Frida and the Wall of Miracles

Frida and the Wall of Miracles - Art by Regina Lord

Wall of Miracles
Acrylic on 18 x 24 canvas
(sold ~ thank you!)

I was looking around my room, the other day, and noticed I had no paintings of Frida. I love it when I sell a Frida painting, because that means I get to paint another. One of my most favorite subjects (if you haven’t already noticed).

One might think that I am a bit obsessed, but I can’t help it. I recently watched a PBS special about her (for the second or third time) and also watched Frida, the movie again (with Selma Hayek — watch instantly on Netflix). So, I was feeling very inspired.

The word milagros (religious folk charms) literally means miracle.  I would think with all of her suffering, Frida had hopes for many miracles.  This wall of milagros is for her.

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transfer images onto rocks

image transfer onto rocks

I know there are a ton of tutorials online for image transfer, but when I was making these, I couldn’t find a good technique that worked on rocks, or that had a perfect transfer.  I also have a fondness for tutorials with lots of pretty pictures.  No sports car images or poor quality images, thank you very much.  Sorry, just saying….

Technically, a gel transfer is just a transfer of ink into the gel medium so that the majority of the paper can be removed, leaving only the image. Trying to glue the paper image directly into the rock could be done, but the rock would have to be pretty flat. Making a transfer image allows the image to curve with the rocks surface with very little wrinkling.

For this project, I used Golden matte medium because when I opened my trusty jar of regular gel medium, it was all gone (gasp!).  I imagine that any acrylic clear medium would work as long as you apply the right amount of medium to the image. Also, this technique can be used for many different mixed media projects as well.

About the images:  Inkjet images don’t really work well for this.  Book  or magazine images (that are not glossy) and laser images work best. I found my images from a book that I had thrifted ages ago. An incredibly lucky find.  It’s a catalog featuring John James Audubon’s bird paintings, which are just beautiful.  When choosing your own images, make sure there is a lot of contrast so that the image transfer is clear, and recognizable.

image transfer to rocks

You’ll need:  Matte medium or gel medium (heavy or regular), images of choice, rocks with smooth, flat-ish surface, scissors, paint brush, soft cloth and tray for water. Optional: heat gun and fine grit sandpaper.

1.  Prep rocks.  Make sure they are free of dirt, sand, etc.

2. Cut out images keeping in mind the size of your rocks.

image transfer

3. Cover the image side with 5-10 coats of medium.  The more coats there are, the less likely the image will tear later. If you are using heavy gel medium, you could probably get away with using 3-5 coats.  Allow to dry completely. (I used a heat gun during this stage to speed the torturous wait time between coats)

image transfer

4.  Put images into tray of water to soak for a 1-2 minutes.  You can lightly sand the back of the image to allow water to soak through the paper faster. This is especially important if the paper is quite thick. Just soak the paper for a little longer if you don’t have any sandpaper. Matte/gel medium will become cloudy during soaking period.

image transfer

5. Once paper has become quite soft, lie image face (gel side) down onto a flat surface (glass or table top) and start to gently rub paper off with finger.  Wipe with soft cloth to remove tiny bits of paper.  Allow to dry.

image transfer

6. Now you will have a very thin almost tissue paper like image.  It is actually much more flexible and durable than it looks.  Trim images to fit the rock you have chosen.

image transfer onto rocks

7. Using matte/gel medium, coat the top of the rock and apply image. Brush another coat onto the image, then gently use finger to securely press down all the edges and remove any bubbles.

image transfer onto rocks

8.  Allow to dry for several hours (or over night).  It will look a bit murky for a while, but when it is completely dry, the image should be clear and bright.    At this point, you could use paint, colored pencils or pen into the image if you like.  Maybe glue on a inspiring word and then add another protective coat of matte or gel medium.

If the transfer doesn’t work, soak the rock in warm water for a while and rub off the image.

pretty rock collection

Now go forth and make pretty rocks!!

Posted in i make stuff, Tutorials, how to | 2 Comments

Rocks and Roses

Roses and Rocks

Happy Heart Day!

hand painted rocks

Valentine’s always gets me painting hearts and making pretty things. Last weeks, we went walking through the dry river bed and found a ton of fun rocks. My youngest, like myself, has a love for rock hunting. I love the perfectly smooth and round ones and he like the oddly shaped one.

hand painted rocks

At home, I gathered all the smooth ones and set to painting them with my finest paint brush and my Golden high flow acrylics. Fun, Fun! I love painting rocks. I have given away all the rocks I have painted in the past, so now I have a new set to give out as needed.

