31 Products and a Few Headaches


Hahaha! Yep! This whole try a different product every day for 31 days about wore me out!

Yesterday I showed you the final result. There it is again! Let me walk you through how I got to this point. 

The thought was to use a different product each day in the month of October. Thus the 31 Products. Keep in mind that a ‘product’ could be as simple as a pencil (which I show you on day 22,) or an eraser, a ballpoint pen, a paintbrush, a sponge – any number of household items would work. I chose to use a 12″ x 24″ canvas stretched over a wooden frame for the entire month.
What I figured out was this . . . what a stupid idea! Hahahaha! What in the world was I thinking? I believe the lady who came up with this idea had a plan in mind before hand. Mine? Not so much. So. Day One – above – I used a few different colors of Pebeo Studio Acrylics and rolled them on with a brayer. This in itself was very satisfying and I love how it looked. I should have left it there and moved on to a sheet of paper for day two. Hahahahahahah!

And I have to apologize. Many of these photos were done at night when the lighting was not that great. Day two – I felt like the piece needed some white. So I pulled out some Dina Wakley’s Heavy Body Acrylic paints, a dabber, and a makeup sponge. Then I proceeded to dab and drag color in various places. That would be the white and pink additions. The green and yellow were round ink pads that I stamped onto the canvas. 

On day three I brought in some craft paints from Walmart and a paint brush to add some random mark making. Mostly those blue, magenta and orange places. And I was getting further and further away from what I liked about this canvas. 

Day four was a bit more fun. I moved away from paints and into the collage world. I used Dina Wakley’s clear gesso to add some text from a Korean dictionary and some cute little row houses from scrapbook paper.  Hahahaha! My ‘notes’ say I added these over areas I did not like! Hahahahaha!

You can see the bits of houses and dictionary a little better in this photo. For the fifth day, I used a straight up regular black smell bad Sharpie!  I used it to turn a lot of those brush strokes into flowers and to add some marks to those blue swirls. And ok, I was starting to like this a little better now. It was starting to gain a little personality. 

For day six, I pulled out some Tim Holtz’ Distress Ink pads and dragged some color over those paper collage additions. To grunge them up a bit. My notes say: It’s getting too dark so tomorrow will see a whole lot of white! Hahahaha!

Well, I didn’t cover a lot up on day seven, but I did use some titanium white Pebeo Artist Acrylics to make white marks randomly over the entire piece. I kind of like the white marks, so I was starting to like this a little again. 

For day eight I pulled out some texture paste and some Itty Bitty stencils from Joggles. They are super simple to use. I took a palette knife and scraped the paste over the surface of the stencil, which caused all these cool little white circles of texture. Fun! 

Well, apparently I got a little over zealous with the texture paste the day before, so on day nine I used some pan pastels and a sponge to dab some color over some of the texture shapes. In this case little fish. And I was starting to really dislike this thing again. 

Day 10, I used cheap ink pads from the Dollar Store to dab some color on those stone cobbles at the top right. Ugh.

Day 11 felt like a mark making kind of day, so I brought out the Liquitex Paint Markers. These are really cool and if you do big scale art you need a couple! Those green shapes and the magenta one across the middle are from these markers. Think huge. 

But. Things were getting too dark again. On Day 12 I watered down some watercolor and went over a lot of the dark areas to lighten things up. And I was sort of liking it again. 

And then because I felt like I had to keep adding product, on day 14 (I have no idea what happened on day 13) I dripped some Daler Rowney Acrylic inks across the top  and instantly hated the whole thing. My notes on this day says “Tomorrow going to slap a bunch of paint all over this!”

Somehow it was now Day 17 with no recollection of what happened to those other days. >.< On day 17, I brayered several layers and colors of Dylusions Paints all over this piece. White, bubblegum pink, fresh lime and lemon zest. You  could still see hints of what lay underneath and I was somehow starting to like this again. 

A closeup of one of those textured areas. 

So much more to like about this now. It is kind of hard to believe all the steps I went through to get to this point. And all the layers of product piled onto here. 

Day 18 I brought in some Lindy’s Magical Shakers. Because I felt like I had to keep going with this project. Shakers are similar to other powders you use – like Brusho Crystals or Ken Oliver’s Color Bursts. I sprinkled them on and hit them with a spritz of water. Sadly they didn’t move, they just kind of sat there. But I do like the texture they gave. 

