Friday, December 26, 2014

"Glistening Thread"

12"x18", mottled painted stamped cotton, oil treated paper ... momigami, stenciled fabric, machine and hand stitching, hanging glass beads, digital photo of Dead Sea scroll .."Jeremiah"..on organza and screen printed Hebrew alphabet letter ...Aleph.
I wrote about my new direction on Dec.9th posting and here is my first effort in my story of the scribe and ancient holy writings. All of us artists accept the precepts of art making ...structure, unity and consistency and for me,  at this time, I need "story" to fully feel I've taken the piece to its completed form. Always surprised at what I 'think' the journey will be like and what actually shows up ...the mystery of my own artist life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Most Loved

My participation in the Roy G Biv search has come full circle. Its been fun and I've met some new artists and connected to new sites! This month is free color choice and I decided to post some of my  favorites.  I thought I might see a trend or color connection but so far its just a mixture of random favorites. The first piece (from top to bottom) is a mixed media work on paper and the second one as well ... both are from my series on the planets. The third is fabric and I love the layers as well as stitching on the machine and adding beads. The fourth was one of the first fabric pieces I put together and really showed me my direction in creating my own artifacts, my ancient stories.This last piece is just a portion of new work and honestly I always love the one I'm with ...was that a song? Truly my attention is on the work at hand and I live with all the potential. Sometimes I'm disappointed but its the joy of creating isn't it? Check out Jennifer Coyne Qudeen for more links to more artists posting more for the last of Roy G Biv for 2014!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Color Choices

This photo is of three piles of assorted fabrics, papers and trims ..3 palettes you might say of next images. I'm starting a new exploration and my inspiration is about ancient scribes, the remnants of the beautiful illuminations of sacred text. Pieces ravaged by time, secured in sealed jars, left to sand burials and thoughtless looters. I'm excited about putting together fabrics, sewing, beading and various images to produce my take on such magical texts. As usual it begins for me, reading my archeology magazine, visiting museum sites and reading books off my shelf that speak of ancient wisdom. At this point I'm filled with butterflies and some doubts because starting a new journey has so many unknown factors ... one step at a time ... !

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mosaic Gateway

12"x12" cradled wood panel, digital print on organza, flour paste resist, hand stamped cloth, turquoise beads and machine and hand stitching, painted netting.

The last wood cradled panel with the last intentional look at ancient mosaic imagery. Composing on paper and cloth allows for the adding onto and the cutting away of an image but this 12"x12" structure has kept me aware of my borders and edges... not always comfortable for me. The digital photo of the doorway was a part of a photograph I took years ago and never thought I would find the place for it. I finally used the last of my turquoise beads on this one and the upper cloth was a scrap from my first husbands suit pants. Nothing is safe around me!

New work ahead ... I've been doing a ton of writing, visiting museum sites and reading a few special books. I haven't quite found my direction so I imagine there will be some starts and stops some failed attempts and maybe even happy results ...I just regularly show up at the work table and things begin happening sooner or later. While my focus is in flux, I am gathering this years work into a 2015 calendar/planner.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Desert Brown

1. "Leaving Egypt" 2.  "Morning Oasis"  3. "Nightfall"

These three fabric pieces speak (in brown) of my desert series. Each one has a digital photo on fabric. I've never been to any part of the Middle East but I didn't let that slow down my desert dream. I prefer using my own photos so lets just say it was a challenge! The little one "Leaving Egypt" has a photo of the wetlands outside of San Francisco (my take on the muddy waters of the Red Sea) I added loose threads to express grasses and reeds. The leather X's are from an old purse. The "Morning Oasis" cloth photo is of a special oasis in the Southern California desert region. I've been there but couldn't use my photographs ... next best was to use a photo from an Internet site. The "Nightfall" dark palm studded oasis was a photo I took while watching the PBS documentary "Walking the Bible". I was surprised it came out at all as I've never photographed something on the TV. I'm not generally a big fan of brown but using all the tones and variations of brown helped set the desert mood.
It's always so much fun seeing other artists share their take on a color. Go to Jennifer Coyne Qudeen for a list of sites of "Brown" ... the continued search for Roy G Biv !

Monday, November 10, 2014

Celebrating 100,000!!!

Wow, Yes, I checked and I have had 100,000 pageviews on this blog Yippee!!
Almost every day or night I check my blog, post on my blog, think about posting on my blog, read comments and post comments and the list goes on. This has been a rich experience for me and I feel I've touched and been touched by some pretty wonderful artists doing what I do most days ... making art!
Thank you for visiting this site ... it allows me to complete the creative process last step in putting the work out into the world ... being seen. Thank you for accepting these pieces with open, friendly arms! Onto to the next 100,000!

This small photo of fireworks was taken at an Oakland A's (baseball) night game several years ago and now it's doing double duty as my best blow out celebration here on Blue Sky Dreaming!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

"Night Revelry"

6"x6", cradled wood panel, flour paste cotton, embroidery and machine stitching, muslin and painted netting, silver and turquoise beads.

Well this little one is my night following morning of the mosaic series. I'm putting together a calendar/planner and these two will be featured together ... that is if I figure out all the twists and turns in the Blurb planner download? I have discovered working 'small' is neither fast nor easy ...what has been fun is sewing the silver beads and stitching the moon/planet shape. The last of this series (for the second time) is a 12"x12" cradled panel and using the remainder of these square (mosaic) cloths only this last one the squares are on a mottled beige, white and gray painted fabric.

We had rain most of yesterday and for us it is a true gift as we are still on limited water use and hoping for more and  more rain. The birdbath was filled for the first time in a year and I had a few bird bathers stop is good!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Morning Reverie

6"x6", wood panel, rust resist cloth, silk screened image using freezer paper, rusted string, gold glass beads, embroidery and machine stitching, painted netting. This piece turned out quite different than the supplies post of Oct. 19th. I did use the beads and gold thread but everything changed once the art making began. I try not to hold on to an image in my mind but rather stay with the feeling as in this case, a morning blessing.It's still important to me to create a piece that looks like a found object, or an ancient piece of sorts. So lots of stopping, looking and writing. I'm beginning the companion piece,' evening blessing' in shades of blue cloth. I've been working with cloth for over 2 years now and I think it's the challenge I have in moving the fabric around and placing unusual painted fabrics together and of course, the stitching and beads are the fun part!

It's my birthday today( the 25th) and I'm celebrating all day or actually all week! I bought a new comforter to celebrate these next years in warm peaceful sleep! Just for fun I've ordered two hooded sweaters and two vests, one knit and one quilted. I asked husband for red soft washable slippers and maybe tickets to an upcoming symphony. He asked me to dinner tonight and so I'd say turning 70 is going well! It actually means changes ahead but for right now I'm holding my own ... willing to hire help  around the house and making changes with lighter dinners and shopping. Have a new post-it app on my computer so its an easy reminder on all those things I must do each day! Still like this whole blog and Facebook exchange and hope to do more self publishing.  Most of the walls here are covered in my artwork and I change the images throughout the year. This may sound silly but I feel the warmth and peace in my home, in my life ... in these walls of art. I'm surprised how my life has turned out ...these days producing so much work ... truly grateful I've come this far and still a ways to go!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Gold Beads

The challenge for me this week is working on these small 6"x6" wood panels. I've decided to go for the gold ... a hot bright morning blessing is my first and the second will be a moonlight blessing. Not sure yet about the sun stamps ... I'm also creating a silk screen sun so I'll need to decide as well as the mosaic cloth. Definitely will use up this tube of gold beads ...Oh, these old fingers!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Celebrating White

1.The first piece is a mixed media piece on paper and a part of my 'sacred vessel' series. It represents all the moonlit nights of my life. I rarely place white on my palette let alone paint big spaces of white so this is a rare use of white for me.
2. I had planned on one day creating a series on snowflakes. I've kept this photo in my files for years but so far no series.
3. I created this wreath to celebrate my life here at the beach with an 'all season' door wreath. I collected some of the shells and bought others. The straw base was painted white with blue wrapping to represent the ocean and waves.
4. As I was cleaning out my studio the other day I happened upon these two gessoed panels measuring 6"x6" and a 12"x12" (not shown here). I guess I'm not done with my mosaic series after all ... the work begins tomorrow!
If you are interested in seeing more WHITE for Roy G Biv day check out Jennifer Coyne Qudeen for more sites! I'm not sure what is next or maybe this is the end of the search?!

Monday, October 6, 2014

"The Last Mosaic"

12"x12" wood panel, flour paste resist on painted fabric, printed fabric, metallic paper (palm tree trunks), hand carved stamps, ruby red glass beads, rope and ribbon trim, knotted discarded rust dyed twine, hand stitching and machine stitching.
The third in this mosaic series on wood panel. This combining of colors gives me a feeling of a hot desert sunset. So grateful these three have guided me through my holidays and now I'm on the other side of my spiritual new year. The hieroglyphs are carved from a child's kit sold by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was trying to spell out my new word "enough" but I printed backwards and now who knows what this says?! The word "enough" seems to be a good word as it fits with what I've been writing about lately in my journal.
Cold temperatures are being reported ... we are having our autumn heat wave but soon that will change. I've taken a walk in the woods, at the beach and around the neighborhood and the new season is here and beautiful ... now we could use some old fashioned rain!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Leaves of Heaven"

12"x12" wood panel with fabric image. Second image in mosaic series of 3. Flour paste resist, cotton, hand and machine stitching, digital photo leaves on organza and hand stamped leaves. New computer and new photo editing software so I've been in a slowdown about posting. I was not born with a mouse in my hand and everything I learn seems to take me so long. I've discovered the wood panel is not ideal for the way I work. I like to change my mind, cut away or add to a piece and its almost impossible when its glued down. I'll try for the third mosaic in this series and I'll use the remaining panel but that will be it for me combining fabric onto wood.
This is such a special time of year for me ... a turning it seems. I'm willing to re-think my direction in art making, a fresh beginning to a new/old journey. A time to replenish supplies, write and dream up places, ideas for these last years. I will be turning 70 in October and that requires a celebration for sure. I'm willing to let go and to open up, to change and to invite the familiar. Not making much sense but my first job is to clean the studio and start writing! Enjoy your Autumn.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

'Back to Black'

A combination entry to both Throwback Thursday and Roy G Biv Day. Nothing seems so black as the black in these pinhole photographs. I explored art making with pinhole cameras several years ago. I had access to tech support at our local college which allowed me to have fun with the whole exploration. The painted 'red' oatmeal box was my camera and the 'black' is represented by these pinhole images scattered about. Later in that year of exploration I had a small show combining my poetry with these strange dark images. I'm anxious to see other 'black' representations over at Jennifer Coyne Qudeen

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Inspired by ....

41/2x41/2 panels using encaustic with collage. These were done ages ago but thought I would repost for Throwback Thursday. I was inspired by the poem 'Japan' by Billy Collins. The poem is about a Haiku and I have taken an excerpt from that poem and printed below.

It's the one about the one-ton
temple bell
with the moth sleeping on its surface,

and every time I say it, I feel the excruciating
pressure of the moth
on the surface of the iron bell.

When I say it at the window,
the bell is the world
and I am the moth resting there.

When I say it into the mirror,
I am the heavy bell
and the moth is life with its papery wings.

And later, when I say it to you in the dark,
you are the bell,
and I am the tongue of the bell, ringing you,

and the moth has flown
from its line
and moves like a hinge in the air above our bed.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Revealing First Days"

12"x12"x2" wood panel, hand and machine stitching, hand stamping, turquoise beads, rust and flour resist, muslin,loose weaved painted cloth.
This is the first of  two mosaic images (maybe three)that I am creating using the fabrics from the previous post. I have arranged, rearranged,
cut, stitched, glued and spent days dancing around until this final result. For me it is "my find" of a mosaic image. It could be a floor fragment, a wall portion but it is what seems like a final piece. I used the wood panels because I have had them hanging around for too long.
I'm not an Internet gamer but I've been reading "Reality is Broken" by Jane McGonigal and intrigued by what might be a new experience in my virtual/reality life or how I might fit into some interesting new directions.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


These scraps are partially scrubbed and rinsed of flour paste and paint. The plan is to create a mosaic...grout lines. The ultimate intention is to reveal an ancient mosaic ... a fragment of a beautiful wall or floor. I've been inspired by recent discoveries of mosaic walls featured in my latest archeology magazine. I'll use an assortment of treatments but for me it's a slow process of trying this or that and stretches of unknowable next steps BUT eventually reaching a place that feels like a finished journey. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Two in Pink

Two very different pieces but plenty of pink! The first one "Silent Alcove" is from my Citadel series and the second one is titled "Morning Prayers". Both are mixed media on paper. This is my contribution to the Roy G Biv day ... PINK! I'm interested in seeing more pink here on blogland ... first stop will be Jennifer Coyne Qudeen

Monday, August 11, 2014

Lifetime of a tree

"Tree of my Life", 14"x23", cotton cloth on muslin, hand stitching, machine stitching, hand stamped with my own cut stamp and 1/4" trim tape on top with rusted string at the bottom. Sides are printed cloth with stitching and creme glass beads cover one leaf. I have kept this cloth piece in neutral colors from the tree to the leaves. One leaf is covered in glass beads and is quite striking but doesn't show up much here ... it reminds me, with myself smiling, of a favorite barroom serenade "The Last Leaf" by Tom Waits. I'll look for the song and see if I might post it!
It feels good to complete this series and take the time to sit back on these slow summer days and review my other adventures: "Traveling to Distant Planets", "Sacred Vessels", "Finding Directions"", "The Citadel", and "Walking the Desert" to name a few. For me it's always about the next journey ... the one I take in the comfort of my studio!! It all began when my sister and I would sit on the big scratchy sofa( I was 5 or 6) and have waking dreams of ourselves in different lives ... a little psychotic but it has served me in art making.  I plan on putting together a couple of cloth pieces on wood panels as a connector to the new/old direction.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Keeping a Journal

This is an example of my favorite journals. I was lucky and picked them up for .50 at a "back to school" sale. I've been writing between one and three pages a day since the 80's! It began at local coffee houses "The Blackwater" and the "House of Shaw" where I'd set myself up with a richly brewed coffee and just start writing. Trust me, the writing wasn't about re-reading ...I wrote down all I could without much thought ... anger, joy, plans, regrets and occasionally a poem would show up. My habit was to use a highlighter pen on these gems and then at the end of the year when I'd glance through the books getting them ready for the shredder ... I would rip out and put the little jewels aside. Sometimes I draw a thumbnail sketch having to do with seeing a balance of shapes and layout but mostly it is blah, blah and more blah. With that said I believe the actual writing down or letting out of thoughts and feelings no matter how dull has actually saved my life or at least my sanity.Today I don't frequent coffeehouses but I try to write at least a page and I do have my particular box of black fine point pens and again these composition books stacked and ready. Tell me, do you keep a journal? I see beautiful art journals in blogland but that seems different ...more readable.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Charting Wisdom

16"x22", digital images on silk, collage, painted cotton, 1" black bias tape, machine stitching and hand stitching.
I see this piece as more of a chart ... a display of how the "Ten Crowns" might appear. The crowns speak of a spiritual conscious, beyond power, royalty or even beauty. The early writings refer to the ten crowns as a part of the higher worlds and the wisdom declares that this power pours it's light down as a cascading waterfall which inspired me to sew the closely spaced vertical aqua stitches.
I've so enjoyed this series of art making from the combined study of ancient writings and the beauty of archaeological discoveries.
The crown on the lower left was my first attempt at sewing (drawing) without the feed dog operational ... need more practice! Onto the tenth and last gate of this series. A couple of years ago I would never have thought I would be so deep into cloth and stitching?!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Violet you say?!

