4 x 4 Project

“Remember Bob Ross? The painter on PBS with the ‘fro and the happy little trees? Bob Ross taught people how to paint. He gave his secrets away. Martha Stewart teaches you how to make your house and your life awesome. She gives her secrets away. People love it when you give your secrets away, and sometimes, if you’re smart about it, they’ll reward you by buying the things you’re selling.” ~Austin Kleon~


In my last post I was telling about a new project I have started for 2014.  My goal is to make 200, 4 x 4 inch tiny pieces of art this year.  This idea came to me after watching some videos by Jane Davies. Jane gives some of her secrets away.   Check out the 4 x 4 group at Flickr.  Here are the requirements as stated by Jane:  “This is a group to show your 4″x4″ art.  It can be in any medium or technique; the only requirement is that it meet these dimensional requirements.  I encourage you to make 4″x4″ art in groups or series.”

I have completed eight 4 x 4′ s.  The next ones I do will NOT be on watercolor paper.  Jane suggests using a smooth paper like Stonehenge.  I do have some Stonehenge paper and I also have a nice Bristol vellum pad I ordered from Dick Blick recently.  My pad is the biggest one, measuring 19 x 24 inches.  I figured out that I can get 20 of the 4 x 4’s on a single sheet of that.

All of these pieces began with three shades of blue paint on the background.  These first four have several layers of paint.  Some have collage papers and stamping with some of my foam stamps making impressions in the wet paint.  I finished by doing some line work with an ultra fine Sharpie marker.





These next four pieces do not have as many paint layers.  I used collage pieces, graphite,  white charcoal pencil,  and a little bit of  line work with the ultra fine Sharpie marker.





My goal is 200, 8 down…only 192 to complete.  I am having fun with this.  Anyone wanting to play along, check out Jane’s tutorials.  There is something to be said for having a goal and working in a series.  NOTE: Check out iHanna’s blog for more inspiration about getting started on your own project for 2014.  Hanna gives her secrets away too!

13 thoughts on “4 x 4 Project

  1. dalecooper57 January 6, 2014 / 5:19 am

    Wow, these are great. You’re really talented. I’ve never been artistic, so I imagine I’ll run out of superlatives if I comment every day. Therefore you’ll have to take my word that I’m incredibly impressed each time, to save me extra typing. The third of these is my favourite so far.


    • Mary January 6, 2014 / 9:01 am

      Thank you Dale. My personal favorite is the second from the top 🙂


  2. pixieknucklecracker January 6, 2014 / 6:06 am

    This sounds like a fun project to do this year. I’ll follow along if you don’t mind, and also check out Jane Davies. 🙂 P.S I adore your work so far – the colours are SO pretty.


    • Mary January 6, 2014 / 9:03 am

      I’d love for you to come along and play with this. I love Jane’s work! She has two books out, too 🙂


  3. iHanna January 7, 2014 / 9:19 am

    Thanks for the mention Mary, you’re of to a great colorful start. 4 ” is even smaller than my collages, very manageable and fun. And oh, I love Jane Davies tutorials. I might try a series of painting collages inspired by her too later on.


    • Mary January 7, 2014 / 9:37 am

      I really like Jane’s tutorials…she has some on YouTube that aren’t her site. I’m thinking that I will be doing some collage before I get my entire series completed 🙂


  4. Brigitte January 7, 2014 / 2:23 pm

    LOL I remember Bob Ross and I loved him! He taught me to paint a spot for the little squirrel to live 😉 He made me pick up a brush after many many years. Got tired of the landscapes pretty quick, but I kep watching his shows just to relax! Anyway, on topic again, I love the idea of the 4×4’s! This might be a pretty cool project for 2014, thank you for this blogpost and the inspiration! Yours are fabulous by the way 😉


    • Mary January 7, 2014 / 9:29 pm

      I loved Bob Ross too! He inspired many of us. Thank you for your kind words! Join in and make some 4 x 4’s…love to see some 🙂


  5. Janet January 7, 2014 / 6:53 pm

    I remember Bob Ross and his happy little clouds!

    Your 4X4s are great. I like the colors you’re using. Each set has a completely different look. Very cool!


    • Mary January 7, 2014 / 9:30 pm

      Thank you Janet…ever so much!!! 😀


  6. Kim Mailhot January 8, 2014 / 10:07 am

    Fun stuff, Mary ! Having this goal is a great thing. Looks like you have made a commitment to your creative time and at the end of the year, you will have a cool document of all your time. Enjoy the flow !


    • Mary January 9, 2014 / 4:21 pm

      Thank you Kim! Having a goal is definitely going to work for me!


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