Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Friday, January 2, 2015

Gypsy Art by Judy

We had a quiet Christmas around Pimperl Place, so I was able to play in paint for a few days.  I had been inspired to do some Gypsy themed pieces for several months and this was my first opportunity to actually get those ideas onto canvas.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time with my brushes and paints- it recharged my creative batteries and I'm now ready to paint some more.   I still have to pour my epoxy resin over the piece, but I thought I should take pics and share them now before doing the resin, because once the resin goes on, it becomes so reflective and shiny that taking good pics is impossible.

To really get in the mood to paint my gypsy piece with mucho inspiration, I created a board on Pinterest.  Click here to see the board, and that will give you an idea of where I'm headed for the pieces in my Gypsy Room.

I decided the first painting should be a mixed-media piece of a Gypsy vardo, or wagon. They are just so whimsical and fun, a little tacky, and very colorful.   They remind me of a circus wagon, with the intricate carving and brightly painted panels...I think I was meant to be a gypsy!  Anyway, I started with a large vertical canvas and sketched the drawing, using a vardo pic that I printed from my Pinterest board as my main reference source.  I kept it taped to the top right side of my easel, where I constantly referred back to it.

It's hard to see, but I sketched the vardo very lightly
in soft pencil as a guide for painting.

My pillow sham that will grace the bed in the Gypsy Room.  I kept it in
front of me as I painted for color reference.

Bits and pieces that looked "Gypsy-like" to me...They will probably end
up in the mixed-media painting somewhere.

Here are some pics of the painting process...

At this point, I was ready to start adding paper and other fun things.  I went through my stash of scrap booking paper scraps and other papers to find things that looked appropriate to decorate the wagon.  I then brought out puff paint in various colors and the glitter paint...

I found a vintage photograph of a gypsy lady online and printed it in the appropriate size to be proportionate with the vardo...I cut her out and pasted her to the inside of the wagon, looking out.

I also embellished with stick-on glitter pieces found in the scrap booking section of my local Hobby Lobby.

I found some appropriate text from discarded books and glued it on over the front door.

I then moved around to the side to paint the windows, shutters and side panels...

Next, the part that I most dreaded...the wheels.  They just seemed daunting.  Using two different colors of yellow paper and my X-Acto knife, I cut out the wheels.  It was actually fun once I got started.

I decided to use the vintage laces and some strips of paper to create some horizontal interest across the bottom in the foreground.  I found some butterflies that I thought would be fun and gave it a title with some more scrapbooking elements, rub-on letters.  I also wanted it to be a little funky with strange angles...nothing too straight across and perfectly level.

I found another vintage Gypsy lady with her tambourine, and I tucked her into the details at the bottom. 

I then added some rhinestone trim that was purchased in the fabric department of Hobby Lobby.  Got to have some sparkle if you have Gypsies!

After I finished the fun stuff at the bottom, I went back to the paper wheels and added some paint to give them some definition.

 And, finally, here is the finished piece!  

The next time you see this piece, it will be in the reveal of my Gypsy Room.  I still have one more piece of artwork that I want to complete before I put it all together...Stay tuned!


If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!


  1. Judy,
    It is absolutely beautiful! I love the colors and can't wait to see the reveal! Great seeing you this weekend!

    1. Thank you, Cindy! It was great seeing you two, as well...and, I'm so glad to see that you got that green French piece! Be careful on the road and I look forward to seeing you next time.

  2. This is fabulous! I really do like it, and am so impressed with your creativity! And, what we all do without our dear Hobby Lobby?

    1. Thank you Leslie Anne! I appreciate the kind words, and if Hobby Lobby ever closes...lets just say that I will not take it well! Love that place.

  3. It reminds me of the playhouse Dean Mosher built for his kids behind his castle in Fairhope. You can see it here: http://www.donaldearmstrong.com/2014/01/18/fairhopes-sheldon-castle-and-mosher-castle/

    1. Oh my goodness! I had no idea that was hiding behind the castle...another magical place to hang out there. Thanks for sharing it with me, Lorraine.

  4. I enjoyed seeing this project develop at each step. Hope to meet you at the next Southern Bloggers Jubilee.

    1. Thank you for reading the post and I'm happy you enjoyed it! I will be looking forward to meeting you Tuesday at the meeting!

  5. This is so adorable! I love all the little touches you added to it to really make it stand out, and stand out it does! Wonderful job!!

    1. It is hard to miss this one, Hope! My mom would have called it "loud"...All of those little embellishments are just so much fun to play in...Thank you for the sweet comment.