Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tea anyone?

i've just finished this tea pot and cups quilted wall hanging. I've been determined to use the many UFO's (UnFinished Objects) stashed on shelves, in drawers and baskets around the house as holiday gifts by dragging them out and finishing them. These pot and cups blocks have been abandoned for too long to remember, so it was high time they made their way into a finished project! I made a few 4 patch blocks, added some borders and played endlessly with arrangement until it felt right.
This was going to be a reversable table runner, but ended up as a wall hanging after The Man suggested I add a way to hang it. In the spirit of keeping our holiday gifts handmade, I cut and stripped a maple branch for attaching the quilt to. Who needs dowels when branches will do? Plus, no dowel can compare to the uniqueness of a crooked branch!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Holly Queen

Many years ago I made this ceramic mask to hang during the Yuletide Season. Being pagan I celebrate Yule, or the winter solstice, more so than Christmas. To me, this mask represents The Goddess in Her Holly Queen incarnation. I love the layering of colors, the greens over gold, reds over silver and the various flesh tones. The subtle layers don't transfer well to a photo, but I wanted to share my artful interpretation of a holiday symbol. Whichever winter holiday you celebrate I hope you receive many blessings and an abundance of joy!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bird in Paradise

I think this one's done! Spent a bit more time on it, with music cranked as usual, and now it feels done. You never know though. I've been known to revisit a painting years later and take my brushes to it. Some people can't do that because they're afraid of ruining what they've previously created. I don't have that issue! What's the worst that can happen, afterall? You need to be able to take risks. In painting and in life...

Friday, November 2, 2012

New Painting

This acrylic painting in a large format was begun tonight. It had been a super high pain day for me so I needed to get out of my body for a while. Best way to do that is crank up the music, grab the brushes, paints and get to it!
The wonderful thing about having a creative soul is that, no matter how difficult things are to deal with, you can forget about it completely once you let loose and create. That's what I mean about "get out of my body". My pain levels are left behind, for a brief time, once I paint. Definitely a blessing.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sketchbook Project 2013


  I finally decided to sign up for The Sketchbook Project, sponsored by the Art House Co-op. I'd read about it last year, but didn't end up signing up for whatever reason. Honestly, I don't remember why I never joined, lack of money perhaps, because this traveling sketchbook project idea really intrigued me! As things go, I totally forgot about the project until the other day when I happened to come across their web site again. This time there was no hesitation! I signed up immediately and am now awaiting delivery of my blank sketchbook.

  For days now I've been thinking of a theme for my book. I still haven't come up with one and have decided the theme will present itself once I have the book in hand.

  If you aren't familiar with the project, do check it out! You can look through the books that have been digitized, not all of them are, in the Digital Library area. You can also read all about the project, watch some videos or sign up to participate.

 I'll be posting updates, with photos of my book's pages, as often as possible. I can't wait to dig in and get creating. It's been ages since I joined anything of this magnitude!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Face Painting

The latest incarnation of this painting I've been working on for a while now. I've added more shading to the face, layered glazes, papers and transfers to the background and redone the nose, mouth and eyes. Every time I add or subtract something the work becomes less flat and more expressive. Like a good stew, the more you blend the ingredients, the richer the whole becomes!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


This is how I feel about getting up at 630 am on a freezing Saturday morning. Blech! But, my son has Boy Scout can duty this morn, where they sort all the returnables that've been donated to the Troop to help fund camping trips. So, awake I am. The mask is a hand carved and painted one from a tribe in Peru. Even at this icky hour I can still focus on cool art!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cooking As Art

   Art comes in many forms and I for one believe cooking is an art! Especially when it's done with love and enthusiasm, the way all things in life should be done.   My son loves to cook and is becoming quite accomplished in the kitchen.

    This Monkey Bread, which isn't your run of the mill, easy to make type of Monkey Bread, we made together. It was a great way to keep our minds off of Jimmy, the love of my life, being in the ER while we waited to find out what was wrong. Waiting's never easy, but that type of waiting's torture!

   Anyhow, always remember to make life's moments count. Something as simple as making Monkey Bread can be a "moment" when it's done with love and enthusiasm.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I added some more paint to this face. I know most people would do the underpainting of flesh tones first, but I've never done things like most people! I'm more of a fly by the seat of your pants, running amok type. Just ask anyone who knows me. Anyhow, the addition of layered acrylics adds more depth and definition. The more of this your achieve, the less "flat" the face becomes.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mixed Media Work

I've been working on several mixed media pieces the past week. This one's inspiration is 'The Visitant' by Theodore Roethke, a poem I came across in a library discard. The image of the woman at center is a packing tape transfer. Love the ethereal quality of tape transfers! At right is a face done with fluid acrylics, Neocolor II crayons and gel pens. She started out as a stencil called Eva by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. Love how you can use her stencils as a jumping off point for creating fabulous painterly portraits! I don't feel quite finished yet, definitely needs more layers to tie it all together.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Journal Pages

  As usual it's been too long since I blogged. Not going into the boring, medical details of what's been keeping me from doing so. Who wants to hear that? Certainly not me!

