Abstract Painting of Charlotte, NC

I hope everyone’s fall has been spectacular so far!  I’ve been so busy bouncing from one project to the next that I’m stoked if I even finish anything at all!  Is anyone else like that sometimes?  I really hope I’m not the only one, and since I finally finished one project- this abstract painting of Charlotte, NC. And it turned out so incredibly well, I’m stoked to tell you all about it!

The tough part about this painting is that photos do not do it justice.  No matter how many settings I switch, or how much light I add or take away, I just cannot seem to capture the colors in their true form.  The greens and turquoises I used in this painting of Charlotte, NC blended so well, I almost can’t even believe it.  This map is so bright, so colorful, and it’s almost a shame to write about it at all since these pictures are only about a tenth as brilliant as the painting is in real life.  But, I love it too much not to share it.

Abstract Painting of Charlotte

This map was a bit hard to free hand.  The freeways make a giant circle, but the scale made it almost impossible for me to add any grids to the center like I usually do with my abstract maps.  However, once I finished adding the ink and acrylic paint, I decided it didn’t need any other streets or outlines. Definitely not a dark spot to represent downtown.  The only thing I added was a bit of pearlex powders to give it a little shimmer.

Since this is a painting you need to see in context, here is picture of my table set up for an art market I participated in recently-

If you’re interested in seeing more photos or purchasing this piece, just comment below or email me at

Abstract Painting of Charlotte, NC


abstract painting of Charlotte, close up

Thanks for reading!!

Abstract painting- “Master Plan”

Ok, confession time- this had been a rough week.  I won’t go into all the details, but suffice it to say that the past few days have not been pleasant.  So, I headed to my studio and started painting.  I had no idea what I was doing, I just started working and let this abstract painting take shape on it’s own.

IMG_2961-compressorAbstract Painting Tutorial

I love this style of abstract painting because the way the paint and ink blend is so soft and spontaneous.  I can control the way it looks, and yet at the same time, I can’t control it.  Learning the way the paint and ink behave and allowing them to work the way they’re designed to work is so essential and powerful, and really easy.  When you let things go, the result can be fantastic!

In fact, since I just worked on this abstract painting without any really thought as to the finished result, I find it a little ironic that I named it “Master Plan”.  Perhaps it’s the gridded lines and squares and the map feel of the piece that makes me think of designed streets and a master planned neighborhood.  I guess not all good things have to be planned to the hilt.

And I have to say something about the purple- it was definitely therapeutic, working with my favorite color.  The different shades and brands of paint worked beautifully together.  I find it fun to use different brands of paint when I work, because they each have different qualities that are fun to watch and work with.


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Creating abstractly, especially when you’re not sure what you’re trying to create, can be a bit terrifying.  Don’t worry- even if you end up painting over what you’ve done, you still learn something in the process, and it’s exhilarating and so satisfying when you see where the piece has led you.  So throw aside your fears and give it a shot!!

Adding rust to your Encaustic Paintings

I am so glad to finally be finished with this piece.  🙂  It really seemed to take forever because I kept trying to use shortcuts with the supplies I had, and nothing was working. Lesson learned- when trying a new encaustic technique, follow the recipe!

Encaustic Tutorial

I painted this on a cradled wood panel, 6*6.  I painted the wood white to begin with, then started working with the wax.  I added my quilled pieces first- some leftover brown pieces I had in my caddies.  Adding the rust was the tricky part.  No, tricky is the wrong word- it’s an easy enough process, once you have all the tools, which include: white vinegar, water, and some steel wool (real steel wool, not the curly stainless steel scrubbers they sell in grocery stores, which is what I tried to use first.)    Mix one part water with one part vinegar.  I laid my steel wool right onto the wax and sprayed it with my vinegar mixture.  Once everything dries, you have an awesome rust layer on the wax. And that’s it!  You can paint over it with wax if you want.  For this piece I left the rust as the top layer.

Adding rust to your encaustic paintings is  a lot of fun, once I got everything to work. I’ve created a free printable for all new subscribers that outlines all the details- you can download it by clicking below.

Encaustic Tutorial

I hope you have a lot of fun with this technique!  Go wild, and feel free to share your new pieces in the comments- I’d love to see what you create!