• Grace Mendez Winter Solstice 2018

    Winter Solstice

    Winter Solstice is one of my favorite days of the year. Not because we are going into winter, but because the daylight is starting to lengthen again. I always thought that saying, “the days are getting longer” is a misnomer because a day is still a day and will always last 24 hours. It is awkward to say, “we are gaining more (or less) daylight” so we default to, “the days are getting longer (or shorter)”. I think about day vs night and wonder what would it be like if the days were indeed getting longer. As it is, I feel like the years are flying so maybe the days…

  • Grace Mendez Best Ever Craft Mat

    Best Ever Craft Mat by Ken Oliver

    For my birthday, my daughter gave me a gift card to Amazon and I ordered the Best Ever Craft Mat by Ken Oliver (24″ x 36″). The Best Ever Craft Mat has been on my work table for a couple of weeks now and I absolutely love it. So far, nothing sticks to it. To clean the surface, I use water, baby wipes, hand sanitizer or baby oil. So far, none of those cleaning products damage the mat. I wonder if after repeated cleaning the surface will eventually lose its ability to repel moisture. A word about the video: I usually don’t use my phone to make videos. I have to…

  • Grace Mendez Commonplace Book

    How a Commonplace Book Could Make You a Better Artist

    How A Commonplace Book Could Make You a Better Artist I’m writing a book and you can too! It’s not a novel, or a diary or a journal. It’s called a commonplace book. If you are not familiar with what a commonplace book is, here is a definition: noun 1. A notebook in which quotations, poems, remarks, etc, that catch the owner’s attention are entered “commonplace book”. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 19 Mar. 2018. <Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/commonplace-book>. What goes in my commonplace book My book is mostly filled with “etc”. It’s my reference guide, a place to keep art recipes, techniques and processes. Notes…

  • Grace Mendez Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint Sticks

    Product Review: Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint Sticks

    Kwik Stix, my new favorite art supply, is marketed toward children. Their description says Kwik Stix are solid tempera paint sticks. They look a lot like markers until you pull off the cap and see they are solid like lipstick. They behave like super creamy crayons with no problem going over dried acrylic paint. In my testing, I found that the color is removable with water over the acrylic paint but permanent over an uncoated paper. Kwik Stix vs Gelatos® Perhaps you use Faber-Castell Gelatos. Gelatos are similar in how you directly apply them to your surface from a twist up tube and also the creaminess factor. I want to like…

  • creativity

    Prepping Pages in an Art Journal

    Prepping Pages Prepping pages in an art journal when you are not in a super creative mood ensures that when you are in the mood, you can get right to work. One method I like to use when prepping pages is to lay down a layer of paint using Blick’s Matte Acrylic Paint. In the video, I say the paper is not meant for artwork. What I meant, is that the paper is not specifically created for water media. The Cahier Moleskine notebook paper is on the thin side, but with the addition of the paint, it does strengthen up. Clean Up To make clean up faster and easier, I wear gloves…