Among Trees: In The Style Of

Good Morning!  Marilyn here, with an experiment from Alchemist Jo.  Jo was inspired by an artist she read about and decided to create something “in the style of” that artist.  She’s done a bang-up job and the result is an awesome piece of artwork.  Jo, show us how it’s done.


I wanted to complete a project using a paper napkin background and chose a very striking black and white paper napkin from the Paper Napkin Art Kit .  While very striking by itself, I wanted to see how it would look sprayed with some vibrant color (using Dylusions Ink Sprays – mmmmmm, yummy), which I liked.  So, I stuck the napkin onto a cardboard base using Mod Podge (although as you can see, I’d torn it a bit small!).

Paper napkin background

OK, I’d gotten my background, but now what was I going to do with it?  Hmmmmmm (** thinking face**).  I had a few ideas but nothing that was exciting me.  So, I picked out one of my ‘Stuck Sticks‘ (a previous Gauche project) and it told me to study an artist and have a go at creating something in their style.  Good idea (if I do say so myself).  But first, coffee!!  I took myself off to my local coffee shop and sat with a “medium cappuccino to have in please” and the Mar/Apr 2012 issue of Somerset Studio.  As I’m leafing through, what should I see?  An article by Mary Beth Shaw who, wait for it, studied an artist and then created artwork inspired by that artist.  Wow!  How serendipitous!  The artist she’d chosen to look up?  A Viennese artist named Hundertwasser (1928-2000).  I’m ashamed to say I’d never heard of him.  His artwork, full of detail and colour, is STUNNING.  I’m in LOVE!  Back home, I carefully studied the main elements that make up his artwork and picked out several to create something which nods to his style but doesn’t copy it.

Napkin Collage Punchinella

On one side of the paper napkin background I smeared black gesso over some large hole punchinella from the Punchinella Variety Pack .  Once dry, I used the ends of pens and paintbrushes to add neon bright acrylic paint dots (I was inspired to use neon colours by Alchemist Michelle’s stunning layouts and photographs).  Using black Staz-On, I stamped a Claudine Hellmuth line circle image onto paper which I then cut out and painted with neon acrylic paints.  These became my trees.  Once they were stuck on, I painted their trunks.  Often in Hundertwasser’s paintings you can see the trunk of a tree through the ‘foliage’ of the tree in front, so I replicated this by using charcoal pencil.

Background Gesso Paint

The finished piece includes a Hundertwasser quote,  which I’ve handwritten.  I initially wrote it with a white paint pen but it didn’t look very good so I painted over it with neon yellow paint.  Better.

I learned such a lot from this exercise.  From Mary Beth Shaw,  I discovered a new (to me) artist.  I REALLY enjoyed experimenting with a style totally out of my comfort zone.   From Alchemist Michelle I got the confidence to try using colours that I would NEVER previously considered using.  From myself, I learned that I can spread my little arty wings and try something new without fear of failure.  Have I created perfect artwork?  NO!  Did I enjoy creating it?  YES!  Will I do this exercise again with another artist?  DEFINITELY!


Jo, what a truly beautiful work of art you have created!  Thank you for showing us that experimenting is good for our creativity, can bring us enjoyment, and that we should never fear the unknown.  All it takes it that one “AHA!” moment and we are off on a new adventure.

Until later…………

Image Map

12 Responses

  1. Brilliant exercise Joanna. You learned a lot and it looks great too! I agree that it’s good to experiment outside of your comfort zone, try something different and maybe even fail. Love your projects ; ^ )

  2. I really have to get on those stuck sticks! I absolutely love this! The colors are so fun and I love that napkin background…Gorgeous work of art Jo!

  3. This is so /not/ what I think of when I think neon–wow!

  4. Oh my Joanna – that piece of artwork is gorgeous! I really must get myself some of these gauche kits as I’ve started exploring art at little more! I love your inspiration also, I’ve often wondered if I could use the inspiration of some of the artists I’ve seen but never carried it through – I think you’ve got me convinced that I should!


  5. I love how you came to create this Jo ( over coffee ! ) Gorgeous colours

  6. Wow Jo how lovely! My next Mail Art swap theme is “deep in the forest” hmmm you’ve given me something to think about LOL

  7. I love this piece Jo, the neon really hits the spot! Off to look up this artist now!

  8. Never heard of the artist but the style looks familiar (so maybe I have but am rubbish with names!) This is utterly gorgeous Jo, you are such an inspiration 🙂

  9. What a terrific post today. Love the artwork. Thanks for reminding me that I love using artwork for inspiration to try something different.

  10. Thank you EVERYONE for your lovely comments!

  11. Gorgeous, Jo!

  12. Aww Jo! Thank you so much- this is a huge compliment. I love this project- the rendering of the trees motif is so beautiful!! Really great techniques here as well- I’ve used black gesso in a neon layout- my stuff is not remotely as awesome as this. I am just as inspired by your quiet and introspective work- hugs to you my lady!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: