Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Burridge Style

It is a fact that one of my favorite artists is Robert Burridge. In the past I have traveled many miles to take workshops with him. He truly makes painting fun. Because for me sometimes painting isn't fun. With him there are really no real rules, lots of slinging paint and ending up with something that looks fun. Sometimes they are turkeys but at least it was fun. It's just paper--chunk it!

I do appreciate all my oil painting instruction. And I do love to oil paint but sometimes, for me, it's more stressful than fun. That's because there are rules, rules rules that you have to abide by to get a good painting (composition, value, good drawing, brush strokes, warm and cool colors working together--etc)  That is if you want to paint in the classic way. Of course you can sling oil paint too. But for now I think I am going to just sling some acrylic and see what happens. No rules---just fun.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Three Laws of Art

And to add a 4th--> Create something everyday!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Puppy Dog

I absolutely love Danielle Donaldson"s watercolors from her cute little storybook girls to her creatures lovely and small.  She is very generous to show you every step of her progress.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Purples in a Barrel

Above is gouache and below is oil. I love gouache. Colors can layer over each other--similar to oils.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Week 6 of Dream Love Paint Workshop

I enjoyed painting this one. This is the last week of the workshop.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dreama Oil Painting Class

It's been so fun learning from Dreama Tolle Perry again. She is a great teacher and fabulous painter! One more week and we are done.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Wyatt Portrait

This is a commission oil painting portrait of Wyatt, my cousin's grandson.  He was a pleasure to paint cause he is such a cutie!

Monday, February 1, 2016

New CalligraFun Videos

The new videos are up and ready for all my wonderful
CalligraFUN students--
new and old!
Send me an email and let me know if you need 
the information to get back in the class.
Thank you, students!!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

CalligraFun has continued to be my most popular class on Creative Workshops and since I did the promo video 8 years I decided to make another video. My 2016 plans are to update the class with a few new videos--but keeping the ones that are there--all at no extra charge. So I will be working on that soon and I will post it here when I get it finished. I will also send out an email so if you are not on my email list yet--please sign up. You will see that at the top right of the blog.

Thanks y'all!

CalligraFun Promo from Martha Lever on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


If you are an oil painter with your ear to the ground then you already know that all the buzz right now is Dreama Tolle Perry's new online class. Registration ends tonight and class officially kicks off January 23rd.  Everyone is so excited including me. I took her class here is Jacksonville several years back and painted two paintings that I really liked and enjoyed painting. Her methods are fun and she is a great teacher.  Here are the two paintings I painted in the in-person class with her. We'll see how I do in this online class.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Good quotes are everywhere, in magazines and especially on Facebook.  Usually there is no tag line or author of the quote. I saw this one in a magazine and thought it would be a good one to write down in my new ReThreaded Journal my son gave me for Christmas. It's a good one.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

iPencil Alphabet

Love my new iPencil.  This was written quickly on my iPad Pro in the app, Procreate with the calligraphy pen setting.  The iPencil is pressure sensitive so you can get thicks and thins!  Pretty cool!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year!

I created this on my new iPad and stylus from the app, Procreate. It's a great app!
These are "Chunks Versals" that I will be teaching on
But you will be using just a plain ole pencil and paper!
Be sure to click the link and take a look around at
the upcoming class. You will make a wonderful
year long journal with fabulous art. 

Monday, December 7, 2015


During my holiday downtown (yeah right!) I decided to treat myself to Stephanie Ackerman's Bible Journaling Class just to see if it would jump start me back into Bible Journaling. She is precious and her Bible journaling is happy and wonderful and I just had to learn from her. I highly recommend it. Her lettering if fun and doable and you can totally make it your own. Love her!

Monday, November 23, 2015


November 27th-30th
Stock up now so you can be ready to
learn some cool stuff in the new year.

And don't forget
Many wonderful teachers will help 
 you create a fabulous journal
I will be teaching
"Five Minute Flowers"
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Lifebook 2016!

On "LIFEBOOK 2016" I will be teaching you how
to draw these Chunky Versals and write the
word that brings you comfort, happiness and joy.

