The Push Pull

I’ve had several different painting professors in the past, all very different people with incredibly different styles and techniques. The one thing that they did have in common was the “push/pull” concept within a painting.

What the “push/pull” concept is is the use of color or texture, or perhaps how much paint painted in an area on the image’s surface, to “push” certain shapes of the composition to the back and “pull” the most important shapes to the front.

This idea is pretty darn basic, but it is this push/pull of abstract artists that I’m most inspired by and believe I’m beginning to think by this rule as I work on the creative surface.

Hans Hofmann is the first artist I think of that uses this technique very well and in fact does a trick on the eyes of constant push/pull movement throughout all his pieces. Marc Chagall is another artist, though different and not necessarily abstract, who used color and shape to move the eye and depended on these two elements to tell his strange, dreamlike stories.

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The illustrator of Firefly Mountain, Peter Sylvada, also does this with colors and shapes. This one in particular reminds me of Eyvind Earle.


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And this little gem, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach, also has a great push/pull abstraction with color, light, and shape that I’m inspired by. That bear is behind the bench, and the bench is clearly in front of the bear, however the two fight back and forth to see who can draw the eye the most and be priority of the composition. It’s wonderful.

Mike Mignola  is another favorite artist of mine who does this.



Now I definitely do NOT have the skills of these artists, but I can’t help but notice and enjoy the push/pull the acrylic and digital paint provide. Sure I use color to push some shapes back and pull some shapes forward, but it’s the texture that I’m using with the push/pull in mind.


Another push/pull I’m finding in my work is the almost sfumato style of making certain pieces of the image more focused, usually what is in the foreground for the viewer, and blurring the background. No, I don’t think I took this from Leonardo da Vinci, I simply can see better up close than far away. My daily vision is this kind of push/pull and I would not have noticed that without going back to the Stitching Butterflies pieces.


STORYSTORM 2017 Registration is Open!

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)


Oh, Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…

That’s right, Picture Book Idea Month has been blown away by STORYSTORM! Need to know why? Check here.

STORYSTORM is month of brainstorming new story ideas. This event is open to any writer seeking inspiration, support and community.

How does STORYSTORM work? It’s simple…

  • Register here by signing your name ONCE in the comments below. Teachers participating with a class can register under the teacher’s name.
  • Follow this blog daily ( for inspirational essays by guest bloggers—professional authors, illustrators and experts in creativity…


  • Jot down a daily story idea in a journal, computer, anywhere you like to write.
  • At the end of the month, if you have at least 30 ideas, sign the STORYSTORM pledge and qualify for prizes.
  • Prizes include professional consults, signed books, original art, writerly gadgets and gizmos.

Remember, do not share your ideas publicly. They are YOURS…

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Another Wish List! Rules of Summer kinda Rules

I love Shaun Tan. He meets my surrealist love expectations like a hybrid Dr. Seuss and Tanguy or Ernst or Chirico with the colors of Chagall and maybe a dash of steam punk. My boyfriend bought Tan’s work over vacation (also yay I managed to get three people to buy a children’s book that day, AWESOME) and was amazed at the illustrations as well as the cute story between, what I’m assuming, brothers.


Sadly I didn’t get to the review I wanted to write for this piece, but that’s what the wish list is for right?

Add another to the list.

Part of the Wish List

This past Sunday I did my usual peruse around Barnes and Noble through the children’s section, you know, just to see what books are up front, what books seem to be grabbed up the most often, and making note of which books I would like to buy eventually.

I could go to my library to become closer to the books, but every time I go I get dirty looks like they don’t want me getting 20 PBs at once and I have a feeling that I lost a book and now I have to pay for it (I don’t wanna go back, the library lady turns me to stone with her glare…)

So I go to book stores, read PBs and take pictures of the ones that grab my attention.


I’ll just go with this one today as If You Ever want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON’T  by Elise Parsley was one of the first that caught my attention. Maybe that’s because I liked If you Ever want to Bring Your Alligator to School, DON’T but it’s probably the obscure idea of a little girl wanting to bring a piano to the beach.

The image above is the reason why I added this one to the wish list. Obscure scenario that catches attention-check. Cute illustrations and MC-check. The repetition of this scribbled colored font that makes the words awesomely contrast the scene-CHECK! Love it.