Chalk to the hand

Makeshift Pastel Paper, a DIY video

As hinted, I’ve been working with pastels recently. One large piece on paper is about 52 x 120″ and taped to the wall in the hallway. It’s a nice surface for soft pastels. There’s something I really like about working large in this medium.

I wanted to learn how to make homemade pastel paper after watching tutorials online. While on coronapocalypse quarantine without clear gesso, pastel ground, ground pumice, marble powder, or any of the other materials mentioned handy… creativity stepped in.

I spent some time experimenting with materials on hand like white gesso, matte varnish, and plaster of paris.

Since something actually worked & worked well, I made a video.

My favorite combination used equal parts of matte varnish + plaster of paris, as shown.

I also had success with equal parts gesso + plaster of paris as well as equal parts water + gesso + plaster of paris. If I didn’t use gesso in oil painting, I’d have been equally as happy to go with that.

Of course, adding acrylic paint to the mixture would work to make a tinted variety.

If you end up doing this or some variation, please share & tag me on Instagram @jodeeclifford. I’d love to see!

Comments and questions welcome.

Okay, time to paint. Until next time, stay well.




iPhone photo. Wildwood Crest. Early 2020.

Lego forts

pastels in hand
Okay, soft pastels for now. I’m out of stretcher bars and everything is closed.

My friends were having a baby and they needed someone to keep an eye on their four year old. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I was more than happy to help.

I got to spend a few days with a toddler and haven’t enjoyed life so much in ages. This little guy was bursting with joy and giggles. We raced matchbox cars and demolished lego forts and held robot dance parties to songs from Trolls.

And after a few days, my friends came home and I got to hold their teeny tiny newborn baby. Awww <3

Everything about it was awesome.

I’m back down in desolate beach town now, making messes with art supplies instead of giant legos. Reality’s back but it sure was nice to forget about things for a bit.

I’m working on 8 oil paintings. 2 of them are getting close. The two big ones are 48×60″. The others are neither close or that large. I’m also working on a 52×120″ pastel painting as part of the series.

I’m a lot of talk for now, but there’s proof coming.

Blog Photography

Freelance Photos

Snappy work

While my oil paintings were drying, I took time to round up some of my photography work.

If you or anyone you know is in the market for photography services, please check out my portfolio.

Blog Shareworthy

Virtual Life Drawing

5 links to bookmark because your figure drawing group was probably cancelled

Blog Shareworthy

Homemade Pastel paper

Pastels will probably find their way into the series on my easel. Fume-free is appealing and I have some paper to work with.

Karen Margulis had an interesting idea in a pastel paper video. She mentioned covering an unsuccessful watercolor with clear gesso and reworking it in pastel.

As someone who’s been on a liberating roll of painting over paintings, I’m inspired.

Here are a couple share-worthy DIY pastel paper videos.

Blog Shareworthy

Wash your hands

Friendly reminder: wash your hands. Hand covered in oil paint in front of a painting.
Friendly reminder. Coronavirus. Go wash your hands again. Oil painting in progress in the background.

That’s one of the wet paint booby traps on my easel in the background.

I’ve been painting so much during this coronavirus catastrophe that I got a blister on my middle finger. I don’t want to accidentally flip anyone the bird by sharing a picture. Plus manicures during social distancing…

I was an early adopter of the whole self-quarantine thing too… apparently mildly and appropriately paranoid. Like, I skipped MadJam and everything.

I’m grateful to be healthy and pray my loved ones are able to stay healthy too.

Okay, wash your hands again.




HBD, Nana

Today would have been Nana’s 89th birthday.

I painted this 36(ish)” square oil on canvas painting c. 2006.

I used one of her old slides as a reference… I had scanned hundreds of them for her back when I was in college living in Ocean City.

It’s so hard to believe it’s been seven years since I’ve stopped by to visit. I wonder what she’d say about all the chaos going on in the world now.


Life Drawing in Ocean City

Drawing group at OCAC Figure Drawing Study - Warren

Drawing night scheduled at the Ocean City Art Center looks like it’s been cancelled indefinitely.

Here’s the latest email:

Blog Events


Embodiment: Figure In Art
3rd Street Gallery
Reception: Friday, January 24 from 5:00 – 9:00 pm
Exhibition: Jan. 24- Feb. 23  Mar. 22 2020
610 S. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Get Nudes + Drink Champagne
Figurative Works on Canvas + other materials
A Pop-up show at Flute Midtown
Exhibition: Feb. 13 – Mar. 31, 2020
Flûte Champagne Bar, 205 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019

Gateway Playhouse, Somers Point, NJ 
May – June 2020. Additional details coming soon