An Art Lesson on How to Paint

Acrylic on Canvas

I've been giving art lessons to a lady who wants to learn how to paint "abstracts with feeling" in 3 or 4 lessons. A tall challenge for the amount of time. It's taken me 10 plus years to figure out I really love to paint the human body abstractly...and I'm still learning.

Her Experiment With Texture

The first couple of meetings we explored the elements of art like line, form, color, repetition, balance, movement, proportions, etc. For the third class (today) she decided she'd like to paint a female form instead of what she originally thought. We used a picture and the grid system to lay the proportions correctly on the canvas. She only had enough time to put the wash (a watery application of paint) on the canvas. This is such a hard but good lesson for beginning painters. I've found that beginners think the first brush marks are the last. Most people don't realize how much working and re-working goes into creating.

She has done a really awesome job...especially for her first painting. I'll post her progress after she gets done working next time.

Abstract painting and technical painting are worlds apart. I won't get off on this tangent now. It's a separate topic for a future post.


Easter Egg with a Surprise Message

Photo by: Photologic, Jon Nicholls
I know you have tons of extra time on your hands and are feeling crafty this Easter. To satisfy your urge I came across this cute fortune-cookie-like surprise message in a egg. Find the photo tutorial here.


Licensed Painting: Cancer Cell No.15

I was so excited to have my painting featured on the cover of Journal of Oncology Navigation and Survivorship in February. To top it off, the following month I received this email message, "We took the premier issue of our publication to a nursing show, and the nurses walking by would see the cover, stop, pick it up and marvel at it. I discussed it with my supervisor, and we would like to use other examples of your work for all the remaining covers this year."


PS. This painting is still for sale:  $500, Acrylic on Canvas with Beads, 24 x 18 inches. Get it before it's gone.


Painted Ostrich Egg Donation


Acrylic on Ostrich Egg

I painted and donated an Ostrich egg for a fundraiser, Eggstrodinary Evening for Alzheihimer's. It is mirror images, a front and back, of a cell.

The "Eggsstraordinary Evening features ostrich and emu eggs handcrafted and donated by local artists. The eggs will be in a silent auction Friday, April 1st from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Click here for more info about the event: http://www.reporterherald.com/print.asp?ID=31901

My fellow artist friend in Loveland, Billie Colson, wrote a great article talking about an artists' donation. Check it out here: http://www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011103190317


2011 Mask for FoCo Museum of Contemporary Art

Canada Hopkins' Collage of Drawings

Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art has a fundraiser event every year called Masks. The museum invites Fort Collins community members and artists to embellish ceramic masks. The fundraiser benefits FCMOA's education and exhibition programs. This years festivities will take place April 1st - May 7. Museums website: http://www.fcmoca.org/



Green Goodie Smoothie

A yummy, and healthy, addition to any breakfast. I've been making this for so long I've forgotten where I got the recipe from. Really, I don't even follow a recipe anymore. I just throw a little of this and that with some Spirulina. The green algae is what makes the smoothie, well green, and packs a huge nutritional punch.



  • 1 cup pineapple juice (I use Lakewood's Pure Pineapple Fresh Pressed, expensive but worth it)
  • 1 cup fortified vanilla soymilk or other nondairy milk like coconut milk
  • 10 frozen peach slices
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup cherries or raspberries
  • 2 teaspoons Maple syrup or some sort of sweetner (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina
  • ice as needed, to chill and thicken


Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend at high speed until smooth, stopping the blender occasionally to move the unblended fruit to the center with a spatula. Strawberry garnish.

If you'd like to share recipes with me sign up for Plan to Eat. A sweet site for your recipes. It also has a calendar to plan meals. From your meal plan on the calendar it automatically generates a shopping list. Genius. Check it out here: http://www.plantoeat.com/recipes/11730/382nghavqprqi/green-goodie-smoothie


Inspired Art: I Wish

Acrylic on Canvas with Pencil Drawing and Gold Leaf, 24 x 24"

I created this painting as a donation for America Scores of Denver. Artists were asked to create unique pieces inspired by Denver Public School students' poetry. I chose the following poem:

I Wish Poem
I wish my mom didn’t leave me because I miss her.
I wish I could get my mom and dad back together.
I wish I can learn about my mom so that when I see her I know it is her.
I wish I can get all my sadness and drop it in the ocean.
I wish that my mom cared and loved me.
I wish I can know, see and love my mom, but I am not sure what to say.
I love her or I don’t?

