TBR Tuesday–The Amazing Race, Mixed Media (& TBR Giveaway)

I have a barely functioning brain this morning, as the senior adult fell at about 1 a.m. and it was after 4:30 before I got to sleep and then had to be back up for the day job at 6:30, so I thought I’d share a few rough things from an art workshop I’m taking. And because I simply must get rid of some books, I’ll also make it a TBR giveaway.

The workshop is based on one of my favorite TV shows (actually one of the few shows of which I’ve never missed a single episode), “The Amazing Race.” Sigh. I do love Phil. The workshop is being offered by Sue Wojtkowski at Irreversibly Moi.

Anyway, the workshop “takes us” to five countries in three weeks and in each country, we do one or two mixed-media pieces that evokes that country for us. It has been fun. I’ve had some killer deadlines the last month, and the worse my deadlines get, the more I try to give myself an hour each day to do something that isn’t work.

If 2015 was the Year of Acrylics for me, 2016 is the Year of the Watercolor. A lovely friend send me some half-pan watercolors for Christmas year before last, and it took me a while to warm up to them. I’ve decided that watercolors are the terriers of the paint world. They are headstrong, difficult to control, will lull you into a false sense of security by behaving themselves for short periods, and then will go anywhere and everywhere they wish. LOL.

My favorite technique is to sketch in either carbon ink or india ink, let that dry, then do a loose watercolor over it. Except, of course, when I don’t.

First stop; CHINA

Carbon ink and watercolor, boy and cormorants:


India ink and acrylic, based on the work of

Chinese artist Hua Tunan–he’s amazing!

hua tunen


India Ink and watercolor

paris street

Graphite, india ink and watercolor:

france in our hearts

India Ink, alcohol ink, watercolor

french provincial


I’ve been to Venice twice for Carnivale, so I had to go with a mask first! Alcohol ink and watercolor.


(Very loose and messy) carbon ink and watercolor:


Patterned after Sandro Botticelli’s Portrait of a Woman (1480-85), alcohol marker:



I’ve been to gorgeous, gorgeous Neuschwanstein twice–both times in February. So I’ve only seen it in winter and snow. Carbon ink and watercolor, plus white acrylic “snow.”


And that’s it so far. One or two more stops in Germany–perhaps to Munich, where I’ve been a couple of times, or a study of a German artist–I’ve been looking at Kandinsky. Then the fifth country….what will it be? My guess is England, but we shall see in a few days! Of course now I want to do a full journal “visiting” countries around the world. That might have to be my 2017 project.

If you’ve visited a country outside your own, what was your favorite? Or if you could go anywhere, where would it be? I’ve been to England but would love to visit Scotland since most of my ancestors came from there. Maybe someday….Comment to be entered for a mystery TBR read!


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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

46 thoughts on “TBR Tuesday–The Amazing Race, Mixed Media (& TBR Giveaway)

  1. Thanks for sharing your art. I have also been to Neuschwannstein and it is gorgeous. The churches and castles in Germany, Hungary, Austria and Italy that I visited just are breath taking.

    • Yes, Neuschwanstein is mind-boggling. I haven’t had a chance to visit Hungary, but I swear Austria and Bavaria are just breathtaking–both scenery and buildings. I haven’t seen much of Italy–basically just Venice, although Venice is decadent and gorgeous.

  2. Funny you should mention Munich, because I plan to go there for a week in June. It’s one of my favorite places in good ol’ Europe and last time I was there I also went on a day trip to Neuschwanstein. To be perfectly honest, I was disappointed. I mean, it is gorgeous from afar, but close up it’s so, well, new and has this Disney vibe (not all too surprisingly Walt Disney was inspired by it when he designed Cinderella Castle). Yep, I do like my castles old, really old, say 12th century old, so this one doesn’t compare.

    Now as to my favorite country – that’s a tough question as I am quite the travel bug and visited so many amazing places from Australia to Iceland, from Mauritius to Russia. As to places I still have on my wish-list Egypt and Israel spring to mind (both not quite as safe for travelers these days, so there’s no telling when I will actually go there).

    • Yes, Neuschwanstein has more of a museum feel to it than an “old castle” feel, I think. I am not nearly as well traveled as you, and of course I believe you live in the favorite country I’ve visited. Austria is so beautiful. One of my favorite memories is wandering around the marketplace in Salzburg. And, yeah, I’d probably avoid both Egypt and Israel right now! I had plane tickets several years ago to Greece and the US issued a travel advisory on Athens, so I ended up having to swap my non-refundable tickets to Hawaii. Pretty, but not quite the same as the Parthenon!

  3. My favorite of the countries I’ve visited is England because my grandfather was born there. I also like the western U.S. especially the national parks and canyons.

    • I loved England too, although it was a strange time to be in London. There had been some thing going on in the Middle East, the UK was standing in alliance with the U.S., and we could barely get anywhere near Parliament because of anti-U.S. protesters. So my friend and I used fake British accents–LOL. I haven’t had a chance to visit the western U.S. very much except for the fringes so I really would love to go to Red Rocks and the Grand Canyon.

  4. hum…..hum….what country i loved the most: Swizterland it hold a lot of happy memories for me and i miss it

    my mother also fell today looks like it was fall day. ihope yours didn’t hurt herselve too much

    • I’ve only been to Zurich, but enjoyed my visit there!

