A Chance Encounter That Changed My Life

STORY TIME:........

The number one GREATEST advice I have ever received as an artist came from a man I met in Toronto, Ontario.......

It was 2013 and I was an exhibitor at the Toronto Art Show ... an older Asian man approached and stared at my work for a long while before saying anything at all....

This is the painting he stared at for what seemed like an eternity before deciding to speak to me!

when he finally spoke......

he told me my work was good and he liked it very much...... BUT it could be better he said .... alot better .....
he then asked me if I knew of Rothko? I said "no" ..... he asked if I knew of the famous red square ....... again I said "no" ....... it's a painting of a red square he said and he told me that I must research this work and study the heck out of it.....

tbh I was skeptical

He then told me that I must teach myself and learn to master translucent layers and then apply everything I learn to my own artwork and if I did that, I could truly take my art to the next level.

I didn't know it at the time but that single moment, and those 2 little words.....


would be life changing for me and my art in the most significant of ways!

When I returned home from the art show and got back into my studio I looked up Mr. Rothko and studied his abstract oil paintings. In their most basic form they are shapes, mostly squares and rectangles but when you dive deeper and really look, like open your eyes and just look, you will see the colors, the layers of colors and the depth that he achieves that encapsulates the viewer and pulls you right into the painting!

I began to practice with layers, layering color after color after color! My eyes were finally open and I felt like I was seeing my artwork and everyone elses artwork for the very first time!

What did I learn? Well, it was really quite simple, because in its most basic form, what I learned was.......


In most cases applying only one color can be boring and leave your coloring & painting lacking appeal.

When we layer colors it produces more depth and "luminous effects"

Layered colors may be related or similar colors or............ they can even be complete opposites on the color wheel which as it may be, produces my absolute favorite results!

The layered colors naturally mix on the surface which will always look more "natural" in their appearance AND the layers of color make magic on your page when the light refracts thru them!

Like I mentioned on this past Sundays "Paint With Me" live stream, there is no such thing as bad or ugly artwork, a beautiful painting is just another layer of color away!

This technique crosses all mediums, I have experimented with watercolors, acrylics, pastels, pencil crayons, markers, ink, gelatos and even digital paintings....... the results are always more depth and more appeal!

I honestly dont know if I would be where I'm at today if it wasn't for that man. I wish I knew his name so I could reach out and thank him for giving me the greatest advice I've ever received as an artist!

Well if by any chance he's out there AND reading this ...... you know who you are 😉

and I thank you from the bottom of my heart .... you did not need to say anything at all that day but you did and I will never forget it! ♡

Well if u made it to the end..... and care to practice some translucent layering head on over to the Oddball Art Stamp Shop, I have lots of new images to keep you busy and be sure to subscribe to our Creepy Cute Chronicles Friday Night Newsletter where we send out a brand new image to download each week along with inspiration, tips, tricks and tutorials!

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