Tuesday, 31 January 2017

My Struggling-Artist's Attempt at Jo's Dreamy Watercolors

My Struggling-Artist's Attempt at Jo's Dreamy Watercolors

This is gonna be a long and involved post – because wowzas! So much to say about this!


First off, Jo Flaherty, what an amazing artist! She’s found her “voice” (that’s what we say in the writing community) in art.  She makes the most beautifully whimsical pieces that are eye-catching and soothing at the same time, as well as completely unique!  Eni Oken featured her as an artist this week in the Shading Zentangle FB group and Jo was kind enough to show us how she does her work.  What a wonderful pair of women to bring us this challenge and share their artsy ways!


Like I said, I’ve admired Jo’s pieces for quite a while now. I was so stoked to give this a try.  Sadly, I didn’t have the materials Jo uses, and had no means of getting them. But did that stop me? Heck no.


I have distress inks, and I love them, but they are the cubed versions you can see below.  Not ideal for this type of project. Or so I thought.   I wanted so badly to use their color palette that I figured I’d get creative.  First, I needed something to smudge the distress inks on…  I couldn’t get what the kit suggests, or other artists suggest, so I looked around my kitchen, and came up with nothing.  I sat on  Yes the foil that keeps my ciggies fresh in their little packs, and I dug them out and flattened them.  A few tests later and I realized they were perfect for smudging and diluting the distress inks! WIN!
my couch and sighed… then looked over at my cigarette pack (I know, I know, smoking is bad, but let’s focus here). I spotted the tin foil.


Then I needed to wash my brush after every color. Yes, my one brush. With the distress inks I only needed a bit of water to clean the brush.  I was not going to walk into the bathroom or kitchen every few minutes… so I looked around.  I drink a lot of bottled water, and with bottled water comes bottle caps.  So bottle caps with a few drops of water became my diluting and cleaning station.

It may be makeshift, but in a pinch, this proves that if you can't get the tools you need, you can work with the tools you have - with a bit of imagination.


Alas, here it is. Many hours of work and layering and more layering later, with tin foil palettes, only 4 different distress inks, 1 brush, a bunch of bottle caps, some microns and a gelly roll white pen and I have my finished “dreamy” piece.


Thank you Jo and Eni!

And as always,

Be kind – to yourself, to the earth and to others.

Line art which I obviously almost entirely forgot to take a pic of.


  1. What a beautiful result and loved hearing the saga of its creation! Lol

    1. LOL! Thanks Jane :) Quite the saga, indeed

  2. Funny and lovely ♥ blog. Love your process of how you made this art.

  3. Very resourceful! Nice outcome.