Portrait of Contentment

While there are often bumps along the road as we travel through life, there are also moments of perfect contentment, if we just pause a moment or two and let everything be still. When things get too busy and distracting, escaping to my studio is a one way I can tune things out and actually feel peace flood over me. Does this mean everything is perfect? Of course not, that is in fact rarely the case, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have perfect moments of contentment in the midst of ‘life’.
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‘Portrait of Contentment’

9″ x 12″ acrylic on museum quality wood panel

When I started painting this portrait things were kind of hectic, we were getting ready to leave for a week and still getting Christmas put away etc. I worked on it for a few brief time periods and left it unfinished until we came back from vacation. I went up to my studio to unwind and reflect and put on some Eagles tunes (a tribute to Glenn Frey who passed away during our trip) and was thinking to myself I’m so glad that we went to see the Eagles when we had the chance. How many times do we put things off until later and later never comes? It made me thankful and content, a real ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ moment. Sure there are things I wished I’d done but there are a lot of things that I did do and I’m content that I reached and stretched outside my comfort zone to get where I am today.


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Detailed view of ‘Portrait of Contentment

I love how working with portraits allows you to see what you are feeling in your work. I hope you find time to create art today and feel the contentment that it brings.

This portrait is now listed on my SHOP page.

New Year, New Work, New Listing

Happy 2016 Everyone! Hope your new year is off to a wonderful start!

I am just getting back into my studio on a regular basis after a couple of months ‘off’ due to surgery on my feet and my studio being located upstairs:-) I’m recovering well thankfully.

I get asked frequently if I sell my work and in the past I’ve have been but only in person when I’m teaching or at a show, but I decided in 2016 that I will start offering work periodically online via my website so I’ve created a ‘SHOP” page to list work for sale. I’m not going to do a full blown shop with lots of listings, but it will give me a place to list work that I have available.

Available is my latest acrylic painting, first one of 2016! Titled ‘Portrait of Acceptance’ this is an 11″ x 14″ on museum quality wood panel. You can find the listing for this piece here.



Looking forward to wonderful things in 2016!

Interview with a Little Tutorial and Giveaway!

Congratulatios Louise Foster!!! You are the winner of a signed copy of my book! Please email your maining info to pamcarriker@gmail.com



Check out my interview by Heidi Easley. She will be interviewing 21 artists this month so be sure to sign up so you can see the video interviews with little demos and giveaways.

Cover JPeg

Speaking of giveaways, I’m giving away a signed copy of my latest book to one lucky commenter on this post! So be sure to leave a comment and check back on Sunday to see if you are the lucky winner!!!

Registration is OPEN for Life Book 2016!!!

Registration is OPEN for Life Book 2016!!!

Life Book 2016  is NOW OPEN for Registration!!!



Life Book 2016 is a year long course with all of these wonderful teachers to inspire you!!!


First let me tell you a bit more about Life Book in case you haven’t heard about it yet!
Life Book, a celebration and honouring of YOU” is a year-long mixed media art class organized by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts.

You can find out a lot more about this wildly popular course (it has been joined by over 8700 people in the past!) by clicking HERE

I haven’t fully developed my class idea yet, but I’m excited to be sharing my take on mixed media portraits with you, much like you can see in these journal pages:













Life Book 2016 Blog Hop and Giveaway

Congratulations Susan Schultheis for winning a FREE spot in Life Book 2016!!!!



Hello everyone!

I have some wonderful & exciting news! I am going to be teaching on Life Book 2016  next year! I’m thrilled to be able to join this years amazing line up of instructors and very excited to share my passion for creating art with you!


And even MORE exciting news is that I can give away 1 space on this amazing year long art course! Keep reading if you want to find out more about Life Book 2016 and if you want to find out how you can win a spot! 🙂


First let me tell you a bit more about Life Book in case you haven’t heard about it yet!
“Life Book, a celebration and honouring of YOU” is a year-long mixed media art class organized by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts.