I have many such words!
So if you would like to learn to draw these letterforms 
I will be teaching them in Lifebook 2016!
Also there are many other wonderful teachers scheduled also.
                                           Click here to view more details

 Hope to see you there!!

Monday, October 5, 2015


Today is the day!!!
Sign up for Lifebook 2016!!
It's going to be the best ever!!!

Monday, September 21, 2015



and you can sign up for a free class for many more days
and a chance to win!!
Scroll down and pick the next teacher.

And also remember to come back to this blog to sign up!!
and to sign up for LIFE BOOK!!!!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Life Book 2016 Blog Hop & Give Away!

Hello everyone!

I have some wonderful exciting news! I am going to be teaching on Life Book 2016 next year!

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

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!

I will be teaching "Chunky Versals" which is a fun and creative take on the traditional versal letter that was used in old manuscripts. These versal letters were adorned and decorated and were usually used to start the first letter of a paragraph. But we will bring them into the 21st century and add doodles, watercolor and even real gold!

Registration opens on October 5th 2015 and the class begins on January1st 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 my blog bookmarked so that you can sign up the moment it goes on sale but I will also be sending out a newsletter and post the link here on my blog the day before it opens so you can sign up here on my blog.

You can find out a lot more about this wildly popular course (it has been joined by over 8700
people in the past!)
Click here to view more details

Now then, onto the give-away and blog hop!  I can give away 1 space on Life Book 2016 to 1 lucky winner.  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!

To enter my giveaway just leave a comment below letting me know why you would love to join Life Book 2016.
I will count up the comments announce the winner on Sept 20 at 8:00 pm. after Mr. Random. org picks a number.
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!

Just look at the line up of teachers!!!  It's gonna be GREAT!

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


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

This is just funny!
Maybe at some point I will do some artwork again. 
Looks like I am taking the summer off.
Actually I adopted a new little doggie that was not
housebroken so I can't take my eye off of her when she is out of 
the crate so I haven't been able to gear back up.
Here she is--she is smart!


This just made me laugh...
and also...
thank you all so much who
bought classes through the 
in July Sale!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Thank you!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Play Area!

The More Space Place here in Jacksonville are such a great company and I loved working with them. I really do enjoy sitting here and painting and whatever else strikes my creative juices at the time.
They wanted a picture of my area so this is the one I sent for their Facebook page. The small floating shelves on the left are from Ikea.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Little Country Cottage

I don't have many photos that I have taken myself that are paint worthy.  I am so glad that the
Paint My Photo has great copyright free photos that you can paint. That's the point of the site. There are some really nice photos in this site can can be painted exactly as is or modified with cropping etc. This is one of those photos. I did modify this one because in the foreground were rows of lavender and after painting all those rows I decided it was just too busy so I painted over it to let the little cottage be the focus.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

I Love Anything Boho!

I have been wanting to make some of these Boho bangles for quite some time now.  I had all the the supplies here at home except for the zip ties. I got the 8" which wasn't long enough. The 11" would be much better. But I just taped two together to get the size I needed. I used Artist Tape rather than Scotch tape and small duck tape would even be better. Can't wait to wear them.

Here's link to the how to video by Mark Montano. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pretty and Really Smart

I have been having so much fun drawing these girls. Danielle Donaldson
has the most wonderful class called "Creative Girl--Storybook and Studious Girls"
and her girls are so just adorable. I highly recommend her class.
My girls are a bit different which is what I was striving for. It's all about
"creative practice"---learning from someone you admire but then making it your own.
Take lots of practice!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

For the Love of Duck Tape

 As I was painting some fun girls (ala Danielle Donaldson--love her!) the thought occurred to me that I should do something to this boring 'ole folding chair so I whipped out the only patterned Duck Tape that I had and went to it. So easy and fun. Just used a box cutter to trim it. Goodness, think of the possibilities!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Steal Like An Artist

Today, I am going to get up on my artist soap box just for a minute.  In this age of blogs, Facebook  Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr, etc, it seems that art work is out there ripe for the pickin'. 
 And yes, you would be right.
If you love someone's art, or style and you copy it and post it as your own---
well, this is not stealing like an artist. It's just stealing. And I do understand that some 
people just don't know that it's wrong. In the beginning, I didn't either.
But if you study someone's art that you love, copy it, figure out the process and work on that style long enough (this might take time) and begin to transform it into something that is your own--- then, and only then should you post it as yours. The original artist's flavor can still be there but in many ways it has evolved into something different--something that is more you than the original artist.  But even then you should give the original artist credit for your inspiration. All artists learn this way. We are inspired by other artists and even the Bible says:
"...there is nothing new under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 1:9
Ok, I will step down from my soap box and let you watch the video.
This is a highly recommended book for any artist new or old.
Thank you Jeanne Oliver for this recommendation.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spotlight Artist for DLP!

