Sunday 10 March 2013



I'll warn you at the start that you are entering a disaster zone as far as art is concerned - my very own disasters .... no-one else is responsible!   

I decided to link up with Kristin Dudish's invitation to join with her at her new Tutorial Try Outs.  The tutorial she chose to follow first is the free 'Paint Over Collage' offered by Tam at

Now I often make collages, but I have never managed to master this particular style, so I was out of my comfort zone straight away - in fact it was so far away it was almost out of sight.

I didn't want to follow Tam's sample image completely, but felt I did need to follow the basic idea of an angel. Now although I admire other people's angel work, angels are just not something I do, but it's not much use following a generously free tutorial and doing something different.  So I filled the page with collage, and those two bullet-shaped bits at the right are the promise of wings to come.

Disaster No. 1.  I was appalled the next morning when I saw that I had stuck the head almost halfway down the page - I was certain I had put it 3 or 4 inches higher.  (It slipped in the night).

Emergency action taken to crop the page to an almost square format.  The image for the face should have come from a magazine, but I couldn't find one that grabbed me so I turned to my beloved, battered 1930s book 'Wonder Album of Film Land', which I was given second-hand when I was twelve, 65 years ago.  This photo of Joan Crawford jumped out at me.

If you have never heard of Joan Crawford then it's worth looking her up on Wikipedia, and also the memoir of her adopted daughter "Mommy Dearest", which catalogues a much darker side to Joan's character than the Publicity machine presented.

The next step was to start painting and transforming the collage into what should have been a pleasant image.  But Joan kept refusing to accept nice white angelic wings.  Given what is said about her real character that's quite appropriate, and my work immediately took on a darker feeling.  Disaster No 2 started immediately as the image moved further and further from Tam's lovely original.

Here's my 'Dark Angel'.  I was kind and gave her blue wings rather than the black wings she kept demanding.  She wasn't all bad.

Disaster No. 3 was when it came to adding lots of text to the image.  This is another thing that is not part of my basic comfort zone, and not something I do.  I could only manage it by using the original image of Joan as the topic for the text.  I should have added other small images in the spaces, but over three days I had spent many hours struggling with this, so I decided its time was up.

What did I gain from the experience?
  • At the end I was pleased that I struggled my way through it.
  • I had tried out new techniques that I will use in future.
  • I know the tutorial and my struggle with it will rub off on my approach to art in a good way.
  • And even though I don't like my image much, I have been brave enough to show it to you.
Thank you Kristin, and thank you Tam.


  1. you make such good points about what you took away from the experience. It's so easy for me to dismiss something as "not my type of art" - but it's in the trying and learning and doing that we grow. We learn not just new techniques, but we learn about ourselves. We gain strength by pushing ourselves and by being willing to be "bad" at something. Your experiment is a huge success.
    (and I much prefer a dark angel anyway!)

  2. Oh Jez, I do so admire you in many ways. You persevere when I'm sure many would throw in the towel and you have the open mind to experiment with different styles and techniques even when things don't come easily. This is by no means a disaster, and as you say you have learned so much creating your dark angel. Thank you for sharing her. She is a stepping stone to something wonderful :)

  3. Oh Jez, I am so excited!!!

    I have said it before, and I will say it again - You are an inspiration to me! Your creativity, your enthusiasm & spirit, your "go for it" attitude, and your bravery... Very inspirational!

    I love, love, LOVE that you took Tam's tutorial and made it your own... that's what it's all about, I think :) Your color choices add such interest, and I am crazy about those blue wings (and the exquisite detailing on them). It seems that the Joan Crawford image you chose really guided this piece, and I think that is so cool.

    Thank you for playing along and for sharing your "dark angel"... I am so, SO glad you did!


    p.s. I left you a response to your comment, but just in case you don't see it... I will be sure to include a linky tool to my post on Tuesday (it seems to be the best way for people to share with each other).

  4. Maybe you also learned that you're not very keen on Joan Crawford!!

    I think she turned out just fine - but clearly it wasn't what you had in mind... put her to one side for a few days then I bet when you come back to her, you'll love her!

    And have another go... We want MORE!!

  5. just watched grand hotel last night wuth crawford and garbo! some dark angels there!

  6. Dear Jez,
    I love your blue angel and this technique. Hope to see more of them. Now I have to do a long look about your blog.

  7. Love what you did and how you shared the process of your end piece! Can't wait to see what you make next week!

  8. A haunted photo! I remember Joan - and she was very demanding!
    I do like your blue angel - and it looks like you learned a lot from it. This is a tecnique i will have to try.

  9. Jez I think it's a perfect depiction of Joan Crawford...and yes sadly I saw Mommy Dearest.... not my favorite kind of movie! Very sad...but these thing go on all the time!! Very well done...I love the process..thanks for sharing...

    Hugs Giggles

  10. Oh I love her! I love her wings - I love the expression on her face and I am so going to look for that book on her life. (I love that era of film - Bette Davis in particular - I may have to steal your idea, play along but use Bette!)

    Thanks for linking to these tutorials and Kristins site. I will be joining in!


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