click here:

HAPPY ARTING in the New Year!!! :D  Tristina

Friday, December 19, 2014

On The Bench - Repurpose Feels Soooo Good!

I have found a local non-profit repurposing center, Trash to Treasure, where folks can donate any manner of items which are then available to schools, art academies, other non-profit organizations and the general public for purchase and repurposing. While there recently, I picked up several used canvases with either completed or partial artworks on them for pennies! I love these because they lend HISTORY to the layers of my collage paintings. Here's what I'm working on now with 2 of the 11in x 14in canvases I rescued...

Comment below with your favorite repurposing projects. Can't wait to see! :D


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bakehouse Art Complex Miami Visit

Had to share with you some of my favorite artwork by incredibly talented artists at the Bakehouse Art Complex in Miami, Florida, where I visited yesterday.

Lots of yummy sandy texture going on in this painting.
Olivier Dubois, 71in x 79in, acrylic and mixed media

That's all thread! Karla Caprali

Excellent illustrative style in B&W. Elba Martinez & Edwin Villasmil

Happy Art Spotting!  :D  Tristina

Sunday, December 14, 2014

BAG Gallery Brunch - Small Works

I adore when Galleries hold Small Works exhibits! Just something about the small dimensions that invite finding the perfect gift or artwork to fill that special cubby hole while saving the pocketbook. The Broward Art Guild's Small Works exhibit and brunch today was a perfect example of excellent local artwork readily available at reasonable prices to encourage brightening a home for the Holidays. Below are some of my favorites from the show.

3 Paintings from my Bullseye series and a small painting from my 
She Wondered series below right.

Yay, both of Lynn Greenberg's paintings sold!

I really enjoyed these pensive pastel works.

Nice mixed media - collage and painting combination.
Exciting with the polka dot feathers!

One of my encaustic wax students! Great transfers onto the wax surface. :)

Fun artwork with image transfers and paint on fabric. AWESOME!

Spectacular colorful photography!

Wow, look what you can do with a book! That carving must have been meticulous.

Hope you seek out working artists to support in your community this Holiday Season and enjoy the original artwork in your home or smiles from lucky folks to whom you give the gift of ART!

HAPPY ARTING!  Tristina :D

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Art Basel Miami - Inspired by Others

Being inspired by others is a wonderful gift to receive. 

It was my pleasure to be invited to Art Basel Miami by my artist friend Tatiana Cast ( She was excited yesterday to show me one of her favorite venues; Aqua show in Miami Beach. What a fabulous, intimate show in the Aqua hotel on Collins Avenue, and the works were sensational and inspirational!

View of Collins Ave Art Deco hotels from the Aqua Hotel 2nd floor open-air patio.

At Aqua, I saw the work of Dawn Southworth, through Rice/Polak Gallery, Provincetown, MA (, who had many personal sketches adhered to an ironing cloth or collaged onto tar-paper. Here are my 2 favorites from the Aqua show...

The rawness and personalness of these images inspired me to get back to drawing today simply for the enjoyment of it, grabbing a few minutes to sketch over morning coffee. Wow, just that simple act has rekindled in me an imagery I have enjoyed painting in the past (hair-on-fire people) and this tinkering allowed me to discover, through a happy accident, creating the spider like squiggles you see in my sketches below.

Oh, the serendipity!  Personal experiences such as this today have many times so plainly demonstrated the brilliance behind Picasso's quote, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working!" Just through small consistent action, we can stoke the creative fire. What are you drawing, painting, photographing, or writing today?

Here are more of the Aqua show artworks that I really enjoyed...

Alejandro Salazar, California,

This image is carved out of a freakin' telephone book!!!

Derek Gores, Florida,

Fred Tieken, Arizona,

Happy Arting!  :D Tristina

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Art Basel Miami - Beach Scope Show

Enjoyed contemporary artworks at SCOPE on Miami Beach during Art Basel today. Here are my favorites...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Just Published My First Book - Artistic Calligraphy

Wow, I didn't know how exciting it was to create an online book from my artwork until my art coach, Brainard Carey (, advised me to create a Blurb book. Now I'm hooked! Just in time for the holidays, a unique gift. 28 pages of stunning colorful Asian inspired artworks with beautiful Haiku poetry to accompany each painting; and if you're in South Florida, we can meet up and I'll sign the book for you! Check out the preview below and order the book online at by following the link under the preview. Thanks for your support of living artists! :-D

Saturday, November 29, 2014

On The Bench - Finishing Touch on Gallery Wrap Canvas

As painters, we quite often look for economical and innovative ways to present our artwork so that it looks finished and polished, yet we do not incur the cost of framing. To this end, I often wait untill stretched canvases go on sale at my favorite art stores, then buy up as many as I can afford at the time, all Gallery Wrapped with at least 1 1/2 inches depth on the sides.

