Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Solstice

Mixed media, acrylic. 20"x20" Rives BFK 'Solstice 4"

I've been reading "The Return of the Light" by Carolyn McVickar Edwards...a wonderful book. A true time of transition and hope. The storms have been pounding our little coast and everything is wet, every leaf, every pebble....wet.
I've been in the studio and pleased with a second insightful critique. Determination and gratitude follow me to the work table and easel...doing my best to keep discouragement out of the mix. I still visit and watch for all your lovely posts and wish everyone a safe and joyful Christmas and Winter Solstice.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Taking a Winter Break for Now...

Funny about life...not funny ha-ha but funny in the way of surprising and fascinating changes. I entered blogland in 2008 and shorty after became life threatening ill...I recovered in a way that allowed me to continue art making and blogging and lots of other loves in life. Recently the road took a turn, I have been wanting to create 40 new pieces, publish a book of collected works of my art, set up a website and with that said, caught myself in a slowdown. I was gifted with a new and renewed boost through a critique and I believe a seasonal change. From summer to autumn gave me a regenerative boost of art making mojo! With all that said I have had to still face the facts of time and energy and desire. Don't get me wrong, I love my life but something has to give way and clearly my time on blogland has reached a needed break for now. I need and so want to focus on this journey...maybe one of my last...oh dear, I'm getting dramatic again but truly time is an issue. So for now and through the winter I'm turning off my comments, turning for now away from the happy busy life of commenting and getting me to the studio. I'll post with new work because the blog is such a perfect venue for revealing and cataloging new work and it also allows me the thread of connection I am unable to sever in this change. Carry on fellow bloggers this is a rich and supportive community...I have reaped tons of virtual friends and found playmates galore. I know we all understand as artists the pull of pursuing those strong desires to...just work!

Update: Have had serious withdrawals from blogging! Looking forward to returning in the Spring.

Friday, November 12, 2010

November flowers

Four years ago today Paul (aka Pablo) and I were married. This is me holding my November bouquet...the last of the Hydrangeas and keeping the rich fall and winter colors. The same flowers were repeated on the tables with the compliment of rich blue table cloths with candles. The bouquet was actually quite heavy and I balanced it with my beverage of choice...Proseco. Today we are celebrating with written words and a quiet dinner. Hurray for love and especially for last loves!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fresh Eyes

This piece has shrunk from 20"x20" to 16"x16" and the former had two windows but the finished piece alas, has none. The title stays the same "Fields of Boaz". acrylic, waxed thread, tissue paper collage and light molding paste. It has been quite a journey...somewhere in this paper is embedded the first page of the Book of Ruth (in Norwegian) ...I was getting dizzy from all the changes but thank goodness Rives BFK is strong stuff and it has reached it's end point for me.

I was complaining to friend Deena several weeks ago that I needed a critique...fresh eyes, support, collaboration, work was feeling slow. Actually I was feeling as though I was working in slow motion and I was longing to get out of my own way. Dear friend and wonderful person that she is... listened! For my birthday I received 4 critique sessions with a well respected artist here in Santa Cruz!! It was conditional on the grounds that we hit it off on our first meeting. Lisa came over yesterday and we placed the work on the floor for a good view. I am so pleased...first we did hit it off and second she gave me her fresh look, asked great questions, interesting reactions in a clear and respectful manner. I wrote down a list of new "takes" on my work, new clarity on my direction. I've had solid critiques at the university long ago and this was so appreciated. Along with new energy, I'll be planning on re-connecting with so called completed work and I have new plans to expand into my ongoing goal of producing forty new pieces. Always hard for me to go back into work but it is necessary as Pablo is doing re-writes on his first draft, I will re-enter older work... willing to accept a more alive completion. Tell me about your critique experiences? Have you found them helpful? after completing art courses...not expecting a pass or fail but just better understanding...supportive?

Mandala Update: While all this excitement with the critique has been going on, the mandala has been moving slowly. Base coat on and a strong desire to add layers. The number 8 (my personal favorite) and squaring the circle is also a strong pull so I'll give it a go!

Friday, October 29, 2010

First day results

Working title: "Fields of Boaz", 20"x20", Rives BFK, light molding paste, bubble wrap impressions, collage painted tissue paper, acrylic.This is the result of first efforts in the studio for my ongoing autumn series. I had better get busy before I face the big winter sleep! BUT first, I'll create a personal mandala. I had lunch with my friend Florie and she impressed me with the balancing effects of creating a mandala. I have been so busy these past few weeks, both good and bad that I do need to get a better footing before going back into studio...I need to clear my head and heart and I think creating a mandala is a great idea. I plan on stopping at the party store and picking up cake rounds (cardboard) and having a go at it this weekend. I have a book "Creating Mandalas" but I think I'll just begin and see what happens, my goal is balance, centering, and seeing whatever else shows up!