Christian F. Age 10,
Newlon Elementary

I was inspired by Christian's courageous use of poetry to express his feelings. In essence it's what I try to do every time my paintbrush touches canvas. My vision was a abstract expressionism painting to convey the poems words. It's hard to imagine any image illustrating the broken heart of this child.

I started by embodying the emotional words, using red, blue, and yellow to suggest heartache, a ocean, and wishing upon a star. I felt like a fraud painting someone else's emotion. It just didn't feel right. To me, it needed the main character, mom. It doesn't sound like he knows what his mom looks like, so I drew a generic female face. It gives the painting a focal point and represents the main character.

Painting is always a process.

Here are the event details:


Recipe for Veggie Crusty Chicken

This recipe is not healthy, but it's tasty and easy to make. I can't believe I'm confessing to eating this last night after I just finished watching Food Matters. Which I recommend you check out this amazing and informative documentary if you haven't already seen it. It reminded me why eating healthy, even a raw diet is so important. Nothing about last nights meal was raw. Ahhh...

Anyway, back to the main course. The rock star ingredient is FriChick. It comes in a can and is basically a vegetable protein chicken substitute. You just have to taste it, it's hard to describe.

The recipe is from Shirley Beary who is a friend of my mother-in-law.

2 small cans FriChick, torn in pieces
6 slices soft bread, cubed
1/2 c. chopped onion (I love onions and put in 3/4 c.)
1 c. mayonnaise (I did use Vegenaise)
1/4 c. oil (I did used a little less, 1/8 c.)
1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. Chicken seasoning
1/2 c. canned milk

MIX well and place in a csserole dish. POUR canned milk over the casserole. SPRINKLE cornflakes on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 min.

Yummy crunchy-ness in a pan. Hope you like.


65 Roses: Cystic Fibrosis Benefit

Acrylic on Canvas, 4 x 4", Angela Canada Hopkins
The 65 Roses fundraiser is hosted by Independence Gallery with Billie Colson at the helm. Billie and other artists have donated their original art. All the pieces have a rose theme (although my painting took a departure with a flower motif). Each art work starts at $27 and 100% of the proceeds benefit Cystic Fibrosis research. I stopped in yesterday and a few have already sold!

A reception for the fundraiser will be held this Friday, the 11th, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Independence Gallery, 440 N. Lincoln Ave, in Loveland.

Photos of the roses can be seen on Billie Colson's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/album.php?aid=90350&id=1612664794. For more information, see the article in the paper: http://www.reporterherald.com/news_story.asp?ID=31006


Owl & Humming Bird Commissioned Drawing

Final. Colored pencil, paint, and ink on paper.

Working at the table

Painted background

Ink added

First pencil sketch

Concept sketch to see if the client and I were on the same page.


Art Work At The Great Frame Up

A collection of my work is hanging at The Great Frame Up, Centerra Promenade Shops, Loveland CO. Go see it before it comes down at the end of January.


Snow Sculptures in Downtown Loveland

In December Engaging Loveland put on "Sculpture in the Dark" where five teams worked to create snow sculptures.  The warm weather and Colorado sun made it challenging conditions for the snow sculptors. In the end, some amazing sculptures were created only to be torn down for business to occur as normal on Monday.


Special K Loaf on the Menu

For supper tonight I made a Seventh Day Adventist staple: Special K Loaf.  When I mention this I usually get the wrinkled facial expression that's followed with, what?!  That's right.  The spot on the plate that's usually reserved for steak is replaced with this odd (but super tasty) cottage cheese loaf.  I was raised on this stuff.  It's one of my favorite comfort foods. 

Here's my Mother-In-Law's recipe.

Special K Loaf

1 Large Onion Chopped (I love onions so I usually add 1 and a half or 2 small onions)
1/4 Cup Oil
5 Beaten Eggs
4 Cups of Cottage Cheese
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
4 Cups of Special K Cereal
1 1/2 Tablespoon of Beef Seasoning

Mix well in a large bowl. Place mixture in a greased 2 quart casserole, 9x13 Pyrex, or loaf pan and Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

You'll love it!


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