Classic Amy Joanne

All Things Art & Home

pilgrims 5 (2)

After posting ‘The Pilgrims’ on Facebook for the first time ~ the responses made this girl smile, from the likes and loves to the comments and messages.  One never knows what the reaction will be when testing the waters thru FaceBook with a new idea or design!  This piece sort-a took a life of its own, first posting as a Colored Pencil Workshop, then to an Acrylic version…..,We had folks naming the couple (thanks Lisa!) and suggestions on surfaces, it was all part of the fun!

I saw this couple going places……

Feeling ambitious after the response to the Colored Pencil version, I then created the acrylic version, and next came a muffin box, then a pin and then a canvas….. and I see more in their future.


Are you curious on how ‘The Pilgrims’ came to be?…..let me share with you how I went about creating their faces, character and expressions…. I used my family members!  That’s my secret, no chance of copyrights or stealing there…right?

I sat down with my sketch pad and a pencil (and an eraser) with no influence around me except for a few family photos…..and I would draw and erase until I came up with the images I was looking for…..long faces, smirky expressions and character like faces.

Give it a try…..your family will love you for it !


First came the Colored Pencil version, available here.  Simply done.

pilgrims 1 (2)

Then came the acrylic version, available here. Filled with 2 Pilgrims a Sheep and many birds of a feather.  Aren’t family members like birds of a feather?

pilgrims 2 (2)

Then came the lapel pin, coming in under 2″.  Just had to see if I can do it.

Pilgrims 6 (2)

Then I thought….’oh, how cute would it be as a muffin box?!’  My hubby drilled 2 holes in each side of the bentwood box to add the bakers twine or string….making it a cute gift.  My friend Donna just loved this version.

This is a nice example of using different parts of any pattern to create something uniquely yours…..

pilgrims 7 (2)
pilgrims 13 (2)

Then Lynn of had a fun idea to create the pilgrims on a large canvas….Lynn lives on the Cape so you can imagine how nice this would look in her beautiful home at Thanksgiving.

This also gave me an opportunity to play with the pattern a bit by changing a few details. Such as his tie, and her pie plate….adding glitter of course to the pie crust!

pilgrims 11 (2)


….and if you are familiar with my work and my blog….you know how I love to add scrapbooking paper to the inside of the bentwood boxes I paint….

All three Pilgrim bentwoods  are a little different on the inside……one includes a family story.  Just pick a font, type into a word document, print and transfer to the inside of the box!

After writing the story……I was showing off  the fun idea to my Mom.  Well the funny story became even funnier when she informed me that it wasn’t Great Uncle Clarence who built the boat in the basement, that it was Great Uncle George, It was Great Uncle Clarence whom had the bad wig.  Ge’ez, keeping the family stories straight, just love it!


What surface do you imagine ‘The Pilgrims’ on?  Would you add to the pattern, move things around, reduce or enlarge, remove an element, change colors????  If painting on a bentwood carrier….how would you create the inside?

Thank you for making ‘The Pilgrims’ a fun design to create!  Did you pick up your copy yet?  Email

 I feel inspired……


There are a few how-to videos in the works for 2018….and one is adhering the watercolor paper to a  bentwood box like shown on the Colored Pencil version…..this is for the many folks whom see this piece and cannot believe it is paper on the lid!…it truly becomes part of the piece. 

Another how-to video will be about layering Colored Pencil….so keep a watchin’.


Are you ready for more Holiday Posts?  Lot’s in the makin’,

Up Next ~ Flour Sack Autumn Bowl Covers, Eucalyptus, It’s All in the Presentation 2017, Where Do You See Yourself?  Creative Canvas Beginning Painting

16 thoughts on “The Pilgrims

  1. Your pilgrims are gorgeous! I love how you used family photos for inspiration on facial expressions. Great idea!!

    1. Thank you Effie….of course my Mom said she doesn’t smirk….but pictures say it all! Hee-hee!

      1. LOL … Pictures and paintings don’t lie 🙂

  2. kellyhoernig says:

    Amy, I am in love with your creativity and how fun that you used family photos to come up with them!

    1. Thank you Kelly! My family loves me for it! 🙂

  3. judy kulmaczeski says:

    Like all the different variations! Something for everyone! And a great story to go with it!

    1. Thank you Judy! Poor Uncle Clarence with the bad wig!

  4. Lynn Barbadora says:

    You KNOW I love them……AND everything you do!Can’t wait to paint them!

    1. Thank You Lynn from the Cape!

  5. Are you seeing pilgrims inyour sleep? Great design.

    1. Thank you Jane! Yes, Pilgrims are everywhere!

  6. Lisa says:

    Love your blog post Amy. I’m thinking of Tam on one pillow sham and Maqua on another. They would look great on a bed made up for Thanksgiving with the shams and a primitive quilt. Of course Chaperone Amy will be around to check on them every so often. Just making sure they’re doing nothing more than lying there. 🦃👀

    1. Lisa says:

      Seriously, I have a large wooden tray that I bought for a couple of bucks at a garage sale. Perfect condition. I always wondered what I would do with it and now I think I know. I can envision a nice display with the tray/Pilgrims as the centerpiece. I do have a question for you concerning bentwood boxes. They’re beautiful in their natural wood color but I LOVE the way you give them that dark brown/black look. Is it chalk paint that you use for the surface? Your design has so many possibilities Amy.

      1. I think they would be awesome on a Tray! Please share when you create this! As for the background, I started with Soft Black from DecoArt, then drybrushed Burnt Umber and a little bit of Milk Chocolate to create the subtle background….It is dark but yet soft at the same time! Enjoy!

    2. Thank you Lisa….would you believe I have some fun pillows in the works thru Society 6 for 2018! Love your imagination! Happy Painting!

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