Balzer Art Tip

For years and years, I swatched paint in notebooks or loose sheets and then I decided to make it all a bit easier and more organized. This is my color rolodex: Watch the video to learn all about it: As I mentioned in the video, three things I love about my rolodex system: It's easy to add and remove cards. I can easily compare colors across brands, or simply to compare. It's simple to create a color palette. I simply pull cards and put the palette together. No guessing. THIS is the rolodex that I own. I use the regular... Read more →

My art practice involves five major branches: Making Cleaning and Organizing Research and Learning Planning and Shopping Practice and Processing I'm currently mostly doing #2 today: cleaning and organizing. My current mission is sifting through all the pretty paper projects I've made recently and sorting them into three piles: sell, collage fodder, do more. SELL is pretty easy. If it looks great and I can imagine someone hanging it on their wall, it goes in the sell pile. 🙌 (This paper weaving is one of the tutorials from the Artful Holiday class, btw.) COLLAGE FODDER is the stuff that isn't... Read more →

On Saturday I'm teaching a 4-hour live online class all about Symmetry & Asymmetry. It's part of my "Composition Class" series in which I'm helping you learn how to create stronger and more dynamic compositions. As the title of the class indicates, I will teaching you how to create symmetrical and asymmetrical designs that are balanced. Here is an example of two simple abstract designs composed from the exact same elements: Balance is one of the Design Principles and a vital skill to master for pleasing compositions. Balance in art is exactly what it sounds like: it's the visual distribution... Read more →

This sentiment is a cornerstone of my art practice. When I don't feel inspired (which is often), I make collage papers, do research, test out new-to-me products, scribble in my sketchbook, make Art Parts...and often inspiration hits me while I'm busy working. Inspiration feels a little bit like luck. You know the old saying? "You make your own luck." Luck is not a guarantee, just like inspiration. You have to work hard so that you're ready for it when it comes. This is how I developed my "Art Parts" theory. I make mindless parts for my art (backgrounds, embellishment clusters,... Read more →

I love art supplies! I keep a list of all of my favorite supplies HERE. But today I thought I'd share 5 that I can't live without: Grey Matters Palette Paper I used a plastic plate as a palette for years and years... ...before I switched to white palette paper (which you can see me using in this video). But then I read about how the only way to really see colors as they are is on a grey background. So then, I had to switch to grey colored palette paper. I made the switch many years ago and I... Read more →

I am on an e-mail list for quilt artists. People on the list often ask questions about supplies, techniques, etc. Last week, I read and re-read this one question and response. The question is paraphrased, but the response is verbatim: Q: I want to create a drop shadow in my work. I’ve looked at and read about different ways of doing this, but I’m not sure what would be the best technique for me? A: "It sounds as if you have some learning to do before setting to work on your quilt. Make a sample of each of the options... Read more →

I'm delighted to be introducing a new video series to you today. The new "Art Tips" series will focus on super short video tutorials about art supplies, art techniques, even art organization. I hope to post lots of these short videos in the coming days! Today's #BalzerArtTip is about China Markers, often called Grease Pencils. Here's what they look like before: And the after: As you can see from the photos, I also discovered that you can put vine charcoal (which gets all over your hands and breaks like crazy) into these holders. Super cool! Thanks for stopping by! Read more →