Tomorrow is my last birthday celebration...a morning with friend Deena at the Sanderling's Cafe at the Seascape Resort. This place is a favorite of ours as it has mind bending ocean views, good food and all around welcoming spirit.
I have my new phone to figure out and my camera manual to read...presents to enjoy...this has been a great birthday along with all the good wishes from my dear blogger friends...thank you! Don't forget to VOTE!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Neptune's View

This one goes way back to the late 80's. The first time I remember combining my photos with my papers to create a scene or story. I took this photo of Neptune sculpture in Austria and placed him as the center view...I was trying to make art from vacation photo choices. It measures 5"x6", acrylic, photo, painted tissue paper and assorted colored papers.

Saturday Pablo and I put on a carport sale with 30 of our neighbors in our large complex. We hired a security man for traffic control and a few neighbors elected to hand out maps and direct for parking. Our clubhouse members dragged out the BBQ, bake sale items and drinks were available for a price. We had over twenty signs up, Craig's list and balloons. It was misty throughout the day but we got a good crowd...300 cars. OMG it was so much work to gather our crap, price it and bargain and then clean up! At the end of the day the Salvation Army truck came by and picked up what was left. We made about $200 ...the HARD WAY!! As for us...our last carport sale!

With a click here and a click there I have screwed up this computer...I have a call into computer guy. It never fails to happen and so I will be in limited circulation for a few days.
On a different note, today is my birthday! I am amazed and grateful I have had 66 years of through storms and calm but still grateful! Out to dinner tonight and a new camera too!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Found Legacy

These two pieces began as 'found pieces' giving the look of old and tattered and torn. My journal entry began as my first recall of autumn. Very sketchy images as in a dream...I do remember my father carrying me to a hospital doorway (3-4 years old) and seeing for the first time my 'other' grandmother. She didn't smile but I remember she had kind eyes and a glass with a straw and her bed was green metal. It was our only meeting from that words exchanged, within days I became her last granddaughter. Over the years I wondered many times what it would have been like to have known her. I have her chin, nose and eyes and when I was young and wild, I was told "I was just like my grandmother!' I was also told she owned a laundry in the early 1900's and did beautiful handwork and crochet.

The blue piece measures approx. 12"x12", cloth trim, photo of a paper mache' prayer bowl of mine, paper collage, cheese cloth and acrylic. The red/orange piece is 12"x12" and focuses on an old Norwegian design...I cut this design into a rubber stencil, cheese cloth, acrylic and I used a Vaseline resist for the gray acrylic.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Italian Connection!

One multi-colored silk scarf from a silk factory in the area of Lake Como, one muted purple scarf from Venice and black and purple polka dot trouser socks from Milan!
My friend, Deena just arrived home from a wonderful vacation in Italy. She hiked the Dolomite's, swam in the Adriatic Sea, visited Tuscany, Florence, Lake Como, Venice and Milan and still had time to buy gifts! She tells me everyone in Italy (both women and men) are wearing scarves. I'm unpacking and ironing my new and old scarves for my Italian connection!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Hanging Some StarsTonight"

What's on my walls? Another image from the archives of Blue Sky Dreaming. 61/2"x71/2" acrylic, silver, fabric and thread collage and graphite. The title is "Hanging Some Stars Tonight" a line from a Laurie Anderson song. I was seriously listening to her in the 90's and this particular song was about hanging stars of Marlyn Monroe, Kennedy and others of our time. As I had recently become a widow, I created this mixed media piece thinking of the deep meaning. I painted the silver ladder and because I am afraid of heights I attached silver ropes. Metaphorically I hung my husband's star and when I pass this little piece even to this day , I can't help but smile. For me, in this case, art heals and sweetens life.

I don't consider my self high maintenance but I barely manage two maybe three days a week in the studio and the rest of my days are spent on lifes little chores. This week, pedicure, hair cut, produce, groceries, car wash, lawyer appointment and ongoing exercise class...oh yes, laundry,. cooking, fun with Pablo, coffee dates and I'm retired! Not all the work flows...sometimes it takes days, weeks to connect with a piece and bring it to the real world. So because my ongoing work isn't ready, I will fill-in with my older work or hopefully something interesting. I like the blogging and staying connected so expect me here but just not always with new work!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Turning Now

20"x20" Rives BFK, acrylic, graphite, collage, stencil, molding paste. I began with pieces of construction plans that I've kept of a house I owned well over 15 years ago. I just like looking at all the lines, footage and notes...plans for a home...full of potential. As I added in collage and the border stencil I began writing to try to find the autumn connection. I wrote this:

Floor plans displaying the places to load in and shelve summer's carefree memories.
Gone now
Turning from warm sand and eye squinting sun
Foamy waves tickling toes and ankles
Gone now
Turning now to roof lines, windows and necessary built in spaces
Turning and stepping into cool mornings and shadowed yards
Turning now!

I fell in love with this green...not sure about autumn colors as here at the beach there are few reminders of autumn...except of course, the light has changed. My next two pieces are smaller and I'm adding more fabric collage and some lino prints. I like cutting shapes with my tools and rolling out ink...the comfort of old printmaking habits!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Good to be Home!

Actually I never left but I did enjoy expanding my play to the Willow Manor Ball What fun! Thank you Willow and thank you to everyone who read my post and to those who also left a made the fun all the sweeter!

Today I'm back in my own world looking at finishing the first in my series of five 'accepting autumn". A part of the 40 pieces but a strong focus on the many layers of the turning of nature and of the human heart. These five are drawing me to design, to textile, to weaving of stories in mixed media.
Have a great weekend and again ....What fun yesterday!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Long Drive Ahead!

MY DATE ARRIVES! He is entranced!

My wish has come and white diamond bangle from such a generous man!

My diamond hairclip is perfect for my hair style which might be described as a sweptback and up style.

Alexander McQueen left this earth with a slice of heaven.

"Perhaps the last piece touched by the designer's hands, it was made by McQueen especially for xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx, his long time friend and muse. This simply elegant silk charmeuse gown with its collar of silver feathers, xxxxxxx appeared as the vision of an angel". Alix Browne.

click to enlarge as this is a most beautiful dress and I too feel like an angel! I am wearing Jimmy Choo silver low heeled peep towed pumps which will be perfect for dancing cheek to cheek!


The Rolls trunk is packed with an assortment of boxes, trunks and leather valises...the Inspector assures me it is safe and necessary for the trip to WILLOW MANOR . Mr. Poirot double checked and tells me there are no explosives.

We have started our long trip and have begun with the Inspector and Mr Poirot singing a round of French folk tunes accompanied by Kato...a master musician. I am drinking champagne!
See you at the Ball!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Don't Tell Willow!

Not yet for Willow's eyes. Mr. Poirot is sending this bronze boxed tower of Belgium chocolate truffles to Willow Manor as a hostess gift and I don't want to spoil her surprise! Mr. Poirot, Hercule is so thoughtful and generous with this gift...I'm beginning to hope for a bauble or bangle for our date on the 30th. Lately I've been loving the combination of black and white diamonds. Do I dare hope?

Studio update: I've been a week away from working in the studio so today feels good but somewhat awkward. I have a piece started and I'll need to re-enter fresh....forgetting about where I was and where I was going. These five new pieces of the forty are about accepting autumn...turning. I have done some meditating and writing and after lunch... I just need to get started...take a step or a leap or put paint to paper and then I'll know what to do next! Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two for One

I have decided on Inspector Clouseau as my driver to the Willow Manor Ball. Inspector Clouseau was very persuasive and offered himself and his loyal houseboy (his title) Kato for the long evening. It seems both are masters of disguise and Kato will be serving tea for Hercule and myself during the drive. The inspector tells me he is also a master at both the French and English accent so as to help Mr. Poirot in communication needs? Because he is on an extended leave of absence (no explanation) he is available for hours beyond normal chauffeur hours. This could work out well or not...I hope Pablo doesn't have to rescue me like last year!

I have hired this Yellow Rolls Royce and it requires a person experienced in driving on the English side. Isn't it a beauty? Wasn't there a wonderful movie "The Yellow Rolls Royce, that featured short stories in the life of this fabulous car? I'll check Netflix. No matter, Hercule Poirot and I will be cozy with our tea and more. I understand an Ermine vintage throw will be available to keep our legs warm. Is this getting exciting?!

I have been under the weather this past week with an infection and have been chugging handfuls of antibiotics...I will not miss this event! Another dress fitting and tomorrow they deliver my diamond hair clip. Willow is buying flowers and I'm sure planning a few surprises! See you there!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Heavenly Call

20"x20", acrylic, collage, burnt edges and stencil. This is the fifth in my quest for 40 pieces. Forty pieces connected to me and my daily meditations and take on life. Recently I came across another reference to 40 in a mystical writing...the quote: "forty days before conception, a heavenly voice calls out that this one is destined to partner with that one". The idea is expanded on and explained that each of us is a spark of a different soul type and that certain soul types are more likely to connect. I like it all for it's mystical beauty and also using the strength of the number 40. I find the reference to 40 days before conception as mind bending! smile. In this piece I tried having burnt edges and I lit the paper over the sink only to be shocked at the high flames and so fast! Scared and grateful I was over the sink..a quick spray of water and the fire was out! whew! Not willing to burn the house down for my art!

Laboring over my website, I'm loading my images into galleries...slow going for me. I began my art making as a print maker and I so appreciate seeing art through the separation of glass (Plexiglas). For me, it gives the work a beautiful finish and also a feeling of a discovered artifact. My frames are a simple black or natural wood frame and the paper images are floated rather than matted. My price will reflect this framing. Opinions?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mysterious Escort

A dream come true! Yes, yes I know his obituary was printed in the New York Times in the 70's but dear Hercule Poirot will not die along with his little gray cells. He has accepted my invitation to attend the Willow Manor Ball as he is intrigued by the suspicious platter of "dip" served last year by a mystery guest also interested in tracking all the shenanigans on the patio and behind the potted palms. I will be rocking out in the ballroom while he attends to his snooping!

Update: I am still interviewing for a driver to the rented car (photos later) and I'm down to three candidates....I have my dress but may need to find an interesting diamond hair clip...I'm off to some serious jewelry shopping! Mark your calendars!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Going Waaaay Back!

All the way back to the late 80's! 12"x8" acrylic, gold paint, collage and graphite on paper. At that time I had recently returned from an extended family vacation in Austria and I was enamored with the images of Gustav Klimt. Room after room of his work and all the glittering gold. This piece spoke of my interest in ancient dreamlike settings with the addition of gold. I had never used gold before and I'm sure it was inspired by Klimt. Klimt was not the only great artist that impressed me on that trip...wonderful contemporary artists as well but Klimt was my connection to gold!

The Holiday is moving along. This evening we return to the beach with bags of stale bread. Gathering at the waters edge with prayers and song, we will all toss our bread crumbs into the moving waters...a ritual to begin the forgiving process as this act is a metaphor for releasing our sins of the year...being clearly washed away. It's quite a sight when the birds arrive, the children running, dogs barking and the bread tossing. Enjoy your week and thank you again for all the lovely good wishes!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Apples dipped in Honey

It's that time of year again! The High Holidays, a time to return to ourselves, a look back over the year and our choices and so much more. Tonight it begins... sunset services at the beach with a dinner picnic. The congregation will bring in the sabbath with candles, bonfire, prayers and songs. Wednesday it's Rosh Hashanah Eve and after services we will be greeted with long tables covered in platters of apples and bowls of honey for dipping...a sweet beginning to a new year. Ending the Holidays on September 18 with Yom Kippur...the High Holidays are referred to as the "Days of Awe"!

I won't have as much studio time this week and next so I will post some unfinished work or maybe some re-posts of personal favorites. I'm just about ready to begin my website and that is very exciting....I will let you know when that is in place. Also getting excited about the Willow Manor Ball coming up soon...I have my DATE, my DRESS and I've hired a SPECIAL car, I'm still interviewing for discreet drivers?...I'll be posting all the details when Willow has the Mr. Linky available. This is my third visit to the Manor Ball and I've never been disappointed! (SMILING!!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Temple Bells

22"x22" Rives BFK, acrylic, photo collage, Chinese newsprint. Rummaging around in my collage box I found these temple bells and that began this piece. After meditation, I wrote:

High on the hill the bong of the bell
Reverberating in heart and lungs
Now each breath in- along with each heartbeat trails
The soft fading echo of this call
Life is such we need these reminders
Every breath in and exhale out to the
Hallowed sound of our perfect lives.

There is a place here in the redwoods called Land Of The Medicine Buddha and I have only visited twice on Open House Days...the sounds are rich and I will always remember how this deep low sound lodged itself in my heart and throat...a beautiful feeling.

