AAAaannnnnd give us a nice little lesson? Introducing COCO, obviously a bison, although she doesn’t seem to know that she are one. This is the coolest story! My friend and very talented artist Jennifer Stone, who also has a huge heart, adopted little Coco (back when she was little) after her mother rejected her. Coco has been living, and growing, with Jennifer and her husband since last fall. Here is another photo of Coco and a wonderful lesson that Jennifer is sharing with us this week.


Below are photos of my friend, Jennifer Stone and another photo of Coco. I have just loved following Coco’s story. The photo you see above is Coco looking longingly into Jennifer’s studio. She thinks she is part of the family. If you go to Jennifer’s Facebook page, you can scroll backward to see other photos and videos of the little furry one. Just about now you may be wondering where Jennifer lives. She lives in South Dakota, of course!

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Jennifer Stone and Chuck with sidekick Coco


Step 1

My process begins with an idea on color and composition and whether or not I want my painting to be total abstract or abstracted realism. This piece began with some of my handmade collage paper and some newsprint. My knowledge of creating my own collage papers came from one of my very favorite artists, Anne Bagby! She’s a master! I had the privilege of studying with Anne last year, along with a couple of my best art buddies! In this piece I chose the cruciform composition and placed some of my papers using matte medium for a fixative. Sometimes I coat the entire painting with matte medium to preserve this first step, as I scrub out areas later with alcohol.

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I add color, some that will be an underlying color in areas and also part of the finished piece. At this stage, I play with textural techniques. I splatter alcohol, water, scrape, lift, and stamp, all giving me interesting texture. When the canvas is still damp, I may tear a portion of the newsprint and reattach it in another place. I dry everything at this point. I always turn my painting all four ways to see if I find a better option to move forward with. I then choose my next color or colors to do some layering. Using the same techniques as in step one, I play, adding and deleting as I go, starting to develop my composition and design. At this time I incorporate line work, sometimes using my brayer turned on it’s side making lines of another color or dragging color from an area with paint I’ve just applied. I go back and forth scrubbing out areas of interest with alcohol.

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Step 3

I begin to develop the center of interest, adding color and texture, stamping, etc., all to bring my painting to completion.


Step 4

It is in this stage that I do a lot of thinking and adjusting. I lay colored papers in areas to see if that would be a move in the right direction to achieve what my design instincts are telling me. This allows me an opportunity to photograph it and confirm if my instincts are right. By looking at the photo, it tells me a lot about where I need to connect shapes and if there are areas that need more developing. I love to just barely see graphics under the paint, as it has a feel of age and sentiment. I call this “Peek-a-boo”, a pretty technical term you will not find in any art text book I’m sure! To me, this painting is reminiscent of a Kimono, so that’s what I titled it!

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I’m mostly a self-taught artist, but I attend workshops of artists that I admire to gain more knowledge of their style and techniques in order to further my education. That journey has been so gratifying, expanding what I know and meeting many wonderful friends along the way. I began this journey in 1992 and haven’t looked back! While raising our 3 daughters, I painted whenever time allowed. Now I am a full time artist living the dream! I have a beautiful studio next door to our home where I paint and teach workshops. We live on an acreage where we share our space with 4 dogs, 2 horses and 1 buffalo! My husband shares my love for animals so one never knows what will be added to our gang!

Following my Facebook page is the best way to see what is current in my studio. I invite you to “like” my page, Jennifer Stone Artwork and follow along with my adventures! I do have a website,, but I am going to be making some changes so that website isn’t as current as I’d like it to be.​

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for this really cool step-by-step. You must be a fantastic teacher! I hear that you’re always open to teaching venues that are out of state – especially in the southern part of the US during those cold S. Dakota winters?!


As it turns out, I won’t be able to join either of my groups in Spain next month. I had very high hopes, but recent mini vacas to the hospital have made my husband and I rethink ​the wisdom of that. So, I send them off to Spain with love and all of the preparation I could give them. In addition, cute little Barbara Barrett from Ireland will be teaching both groups. Karlyn Holman has also graciously offered to stay on after her own workshop for a few days to help out. So, they will be getting two wonderful spectacular teachers in my absence. They promise to send us photos and keep us informed so that we can all join them and keep up on what they’re doing! I want to be there, don’t you?!

Which brings me to another subject. If all goes as planned, I will be finished with treatments around the first of July. I think we should have a huge celebration of some kind, don’t you? These days, when I’m lying on the couch, my mind is wandering – thinking of what might be fitting for such a milestone. Hmmm…

Thanks so much for all of your emails and well wishes for me! I read every one of them. And thanks so much for reading.

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Kathie xo

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