Tam is joined by 23 incredible art teachers who are all gearing up to share their mixed media techniques, tips and tricks with YOU! Themed around self-development and healing, you’ll be creating several loose mixed media art journal pages per month which by the end of the year you will bind into a glorious journal (a Life Book)! You will have a wonderful keepsake that you can treasure for the rest of your life!

You can find out a lot more about this wildly popular course (it has been joined by over 8700 people in the past!) by clicking HERE

I haven’t fully developed my class idea yet, but I’m excited to be sharing my take on mixed media portraits with you, much like you can see in these journal pages:












Registration opens on October 5th 2015 and the class begins on January 1st 2016.

So if you want to start the year with a fabulous creative BANG and spend 2016 with a wonderful creative community of like-minded souls, learning more about art and how to be kinder and more loving towards yourself, be sure to join once registration opens! 🙂 Keep this page bookmarked so that you can sign up the moment it goes on sale! 🙂

Now then, onto the give-away and blog hop! 🙂 I can give away 1 space on Life Book 2016 to 1 lucky winner, yay! 🙂 And if you follow the blog hop (see below for links and dates) you can up your chances of winner a space by entering all the other give-aways also! 🙂

How to enter the give-away

1. Share this give-away on Facebook or twitter
2. Sign up to my newsletter (click here)
3. Leave a comment below letting us know why you would love to join LifeBook 2016

I will announce the winner on September 30th.

Here is the list of the other amazing teachers who will be teaching on Life Book – they too will be giving away a spot on Life Book so go check them out and enter their give-aways! 🙂


Artist/ Teacher


7 Sept 2015

Tamara Laporte


8 Sept 2015

Annie Hamman


9 Sept 2015

Kristin Dudish


10 Sept 2015

Effy Wild


11 Sept 2015

Faith Evans-Sills


12 Sept 2015

Gillian Lee Smith


13 Sept 2015

Ivy Newport


14 Sept 2015

Jane Davenport


15 Sept 2015

Jenny Grant


16 Sept 2015

Angela Kennedy (Pennystamper)


17 Sept 2015

Lisa Viger


18 Sept 2015

Martha Lever


19 Sept 2015

Mary Beth Shaw


20 Sept 2015

Melody Ross


21 Sept 2015

Pam Carriker


22 Sept 2015

Pauline Agnew


23 Sept 2015

Rae Missigman


24 Sept 2015

Renata Loree


25 Sept 2015

Roben-Marie Smith


26 Sept 2015

Roxanne Coble


27 Sept 2015

Shiloh Sophia McCloud


28 Sept 2015

Donna Downey


29 Sept 2015

Tracy Verdugo


30 Sept 2015

Wyanne Thompson


Have a great time following the blog hop! 🙂 xoxo

DLP Self Portrait Tutorial and Giveaway!

Congratulations Andrea Harris and Karen D.!!! You are one of the winners of a copy of my new book! Please email me at pamcarriker@gmail.com with your mailing info and I’ll send out your book!

The Documented Life Project

Faces, the Human Form and Characters

Self Portrait

Prompt: Mirror Mirror

So excited to be asked to do this weeks journal prompt for The Documented Life Project. They nailed my interest spot on and I am excited to share one of my favorite techniques for creating self portraits in my journals. I’ve added some ways to transfer guidelines and details for those new to drawing faces and much more information is included in my new book for those interested in taking portraits even further. Be sure to see the BOOK GIVEAWAY info at the bottom of this post!


All of the supplies used for this technique

Creating a ‘Selfie’

I’m using one of the mini tutorials from my book, Mixed Media Portraits with Pam Carriker for the inspiration to create a mixed media ‘selfie’ in my art journal. I think it’s fun to incorporate faces into journaling and one of the things I talk about in my book and workshops is about the importance of adding a bit of yourself to your faces. A self portrait doesn’t have to look just like you to be a self portrait! Most of my portraits don’t look just like me but, if you look closely at my faces most of them have a bit of a bump on their noses. This is one of the ways I like to add a bit of myself to my work. The bump on my nose bothered me a lot when I was a teenager but its something I’ve come to embrace as an artist.