  I'd uploaded these journal page photos back in August, with every intention of posting them right away. But, it didn't work out the way I'd planned!  

  All these pages are from the journal made out of old file folders, scrap paper and heavyweight paper. The pages are staggered, with varying sizes,  lots of folds, creases and pockets. It makes for a much more interesting journal, both to work in and visually!

  Most of the border images on these pages are created from copies of previous pages I've done. I print them on the laser printer and cut into strips. I think it makes my pages unique and clearly reflects my style!

 The spread above contains transfers. On the left I did a gesso transfer. On the right a gel medium transfer. Both backgrounds are painted using gouache and watercolor. I typically use acrylic paint on my pages, but decided to try something different this time. 

The page below was painted with gouache also.I love the vibrant colors with a hint of softness.

Here you can see how the various page sizes offer a peek into what came before and after. I think it makes the journal more interesting and visually striking. It also makes you want to peek just around the corner to find what comes next!

A close up of one small page, which is actually a flap. 

This one has a fold in it and has been stapled into the journal with decorative metal staples. When folded you can only see the imagery, not the writing.

Another section where you can see how the different size pages reveal bits and pieces of what's contained within. Again, I love the vibrant colors of the gouache, especially the greens! The file folder edge is covered in decorative tape. It looks great and adds stability.

A combo of watercolor and gouache was used for this page. I like the goofy image at the top coupled with the vintage advertising image. The right hand side border is a portion of an older page I photocopied.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Get Lost!

  One of the workshops in the 21 Secrets online classes is titled Get Lost. The course is hosted by Aimee Myers Dolich and, in my opinion, is great fun! The entire course is journal prompts, which I always love. These two pages were done from course prompts. There's a great spread I did, but I used one of my largest journals so getting a decent photo of it is tough. It doesn't fit on the scanner bed and the phone camera doesn't capture enough detail. I'll try to get it with my nice digital camera because it's a spread I'd love to share!

 I spent a good 45 minutes scanning in journal pages this afternoon so there will be lots to feast your eyes upon soon! 

  I've been riding the icky health roller coaster these past few months. On top of the usual Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome I've loads of neurological problems, still undiagnosed. Loads of speculation, but no firm conclusions yet. I'm grateful for the love of my life, Jim, for his support and strong arms. Without him this amusement ride from hell would be a whole lot rougher.  Love that man and thank my guardians for bringing him  into my life when they did. Life may be handing us a bunch of Jokers, but I just keep drawing crowns on them and turning them to Kings and queens. That's what any artist would do, right?


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Journal Painting

I call these paintings on masonite 'Journal Paintings'. They're mixed media, many, many layers of paint, images, writing, ink, papers, whatever... Essentially a journal page in larger, framable format. This one was started months ago. The upper, final layer of text was just added.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Framed Art

A few months ago I'd gotten this mail art post card from one of my nearest and dearest friends. It's been displayed on a shelf since, but today I came across this awesome frame and thought the two would look perfect together! I love how the silver frame corners accentuate the details of the art. In my eyes, you don't need to spend a lot on art to make a statement. Here, an inexpensive frame and a mail art postcard create a stunning work of art. P.S. Thanks Raine for the postcard xoxo

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Nature's Beauty

I love these insects. They are one of the coolest ones Mother Nature designed. Part hummingbird, part flying lobster, at least to my eyes.The Hummingbird Moth or Hawk Moth is pretty special. They come around constantly and especially love the purple butterfly bushes. At times there'll be 10 or more of them at a time. I happened to capture this one digitally while it feasted upon the nectar in my goose neck loosestrife.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Doodle Dreams

This is what happens when your neurological system shorts out, causing serious visual disturbances. You end up sitting up in bed, watching The Walton's & drawing portraits of the odd creature you see sitting next to you!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Froggie's Visit

The dogs evidently have a pet frog. This little guy was swimming in one of their water bowls when I put them out this morning. I've been seeing lots of frogs & toads lately. A good sign since they'd become quite scarce, which had scientists concerned for the state of our environment.

Seahorse Fountain

Got this for my birthday last year. I love hearing the splashing water, especially when sitting outside on a hot, summer night. It relaxes me totally!

