Monday, October 19, 2009

Going West

8"x8" canvas, monotype, acrylic, screen, sandpaper, tissue paper and crackle paste. I've used crackle paste before with mixed results....this time I applied it very thick and with color mixed into the paste. I began with two prints but along the way I salvaged two parts of two prints of the compass. Things sometimes disappear in the process of art making.
With my meditating and writing I was reminded of the years I spent living in the Central Valley of California...years raising our two sons. The winters in this area are damp, cold with dense fog and the summers have blistering heat. Some of the phrases from my writing are written on the sides of the canvas:" Hot dry days sinking into cool" and "Wind binding my heart tired and frail". The California delta has it's beauty and wildlife but I could never feel settled or at home,yet we lived there over 18 years. When the time was right, when the boys were on their own, and as a widow, I sold everything and moved to the beach...a good decision for me and I found" home" here.


  1. Ooooooo...crackle paste...I've been tempted by it every time I see someone else using's been on my wish list for a very very long time, I just might break down and pick some up (or ask for it for Christmas!)

    This piece is mighty pretty, I love the colors and textures, it has a real sense of place. (I'm still pondering my little pretty things that I started this weekend, I'm still dreaming.)

  2. Wonderful mixed media piece Mary Ann.
    I'm smiling because I've been "crackling" my self not cracking but crackling :)

    Wonderful you have found "home" :)

  3. "tired and frail heart" "binding"...oh, to look back at those times, those feelings, and around you now in your HOME, at the beach, with life-giving-water splashes! and your work thrives with you. lots of spirit in this piece, the feel of that western earth, the symbol in the center...could that be you? centered!!

  4. the crackling is such an interest..I have relished browsing at your lovely works~elk

  5. Mary Ann--I love the feeling that this piece gives of what Central Calif. really feels like: hot and dry, brown and crackling from the hot sun in the summer. I think you have captured that completely. I think that the circle in the center represents the compass, is that right? And the dark line is pointing to the West. At least that is what I see. And, you ended up as far west as you could go: Santa Cruz! Right on the beach. How lucky you are to live in a place that feels like home to you. I just received an email from my friend who lives in Aptos and she said the same thing. Only difference is that she is alone, single, and very happy with her situation because she feels that other people have made her life difficult and it is better to be alone and happy. Nice that Santa Cruz has accomplished that for the two of you (yet in different ways.)

  6. This is a great piece of work and the use of crackle paste is inspired, I will have to give it a try sometime shortly. Congratulations!

  7. Yes, you have hit it. It translates as time going to fast and to slow, all at the same time. Like it! Like it!~

  8. Home is where the heart resides. I so appreciate how you have created a home for your self, connected with Pablo and said "yes" to your life. The textures here are superb, and the whole piece just works!

  9. Wonderful that you moved to the beach and made a new home that feels so right. Ideal for a new start ... a new life.
    Your mixed media piece is great, Mary Ann. I can feel the hot dry days.... like January,February in South Africa

  10. I like this crackle effect and also hearing aobut your life lived in a place that was not home, and now in a place that is home. I love to hearing over and over how you chose you home, could know yourself well enough to know where that would be. I like the colors here too, they differ from your usual

  11. Laura, crackle paste is fun but uneven in results.
    Thank you...colors and texture and my directions for this series.

    Jo, Thank I'm smiling about your "crackling"! ha

    Nancy,Thank you for your comments...true "home" is here. The center is a compass but surely a metaphor for me works!

    elk, Loving the crackle paste! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  12. wow! every time i think i've found my favorite, you come up with still another to add to my list of favorites of favorites! this one is right at the top of that list! and the story that goes with it!

    i've an ongoing list for my next trip to the art supply shop and i just added crackle paste to it - can't wait to use it, thanks to you! and i think the surprise of how it may come out is going to be the best part of using it! ok, so i say that NOW! :)

    great post, lady!

  13. Teri, Thanks for "seeing" this piece so thoughtfully. When I moved here I knew only the real estate agent! It is a friendly community and it didn't take long to make friends.

    Ian, Thank you so much, I feel honored as I have just been enthralled with your latest admiration! ha

    Pat, You are a treasure and I appreciate our creative connection!

  14. Leslie, I'm holding your words "the textures are superb...the whole piece just works"...thank you!

    Robyn, No matter the and dry is the key!
    Moving to the beach was one of my best ideas!

  15. Your post raises my issues as I face the years of my life and there are no easy answers to any of the questions.
    California is a landscape of extremes and where we live a micro-climate universe.
    I was down in your area on Monday, dropping off our daughter at the university. My drive back on HWY 1 was spent with many stops along the way, even though the weather was from a little sun to a drizzle or sprinkling of rain to a brief downpour, all brought on by winds. Still I had the best time.

    Thank you for sharing

  16. more of your fabulous colors and textures - wonderful Mary Ann :)

  17. Egmont, The coastline of California is quite remarkable...if you drove up past Davenport, Half Moon Bay you saw some delightful views. Perfect time of year for a drive on the coast!

    B&W, Thank you so much...always glad when you visit!

    Jeane, These four seemed to demand more color than I had expected...the next yellows and greens...not my favorites so we shall see.