a monotype of a girl on a couch

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Window Seat 4×6 Monotype with watercolor (sold)

This art blog began as an exercise in accountability in 2005. I planned to document my renewed commitment to get back into art-making after a decade-long hiatus. Almost immediately, it morphed into a platform to share process, and hopefully, encourage other out-of-business artists to get back to work. More recently, when I tip-toed into creating a youtube channel, I goaded myself forward with the warble that it was a “graduation” – finally advancing a decade of process stills up to the next level, to video tutorials.

Here’s how un-brave I was/am; after creating the channel, it took me seven years to post the first video.  #riskaverse

Way to Go, Belinda? 🙁 About time, Belinda! 🙂

With video-function on cell phones & free editing software (Mac computers come with iMovie installed), the only obstacle to posting videos online is an afternoon’s worth of learning editing software by watching youtube videos about the basics.  That, and a nebula’s worth of courage.  ????

Scout the Studio Cat guarding the camera while I edit videos

Just about anyone can be a content creator in the video-space today with a whole film studio tucked into your phone, a computer and a work table. My gift-of-gab is the only qualification needed to host my own “tv show”, where I can blather endlessly about art-making to anyone who’ll subscribe. Inspired by The French Chef  – cooking with Julia Childs – I can talk the viewer through carving a linocut or glazing in watercolors. (Minus the lovely lilt in her voice, and sadly, the wine. ????)

High School student self-portraits in dark field monotype with watercolor!

What I didn’t anticipate was the extraordinary gratification of influencing young people in painting & printmaking – either on their own, because their curiosity about making things lead them to search youtube for tips, or through an art teacher, showing video tutorials on an ipad in the classroom.  Check out the dark field monotype self portraits from high school kids above. Aren’t they fantastic!?

I’ve received emails with images snapped on cell phones from proud students (& teachers) from around the globe, all excited to share the results of their art adventures. We all sing the well-deserved praises at the wonder of the internet; its a platter of Uber-Accessible-Everything, but this particular angle is about connection. . . to people. I put a video up, and in a few days, Bah-Dah-BING! I receive emails, directly from a classroom in New York, with cell phone snap shots, while the ink is still wet, from instructors with questions, or students feeling proud, or a kid in a remote village in Venezuela, trying to make his first collagraph at the kitchen table.  I’m stunned and happy-dance-grateful for the across-the-globe hand shake with these new art-friends.

High School student dry point engravings from plexiglass plates!

I’ve been evangelizing printmaking and watercolor on this blog for a long time, but it wasn’t until I started a YouTube channel that I could quantify the sprinkling of art-making seeds to young people. I assumed my audience was peers – women like me, trying to find their way back to art.  It never occurred to me that young, freshly budded artists might try these methods, but there it is; simple video instruction serves the basics of art-making as accessible inspiration to people who may not have the means, the know-how or the geographic access to classes, teachers, or mentors locally. Doesn’t that make you want to start a youtube channel too? C’mon, it’ll be FUN!

Drypoint engravings from 7th graders. 🙂

The notion that I might, just-maybe-sort-of-perhaps, could possibly be helping sprout new printmakers and watercolor painters across the earth is deeply satisfying, and lump-in-the-throat inspiring. Boom! More art-makers! How cool is that?


How do you share what you enjoy the most with others? Where do you find your inspiration, either to try new art-making methods, or tackle new subjects? And do you launch youtube when you’re trying to learn how to make peanut brittle, care for a macadamia nut tree or  use public transportation to get from Marseille to Avignon? (I do.) 🙂

Art Quote

Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.

~Walt Disney


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11 thoughts on “Monotype: Window Seat (& praise for Video Art Tutorials)”

  1. Joana Carvalho

    Hi Belinda

    What an amazing story! It’s great that you decided to share your ideas :), I would probably never have tried printmaking, if it wasn’t for your videos. So I can not thank you enough for sharing such great content.

    I actually have a question regarding monotypes 😛 (I know…I’m an annoying student, I always have so many questions!).

    I have been trying to make a monotype with watercolos. I have used a Mylar sheet painted over with gum arabic as a surface, and then painted with watercolors on top (after the gum arabic dryed off course).

    I used Strathmore printmaking paper 300 series to print, and just basically used my hands to pressure the paper on to the surface. But the result was a disaster…when I lifted the paper all the colors had mixed together and all that was left was a mixed spot.

    Do you have any suggestions about how to make a watercolor monoprint?I am using these materials but I know that you can use plexiglass to do it. Anyway, any help is very appreciated!

    Thank you again for everything 😉

  2. Marilyn Thuss

    Where to start……how exciting, inspiring, and thrilling your journey has been!! To answer your question……I go to you to learn new things and new processes for making art. I never would have discovered these different printmaking processes if it were not for your blog and your youtube instructions. I am painting more, because of you and how you inspire me. Can’t thank you enough for making this possible and accessible to so many kids and adults. I love that you answer so many questions for so many artists…..you spend so much time doing that!

    Soon I will be posting some work on instagram.

    I left a comment on your last blog, but I think I was too late……check it if you have a minute.

    1. Hi Marilyn,
      Thanks for the kind compliments and your steady encouragement. I’m glad you feel encouraged too. 🙂 I try to reply to comments, when time allows, and I enjoy the “dialogue” with artists near & far on our studio practices, challenges, successes and tips&tricks, etc. I wonder if my own path as an artist might have started sooner if I’d had access to this community when I was younger and busy juggling so many non-art things. Now that I’m here, eye-brow deep in art, I’m incredibly happy to share, encourage, cajole, influence and evangelize art-making. I’m just manning my ship with more artists. 🙂

    1. Hi Cindi! I’m so glad you’re inspired! What a gift to me – to know I’ve been “of use” as John Irving wrote about in Cider House Rules. I’m delighted to know you, and so happy to have your company in this journey.

  3. I cannot believe I have been following your blog for almost as long as you have been writing it! Your step-by-step explanations and currently your videos have always been clear and helpful – I’m not surprised you have inspired such a following.

    1. Hi Sonia! Well, its been sweet to have a steadfast travel buddy for this long a journey! I’m so glad you’re here (have a seat, put your feet up, grab a sketchpad), and still making and sharing your beautiful watercolors!

  4. I’m “happy-dance” grateful that, despite the seven-year gap, you began posting your generous, thought-provoking and entertaining videos! Don’t stop!

    1. Hi Louise! I clink my tea cup to yours while dancing! Here’s to more lovely inspiration, better video skills & abundant sprouting of new artists with all of our enthusiasm as sunshine on the seeds. Thanks for your kind words!

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