Book Club

As it turns out, "Creative Stamping with Mixed Media Techniques" is not really a stamping book. And it's very similar to the other Sherrill Kahn book we explored back in April. Nonetheless, I had some fun exploring some of her ideas for surface design and layering. If you missed the replay, I hope you'll check it out: By far, my favorite thing from the whole book was the glazing samples. I'm so glad that I made my own. Swatching can feel like busy work, especially if you don't regularly use your swatches. But I find them to be enormous time... Read more →


Yesterday was Book Club! We discussed Lynn Whipple's book, Expressive Flower Painting. You can watch the replay below: For the paint along portion of the video I used Golden Fluid Acrylics. And here are some of the pieces I made inspired by the techniques and ideas in the book: The next Book Club is on October 13 at 12:15pm EST. We will be discussing Creative Stamping with Mixed Media Techniques by Sherrill Kahn. Click this link to set a reminder for yourself. Book Club is free and open to all whether or not you've read the book. Visit the Book... Read more →


We had such a great Book Club meeting last week. We discussed The Sketchbook Idea Generator by Jennifer Orkin Lewis. It's not my favorite book, but I shared how I made it work for me. Watch the replay below: Here are two of my favorite little "sketches" I made while working through the book: And here's the demo piece I created during Book Club: There are some fabulous versions that other people did, which are now posted in the Balzer Designs Students Facebook Group. You should check them out! The next Book Club is on September 14, 2022 at 12:15pm... Read more →


Yesterday we had another fantastic Book Club meeting! We discussed Irene Roderick's book, "Improv Quilting: Dancing with the Wall." If you didn't catch the livestream, you can watch the replay below: If you watch the video/"mini art class," you'll see that I put together a slide presentation for this Book Club meeting. My favorite slides are the ones looking at many of the artists who were inspirational to Irene. Several of them were new-to-me. In particular, I was struck by the paintings of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Here are a few of my faves: You can also watch this short video about... Read more →


Yesterday we had a super fun chat about Sherrill Kahn's 2013 book, "Mixed-Media Master Class." If you didn't catch the livestream, you can watch the replay below: I spent the better part of last week making technique samples on fabric and paper, following the instructions in the book. You can see a few of them (and if you watched the video, you know that there are sooooo many more): Finally, a few things that I noted in our Book Club chat that I think are key takeaways: This is the kind of book I love. No real projects to do,... Read more →


Yesterday's Book Club was lots of fun. We discussed Creative Strength Training by Jane Dunnewold. I learned a lot from this book and I still have more work to do. Let's get started: Have you read Creative Strength Training? What did you think? Here's a peek at some of the things I made in response to the exercises from the book: I thought I'd share a bit about the discussion we had at the end of Book Club. I wanted to ask people's opinions about choosing an older (published in 2006) and less available book for Book Club. It is... Read more →


Another super fun Book Club yesterday! We discussed Mark Hearld's Work Book. It's a wonderful book, so let's dive right in: I love instructional books because they are packed with tips and exercises. But you can still learn from non-instructional art books, like this one. If you don't have time for the video above, or just want a quick recap, here's the recap: This method means that you can learn from all kinds of artists -- dead and alive. Here is a multi-block print I made inspired by Mark Hearld's work: I tried a few color variations: If you'd like... Read more →


I recently finished a series of three 5x7 mixed media collages. (You can grab one in my shop, if you're interested.) You can watch this overview video to see them come together: As I mention in the video, I started them for January's Book Club. This is what they looked like at the time of the Book Club recording: And here they are now: A few tips to take with you: Don't be afraid to cover things up. The layers and the texture are still there -- just in a more subtle way. Learn what things make your artwork "feel... Read more →


This month's Book Club selection was a suggestion by a viewer: Abstracts in Acrylic & Ink by Jodi Ohl. And, as it turned out, I already owned the book but had never even opened it. This is the exact reason why I started Book Club. I'm tired of collecting books. I want to actually use them! Jodi was a guest on the Adventures in Arting Podcast back in 2015. She's super talented and I really love her work. During Book Club I chat a bit about why this book wasn't a great fit for me and how I learn, but... Read more →


Hello! Yesterday we had a very fun Book Club stream, chatting about my book, Carve Stamp Play. I also did a complete step-by-step demo of carving a stamp (in real time) during the stream. For those of you who have never carved or need a refresher, you might find it useful. Here's the replay of the live event: Links: Speedy Carve Speedball Carving Tool Stamp Carving Super Bundle Permapaque Markers And a few things I made during the stream: #CarveDecember 2021 information will be posted in tomorrow's blog post! The next Book Club will be on January 12, 2022 at... Read more →