Friday, July 13, 2012


Received this lovely card in the mail today. It couldn't of arrived at a better time because I really needed a smile! Two visits to the ER this week for severe neurological issues & a primary care doctor who refuses to continue the treatment the Attending Doctor's insist I need, had me feeling rather frazzled. I always love the synchronisity of life: When you really need a friend and a smile, one appears.... LOVE YOU RAINE!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Clay Covered Journal

I was straightening out one of my many bookcases and rediscovered this spiral bound journal I'd covered in polymer clay. The gold is done using the mica~shift technique. The gray green is actually a blue which I added dry brushing to. Love the Egyptian texture plate I used! Definitely makes me want to set up the pasta machine, grab the Premo and get busy!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Today's Moment

Today, this is the moment filled with love that matters. The teeniest, tiniest bunny I've ever seen. Rescued by me from certain death ala Toby cat. Make the moments count...

Embrace Love

In the midst of chaos I've found my Inner Peace, as I always do. Too many never learn to let go of what doesn't matter so you can embrace what does. Life is nothing but brief moments, meant to be experienced then and only then, and let go. There's no need to carry past hurt within you. It truly doesn't matter. Only for that one fleeting moment, amongst the millions of fleeting moments that make up a life, did it matter. In the end, the only thing that matters is filling yourself with love.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Envelope Book

I love the way this envelope book and postcards I made for a 21 Secrets workshop turned out! This workshop was the 'Personal Acts of Kindness' one with Dale Anne Potter, which I mentioned in my last post. 

  The book was suppose to contain 7 envelopes for holding 7 postcards containing positive messages for yourself, but I decided to add more. I made 6 from various decorative papers and another 7 from paper I created myself using inexpensive, white paper, with a coat of gesso on both sides, stamped, inked and covered in light tissue paper. Also I bound the book differently as I liked the look of all the various colors showing through between the covers. I always have to add my personal twist to things!

The heart on the cover is grungeboard painted with metallic red paint.

Top view showing the envelopes and a close up of one of my favorites
The postcards, each with a positive word on the front. 
The backs have a special message written to me, by me.
Side view of the envelopes. Love all the colors!

21 Secrets

  Last week as I was reading Traci Bunkers blog  I noticed a link for 21 Secrets Art Journal Playground. Secrets?  A Playground?  Yes, I MUST check this out!

  As I read the workshops descriptions I got that buzzy, excited feeling. I knew I had to sign up. 21 online workshops, all with a different artist, all yummy sounding and all for one low price.  I signed up right away and started in on the workshops a few days ago. Nirvana!  I've been in serious fibromyalgia hell lately and this is just what I needed to keep me going, give me something to look forward to and to give me a sense of community which has seriously been lacking. It's tough to feel a sense of community when you can barely get out of bed, never mind get out of the house!

  If you are looking for a great set of workshops for a great price, on sale for $59 right now. YES! That's the price for all 21 Secrets, I highly recommend signing up for these.  You will love what they have to offer.  Photos of my first project, a mini album to house uplifting postcards you send to yourself, will be posted soon. I promise! Oh, the album and postcards are from the 'Personal Acts of Kindness' workshop by 21 Secrets instructor Dale Anne Potter. That workshop was the perfect, positive boost I needed right  now!


Sunday, July 1, 2012


The bills are piling up. My pain is through the roof. Things are looking bleak. So what's the cure? BUY ART BOOKS!!! Yes, a little retail therapy in the form of art books or art supplies is always a wise cure. I don't understand the logic, but do know it always works. Happy, happy again!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


This week I've been practicing drawing faces. My son and I watched Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's  All About Faces video, purchased from the Cloth, Paper, Scissors shop, earlier in the week and have been practicing our drawing ever since. I love sharing Art Time with my Little Man! His drawing of a purple haired gal is none other than yours truly. I'm thinking it just has to be my new profile pic on Facebook!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Creative Space....

As usual I am spending lots of time creating but no time blogging! No excuses. It is what it is. I've always said I'm a far better gardener than housekeeper. Obviously I'm a far better artist than blogger too.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New Lino Block Print

This image is based on a graveyard statue from the 1700's. I love prowling around old graveyards. The artwork on old stones is amazing!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Madonna Lino Block

The Madonna lino block. I refined it a bit more so the facial details show up better when printing. I've found the smalles V~gouge works best for cutting away what isn't needed. It takes a lot longer when using a small gouge, but there's less risk of cutting too deep and ruining the block!

Lino block images

The original image & the sketch I used to create my lino block. The hardest part of carving, for me at least, is remembering to carve away what you don't want to print! Since this is only the third time I've created a lino block I still need to really think about the process. Some day, with enough practice, I'm sure it will become second nature!

Friday, May 4, 2012

New block print....

I decided to do a bit of lino carving tonight. This Madonna~like image has been in my mind for a while now. The lino block needs a bit of refining, but had to print it just to see how it was coming along!

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