Month: January 2013


Creative Exercise: DIY Zentangle Quote in Watercolor | Elysian Studios


The New Year is full of potential and possibility, and what better way to remember that than to transform an inspirational quote into a beloved piece of art.  It will continue to uplift your spirit throughout the year! 

This is a very simple creative exercise for anyone to try.  Have you ever tried doodling in the Zentangle style?

I have another simple Zentangle tutorial here.  

You will need:

pencil, eraser, waterproof fine-tip pen 

ruler, masking tape

watercolor paper and watercolor set

paintbrush, or water brush

water and paper towels

The following aren’t necessary, but will allow you to create additional effects:

watercolor pencils, watercolor crayons, masking fluid

Step One: 


1. Gather your supplies, and use the masking tape to tape down the paper to your work surface.

2. Brush plain water all over the paper.  Choose a paint color and create a light wash over the entire paper.

3. Use a paper towel to blot over the painted paper.

4. This creates a nice base for your image.

Step Two:


1.  Choose a quote or saying for your artwork.  Need inspiration?  You can find lots of great ones on Pinterest.

(Click Here to see my Inspirational Text board)

2. Using your pencil and ruler, lightly draw lines across your paper, creating areas for the words of your saying.

3. Draw the words of your saying lightly in pencil.  Again, getting inspiration from Pinterest or the internet is helpful.  Experiment, and have fun! Try different styles.  You can always erase it if you don’t like it!

4.  You may want to leave some areas that are for patterns/doodles only.

Step Three:


Once your text has been drawn in pencil, go over it with your waterproof pen.  Begin to fill in Zentangle patterns (get ideas here) and pattern doodles (get ideas here). Look at a variety of sources for inspiration!  I put my phone or Kindle Fire right next to my work area and then refer to it when I need a new pattern or idea.

Step Four (Optional):


1.  Masking Fluid is available at all Arts & Crafts stores.  It is a nice way to preserve areas of your watercolor, and allows you to paint right over it.  Choose a few areas you would like to keep the original paper color, and apply masking fluid over it.  Be sure to use a junky brush!  Here are a few more tips for using masking fluid.

2.  Fill in the areas with paint or watercolor crayons, going directly over the dried masking fluid.  A good way to protect other areas of your painting is to simply cover them with a post it note (for dry media only).

3.  See how the drawings appear to be on the lettering?  They will rub off with the masking fluid!

4.  To remove the masking fluid, simply rub gently with your fingers.

Step Five:


1.  A water brush is an easy way to work with water media.  They come in a variety of sizes, and have nice quality bristles.  You can dip the tip of it directly in your watercolors and then paint immediately onto your paper.  The water reservoir allows you to control just how much water goes onto your paper.

2. Use watercolor pencils or watercolor crayons to color directly onto your paper.  Be sure to leave open areas where the paint can flow when you add water.

3.  Use your water brush, or a paintbrush dipped in water to liquefy the color and fill in the colored area.

4.  Watercolor crayons create a more saturated color, but work better in bigger areas, like this basket weave pattern.

The Completed Zentangle Quote in Watercolor:


I hope you give this a try!  This is a great exercise to remind yourself to think positively.  It would also make a great gift for someone else!

If you have any questions, let me know- I will be happy to help!

I wish you a very Happy 2013!


Now Showing at Grand Lodge Resort in Breckenridge, CO- Original Art by Erin Fickert Rowland | Elysian Studios

I am very excited to announce that my original art is now showing and for sale at Grand Lodge on Peak 7 in Breckenridge, Colorado!

This is a luxurious, family friendly ski in/ski out resort located right at the base of Peak 7 in the Breckenridge Ski Resort.  Owned and operated by a local family company, the staff and amenities will make you feel like you are right at home!

Lobby at Grand Lodge on Peak 7 Photo courtesy of Grand Lodge on Peak 7

Currently, I have three pieces on display and for sale at the resort.  The first is Cucumber Gulch, Breckenridge, CO , a lovely little oil painting of a local landscape.  The artwork is located immediately off the lobby (seen in photo above), near the guest library.




I also have two original abstract collages showing, which are located in the breezeway by the ski lockers in the hallway to the newly expanded building.  Their will be concierge service and a small ski shop for guests located here.



I couldn’t be more excited to have this opportunity, and I’m amazed at the encouragement  and response I have received, especially by many who are planning trips to Breckenridge in the near future!  In fact, Peg of Living Snapshots Photography already stopped by to see my work, and then made this great little video for me!  The painting you see in Peg’s video has sold, and Cucumber Gulch is the current piece available.

I highly recommend staying at Grand Lodge at Peak 7 anytime you are in the Breckenridge, CO area!


Palm Street Windows- Two Abstract California Landscape Paintings by Erin Fickert-Rowland | Elysian Studios

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These two landscape paintings are very special to me, because they depict the view from the window of our first house on Palm Street in San Luis Obispo, California.  Birch tree branches stretch and reach across two gallery-wrapped canvases, creating unique pieces of artwork that feel alive and full of growth.

Layers of color are thickly applied over a mixed media surface, creating rich texture and visual interest.  Bold colors and dynamic composition provide an refreshing perspective of the vibrant California landscape.

“Palm Street Window: Spring”

©2012 Erin Fickert-Rowland,  oil on two canvases, 18 in x 44 in (total)

Color has been built in layers throughout this painting.  Lilac purples peek out from the blues of the sky, and the large cloud is fluffy with whites, grays and light blues.  The leaves of the tree are painted with thick dabs of impasto paint, and the abstract branches seem to sprout off the surface with their thickly textured bark.

Click Here for Purchase Information

“Palm Street Window: Spanish Roof”

©2012 Erin Fickert-Rowland, oil on two canvases, 18 in x 44 in (total)

A bold purple mountain is the backdrop for the graphic red line of a Spanish tile roof, and the stucco textured white house.  The bare tree branches intersect and divide the image, creating a very graphic and minimal landscape. 

Click Here for Purchase Information

These paintings are a part of my show 

at Zip 37 Gallery in Denver, June 7-23rd.

They available for sale in the gallery, or online in my Etsy shop.

(*Please note* Commission will still be paid to the gallery from online purchases, and paintings will not be shipped until after the end of the show on June 23rd.  Please contact me if you would like to purchase online but can pick up the painting at the gallery or make other arrangements- I will give you a code for free shipping!)