Spring Garden and other works — Acrylic Abstract & Beads

Several years ago I started making beaded jewelry as a creative and relaxing way of expression. This expanded into symmetrical beaded designs I call bead blooms. I also started painting small abstracts using poured acrylic paints swishing the colors around using sticks, combs, forks, and other objects. After awhile I decided to combine the two together. I also often include rocks, nuts and bolts, gears, and miscellaneous found objects. Below are a number of these works.

Spring Garden

Spring Garden:
Meaning/Inspiration:  The bright and cheerful colors and beaded “bloom” spark thoughts of the first blossoms of Spring.

(2018) Acrylic on Canvas Board with Beads and String, 12 x 12” (14 x 14” framed)  $220
(Note, this has been reframed in a similar painted frame)

Blacklight bloom, Desert Sun, Peace bloom



Awhile back I bought an 8′ acrylic tube with plans to use for the legs of a painted table, but decided to go with a different base. I played around with different ideas on what to do with the tube, finally cutting it into smaller lengths and using sticks to paint inside.

Last fall I trimmed what was left of some wild bushes in the backyard, but thought the zigzaggy branches were too cool to toss. They sat around in our living room for a couple of months until I thought to incorporate them with the acrylic tubes. I like the juxtaposition of the two elements. Initially I planned to cut the sticks for a wall hanging, but then tried it as a taller piece that extends from the floor and really liked it. I designed a wooden box for the base, but then found this cool rectangular vase at Goodwill that was perfect. Great reuse too!

This reminds me of cat tails at the lake blowing in the breeze.IMG_4501


Is it a Peacock … Agave … Wildflowers … Sea Monster … ?

This is a new piece incorporating my beadwork with my swishy abstract acrylics. Instead of positioning the bead bloom in a circle as usual, I decided to move the center to the bottom of the page and work up from there. I really like the organic look of the piece.

Acrylic on Canvas Board with Beads and String, 14 x 11” (17×13”  (framed)  $250

Peacock Agave Wildflower

Roadside Park: Ouachita National Forest Remembering EAST 2018

In November 2018, I participated in my second EAST Austin Studio Tour at Art84 and was thrilled to sell several pieces including Roadside Park: Ouachita National Forest. This is my first attempt at using my “swishy” paint style to paint something representative. The inspiration was a roadside park we pulled into during our visit in Arkansas. Such a beautiful state. It was a little sad seeing this little painting go, but the buyer seemed to really appreciate it, so all is good! (Sold)

Roadside Park - Ouchita National Forest

…and the inspiration…


Daisies and Chrysanthemums

Starting in late 2018, I started doing more some more painterly images using some of my vacation photos as inspiration. These two are flowers from Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island. Look closely and you can see the bead details on some of the flowers.

Daisies (2019) 8×10” Acrylic & beads  $125
Chrysanthemums (2018) 8×10” Acrylic & beads  $125


Time for EAST 2018

E18_Image_TemporaryExhibition w stops

I’m thrilled to be showing with an incredible group of artists at Art 84 for the EAST Austin Studio Tour.

Art 84 is proud to host eleven wonderful visual artists as part of the 2018 EAST Studio Tour: Thierry BignoletCornelius CarterValérie ChaussonnetLinda DumontMelanie HickersonEmily Hoyt-WeberJose LopezHelen Mary Vanston MarekAlicia PhilleyAmy Scofield, and Gentleman Dancers (Ben Ruggiero, Ben Lynch & Ryan Vaughn)

Stop by and see us at 84 Waller Street in November!

2019 EAST Austin Studio Tour

I am looking forward to participating in the EAST Austin Studio Tour again at ART 84 in November 2019. I’ll once again be helping my brother, Larry Vanston, run the ART 84 temporary gallery at 84 Waller in Austin (formerly known as Gallery 84) and will also show some of my acrylic abstracts, digitally enhanced photos, and jewelry created using natural elements and up-cycled items. Visit bigmedium.com for upcoming events including EAST 2019. Hope to see you there.

EAST 2018

ART 84 2018 large FB 6 squarer 1800x1100

Art 84 Image is 1956 (West Texas) by Art 84 artist Melanie Hickerson. Art 84 chose this exciting work as it’s centerpiece for 2018 because it so lovingly illustrates the relationship between dance, music, and art.E18_Image_TemporaryExhibition w stops

EAST 2018

Gallery 84 Banner with faces for card 2

Gallery 84’s image for our inaugural 2017 EAST Austin Studio Tour exhibit is “The Gift of Music” by Gallery 84 artist and musician, David Garza. 

2017 EAST Austin Studio Tour Temporary Exhibition

EAST 2017 cover for card

Big Medium

Gallery 84 Stops #369-375