      Hope your mom is okay as well. I haven’t had a chance to talk to mine, as I had to leave for the day job. She can’t be in much more pain than me–pulled out my back and knees trying to get her up! She’ll be sore but didn’t break anything.

      • like you i’m sore as lifted dead weight is really difficult but she didn’t break anything just had her feet swollen a littel because she bended it under her but she is walking and it didn’t stay swollen so teh kine is happy

  5. Thanks for sharing your art! I have only been to Mexico just across theTexas border so it doesn’t count. I would love to travel; Brazil and Greece would be my top picks. Good luck with your mom. My grandmother has been falling frequently- she has an UTI and became very weak. Difficult watching someone who is normally so strong become weak and needy.

    • It is hard to watch–and feel helpless to do much to help. I would love to go to Greece as well. Santorini and the islands more than Athens, I think.

  6. Wow, what gorgeous artwork! I’m not sure which one that I like the best. Even when I fill in color for some adult coloring sheets, it seems so uninspired and boring. I would like to visit England since I read so many English novels when I was a teen, e.g Bronte, Dickens, Doyle etc. I hope your senior adult is doing okay.

    • Thanks, Jess! Art is a good way to relax. I loved going to England and would like to go farther afield than the first time, when it was mostly London and day trips. Would love to go to Cornwell, which is where the Jacos came from!

  7. Love your art especially the China one. My favourite place to visit is the Big Island Hawaii, so I guess that’s the USA…lol . Hope to visit Scotland and Ireland. Hubs background is Irish and my nana was a McLelland from Edinburgh, Hope your mom is okay.

    • Thanks, Sue! Hawaii is the US, but sort of not because the culture is so unique. I loved my time on Oahu but would like to visit the big island. I have some Irish folks in my line too, including a McClellan (slightly dif spelling) from Ulster.

  8. Out of the country, I’d like to visit England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Oh, London! Edinburgh! Dublin!
    In the US, I’d visit the Grand Canyon again, taking the Grand Canyon RR and spending the night at the Canyon. In the El Tovar if possible. Then, I’d like to visit Pittsburgh and watch my Pittsburgh Penguins play hockey.

  9. My favorite destination at the beginning of a trip is really anywhere I am with my husband. At †he end of a trip it is HOME. I also love Italy, Germany and Canada. Every place has something wonderful to see or experience. My problem is the journey.
    Your work is really good. consistent – you have a style of your own that expresses the simple way to the heart of the scene.

    • You have a good point about home–wherever I’ve been, I’m always ready to get home. Well, usually. I’ll admit I didn’t want to leave Cedar Key, Florida. I wanted to move in and never leave. Each place is special. Canada! I’d like to see more of Canada–I’ve only been to Montreal.

      Thanks for the comments about the artwork–it’s interesting because that’s sort of how I’d describe my writing. There’s nothing flowery or fancy about it. It isn’t pretty. It’s just me. 🙂

  10. Love your art, it’s really amazing. I loved Paris, it has that romantic vibe. But I think I’ll always love my country Romania, Dracula’s country too. I hope one day I’ll be able to visit Scotland.

  11. I’ve never been out of the country. I would love to visit Canada, Ireland, Australia and Italy. Right now though I would really like to be sitting on a tropical beach with my toes in the sand.

    • I’d love to visit Australia too! I’m not much on sun or sand, but I’d happily be sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean and holding a tropical drink 🙂

  12. Unfortunately I have never been out of the country. Someday I would like to visit Australia. Thanks for sharing your lovely artwork.

  13. I really enjoyed Greece and Turkey. I would love to visit Australia and New Zealand.

    • I still feel cheated after my thwarted trip to Greece a few years ago. Ever since the Lord of the Rings movies, I’m convinced New Zealand has to be the most beautiful place on the planet!

  14. I love Australia, I go to Sydney every year but mostly I love the Gold Coast in Queensland! I really want to go to Europe someday and tour it though.

    • I’ve been around Central Europe but would love to visit Eastern Europe and Russia. Although until things settle down a bit, I’m probably going to limit my travels to Stateside 🙂

  15. I love Phil too. I’d love to take a very long vacation throughout all of Great Britain. Why choose just one country?

    • I don’t like to fly–it doesn’t scare me. The flying part is fine. But I’m claustrophobic and the airlines cram people in like it’s a cattle car with wings these days!

    • I hope you get a chance to come to the U.S.! Maybe to visit New Orleans. There are alot of beautiful places in the U.S., although unless you’re fond of pine forests and cows, I’d wouldn’t recommend my current city of residence. LOL.

  16. Your paintings are great. I’ve been to all of those places except China, and I think you did a great job of conveying the feel of the place.

    The one TV show I regularly watch is The Amazing Race. We’ve traveled pretty widely but we are always looking for new places to go and it’s a great travelogue. Just a few weeks ago, we decided we needed to add Armenia to our list, just because it looked really cool on the show and the people there seemed totally chill. As for my favorite, it would have to be Italy. The beauty, the attitudes, we love everything about it.

  17. Thanks much for sharing your art. Italy is still my favorite. You should paint some NOLA, that would be great.