Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Paint and Doodle With Jennifer Mercedes

Saturday and Sunday I was able to take a class at Studio Crescendoh, hosted by Jenny Doh. The studio is located in the Artist's district in Santa Ana and is a warm, welcoming place to be. The class was "Paint and Doodle With Jennifer Mercedes.

photo courtesy of Cynthia Shaffer

Jennifer is warm, generous, a great teacher and her eyes sparkle when she laughs. Gotta love that in a person!

photo courtesy of Cynthia Shaffer

Jennifer had us begin with various exercises of doodling, free association writing and monochromatic painting. The second day we did 2-3 pages of free writing as explained in the book, "The Artist's Way", by Julia Cameron. I think it was my all time favorite part. My hand actually cramped, I had so much in my head to put onto paper. Not that I like rambling thoughts or anything...

photo courtesy of Cynthia Shaffer

Believe it or not, doodling is a challenge to me. I tend to make circles. That's it. Just circles. Booorrring.
The exercises we did helped in this area. I also loved listening to music while we doodled. It's also a little daunting to doodle across a 30x30 canvas.
That's where being blindfolded helps.

This is my friend, Harmony. She is brave and bold while blindfolded.
Being blindfolded made me dizzy. (seriously. what is up with that???)

Jennifer, in her kind and humorous way, taught us the art of not getting attached to what was on our canvas. Because once we put something on canvas...

It got covered up.
And if you didn't cover up 90% of it? Well, the blindfold came back.
As you can see here, I'm a fast learner.
Did I mention I get dizzy with blindfolds?
We got to cover those big 'ol canvases with house paint.
Which, by the way, I love painting with.

We learned about doodling on birch wood canvases with ball point pens, among other various writing utensils.
Then we covered it with paint.
The first day, I came home utterly exhausted, and the critical voices were shouting at me all the way home.
After getting a good night's sleep, I was ready to go back for more!
We had a challenge at the end of the day to finish one canvas in the last hour and a half of class.
Guess who likes to work under pressure?

photo courtesy of Cynthia Shaffer

We gathered to show each other our various degrees of finished canvases and had such a great time affirming each other.

photo courtesy of Cynthia Shaffer

If you are ever able to connect in some way with Jennifer, it will be an amazing experience, whether it's in person or through her beautiful artwork.
Thanks for a wonderful, wonderful two days, Jennifer!


  1. This looks like a wonderfully creative time...and looks like you all had a great time!

  2. Wow! You are so lucky to have the studio there!!! I love what you did and I am glad you are so brave. And you have the best head of hair I have ever seen. I will write you more soon. Just plodding along, the weepies have started, Jud's family still here, I will be kinda glad when they are all gone...I think.

  3. oh my goodness what fun!!!!
    I love this and seeing how the day goes. This blindfold technique sounds a bit scary ;)
    OKAY, look how bright and loud your piece is compared to all the others.

    Oh and I just realized you got published in your bday month, what a wonderful gift to receive :)

  4. What a great time! I would have felt a bit intimidated with the doodling, I get to precise when it comes to stuff like that. i love that you painted over everything and started again, I bet it helped become more free in your designs. Your artwork always has a message behind it Lynn, it's one of my favorite things about your work! t.xoxoxoxo

  5. As I was reading this, I had a thought. More than anyone I "know" you have the heart of a learner. You are always seeking classes and learning new things. I like that about you.

    Just wanted to say that.

    I am a horrible doodler so I probably could use her class. All I EVER do is make daisy chains. What's up with that?

    And in answer to your question about the army boy, he's home for two weeks of R&R and then heads back to finish the rest of his current (400 day) tour.

  6. Now that looks like a great class.. I am not the best doodler. But I have been giving it a go lately..

    Hugs, Linda

  7. Friend...
    How much fun does that look like!!
    I'am so uptight when I doodle or draw, I always want to think too much. I would love to take a class there sometime too, maybe this summer I can get off this mountain top & have some fun with you, I'd love that.
    Miss you friend...
    Your creations are always amazing!

  8. It looks like you had a seriously wonderful time! I really wanted to be there, but the timing was off for me. Maybe she'll do it again soon!

  9. Such a FUN workshop - I love what you did while you were there. I get dizzy when I am blindfolded, too, but I would definitely be willing to do it to get these kinds of results. It is obvious how much you enjoyed this by the beautiful smile on your face!

  10. ooh this looks so cooL! I am so glad you have the opportunity to attend that class and then share all of it here. GREAT post:) and I laughed out loud when you wrote "guess who like to work under pressure" !! b/c I am like that too! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I have to try the blindfold:)

  11. Hi Lynn,
    Thank you for stopping by my blog. I love Jennifer Mercedes work. How lucky you were able to do a work shop with her! I started doing the morning pages from Julia Cameron's book back in December and find it so helpful, hope you keep it up. Have a wonderful weekend.

  12. Hey, Lynn! I wish I could've been there too, but I had too much going on that weekend... Glad to see u were there! It looks like you all had lots of fun!

  13. Looks like it was wonderful! Very fearless creating. I like it.


  14. Looks like such a great time! I want to take at least one art class this year. With little kids at home it would seem like such a luxury to go have some grown up only play time ;)