Sunday, January 31, 2010


A few of the finished products

After spending all last weekend doing studio clean up, I've managed to re-mess in record time!

True confessions- I'm a total Valentine's Day geek. Its not even the romance and chocolate (although I don't object to those either!)--I just love making and sending Valentine's Day cards. When I was a kid I loved going to the dime store (I'm aging myself on that one--now its Michael's) and getting ribbon and doilies, construction paper and glue to create the cards and the special collection box to put on my desk. I guess I never outgrew it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


my "zentangle" done sans instructions

I was just recently made aware of the "Zentangle". You can check out the website and read how they were "discovered" and all about the great benefits you can derive from making them. You can also spend $50.00 to buy a kit with instructions on how to make a zentangle along with some pens and paper. I hate to be cynical, but I feel like the guy who pointed out that the emperor had no clothes. Seriously, this is the art form formerly known as "doodling". We've all been making zentangles in the margins of our papers for a long time! And I agree that doodling is fun and meditative and creative--all the things the website claims for zentangling--I just think that you can probably derive just as much benefit all on your own with no instructions and totally free of charge. Have fun!

Monday, January 25, 2010

white tulips

More than once I've stopped myself from jumping to the defense of my work as it appears on the screen. I want to say "really, it looks better in person". But I don't. So I don't know why I feel compelled to fess up when the process works in my favor. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the scan of this little collage I did in my moleskine today--I like it better NOT in person!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

14 things

a stack of bird images from the paper discovered in the weekend clean up

from a card sent by my neighbor--(click for a larger image)

I have figured out over time that I fall into the category of artists who work best surrounded by a certain level of "visual input" (polite way of saying MESS). A blank white page on a clean desk is intimidating. I had a painting teacher who started each painting by splattering a brush full of paint across the clean paper for that very reason. The creative juices don't really get moving until there are multiple layers of papers, brushes, tubes, fabric strewn around.

That being said, there is a fine line between that creative environment and just plain chaos. The latter was reached and this weekend was dedicated to studio clean up. While "clean up the studio" would definitely make my list of "14 things I don't want to do", it is sort of ironic that I found the card with the list on it buried under other things while cleaning the studio.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

to tear or not to tear

I overheard a discussion at last evening's journal collective meeting about whether or not to tear out journal pages that you really don't like. Its a tough call--sometimes we all do pages that don't turn out the way we would have liked or don't "fit" with the rest of the journal and our inner critic has a field day.

I don't think you should keep a page that will make you cringe each time you happen upon it, but there is a lot that can be done before you resort to the scissors. Gesso, collage, stencils, stickers can all cover a little or a lot of the offending page. In fact, a painter friend of mine advocates getting yourself "into trouble" as quickly as possible in a painting because working yourself out of it is always more satisfying. And more importantly, I think, it means that you took a risk. If you never have a "bad journal day" then you are probably not pushing yourself as far as you could.

In that spirit, I'm posting a page that I had decided to skip over in the public posting realm (I can't tear it out because its an accordian page journal). I painted over some of the parts I didn't like and added a couple images from the paper and I'm happier with it. I still don't love it, but I'm OK with that.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I was following news about the earthquake in Haiti this weekend. It made me aware of so many simple things that I take for clean drinking water from my kitchen sink.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


My spotted orchid sent me off on a "spot" tangent including a spotted warthog and some paper that may turn into some weird tropical spotted fruit--but that's for tomorrow.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I've been procrastinating because it seems like post number 200 should be something significant and I have been pretty uninspired by the journal I'm finishing up. I decided I will finish it (there are just a few pages left) but I was ready for a new one. So here is the debut entry in my new Moleskine japanese fold journal. ( All the pages unfold into one continuous page.) I did a watercolor of the new "speckled" orchid I just got--the spots look like a dalmation, only purple! How cool. I'm not crazy about how the paper in the journal took watercolor--it isn't intended for that I guess. But I'm happy to have a new journal underway.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

is it spring yet?

It has been unrelentingly cold here for more than a week. Bone-chilling, cabin-fever-inducing cold. I felt the need for some hot pink!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

face in the crowd

Try as I might, true abstraction in painting eludes me. I always "find" something in there.....and most often its a face. If you can't beat em, join em.....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

a new journal page that started in a different direction and turned into "2010"
somewhere along the way. Maybe there is a metaphor in there.....

Holiday time pretty much turns all routine on its head......schedules, school, work, meals, sleep- it all gets disrupted and forgotten. And that is a good thing. We all need a little excess now and then to make us appreciate the mundane and routine. So, after a bit of a holiday disrupt, I'm back in the studio, hopefully with some fresh ideas and perspective.