Changing things up…


This blog has been a great place for me to get comfortable with sharing of myself and my arts for the last 1+ years.  I appreciate each follower as well as all the likes and kind comments.  You gave me more than I ever expected in positive thoughts and well wishes.

What I did not realize was that your positive feedback would actually provide a (much-needed) springboard of self-confidence to get some studio space and start painting.  (Thank you!)

I have now been painting in my studio since September, and I can tell you it’s the happiest I have ever been.  A struggling day in the studio is still a most wonderful day.

I plan to put on hiatus while I focus more on my painting.  If you would enjoy continuing to follow me you can find me in the following places…

Twitter|  craftyartiste|  2-3x week of random likes, retweets, thoughts on art

FaceBook|  Rebecca E. Bangs|  1x week of what’s happening in the studio + announcements

WordPress||  1-2x month of more in-depth thoughts on various paintings or art musings

Pinterest|  Coming soon under “Rebecca E Bangs”|  no specific schedule of ongoing portfolio images

I hope you will consider re-following me in one or more of the above social media sites.  If not, I wish you all the best in your own life journeys.

— Rebecca —


Collaborative abstract painting with my 11 year old…

If you’ve been following me you’ve gotten the hint that I’m a little sneaky about trying to get my kids to make art.  This time, I thought I’d try to catch my daughter’s interest with collaborative abstract painting.


I started off by throwing on some paint that had been leftover from another painting.  It was also a lovely excuse to get up and stretch occasionally.  Given my fiber art leanings, it started to resemble a weaving.  Hmmm…


Purple found its way into the painting.  Hehe!  Imagine that!   My daughter started asking a bunch of questions at about this time (fish bobber bobbing)…


Turning the canvas to give a fresh perspective, I encouraged my daughter to add-on some of her leftover paint.  I explained she could put color and lines anywhere she would like.  There was no right or wrong.  The painting was not supposed to be anything but an exercise in mark making, color and balance.  I further encouraged her to consider painting over marks as needed, since adding something to a painting can shift the balance.  She approached the painting (slowly reeling in)…


It was clear something was needed for the painting to be cohesive, but it was too “busy” all over, it wasn’t clear what.  So here I used a palate knife and darker blue to create some negative space, or rest areas.  My happy mommy moment came when Eleanor took a look at this and proclaimed it needed turquoise squares.  (Gotcha! Grab the net!)  Sadly, I was so caught up in that moment, I forgot to photo it.  Gah!


Just to indulge my curiosity, I thought I’d play with a technique used in weaving called clasped weft… to see if it was even possible to do successfully in painting.  I taped off areas 3 different times and “wove” with black.


Completed, it seemed to balance better viewed from this angle.  Check out those turquoise squares.  Now I just have to get my daughter in to sign it with me (throwing the hook back out there)…

You don’t have to “understand” art…

…to simply acquire art that you like.

A good painting to me has always been like a friend.  It keeps me company, comforts and inspires.

Hedy Lamarr

I’m always surprised when someone says they don’t “get” a piece of art… like they feel they should.  They feel they should admire a particular piece, and because they don’t, feel they are not properly understanding it.

The art we respond to as individuals is just that, personal.  What do you like in terms of subject matter, color, mood, realism, abstraction, concept, size and/or texture?  If you were to collect images of favorite artwork you find, chances are you would see some patterns.

There is nothing wrong with having your own personal art preferences.  Why not have paintings on your walls that keep you company, comfort & inspire you?  Enjoy your paintings like you do your music and wine.  Or better yet, enjoy all three together.

Here’s what’s on my wall…


“MoMo in the Snow” by Eleanor Bangs

Shhh… I might have tricked my son into enjoying art again…


My son used to do the most amazingly detailed line drawings.  They were so unique and consistent in style I was sure baby boy was destined to surpass me as an artist.  All was right with the world.  Queue the end title music.  (I’d so post a picture here, but teens tend to be a touch picky about parents digging out the 3rd grade art.)

Then something happened in middle school.  My once confident artist went from proudly showing me his work to saying he didn’t like to do art anymore.  I still have no clue exactly what happened, I can just say there’s been a dry spell of about 4 years now.

Being the considerate (sneaky) artist mom that I am, I’ve used many an opportunity to invite my son to “just hang out” at the studio.  Or ask him to “take a look at my fun new art supplies”.  Oh, and “hey, if ever you want to paint on a canvas”…  I’m proud to say I didn’t resort to offering money, but it might have been a near thing.