Sample ‘Selfies’ in shades of gray (notice they all look a little different but I used the same photo reference for each of them!)

You can often find self love through your art and especially when doing portraits you can learn to love the things about your face that make it different from everyone else’s. I encourage you to embrace your face in this exercise! And it is just that, an exercise, let go of trying to make a pretty face and instead focus on creating an interesting face.


The ‘Mapping Your Selfie’ demo in my book is on page 31 (My book doesn’t come spiral bound, I had that done at Staples for under $5) We are going to be working in Shades of Gray or a Grisaille painting style. In this way we can learn about tonal values, lights and darks as well as facial proportions. This comes in very handy when you add color into the mix and is an important foundation for painting faces.



Firm Flat Colour Shaper tool or similar scraping type tool


6B pencil (I prefer woodless graphite)

Bone folder tool or something to burnish with

Black and white copy of a selfie from your phone

Paint brush(es) I like #8 Filberts or similar medium stiff bristled brush

Fluid Sheer Matt Acrylics, Pam Carriker in White Washed and Barely Black

Mixing palette

Water container

Black masking tape (or other type)

Assorted journaling pens


Prep page with a ‘skim coat’ of gesso, scraping most of it back off. Let dry.


Use a 6B (soft lead) pencil to draw a Face Map on top of the copy of your selfie. You can find complete instructions on mapping a face in my book Mixed Media Portraits with Pam Carriker but for this exercise you will want to draw a circle to represent the head mass (this will begin at the top of the head and end below the nose) Then add an oval to represent the basic plane of the face (this will go from the top of the head to the chin) next add a horizontal midline, vertical lines where the eyes, bottom of nose, and mouth midline are and vertical lines from pupil to the corner of the mouth. I added a circle where the ball of the nose is and you can add a few lines to the mouth and eyes if you like.


Next flip your face map over onto your journal page and burnish the back with a bone folder tool to transfer the graphite lines.


Tape the face map to the left page of your journal to use as a reference. Use the 6B pencil to roughly sketch in some details and add graphic to shaded areas, using the lighting in the photo to guide you. Don’t get overly caught up in making things perfect. This is a rough sketch to lay down some graphite.


Put some white and black paint (I’m using my line of Fluid Matt Sheer Acrylics in White Washed and Barely Black) onto a palette. NOTE: my paints are very fluid and have a bit of an extended dry time so depending on what paints you use your results will vary. If you are using a more heavy bodied acrylic paint, add some water and some glazing medium to it.  Using only white add some paint to the areas that are the lightest in your photograph. Being to blend the white paint into the graphite on the lightest side of the face creating tones or shades of gray. The graphite will easily mix with the white paint because it is laying on top of the gesso.


Continue blending white paint into the darker side of the face, mix it right into the graphite and rinsing your brush as needed to keep from making everything the same value or shade of gray.


Add a bit of black to the white on the palette and add even more tones, or shades of gray to the portrait, extending into the background around the face. Pay more attention to the ‘areas’ of tones than to a line around the face shape, use the photo for a reference.


Add white paint into the black areas in the background and blend.


You can add bits of white to create hair as well.


Use pencil as needed to define face details a bit.


When finished painting you can add journaling notes (I noted the process and supplies used) to the lefthand page.


This is a fast way to create a self portrait in your journal. Remember it doesn’t have to look like you to be a self portrait, whatever it looks like it will have some of you shining through!

Here is a video tutorial of the process


Close up of the ‘selfie’ I did in the video

Cover JPeg

For more information about my book go HERE
PCarriker Matte Fluid Sheer Colours1For more information about my paints and products go HERE


Drawing will take place Friday, September 4th