"Oceans", 4in x 12in x 3panels, Acrylic

Why this type of canvas? For 3 reasons: 1) there are no staples in the sides of a gallery wrapped canvas - they are on the bottom (art show submission guidelines and galleries generally will not accept artwork with side staples showing), 2) having paintable sides for your artwork increases the "real estate" available for your work, and 3) by finishing the sides of the painting, the artwork appears "finished" and can be hung on the wall straight away without having to invest in framing, but rather leaving framing options open to the purchaser of the art.

"Lonely Tree", 9in x 12 in, Encaustic Wax & India Ink

I know many artists, myself included, who actually continue the painting from the front of the gallery wrapped canvas onto the sides, which gives added interest to the work. However, often the front of the painting can be best enhanced by adding a dramatic solid dark color to the sides.

"Us", 30in x 40in, Acrylic & Encaustic Wax on Paper 

While I often see artists paint the sides of their gallery wrapped canvas with flat black paint, I prefer to use a dark dramatic COLOR instead. Most of the time I reach for Payne's Gray, which has a lovely dark blue hue. Sometimes, though, I like to match my painting colors more closely and mix the Payne's Gray in with another transparent color, such as the example below where I used mostly Alizarin Crimson with a touch of Payne's Gray to darken.

By using Payne's Gray as my darkening color instead of Black, I find the resulting colors not only have the dark drama I'm going for, but they also have a depth and interest that comes from light going through and bouncing out of the color.

I hope you will give this finishing technique a try, and let me know how you finish your paintings in the comments below.

Happy Arting!  Tristina :D

Sunday, November 23, 2014

View Into The Creative Process

I find I like to take the familiar, exaggerate it, and throw in bunches of color to come up with new ideas for painting series'. My latest series obsession is a Fantasy Tree idea born out of my art journal sketch books. Read on to check out my Creative Process...

Doodling with charcoal in one of my many sketchbooks.

Refining the Fantasy Tree concept with graphite on Bristol paper.

Experimenting with the concept using Pebeo Cerne Relief dimensional paint and Pebeo Fantasy paints in my Moleskin mixed media painting ideas book. 

Working out the Pebeo paints over gessoed watercolor paper for a test run.
Luvin' it!!!

"Purple Snow", 14in x 17in, fine art painting on paper, 
Pebeo cerne relief dimensional and liquid alkyd Fantasy paints over acrylic. 
And...must remember the GLITTER!

Hope this inspires you to grab a sketchbook (or 2 or 3 - I have MANY) and get to messing around. The lovely thing about a personal sketchbook is it is a place to get loose and BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF, letting crazy ideas percolate and surface for surprising results.

Now, grab a sketch pad and pencil, and get CREATING! 
Happy Arting! :D Tristina

Saturday, September 20, 2014

On The Bench - Yummy Soft Pastels

Having taken advantage of a nice discount coupon this week at my local Blick Art Supply store opening, I've begun to experiment further with layering color in soft pastel using Rembrandt half sticks as my base, then working over top with softer pastel brands like Unison, Sennelier and Schmincke.

Thanks Kyle of Royal Talens for motivating me to grab out some of my favorite rough papers (watercolor paper with Pebeo High Density Modeling Paste) and introducing me to the Rembrandt brand...I'm in love! In between several layers of pastel, I used Grumbacher's matte fixative; works like a charm to lock in the surface and cut down on dust between color layers.

And, here's another great tip given me by Kyle; use water, acrylic matte medium or clear gesso (my personal favorite) mixed with the dust left over from pastel painting to create a greyish, purplish, redish, or greenish background on another surface - canvas or watercolor paper work best - to make colored toothy backgrounds for painting on with ANY medium, like pastel, oil paint and acrylics!

Let me know your pastel painting favorites (chalk, oil or wax) and tips in the comments below. Happy Arting!  Tristina :)