And then it was day 22. No idea what happened between 18 and 22. Probably I was just sick of the whole thing and didn’t want to be bothered. But. On day 22 I pulled out some Liquitex ink and a pencil eraser. 

I dropped some color on my craft mat and used the eraser to make dots in various places on the canvas. I used some pink ink to make flower centers. AT some point I used gelly roll pens to outline flowers and add some detail.  I kind of like the way they turned out. 

This photo shows you those Lindy’s shakers a little better. 

A posca paint pen aded some dots of color over those ink spots. 

And I decided to call it a wrap. Trying to fit 31 different products onto one piece of canvas was a bit more than I could make my brain figure out. I will not be doing this one again. Honest. I lump it right up there with the 100 day challenge thing. Hahahaha! I’ve done it and I’m good. 

I wasn’t really sure that I liked much about this at all. I stood the canvas behind the TV set in my studio and just left it there. It’s been about a month and a half now, and periodically I look at it. Sometimes I even pick it up and look closer. And I’m sort of starting to like parts of it. Maybe it will grow on me. But one thing for sure, I will not be adding any more product to it. Ever. 

So the moral of this story is: not everything works for me. I usually only show you the good things. The things that worked. The successes. But I am not perfect and I am still learning in my art journey. Still trying things, experimenting and stretching. And this project was worth doing and I’m glad I did it. And I am equally glad that it is over. Hahahahahahahahaha!

So, if you want to follow along with some projects that worked better, and don’t want to miss a single post, fill in these two little blanks and hit subscribe. My posts will drop straight into your inbox. Thanks for reading and looking. You are the best! I promise!

18 thoughts on “31 Products and a Few Headaches

  1. There were some good stages along the way, but I agree 31 days/products is a bit over the top. I do like the idea of mixed media though. Thanks for the journey through that experience.

    • hahaha! you’re welcome! I have used that many different components and supplies on a project before with success. this one just wasn’t working for me.

  2. Alice, hang it in a gallery and it just might sell! Then you would feel really good about it! LOL Sounds like quite the journey!

  3. Well done on being so brave as to show us a piece you don’t like.

    I think there’s something to be learned from the way your feelings changed, the liking came and went and came and went again… I think that’s relevant to even much smaller pieces we make.

    • it is relevant for sure. for this one I just felt like I HAD to continue because it was part of an overall project. then I realized I wasn’t enjoying it and I had the right to say enough is enough. sometimes I think we forget that part.

  4. Following you over the years is enlightening, your work has always been bright, cheerful and interesting. You are so brave to show the not so beautiful pieces. Good to know you have some art you are not crazy about. I have been learning alcohol inks seriously for about eight months now. There have been so many ugly pieces I would never show them to anyone. Thanks for sharing, looks like you put a lot of time and effort into this project, but that is how we learn.😊😊

    • and it is growing on me. a bit. hahahaha! and thank you, Diane, for following along with me all these years. I always look forward to reading your comments – now that I can actually see them again. this new website is a blessing in many ways <3

  5. Thank you SO much for explaining your processes. It was fun to read what you did even if you don’t like it!

    • hahaha! thank you! I like explaining because I hope it will show how easy it is to make a cool project.

  6. It is refreshing to see someone as gifted as you feel frustrated with a piece. Sometimes it feels like I hate a piece and then at the last minute I might add some shading and then like it or vice versa. I appreciated that you shared when you did and did not like it during the journey.

  7. Alice, love your creative spirit and how when you don’t like something you keep at it til it is RIGHT!! Great colors and I love inks and color. Thanks so much for sharing you creative and really beautiful work.

    • thanks, patsy, I appreciate your kind comments. sometimes you just have to keep going in order to get the results you want πŸ™‚

  8. Seems to me you may well have used those 31 products – as I’d counted 11 products by Day 5!! You’re absolutely right, the only way to find out if something is you is to persevere with it ……. I know that I absolutely hate drawing from life, but give me a pattern any day…….

    • yes, I tried to keep going but in the end just couldn’t do it any longer. in fact, I was quite happy to have it over. hahahaha!

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