Hi Everyone! 
It's me, Martha, in my favorite hat. 

I just can't express my excitement for being a
Documented Life Project Spotlight Artist
for this week!

This month's theme has been "Making Your Mark"  (Doodles and Mark Making). Goodness, how can you not love that one!!
The art challenge this week is "Create a Custom Element" and the prompt is a great quote by Gabrielle Roth--
"Ride the Energy of your own unique spirit."

As I thought about making my custom element within the mark making month I got to thinking about what a custom mark or element could be. I first thought I would make a rubber stamp and go with that which would have been fun. I love making custom rubber stamps! Then I thought that I really wanted to try and make a unique mark that I hadn't done in a while.  So I rummaged through all my ancient supplies in search of this soda pop folded pen that I made at a calligraphy conference many many years ago.  I hadn't used it since then so I decided that the marks this pen would make would be my unique calligraphic marks.  By the way---ANY mark that YOU make whether made by a brush, a pencil, a marker or whatever is your own unique mark.

I love the quote so I decided I just had to make some word marks.
So I just started marking while still thinking about where my quote would go.
Sometimes trying to figure out the layout with lettering can be quite challenging.

I also added some water to make the ink flow and run a bit to add some unexpected excitement!

As you see in this one I did use a regular calligraphy pen and a Tombow marker brush pen.
I was thinking about what type of layout would go into my journal so I decided to try and find some interesting 3x3 squares to cut out that might work.

Pretty cool!
So I guess it's time to show you how I made the marks. I used different colors
of fountain pen ink. Did I mention that I LOVE fountain pens?
So, here goes!

Making My Unique Marks! from Martha Lever on Vimeo.

Here is what finally came out. I had so many marks that I loved it was hard to choose so I did two layouts.  The one on the right was rather "energetic" so I decided to just write the quote
out on the left using the Italic calligraphy hand with a Speedball C-4 nib with red gouache.  
The paper has gesso on it to make for a better writing surface. 

It was so much fun to make my own unique marks for this week. 
Just remember--you are unique so every mark you make will be uniquely your own.

On your mark,
 get set,
(I just couldn't resist that one! :))

Friday, March 27, 2015

Elegant Writer Tulips

One thing that I always strive to do when I draw is to start with a pen and just go for it. Yes, some lines will be wonky and some will be off but I just try and go with it.   It makes for a freer, looser drawing. I used an Elegant Writer calligraphy marker to draw the lines then dampen the lines with water. It makes a wonderful blackish, pinkish color. Very fun to do!

Tune in tomorrow because I will be featured as the Spotlight Artist for the Documented Life Project!
So excited about that!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Little Still Life

I have been sick all week with either the flu or a virus--whatever it is it's been terrible.  I haven't done anything art wise so today I just had to rally enough to paint a little watercolor from a set up I put together. This is one of my new pitchers from ebay.

I didn't have the energy to get out the oil paints but hopefully this little set up can become an oil painting too.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mixed Media Batik-ish

This was from a guided lesson I bought from Katie George.  Her batiks are so beautiful so I thought I would purchase a few of her batik step by step lessons to make sure I was doing it right.  I lost my way at some point but saved it with painting the whole thing in acrylic. I am sure it was just me not following directions properly. I am "follow directions" challenged sometimes. She is great so if you want to learn to batik--she is the one!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Russell Portraits

Precious little Russell, the Piglet.

Monday, February 16, 2015

More Batik Pears

I decided to paint this pear design again with different colors and added Sumi ink for the final coat. I learn something new everything I do one of these watercolor batiks. They are really fun--and you never know what you'll get!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin