Saturday, October 12, 2013

Next Move to Somewhere

It's time for the next adventure. I'm on the other side of time after the
Great Art Exhibit is up and I have a chance to breathe again and look
around. OK that wasn't a good idea, the looking-around part. Terrible
disorder that built up while all I did day and night was paint. Now it's
time for cleanup and I have another caveat that's pretty much
determined what my next adventure will be (against my will I might
add). My apartment building is being remodeled and I've been
strongly encouraged by building management to plan on moving
out so they can remodel the unit I'm in.

I'd really really thought the last move would be it. the last move ever. I'd
planned to make my final stand here and say Enough. This is where I
ended up and so be it. Last stand last move. Wrong. So now my next
adventure is to start packing . . . again. And I don't really even know
where I'm moving to - another space in this same building or another
building altogether. All I know is that the pain of moving is upon me.
Forced declutter and the heartbreak of letting go of some treasured
items. Putting things in boxes in some kind of order that makes sense
at the time but I can never find later. There's still things from the last
move that I haven't found. I must be out by the end of Feb so that
sounds like a good amount of time to get this all together. It never
seems to be that easy. I don't want to do this. I must do this. Once
everything is packed then the answers will appear about where I'm
to go live next. Everything will turn out the way it's going to turn out.
And then I'll know . . .

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tribute to Gwen

A tribute to Gwen Gibson, polymer clay artist extraordinaire, who passed away on Sept 24. I was fortunate to spend some of the most memorable times of my life with Gwen. I visited her workshop in France one year and attended a most memorable week-long workshop on Whidbey Island as well as countless other classes. These images are from photos I took when in France with Gwen. I collaged them into prints back when printmaking was part of my everyday life.

Gwen was elegance and eloquence. A beloved teacher, a friend, an incomparable artistic voice that will be sadly forever missed. I'm sure that heaven welcomed her with open arms. I hope to see her again when I go to that Great Art Retreat in the Sky someday. Some of my other friends who've also passed are saving me a good seat. It's gonna be great . . .

See another tribute to Gwen at

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Exhibit is Up

Exhibit is Up! If you've wondered why I dropped out of sight for so long, I transformed into a painting madwoman in preparation for an upcoming one-woman show. I ended up with 14 works including some printmaking along with the paintings. So I'll start posting new images to show you what I've done and to talk about the process.This has been My Big Dream for a long time now and finally realizing it has been euphoric.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Recycled Patterns

…dear blog, it's so hard to let go of things. How do you stop? Recently while going through a pile of mail and sorting out what to keep and file and what to shred, I accumulated a pile of paper to be recycled, with envelopes and various cardstock flyers and other miscellaneous paper. Well it's really hard for me to look at the recycling and not want to slap some gesso on there and then paint them all with pretty patterns. OMG it's hard to let go and just recycle them. But if you don't draw the line somewhere then the next thing you know you're saving candy wrappers and looking discretely at the big recycle bin in the apartment building to see what else has been tossed out by someone else. Help me! someone just help me! Mothers, don't let your children grow up to be artists. They'll never have another clear surface anywhere in their lives. So far I'm resisting these wild ideas and still painting on (regular?) wc and various graph and ledger papers. Here's a few more patterns. And let me just say the SEWN class is awesome and I'm loving every minute!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

SEWN Class Begins

hot hot hot - it's been in the 90s for several days now and the heat really messes me up. I haven't done any artwork or blogging in way too long - please forgive. Mary Ann Moss's online class SEWN started today and the weather finally cooled a little bit so I'm finally painting again.Here's a glimpse of what I've done so far.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Dreaded NFS Syndrone

Letting Go of the Dreaded NFS Syndrone. Throughout my long romance with making art there’s been many a time when I thought “I can’t let go of this piece." I had put too much of myself in it emotionally to let it go. Years passed without me selling any of my work; the tag of NFS was firmly attached to the entire lot and branded on my forehead. Then, once upon a day, I realized I couldn't keep it all to myself anymore and the scared, but also brave, NFS girl cautiously came to the door. My concerns shifted and became all about having my work finally Seen. Then I started a blog, and began putting some work in shows, maybe some exhibits, a few private parties, which in times past I had fled screaming in denial from the very thought of doing such. 
So, it's been really hard and really scary. It’s hard because I struggle with procrastination and deadlines (but I’m getting slightly better at that). It’s scary because I’m pushing my comfort zone. And NFS girl tells me that is almost always a good thing to do. I would love to know your thoughts on this. Have you mastered letting your artwork go? or is it something you still resist doing? Please say. . .

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Drawing Practice

Drawing Skills - still a work in progress. This is an example of me trying to draw with my new toy - a Wacom tablet. Trying to emulate drawing with a real brush and kindof sortof coming a little bit close. Yes I'm holding a pen, but it feels like drawing with a bar of soap - kludgy. There's lots more to come on this but the bottom line is practice practice practice, just like everything else in life. There's miles to go before this becomes easy peasy second nature like an extension of my arm (maybe never?) My inner artist says "I can get better effects holding a real brush." But the evolving artist is not giving up yet. And the story continues . . .

Monday, May 27, 2013

Altered Photo Stairs

An Altered Life – looking through old journals, an ongoing collage telling The Stories. All the old writings in all the old journals finally cataloged and transcribed and illustrated. There’s a cast of characters all waiting to be recognized. There’s a journey to pass on to others and to be told and released and sent on its way out into the universe. Who knows what will happen to it – on and on and on across the universe. We all have our spark of light that’s always been there even when things got really dark and there was no hope. It’s all just always been about the story. Each person’s story adds to the whole and really matters, even if you can no longer see that by yourself. Love the journals. Because even when the story is too dark to be said out loud, it can be whispered to your journal. Life-saver savior. Journals send their healing tendrils out to twine within your heart and bring you back again. Love the journals. Keep doing the journals you have begun or just begin one now. Journals matter . . .

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Ch-ch-ch-choices, not changes
So here's a few thoughts I've been contemplating about what's really important in my life lessons - it's all about choices. Because choices have consequences which lead to changes and Change is Hard. Here in my "elder years" I'm suddenly seeing how some of my choices could have totally changed the stories in my life. And some have made me think "oh I never thought of that" and it's just now becoming clear. What was I thinking? well, I wasn't . . . thinking, that is. But I am now and I can't ch-ch-change the past. 

Most of the choices we make are pretty unconscious, like what to wear, what movie to see, salt/pepper/both, mustard or mayo, etc. But even these choices have consequences - you chose not to wear your raincoat and it's pouring, the movie was too violent and was traumatic, too much salt = too much sodium, and so on. It's especially easy when you're young, to think "oh, I'll just do this for awhile. It looks fun" and then you look up again and 10 years have gone by and you suddenly have alot of regrets about how you spent that time. 

Having no choices is bad, but so is having too many options. Somewhere in between is being more conscious, more present and not just deciding something quickly so you can move on to the next thing on your multi-task list. How can we get better at this? My solution is - learn to play chess. You're never too old or too young to learn it and it willl make you more conscious about choices and consequences. And yes, I'm learning chess again now, a little bit of time with it everyday. And that will make all the difference . . .

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Stitching on Painted Papers

Sunshine in Seattle - yes it does happen and sometimes you see things like this. When you get this kind of light it's a moment in time and could change really fast to monochrome grays again in just a few scant minutes. Sometimes it's gray on one side of a building and sunny on the other. So lovely.

“Whatever the present moment contains,
accept it as if you had chosen it.”

--Eckhart Tolle

So I've been doing a bit of stitching on this paper I painted  . . .

Monday, April 29, 2013

I Thought I Saw

You never know what you may see . . . this weekend while driving to get coffee, I found myself following a car with a pair of sneakers on the roof. Yes, just sitting there on the roof of the car not moving due to the skid proof soles. I tried to speed up to get alongside and what? Point to the roof? How do you tell this to someone while you're both driving? But they turned at the next exit and I lost them. So I'm hoping the shoes stayed put until they stopped and then they'd have a big surprise. Silly me, I just looked at all this and didn't even attempt to take a cell phone picture. Why do I always think of this afterwards? Anyhoo it wouldn't have been a good idea since we were both, y'know, driving. So there you have it in another one of those "you  never know what you're going to see" moments. What do you think? Seen anything crazy lately?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Face the Changes

Facing Changes is hard. Sure, we all know that but every now and then you encounter situations where alot of your habits just simply have to change. Right now there's some health issues I've been enduring that require some serious changes. It's overwhelming and I can only pick one or two and begin there. I can't take them all on at once. It's hard enough to change one habit much less a dozen or so. And so it begins and so I'm reading more meaning into the painting of faces. Time to face what needs to be done and get started. Wish me luck? Have you struggled with making changes to your habits before? Do you have any tips or advice on how to get through it all? Lemme know because I could really use the support! But in the meantime Art Saves Me as it always has . . .

