Monday, September 28, 2015

Art Journal Challenge----week 1

Good morning!
I am so excited about our Art Journal Challenge--"Paint your Truth"! I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time and I thought long and hard about what our overall theme should be.
"Paint Your Truth" is something that I have kept in the forefront of my mind every time I create a canvas for Paint Like Me!   I have to offer a quality product that is true to who I am as an artist....I promised this challenge would not be about selling art parties though, so I won't expand on that further except to say that I thought it would make a great overall theme for our journals! Over the next many weeks, we will discover truths about ourselves and our artistic abilities and gifts.

Let me go over some of the supplies you will need. I don't want this to cause any kind of economic hardship, so please do not go crazy buying supplies. For each prompt I will suggest some products, but you will ALWAYS be free to use whatever you have laying around the house.
The main thing you will need is a journal.  It can be anything, a deck of cards (if you like working in a tiny scale), an altered book (in which you have glued pages together to create a harder surface), or if you are like me,  a mixed media 'sketchbook'  shown here. It can be any size, but I like to work on a largish scale so my book is 11 x 14.

OUR FIRST PROMPT is simple...I want you to write down on a separate sheet of paper, "I am...."
and then jot down the first things that come to mind.
For me, it was  'trying so hard', 'starting again, again' and 'brand new'.  I have recently gotten remarried, moved into a new house, in a new town and am a new step mom.
For each word or phrase you write down, think of and jot down some correlating images. For me it was butterfly, mountain climber, compass, and a duck (paddling like crazy underneath the water's surface).

For our first journal page, I want you to
1.   Choose 3 colors of paint  only. I used Viridian, Bright Blue and White.
2.  Use  a minimum of 2 other products or tools besides paint and paintbrush.  ( I used stencils, washi tape, chipboard letters and a stamp roller)
3 Place the words 'i am'  and one of your ideas into the artwork by any means you choose (handwriting, collage, stamping...)
4.The final requirement for this challenge is to incorporate an unconventional collage element into the work. I used a cupcake liner.

Here is the process I took,and I am so excited to see what you come up with!

I began by applying a base coat of acrylic paint by troweling it around with an expired gift card.
I then stenciled some arrows and wings with white acrylic paint, and once that was dry I stuck down some hunks of black and white washi tape.   I then glued on some chipboard letters to spell out 'i am' and painted over them.

At this point I wasn't sure which of those images (duck, mountain climber, butterfly) that I would use, but the painting was beginning to take on a look that I felt worked best with mountains. So I painted on a mountain range going through the center of my painting. I just used a crappy (old,scraggly) artist brush and stippled on white in the shape of a mountain range.

                                            My Mountain Range of  challenging 'newness'.

After that I dripped on some bright blue india ink. India ink is one of my most favorite products of all times and ever!!! If you have never played with any colored India ink, I  highly suggest it. The color is sooo saturated and goes so far. In my painting I dripped it on, then rubbed it out with a paper towel.

I started thinking about images I relate to being a perfect mother (which I am far from...) and decided on a cupcake liner cause perfect moms bake cupcakes all day long, right?  Snort!!!!
Also, I just really like to use cupcake liners whenever I want a perfect yet imperfect circle. I wrote the words 'brand new' on it and then adhered to my artwork with Mod Podge. I applied some what paint over the top of it to obscure the whole thing.

 I have a huge collection of rubber stamps and I went looking for any that had an arrow-y look to it and found an old stamp roller that looks like arrows, and also tire tracks, which represented forward motion to me.  I applied the dark blue paint to that and rolled it over my artwork in between my India ink smears.  I then added some dots to the edge of the cupcake liner and smeared on some pink and blue glitter, to represent the flock of children Mike and I are raising  (well, 7.)

At this point I stepped back and realized I was done. I didn't want to do too much, which also felt symbolic to me. As you are working, you will realize there are parallels between your thoughts about your topic and your  work process.
Please request to join this closed facebook page if you would like to be actively involved in this process, however I know there are many who will just want to work quietly by themselves. Happy Painting!