Here’s where serendipity popped in…

I took a class at the John C. Campbell Folk school in North Carolina… and we are talking polar opposite coastline here.

One of my roommates showed me this new to me technique of drawing called Zentangle.

The very next day, one of my 7 plain air painting classmates showed us an entire sketchbook filled with these amazing tangles.

After returning home, a Zentangle class became available right in my studio building. But, it didn’t fit into my schedule.

Stepping a little outside my usual roll with the life flow attitude, I emailed the instructor to ask if any other classes might become available.

Her name was Rebecca.  The hair on the back of my neck stood up.  Although really, I should have figured fate had a hand in this a wee bit sooner, right?

I stepped a little more outside my usual “stay within the lines” approach and asked if kids could take the class too.  I slid that request in right casual like.  It was a proud moment for me.

Next thing I know we have a private lesson for the whole family set up in our own home.

So the first of two lessons was tonight, and I’m still so stoked I can’t sleep.

Baby boy LOVED it.  He even said he might do it instead of video games sometimes.  Stay with me while I bask in the glow of parental awesomeness for a moment…  before I admit where I was a little blind.

You see, my son has sensory issues.  Some things are way too intense for him and others have no effect.  That kid can totally pound the Sriracha Sauce to a degree that would leave most of us writhing on the floor.  It gets him to eat things he might otherwise find too bland, so I pretend to not be sad about any leftovers I can’t eat.

He doesn’t like color.  It bothers him where black and white is soothing.  I had not known that before tonight, but it is totally understandable given his sensitivities.

He hates messy art supplies, but pens and pencils are fine.  I had known this, but had not realized how absolute this was for him.

The art lesson was private… leaving us free from distractions, and free to ask questions at will.  There were no judgements or comparisons made.

There are no “mistakes” in tangling.  Something a person on the Autism spectrum can find respite in after negotiating a long day of social interactions.

He can make up his own patterns, so he has control over his art.

He has freedom since there is no one to tell him he’s not following the assignment.

It was perfectly perfect.  My son likes art again.  All is right with the world.

A quick Friday tease…

… current studio progress.

4′ x 3′ Dahlia in Acrylic

It’s a little “light” due to the interference paints I’m playing with.  If I had to guess, I’d say it’s about 2/3 done.  I probably need at least another 8-12 hours on it.


A little closeup to experience the joy of shiny paint.  (Giggle.)


Happy Friday, everyone!!!

I was going to do this long song and dance about color choices…

…and some interesting tidbits about personal color.  But sometimes, it’s just blindly random what I might choose or feel is right for a painting.

I started this painting based on a photo my husband took at the Mendocino Botanical Gardens during the Dahlia blooms.  I loved the composition, but it was pretty basic color wise with purple, white, hints of green and a darkened background.



Based on this other study painting I just finished, I knew I wanted to tweak the colors to be all iridescent on black.  It’s just so rich and pulls you right into the painting.  I’d even created a nice little color chart with iridescent copper and bronze.


Getting better.

Then I had a happy accident during a fiber dying workshop with Teresa Ruch last weekend put on by the Black Sheep Handweavers Guild.  I was using an eggplant for inspiration and was totally on a purple kick.  One end was this yellow/green, the other purple.  But, the yellow from the green and the red from the purple met in the middle and created this rich, red surprise… somewhere between orange and maroon.  The weaving warp just looked so yummy in the sun.


Like a squirrel during a Fall frenzy, I started working on clearing out the house to get my loom back out of storage.  I’m soooo ready to weave that warp.

But the color combo would not leave me, and as I headed into the studio yesterday, I knew that 3’x4′ Dahlia pointillism painting NEEDED to be neon green, reddish-purple and orange/magenta.

Dancing with the painting now.


Guilty Pleasures…


Sometimes it’s fun to take a break and just make something for no other reason than to enjoy the process. For this week, that meant trying to make a Christmas tree ornament from a newly useless key, with… someone else’s idea!

Kimberlie has a lovely tutorial here on how to upcycle a key:
Key Ornament Tutorial

I admit. I enjoy taking the time to make something beautiful without having to think too much about it. Maybe it’s meditation. Maybe it’s just fun. Maybe it is just resting the brain while maintaining eye hand skills. I really have no clue why I enjoy it so much, but I do notice I get a wee bit cranky when it’s not sprinkled into my days via knitting, spinning or crafting.

What is your art or craft guilty pleasure?