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Small Increments of Time and Effort

Landscapes in watercolor. Have been experimenting and the last one painted a leaf right in the middle. These are studies for some larger work that I'll share with you later as they progress more in what I'm working towards. I have an art show coming up in mid-Sept so this is my primary focus right now, building a body of work. Oh boy what a process. I have canvases lined up by my bookcase and just go by and paint layers on all of them, let it dry and then paint more layers. Art is created in small increments of time and effort. Except for the weekends when I'm home from the dayjob and have all those daylight hours to work. Generally I make myself pretty crazy in doing that and forget to sit down or, if sitting down, forget to stand up and don't really stop working until it's usually a question of - I wonder if I can ever move again? Paralysis by art - is that a new disability? So even tho the weekends provide more hours, it's hard to stop working compulsively and I think more effective if I limited the amount of time spent on paintings already started and just begin some new ones instead. Based on weekend exhaustion I'm starting to really really value the small bits of time during the week. What's your process? Do you work on things in bits and pieces of time or do you devote lots of hours at one sitting? I'd love to know . . .

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Symbols of a Collage

Symbols painted over collage. Another way to make layers is with collage. This is a cropped area from a larger piece that's still in progress. There's a whole process in just adding layer and layer of collage and then finally starting to paint over it all. Texture happens automatically once the collaged pieces start to dry. And I'm happy to announce that the Blogiversary Giveaway goes to Paula. I'm sending you the Journal Labels PDF right away. Enjoy!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Blog Anniversary - March 2013

Life is Good. Life is The Great Adventure. Today is my first Blogiversary! Like most bloggers I can't believe how much has changed since that first tentative scary nervous click on the Publish button. I've somehow managed to find a place where my artwork can be seen by others, have honed in on painting instead of the countless mixed media I used to do and now here I am in a new place altogether. Thanks to each and every one of you who has stopped by. I appreciate it more than you know. Knowing someone has seen my work keeps me going and making more art.

In celebration I'm offering a Give Away. If you leave a comment, I'll have a drawing and send the winner a PDF of my journal labels that you can print and use any way you choose. So, I'll talk to you soon . . .

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Top 10 Quotes - March 2013

Some thought provoking words to ponder . . .

Top 10 Best Quotes – March 2013

1.  We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world....
--Jack Gilbert

2.  Our hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings. -- Rumi

3.  If something has a use but we don’t use it, it’s useless --Unknown

4.  So this is what I'm telling you: There is no should. There is no living up to your potential. There is just doing your life. --Unknown

5.  Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.  -- Lao Tzu

6.  I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really
going in. -- John Muir

7.  One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn't fall apart. --Linda Poindexter

8. For us there is only the trying. The rest is not our business. --T.S. Eliot

9.  Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads. --Erica Jong

10.  Listen to your life...See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moment and life itself is grace. - Frederick Beuchner

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Street Faces

Street Faces just appeared as I was working. I have this thing about faces, mainly that it's something which seems easy to me, maybe almost too easy. I actually try not to do them. Now I'm thinking Why? why would I deny that part of abstract expression when it just wants to flow so easily. Which leads me to believe it's something I will give free rein to, much more than I have been. For awhile, just see where it wants to go . . .

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sunny in Seattle

Weather update - for a few days (don't tell anyone) the weather in Seattle was sunny and so bright we all felt like moles coming up from the underground and staggering around blinded. It has been bitterly cold, much more "sink into your bones" cold than the temperature reflects. But that coldness has lent a clarity to the air and we can see snow covered mountains with amazing details and clear out almost to the Straits. The sky is so blue that it's like you've never seen blue before and find it impossible to describe the exquisite shade of it. 

