Making Small Art Work

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

When I line up a bunch of little papers, and make playful swoops, marks, and swaths of color, it feels playful and free. When I’m staring at a big, blank piece of paper or a canvas, it can sometimes create pressure. – you invest a lot of time and materials into large works. For some of us, this pressure gets in the way of making anything at all. That’s why I love making small art work.

I’m excited to share a new series of small art work. It’s born out of one of the lessons in my new class, BIG ART. The idea behind the BIG ART class is simple: make lots of little art pieces, and eventually gather them together into BIG ART pieces. Working in batches of small art pieces is inviting, playful, and helps you dig into your best art ideas.

These pieces are from my BIG ART lesson: Images that Travel. Without giving away the trick I teach in this section, I’ll tell you a bit about what evolved for me. I was fascinated by all the different ways I could create swoops of white, teal, turquoise, and indigo on the squares. It’s so simple, and yet so satisfying, right?

One of the things I invite students to do most is repeat themselves.

Take your idea and exhaust the possibilities. Push the limits. Do it 20, 30, 40 different ways. Try things backwards, upside down, and out of order.

See how I’m exploring all these small variations?

This is a wonderful way to slow down and just enjoy the gift of being creative. And I often find that these pieces work together beautifully as a group – creating a BIG ART piece without all the pressure.

Wondering what materials I’ve used? Here’s a list:

And here’s the group together – isn’t it fun? I love seeing them as a BIG ART piece.

I know that you have tons of amazing art within you, just waiting to bust out. Sometimes we just need a little flexible structure to help us out. BIG ART has 11 beautiful projects, 4 paint techniques, 11 drawing exercises, and creative jumpstart exercises to help evoke your unique voice as an artist.

BIG ART is a self-paced, instant access class with nearly 4 hours of video, an accompanying PDF with worksheets, instructions, and inspiring photos, and a private Facebook group.

The price is normally $119, but now through 9/7/20 it’s on early bird sale for $99 when you use code: YOURBIGART

You can see all the lessons and learn more here:

best online art classes, online mixed media art class

As always, I’m completely inspired by what you make, and the way you dive in headfirst and find so much joy in creating.

Creatively Yours,



  1. Ellie Wasserman

    I never entered the discount code when I signed up for the Big Art class. I guess it wasn’t posted yet. Please accept it as my thanks for the free Friday workshops. They gave me an anchor each week to sit down and do something creative.
    Each week’s lesson took me in unexpected directions I think that was your intention. Thank you for your inspirational thoughts about everything happening in the world today. Please continue to offer these messages of hope. We certainly can use them in this chaotic time.

    • Amy Maricle

      Hi Ellie:

      Aw, I’m so glad you’ve gotten so much from the weekly drawing and I’m SUPER excited to see what BIG ART has in store for you!


  2. Elizabeth Francis Guthrie

    I love the way you start a class by reaching into the Muse within ourselves. I have even made my own small paint box but I used water bottle lids and on the top lid i left room to mix the paint. I like gouache watercolor better than the regular watercolors. I am trying to do some cut out paper with gouache to get different effects. I have a neurological disorder called Essential Tremor in my hands, so my lines are never straight, they are more zigzag than anything. But my art is my go to for relaxation and meditation.
    Thank you for all you do and share with us!


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