Can't wait to meet you and share this journey of discovery!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

You may have noticed....

When I started this business 3 years ago, I had no idea what it would eventually become....I started out wanting to teach people to make really abstract works of art that they would love to hang over their sofa in the living room.....what it has evolved into is entirely different! About a year in to the process, I introduced 4-8x10 size paintings and then my phone started ringing off the hook for private party requests. I had to pull my then fiance in to help me manage registrations and he created a beautiful website for me (thanks dear, love you!!!). Now you can purchase your ticket directly from our website which is so great, but I digress....
A few months after launching the 8x10 size canvas, the bars started reaching out to us an now we have really found our niche. We love to teach TONS of people at once, in a bar or restaurant or winery! 

But I am still an artist at heart and I hold myself to a really high standard so I HAVE* HAVE* HAVE to still teach you how to create something you would be proud to hang (or lean...I'm really in to leaning canvases instead of hanging them...)

There is a 'formula' to what we do, which of course I am not going to reveal here but you may have noticed that our backgrounds are always unique and different and layered.  Our newest canvas "Happy Fall Y'all" has a new background we have never done before and I am super excited to teach it! This canvas is a limited edition, meaning it will only be taught to 70 people total because of the burlap chevron element (there are only 70 of them!). It also features a collaged sunflower center, which has several techniques on top of it.  In fact, for the first half of this party, you will rotate between your canvas and your sunflower center. If you participate in this party, you will learn how to create other beautiful layered artworks on your own!  As a decorative artist for the last 18 years, I can tell you my motto was 'there is safety in layers'. If you paint only a flat element on a flat surface every 'oops' is going to jump out and announce itself. Layers =interest and depth and beauty and safety!  Flat =booooring.  (in my humble opinion).  When you are working on your own art, don't be afraid to layer it up! Paint happy! 
"Happy Fall, Y'all"

To register for this, or any of our classes,  visit
Looking forward to seeing you, XO Elizabeth

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Drink up, Witches!!

I am madly in love with our newest canvas.....
Drink up, Witches is our Halloween canvas for 2015!

We will be painting this one at Sliderz in Decatur, and at Fat City (City Center) in Champaign--it is also available for private parties.  This canvas is an 8x10, as are all of our 'party' canvases. You will learn easy ways to shade and shadow...I love how it appears she is leaning over her cauldron!
register online at  on the 'sign up now' page!

Monday, September 14, 2015

All You Need is Love - Mini Canvas Free Instructions

All you need is love, a little paint and a few unconventional tools to create this darling mini canvas, that's a perfect gift or tribute to every one's favorite band, The Beatles!  To purchase this kit from etsy, follow this link

One of the things that makes our 'wine and paint' parties unique is the use of our unconventional tools. For this canvas you will need the following:  (or you can purchase our 'favorite tools' kit here)

* Yellow heavy bodied acrylic paint
*White heavy bodies acrylic paint
*Orange fabric dye or ink in a spray bottle
*Mod Podge, matte
*assorted paper ephemera ( included in favorite tools kit), we used vintage sheet music,  multi colored and black scrapbooking  paper , 2 'love' words cut from a punch, triangles cut from black and white paper.

*1 plastic canvas disc
*1 small plastic tile trowel
*1 small doily
*1 foam circle bead
*black charcoal pencil, crayon or pastel
* bubble wrap
*makeup sponges
*hair dryer or fan
*painting surface. I recommend something with some body, be it a canvas, hardboard or matte board.

Gather your supplies and let's go!

1. Apply a semi heavy coat of yellow paint to entire canvas, it's ok to have a few areas of the paint surface showing through. Use tile trowel to create ridges and movement in your paint.

2.  Dry yellow layer with a hairdryer or fan.  Lay plastic canvas disc over the canvas and spray orange fabric dye through it. Just spritz, don't saturate or the dye will bleed together behind the disc and you will have lost your pretty pattern. Do this same step with the doily to create interesting patterns in the background.  Let dry.

3. Set canvas upright (you can lean it against something heavy or just hold it up) and spray orange fabric dye from the top and let drip down. You can leave drips as is, or you can use a wadded up paper towel to move around....just do whatever you think looks best, you can always add more! 

Once dry, spray through your plastic canvas and/or doily as desired.

4. Using makeup sponge, apply white acrylic paint to bubble side of bubble wrap piece. Flip over and 'stamp' bubbles onto your background.

Make sure you use a thin coat of paint, to overload your bubbles will leave you with blobs and not bubbles. Let dry.

5. Begin to lay our your paper elements.  If you are purchasing our kit, all the elements needed for this canvas will be included. If not, you can just create and cut your own.

Once you have settled on your layout, mod podge your elements down.  As I always say in our classes, 'Mod Podge' is fancified must be UNDERNEATH what you are gluing down, cannot just go over the top!"  (not sure where that rumor got started...)

6. Using a circular piece of foam ( we like foam beads available in packages in the kids' crafts aisle)
'stamp' a circle of white into the middle of your flower elements. Let the stamp create some peaks as you pull it away from the paint.   Dry with a hair dryer.

7. Dip a small artist brush into orange fabric dye and apply to flower centers, over the white 'love' paper element and any other areas you  want to stain. Let dry.

Once painting is completely dry, draw around elements with charcoal, black crayon or pastel to add some more details. I added details to both the butterfly, and the flowers....but let your creativity run free with this, it's one of my favorite ways to 'tie up' a painting!  

Voila!!! You are done!  xo, Elizabeth 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Current canvases for September and October

Hey ya'll!!!
It's Fall!!!  Woo hoo!!!!!
Fall is not only my favorite season, it kicks off our busiest season for paint parties!
Currently we have a TON of opportunities to Paint Like ME!   (did you ever wonder why ME is capatilized?...well it stands for Mike and ya know!)

I thought I'd do a little 'splainin  our canvases because there is so much going on right now!

"Illinois Love" at City Center, Champaign :

One of our easiest and 'cleanest' designs....everyone leaves with a masterpiece! You do not have to draw the Illinois shape and all the techniques are very Montessori (get your hands dirty!) and easy!
If you love your state, or as Mike calls them 'The Beloved Illini', you will want to paint this one!

"Gypsy Heart" at  Paint Like Me Studio, Mahomet 

We really should charge more than 20.00 per person for this one...the list of products you get to use is 150 dollars long!  Not only will you use a rust kit, copper metallic paste, anaglypta wallpaper but there is more...yes MORE!!! Studs, mica flakes...the list goes on and on...... If you like rusty, crusty, rustique things...this one's for you!
BYOB allowed

"No Mud, No Lotus" at Richland Community  College, Decatur

Our classes at Richland Community college are more informational and workshop-ey than our parties in bars and restaurants. You will learn more about the products you are using as well as other things you can do with them. This canvas features a unique 'negative space' painting technique that we know you will want to use in your own artwork for a departure from the usual! Information about registering is on our website , but you must call Richland to register  at 217-875-7211 ext.265
No alcohol allowed at this venue, but you may bring a snack and beverage or hit the vendies in the lobby!

"Pumpkin and Crow" at Alto Vineyards, Champaign

Pumpkin and Crow is one of our most popular canvases. It features 3 different stencils which you get the freedom to choose,as well as hologram foil! Also our fool proof method of getting your shapes just right! Everyone loves this canvas! Easy and fun and perfect for your seasonal decor! Register here

"Flora's Peacock" at Lock Stock and Barrel, Decatur

This canvas is painted in the style of artist Flora Bowley and is one of our 'unconventional tools' artworks.  Trowels, cardboard, foam brushes and drips are used in it's completion. Always a favorite and another one that's really hard to mess up due to our shape transfer techniques! Flora's peacock is shimmery and full of textural goodness! You'll love!!!! Register here

"Sugar Skull" at Paint Like Me Studio in Mahomet

We are sooooooooooooooooooooo excited about our Sugar Skull Party in our Mahomet Studio--we have TWO sessions in one day!  A 1 pm, 'kid friendly' session (not only for kids, there just will be a mix of kids and adults) and 6:30 pm 'adults only' party. During our party you will not only get to paint this fun Sugar skull, but you also get a sheet of facial tattoos to wear at the party, or save for later and during the break you will learn how to make a Mexican paper flower. PLUS...there's a GLITTER BAR!!!!   This is a 'sip and paint' style of painting meaning no real techniques involved, just filling in the shapes (and you get to choose the facial features!)  Lots of sparkle and a quotation by Frieda Kahlo  in Spanish which translates to "I love you more than my own skin".
Feel free to come dressed in costume!
Register here for the 6:30 pm party     BYOB  allowed

or for the 1 pm Kid Friendly session

Our venues! A brief description

Hellllllooooo!!!! Goodness I haven't blogged in at least a year. Our business has grown so much in the last year, there's been no time for bloggin'! But I wanted to provide some important info about our different venues now that we have lots of them.

Our Mahomet studio!
Located at 415 E. Main Street, in the middle of Mahomet's downtown district in the bright yellow building ( you can't miss it!) , our studio is our home base and is also available for rent for your parties and meetings. To request info about renting our studio, emails us at
The studio is also Elizabeth's working art studio where she designs and creates for her multiple ventures. You will enjoy the Anthropologie-like, industrial rustic feel of our showroom!
Front facade of our studio in Mahomet

Lock Stock and Barrel, Decatur IL
With it's Cheers-like "Everybody knows your name" feel, this campus classic bar, located near Millikin University at 129 S. Oakland in Decatur is home to a monthly party that  usually sells out super fast! Elizabeth often times debuts new canvases here, because it our largest monthly party and we have many regulars who can't wait to see what's next!  Patrons come early and eat and then move on up to the paint area in the front of the bar for the party. Our parties are once a month, the 4th Thursday of the month, unless it falls on a holiday, then we change it. 

 Lock Stock & Barrel (aka LSB) in Decatur

Sliderz ,  Decatur IL
Our newest Decatur location is located at 5995 E Rt 36 in the Long Creek area of Decatur. Sometimes we are in the 'beer garden' which is somewhat like being outdoors, or if the party is smaller, we are inside (check facebook the day of the party for updates).  Our parties are on the 2nd Tuesday of the month which also happens to be Taco Night!  Sliderz is newly updated and features frequent live music, check it out on paint night or whenever! 

The Perfect Pair, Warrensburg IL
Our very first venue, you will want to check out the Perfect Pair whenever you are looking for something unique for your home or kitchen! Owned by a mother and daughter team, there is a consignment/antiques warehouse, a re purposed items showroom with not only furniture, but home decor, jewelry, children's items and more! Plus the Pear Pantry with gourmet kitchen items! There is also a full hair salon on site!  We have phased out the monthly party here, but will still hold special events from time to time. Follow our facebook page to stay updated of events!

Alto Vineyards, Champaign IL
We are so thrilled to have a vineyard in our lineup! Alto Vineyards is located on the outskirts of Champaign , between Champaign and Mahomet . Cost of admission also includes a wineglass to keep!  Come out and taste local wines and paint with us in the party room! You can purchase cheese and other snacks on site, as well as non alcoholic beverages. Address is  4210 N Duncan Rd, Champaign,
 IL 61822

Fat City/ City Center, Champaign IL
Our newest venue is also our largest! City Center is located near the U of I campus in Champaign! 
Known for their live music venue, great burgers and cheerful staff, we are unbelievably excited to build up a following at this location! 

We have some other occasional venues as well, so be sure and check our website's 'sign up now' page for the current open enrollment parties!