In spite of my summer wishes, Autumn has arrived. The air, even here by the ocean is drier, turning leaves and children walking back to school. I have a few projects to complete on the outside of the house this week and next. I've ordered some plaid shirts and leather clogs from Lands' End so I am ready for the change and all that it holds. I hope everyone is safe with "Earl" storming through the East Coast!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quality of Sunlight

22"x22" Rives BFK, magazine collage, acrylic, molding paste, house paint, stencil, tar gel and graphite. I have been having fun with my new magenta, adding it to yellows and oranges. I used a turquoise house paint and stayed out of deep space keeping my images flat and simple. The four squares hold sun shine for me and if there might be a "call to prayer" in this piece then it would be a call to the beauty of golden hot sunlight. After having been in and out of fog and mist most of the summer...these past few days have been a delight!

Wednesday Pablo(excellent sherpa) and I hauled our books, chairs, towels and lunch to a local beach for a couple of hours. Magnificent heat warming our lotion covered skin in contrast to a 'cool down' in the foamy waves washing up on our legs and leaving us deeper in the wet sand! I sat in my chair all teary eyed looking at the children wet and sandy, little boys were digging deep holes in the sand? babies both laughing and crying at their first trip to the water. I was particularly taken with the women at the beach...all sizes and ages...100lbs to 300, a few pregnant and even women older than me...yet there we were in our bathing suits loving our bodies at least enough to show up at the beach and enjoy sun and sand. My gratitude for this sun bright sunlight a prayer!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I like the word variety and it's many definitions: absence of uniformity, quantity or collection of different things and my favorites: medley, mixture, range and diversity. I've done many series over the years and stayed with a theme with narrow variations.

With this project each piece (3)was begun differently and used different materials and had a different mood. I'm enjoying my tools, my process and I'm believing as a whole, at the completion of 40 pieces I will be able to recognize it all being my and line.

20"x20" Rives BFK, molding paste,handmade stencil, collage and acrylic. From the beginning I was responding to the words "a call to prayer" and feeling so upset about the flooding, landslides and general world suffering...I began working with this simple composition, I sanded, glazed, sanded until I had a feeling of a "call". Sorry about the tilted photo.

Tomato growing update: I picked the red ones...sliced them and took a bite...ugh...the worst tasting tomato of my life! We didn't get that much sun but I did water...awful texture and a bitter much for Topsy Turvey at the beach...I'm off to the Farmer's Market where one can get such a wild variety (that word again) heirloom, big, little and even an assortment of colors!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Thursday we are going to the Redwood Grove (stage and seating in the center of a grove) up at UCSC and be enthralled with a production of Othello. I'm hoping the sun will come out and I'm taking cushions for the chairs. I understand this production will be set with a 40's military setting. We are reading up on Othello to remind ourselves of the characters and some of the takes me awhile to get into the rhythm. We will picnic and I've planned a tomato & peach salad with citrus dressing, Gorgonzola creme sauce/ pasta, ice tea and cupcakes from our new cupcake store...actually I'm buying everything prepared and just packing in containers and taking one of those hot/cold carriers. All this will be our early celebration of Pablo's birthday on the 27th! I'm excited!

Art Note: I'm on my third piece out of 40 but who's counting! ha I bought some liquid acrylics to change up my palette and I'm loving Quinacridone Magenta. I usually keep my colors basic and mix my own mixtures but this magenta has a fresh quality...very bright, clean color.

I was asked about my sander: It is a SKIL multi-finishing sander. Fits in your hand nicely and comes with a load of attachments for varied sanding jobs.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rough Beginnings!

Isn't that always the way? Got excited about beginning my project and started loading in all sorts of colors, shapes etc...The blue vertical lines are no more but they might return. I had to stop as I sanded about six small holes in the paper. Not very interesting shapes (the holes) so I patched them with linen tape. I decided to let this be the first step and move on. I can come back with my box cutter and see if I want to do a little cutting away and rearranging later in the project! For me it has a garden feel and because this project isn't well organized yet...a garden feel is okay with me. 20"x20" Rives BFK, acrylic, stencil, crayon and tar gel.

I read in my Kabbalah book a chapter on "certainty". A line of wisdom struck me: "When challenges appear overwhelming, inject Certainty...The light is always there!"

Garden Update: Finally, out of 20 little green tomatoes... I just picked a red one!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Photographing "Home"

"Home" measures 21"x 30" framed, acrylic, collage, graphite. At one time this was a part of a canvas at least 48" wide...part of a triptych. It was my habit to get out my box cutter and begin cutting away what I liked and separating it from what wasn't working especially when the composition was beyond repair. So by moving bits around and collaging again, this piece "Home" was hangs next to my computer and greets me every morning... it's a favorite of mine. I've been spending time today photographing this piece and other earlier work to include in my portfolio.

This weekend Pablo is helping me research the spiritual, mystical significance of the number 40. I've committed to painting a total of 40 pieces...a number that appears and reappears in biblical history. "40 years of wandering in the desert" and "40 days and nights of rain" to name a few. So far we have found this reference: "It is the product of 5 and 8, and points to the action of grace (5), leading to and ending in revival and renewal (8)." I like that very much and will also look to the Kabbalah for more information. For me, it adds another deeper dimension to the work...a spiritual connection.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Silk Purse Forever

About 12 years ago I joined a 'Vein of Gold' study group as a way of meeting kindred spirits and we all became a close knit group for years. Annie and I hit it off immediately and a friendship was born. Long story short Annie took ill and during her last months was kind enough to introduce me to her very artistic family...her daughter Patrice (we had several gallery shows together) and her sister also Patrice and I know her as Pat. Pat lives in LA and has a blog LaLa in LA. She is also an artist and has a variety of making to purse creating at this time...her workmanship is stellar and her creative projects could easily be considered 'red carpet quality'. With that said and a reminder of how I've rambled on and on about my outfit, shoes for the family was beyond a surprise last week when this beauty arrived by mail...I was dropped to the chair by this amazing and generous gift... with a note saying in part this purse would be both from her and as a legacy from Annie! This beautiful creation is handmade using silk embroidery with contrasting silk lining. Notice the pocket on the inside. Also the white bag created for safe storage!! I can say this: This purse will be my dress up purse, my keepsake for now and until my "Forever". Please visit Pat and enjoy her projects!

Studio Update: I've been gessoing 20"x20" Rives BFK. I so like the number 20 that my new plan is to paint 20 of these sheets and when I'm done 20 more, mixed media pieces, more abstract and relying on process as well as journals and meditation. Having this large expanse of work ahead of me feels freeing and allows me the exploration I'll need to 'find' a challenging new way. I've cleaned the studio and ready to begin!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Perils of Clear Tar Gel

10"x10" panel, acrylic, 2 stencils. This is the last of my 'witness' series as well as my summer materials exploration. I can see wonderful uses for clear tar being the ability to pour a thin or thick line. I used my bent paper cup pouring on most everything. On this piece I used the tar gel in the stencil colored with red oxide denoting separation from my shadow birds. Also used ordinary acrylic for the other stencil of cream and yellow. I look into my trees and see shadows of birds living out their simple lives....I hear them much better than see them. Wrapping up these three, I used tar gel, acrylic encaustic and crackle paste...anyone of these will show up in later work.

I've closed up my oil painting studio on the deck and converted it to acrylic. For years I was an oil painter and for a few short weeks (only warm mornings) I tried to return and for me it was trying to step back into the same place in the river. I have acquired art making habits and acrylic offers me the best opportunity to create. I gave it a fair try and used new gels and driers but for now, it's back to acrylic. Starting new work using both inside and outside studios...possibly more abstract and leaning on my journal and ongoing meditations.

When I first moved to the beach as a widow, I ordered from Daniel Smith (art supplier), a huge stack of Rives BFK paper. I especially like it for printmaking and mixed media. In my dramatic moments I told myself when I'm done with the paper...I could easily be ready to die. I'm now on my second large order of Rives along with a 4 inch stack of assorted papers given to me from a friend's studio. I guess I'll stick around awhile longer! ha

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Acrylic Encaustic

acrylic, fabric collage and paper collage, 10'x10' , cradled clayboard panel, acrylic beeswax....color mixed with jar of soft gel (matte) with the addition of raw umber + glazing liquid rubbed in as to create a patina. Good to add these new materials to my studio. My pulmonary problems and lack of a place for good ventilation has ended my encaustic work so this is my second best effort..not bad results but of course, no sweet intoxicating scent of true beeswax. The photo turned out brighter than the actual piece but I posted it anyway. The little birds are my ongoing subject as I watch them with their own brand of communication. I see the little brown bird turn away from the others' gaze...saying: "I don't like you" or "try a little harder, I think I like you"...not for me to know but I still enjoy the show!

Home from the big family wedding. Took almost no photos and will wait for a copy of more professional shots. Everything about the wedding reflected the ideas and style of the bride and groom...well done indeed! Families showed up from Boston, Florida, Colorado and Santa Cruz...nice to connect with everyone and also to watch the next generation step into their married lives and also creating new families. The wedding was at a winery and yes, everyone was in the mood to party and celebrate...good fun!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Putting on the Ritz...