With the other half, I wanted to glue pics onto, but paper is too hard to glue onto rocks, because of the shape and texture of the rocks. After a bit of research, I decided to try the gel transfer method.

Image transfer rocks

I have a wonderful catalog from Christie’s Auction House featuring images from John James Audubon, The Birds of America. The catalog is filled with tiny, lovely images, perfect for transferring to rocks.

gel transfer image rocks

I will post images showing how I used this method tomorrow!

bird rocks.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how they turned out! So sweet, shabby chic, romantic and pretty!

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Insta Rose Banner

I made this sweet little rosy pink banner for a friend (whose hands just happen to be in that 4th pic).  I picked 6 of my most flowery and rosy instagram pics, printed them out and mounted them on plain card stock to make them look like little polaroids. Then I added some inspiring words like beauty, abundance, love and gratitude and strung them all together.

Pretty and sweet for my very lovely friend.

Posted in i make stuff, photography | 1 Comment

Valentine goodies and shop update

YWCA Trunk Show

I think I have finally recovered from my little trunk show. Being the introvert I am, it is still AMAZING to me how exhausting these shows are. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, going into my 4th season of art show madness. All the prep work, the set up, the show and then the take down.

I am still learning and finding my comfort zone in interacting with people.  There is a very special finesse in selling your art.  I am not a pusher, hard seller, or information slammer.  I mostly keep my fingers crossed that my art will sell itself and I am just there for support, questions and mild encouragement if needed. Still working on small talk, but I think I am getting better and feeling more comfortable. Smiling a lot is my default.

The three days before the show are always the craziest (especially with one kid and one dog  sick and needing care), and you just always think you have more time than you do to get everything done. Of course, it all got done and it all went well!

Love Art by Regina Lord

Here are some of the things I featured at the show.  A few art plaques, mini wall ornaments and lots of new art pendants.

Love Art by Regina Lord

Art Pendant Necklace by Regina Lord

I have added many new items into  my etsy shop. Please hop on over to take a look.  If you see anything you like, use coupon code LUVLUV for 15% off your order!

Posted in Art, shop talk | 3 Comments

Butterfly Keeper

Butterfly Keeper - Art by Regina Lord

8 x 10 acrylic & pencil on Birch panel.

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. 

~Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Self Love

Self Love  - Art by Regina Lord
9 x 12 paper, acrylic & pencil on Masonite hardboard panel.
(sale pending)

Art by Regina Lord

No other love is as important as self love.

Be kind to yourself. Be gentle. Love your best parts and nurture your broken parts with even more love. Give yourself a big and beautiful hug.



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The Astronomer

The Astronomer - art by Regina Lord

Acrylic and pencil on 8 x 10 birch panel
(sold ~ Thank You!)

I had just started with a face, as usual. But then I saw stars and a moon and knew that I was painting an astronomer.

Maybe her lineage traces her back to being a relative of Hypatia of Alexandria. That is why everyone tells her, “You have stars in your head”, when she speaks of her dreams and of the vast universe. She simply replies, “No, they are in my heart”.

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Dream Catchers and Ocean Wind Chimes

dream catcher with paper feathers

I made a few dream catchers a couple of weeks ago.

dream catcher weaving

It took a little time and patience for me to get the weaving part down. I had to re-do my first one twice, but then I got into the groove of it and it was really fun.

paper feathers

I used a bunch of different fancy fibers and beads, then made painted paper feathers coated both sides with clear tar gel to give them a little extra weight and durability.


Making the dream catchers reminded me of some wind chimes that I made with my friend Katy in Oregon almost 2 years ago.  After a day of collecting shells, rocks and other fun stuff at the beach, we went back to her place and made some really fun ocean wind chimes. Totally her idea–totally fun and creative.

ocean shell wind chimes

ocean shell wind chimes

P.S. The dream catcher and wind chime photos were edited in my favorite online editing program –> PicMonkey.  I used the cloud texture to create the dreamy look.

Posted in i make stuff | 2 Comments

big blooms

Magnolias - Art by Regina Lord

Acrylic on 20 x 24 inch canvas

flowers works in progress

I didn’t think I would ever get this painting done. I have several paintings half done right now and finally decided to sit down and finish just one.  Now, I feel ready to conquer all the others.  One at a time.

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Posted in Art | 2 Comments