But this too has passed and now we have fog which has obscured everything, all buildings, people, sky and there's no horizon anymore. If you dare to step outside you'll be greeted by (what feels like) a gale force wind that's freezingly cold and rain that's blown every which way sideways and has killed most every umbrella in town. So in weather like that you find us all inside reading books, making art, writing music and countless other creative pursuits. That's how we get things done. And it all gets thrown down and abandoned whenever the sun comes out again and we all run outside. If you live someplace where the sun shines almost all of the time, how do you get any creative work done? 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Give Them Orchids

Give them orchids, lots of orchids. This is from a photograph I'm altering by painting. There's always more to do but wanted to give you a new image to see. I was minding my own business and all of a sudden an onset of the flu moved in, despite having a flu shot already. Have heard this happened to alot of folks but you never think it will never be you. OK then, my philosophy is illness may knock me down but I get back up again and keep trying keep trying keep trying. Some very wonderful lovely bestest person sent me these orchids when they heard I was sick. I'm speechless with gratitude. So took a pic right away and propped myself up at the worktable with the resulting printout. Has kept me happily preoccupied and not thinking about how I feel and therein lies the blessing. Thank you K, I love you bunches and this painting is for you . . .

Monday, February 4, 2013


First Layer in a series of multiples. Whenever I start something new I put down a huge amount of different layers before ever getting to the final composition. How many? I usually lose count. This image has only about six layers so far I think. It already has some stamping along the bottom. Other layers to come will have some more stamping (different kinds) and alot alot of stencil work and probably a bit of lettering or handwriting here and there. It used to be that I'd add in some collage but I don't do that so much as I used to, at least not on paintings. I've been practicing making the paint do different effects instead. Which is not to say that I don't still do collage, but in a different format now. The cool thing about layers is that it's just FUN and nothing but Playtime to do them. That's why I lose track of how many I do. Do you use layers in your work? Do you lose track of them like me?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Currently January 2013

Here's a couple of things I've been working on. Short post. More later . . . 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Basic Blues

Painting just begun in basic blue and then combined with a photocollage seems like a good journal background. Not much to say right now, having some health issues and resistance to doing much of anything in January. It's freezing here and the sole intent is just to get to the next warm place which usually involves quantities of coffee. A few times every year I allow myself the comfort books and so I'm currently re-reading A Wrinkle in Time. What? Yes it's a children's book but I still love it so re-read it. Do you have a favorite children's book? Remember: Leaving a comment is always a good idea!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Sneaking Up on Procrastination
an 8-Step program
walk past your worktable
pause for a moment to see what's there
mindlessly rearrange a few things and
   straighten just a bit
go do something else
walk past your worktable
make a clear space in the middle
go do something else
walk past your worktable
go hunting and gathering for a few supplies for
   what you want to do next
put a pile of these supplies on your worktable
go do something else
walk past your worktable
rearrange the pile of supplies there
go do something else
walk past your worktable
sit down and stare at the supplies
put whatever is the first step
   (a blank piece of paper or canvas)
    out into the middle
think about what you want to do
go do something else
walk past your worktable
sit down and add something to your project,
   some dabs of paint, some marks,
   some collage
keep doing this for 15 minutes and
   don't stop moving your hands
go do something else
walk past your worktable
make some marks
go do something else
goto your worktable
sit there for awhile
make some more marks if you
   feel like it
just practice sitting in the space and
    feeling good about it
go do something else

repeat steps as needed, maybe all in one day or over a week or . . . 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Market Day

Day trip to the market on a rare sunny day to start off the new year. This is painting on a photo I took while browsing and breathing and freezing. It's taking awhile to come out of the holiday stupor, blinded by the joy and fury of the season and rushing about to various locations just to be together. And back to the routine of the day job and coming home in complete darkness that made this sunny picture seem like a dream. Meanwhile my deadline to finish the Sketchbook Project is rapidly approaching and I still have miles to go before it's done. Of course it wouldn't be Really Sage if I'd finished it last November or some other early date. Telling you about this in writing here on this blog means that I WILL finish it and not just give up and let it go. Is there anyone else out there who's finishing their SB project too? Pleez send me a comment and let me know I'm not all alone out here . . .