...Ritz Carlton that is! Sunday Pablo and I cleaned up a little (I wore my new gladiator sandals to see how they hold up) and we drove 50 miles up the coast to this beautiful hotel and golf course. We went in the late afternoon for drinks and light food, sitting in the sunny conservatory lounge. There we looked out on a spectacular view and I became a country bumpkin...couldn't stop taking in all the people watching beginning with the wealthy golf club couples having drinks, the Asian-Indian families (From the Silicone Valley) enjoying a birthday, young couples with children and Pablo and me. The service was perfect and the grilled vegetable sandwich and presentation a delight. After drinks and a bite we both were served a carafe of coffee each and we were told to relax and enjoy...we did! The drive home was special as well...the sun setting behind us...the beaches thinning out to a perfect summer day ending! My sandals pinched a little on the toes but will be generally comfortable for the family wedding this Saturday...a great dry run!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Re-post "Birdsong"

I have been interested in all the delightful "Buried Treasures" that have turned up in Blogland. This is an idea from Seth Apter of The Altered Page and it is great to see earlier posts of so many artists that I regularly follow.

I chose a post from early July 2008. The interesting part of my choice is that my heart has stayed close over the years to favorite images and metaphors. Trying not to be a broken record but rather express myself with similar images in new and different ways....enjoy!


"A garden complete with tile, palm tree, windows and a singing duet. A place to stop, pure pleasure, soft morning light or afternoon breeze...a place to come back to, yard, patio, home. The song is also simple, not looking forward or back but timeless serenade. This is the beginning and ending this is the call, this is the sanctuary of needed rest, available heart, available song."

"Writing is a big part of my art making. It leads me to the imagery and sometimes defines the images. I'm in a place in my life where I still love painting but I'm no longer as interested in building a career. I have kept a journal well over 25 years...almost daily writing. It has served as my true sanctuary, my mentor and my learning tool. I wrote the above piece shortly after gluing down the two yellow birds." It gives me joy.

This week I continue with the images of birds and using new Golden materials. In the studio I'm stirring up some 'clear tar gel' to pour and's a challenge for sure!

Heat has finally arrived at the beach. Regularly floating in the pool late afternoons...! I keep reminding myself I can do that...I can lighten my workload...quit early and go to the pool. Pablo is knee deep in his writing and is also talking himself into some play time...! He swims and I float!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Crackle Paste

10"x10" clayboard cradled panel, acrylic, collage, light molding paste, shell, thread and crackle paste. I've always had mixed results with crackle paste but this time it behaved and gave me some very nice cracks. I've been exploring several new materials and glazes on three small panels. I had plans to do some "pours" of color but I've all but run out of space...I may come back to that idea.

My subject is about birds, not any birds but the ones that visit me on my deck. I don't claim to recognize different types of birds (seagulls are easy for me!) but mostly little brown and blue ones. I've been taken by them and their busy lives. Instead of painting...I find myself watching them and writing in my journal: I am neither an intruder or a comrade I am a witness to life here in my red and green leafed trees.

Have a great week!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sanctuary Views

Second in an inspired Sabbath piece. 15'x15' Rives BFK, acrylic, collage, graphite. I love sitting in the sanctuary at sunset looking out the windows seeing the treeline black against the sky all red, orange and pink. In my long life there have been many sanctuaries and so many beautiful windows...perfect for contemplation. The floor plans and architectural drawings are from an older European temple.The names written on the side are of the months of the year according to our lunar calendar ....year 5770.

Quiet summer week ahead for me. All set to continue to water my tomato plant...the little green tomatoes need sunshine and we've been fogged in for days!

I'm planning on using some new materials in the studio this week. GAC-100 and also will play with some Clear Tar Gel. Too cold to paint outside with oils but I'll gesso some papers to prepare when it gets warmer? Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Studio

Acrylic, 15"x15' Rives BFK paper, collage, trim, graphite. This one and another one was inspired at my Sabbath services last week. The prayers, the chants and rituals reminded me of ancient connections bringing to mind all the humans and all the humans connecting with the divine. I saw a dear friend and later, after services it was so great to hug and chat...break bread with everyone and nibble on sweets and tea.

Outside studio is going well...finally feeling more confident with mediums so I'm ready to gesso paper and begin. Deena and I have planned a midweek studio retreat for next week so the fun continues.

Fourth of July we are attending a neighborhood BBQ. Skirt steak, corn and and....! The weather promises to be sunny and warm so eating out under umbrellas will be divine. Some new people have moved into the neighborhood and I'm looking forward to meeting some new neighbors. We have (all retired) a dancer, a therapist (part-time yoga instructor) and a photography instructor...promising some interesting conversations. I'm a bit of a recluse...only going up to the pool for a daily floating session but even recluses need some laughs and Pablo is more of a 'people' person.

We shopped for that Panama Hat and found a beauty but it was way over the budget ($125) so he opted for a safari khaki hat that has a charming look all it's own. Now I need to find the perfect purse!

HAPPY JULY 4TH!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nostalgia 11"x11"

Years ago I was a printmaker day and night...especially loved relief printing and monotypes.
This last Thursday I was cleaning out my storage shed and rearranging art work in a neater fashion. I came upon both the wooden plate and this framed print. We had old fence boards on the side of the house long time ago and I cut and used them for relief prints, cutting with my tools...looking for angels in the grain of the wood. This one was printed black ink and I hand colored with watercolor.

I feel like the Italian cooks in my old neighborhood (they had their regular kitchens and then a summer kitchen set up outside). I'm painting a little on the deck with oils and then (these oils take a long time to dry) running inside and working with acrylics. Right now I have four oils and three acrylics in some beginning and middle stage. I'm not's fun actually! I'm not focusing on a strict line of a series but I know my writing, spirit connection, circles and squares will show up!

My great niece is getting married late July and I'm trying to find a complete outfit that looks good, feels comfortable and cool enough for late afternoon wedding outside! Today I picked up gladiator sandals and silver bangles for a modern touch and now this week I'll be searching for a great looking purse. I will be wearing white with a turquoise linen jacket. Because it will be late afternoon sunshine....I'm trying to talk Pablo into a Panama Hat...he's not sure! Have a great weekend everyone.... we are smack into summer days and nights...enjoy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Oil Painting Retreat" Continues

The first photo is of the three beginning pieces for our (Deena and me) 'oil painting retreat' earlier this month. I did one black/white, blue/orange/ and yellow/purple random acrylic base. The second photo shows progress made on the two of those pieces measuring approx. 15"x15". The blue/orange one has collage pieces and has a clear grid. I may paint out some of the grid or I was thinking I might cut them into smaller squares and collage them onto another paper. The one behind (yellows and lavenders) has just had shapes cut in with a dark color...more work needed. I have made so many re-discoveries about painting with oils. Drying time and finding the best medium have been the two stumbling blocks in returning to oils. I find myself researching all the mediums on the shelf which can be fun and expensive. Because of the slow drying time..I'll come back into the house for acrylic mixed media work....I just need to keep my brushes separated!

Today is Summer Solstice and hope everyone enjoys this nice long daylight! We still have more than our share of fog in the morning and the afternoons although sunny are on the cool side...could use a couple nice hot days!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Dad...Early years.

A photo of my sister (standing) my father and me on his lap. From early on he was a devoted father. I never remember a time when he wasn't available. Smart, funny, handsome, he had a big blue eyes and big warm hands and when he held your hand you couldn't help feeling loved and completely safe. He preferred the background...shy you might say and yes, stubborn too but there was never a day I didn't know he loved me. Now, that is a stable childhood. Happy Father's Day always!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's Always Something!

This is one of my candy stores errr... paint supply stores. I dropped in to one place to pick up YES glue and now I see I'm running low on Odorless paint thinner. I'll drop by this land of much would you like to bet I won't drive away with just odorless paint thinner?!

The weather has been great and my friend Dona drove over Monday for lunch!! She began with a chocolate martini and I started with champagne...altogether our lunch lasted four hours but wait we continued on to the bakery where she bought goodies for the family. We then changed in to swimsuits and took an hour or so for some swimming and more chatting! We have been BFF for 23 years and no plans to stop! Isn't it great to have such a good friend that a whole day goes by with just the fun of chatting!

Update: Annell of SOMETHINGS I THINK ABOUT has posted a piece of my artwork and has quoted my personal take on the subject of 'rejection' in art. Give her a visit...she creates lovely work and lives in an enchanted place...New Mexico!

There is a new show on's about aspiring artists and they are challenged each week with a show and elimination. The big winner at the end gets a show at the Brooklyn Museum and cash! It's on here at 10pm. Has anyone been following this show? Deena just gave me this: check it out!