It's been an extended search on Roy G Biv day. I have a couple of examples of violet in cloth and a couple on paper using mixed media. This first piece "Call to Flight" the story of Icarus, is a favorite of mine and I used it as the cover for my 2008-2012 catalog. A visit to the site of Jennifer Coyne Qudeen will give you a list of other searchers of violet.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer Pace

This photo is of a few of the pieces I'm putting together for my ninth gate of ten. I'm using the painted cloth and digital photos, relief print and a few other images. I'm at the point of putting it together and then the stitching will begin. Its getting warmer and I'm slowing down, family will be visiting next week and a big 4th BBQ is planned. Happy Holiday!
p.s. Sold "Hands of Heaven"!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Waves

Taking a little tour around the Monterey Bay ... first photo is a beautiful drive in the quaint town of Pacific Grove, second photo is the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the third is of a small beach at Capitola by the Sea. The fog is here most mornings and then burns off before noon. Sunny most days but the wind can sometimes pick up in the afternoon and late in the day the fog might or might not roll back in but I can just about promise no rain in the summer. So grab your towel and sunblock!

Thursday, June 19, 2014


The ongoing search for Roy G Biv has turned up indigo and for me the search has been extensive because most of my blues come from a base of Phthalo Blue (green shade). I decided to mix my indigo to have a sample: One dollop Ultramarine blue +a mixture of Quinacridone Crimson mixed in equal parts with Ultramarine Blue. So its  a dark purple mixed with the blue and then I sometimes add a little white for clarity!
This  left photo is of a painting I did awhile ago and for whatever reason used this combination over my usual Phthalo blue. The third photo is of a beautiful Japanese cloth I've been keeping now for over 12 years. It is beautiful and I treasure it and SOMEDAY I will create something with this cloth! Happy searching day to you all ... drop by Jennifer Coyne Qudeen and Julie for lists of more sites searching and posting their finds!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

All Framed Up

Actually I framed these five pieces and put them up on my studio wall in preparation for a show in June. Last Sunday I hung these beauties of mine at a local Art supply store which has a gallery wall. The show will be up until June 29th. I am a big believer in the creative process and especially the 5th and final step ... put the work out in the world! Sometimes it happens through sales, or  publications like my catalog and notebook and then there is the occasional show. This is a ten piece series so when I finish the other half  I'll show them when there is available space. The titles are "Wilderness Lamp", "Portal in Citrine", "Ancient Circles:, "Hands of Heaven", and "Columbaria". I feel good about the opportunity and I miss them a little too!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"Star Code"

11"x16", cotton rust resist, stencil cut out collage, gray quilted paper and gray flour resist cloth. Hand and machine stitching, copper glass beads and light topaz cube glass beads. The lavender embroidery thread was the last bit from my mothers sewing basket ... 30+ years old.

This is the gate that speaks of the ancient and modern take on the "stuff" of the Universe. What is foretold in our very bones and studied by both astrophysicist and the biochemist ... "the history of humanity the history of the Universe is the same and we are made of the same.. I embedded what seemed like to me, a genetic code as an ancient banner ... helping to lead to the solution to the  riddle of all riddles.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Stitching Hazard!

Actually I cut my finger on a plastic lid but it is my pointer finger of my right hand. If I were painting this would not be a problem but this stitching requires fine finger movements and these band-aids don't provide enough cushion ... ouch! I'll be taking a few days off to recover!
Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend ... !!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Water Conservation

These are my new dishes (paper) for the summer and beyond. California is suffering from a drought and we have some very strict water usage  numbers per household with costly penalties. Five minute showers are a given (some sanity sacrificed) but now I've cut back even more by not using my dishwasher. Hoping with this cutback, I'll have enough reserves to keep watering my potted plants and a few favorite trees! I used colorful cloth napkins here only to punch up the photo as I'm not going to be washing linens throughout this drought.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Finding "Blue"

ABOVE: 16"x16", "Delivery I" collage, acrylic, oil pastel on a grid.  COMPASS SERIES

LEFT: 16"x16", "Hope Deferred", acrylic, collage

BELOW: 18"x18", "Hope Realized" acrylic, collage

BOTTOM: 18"x18", "Uranus Sideways", silver leaf, oil pastel, acrylic
So easy to find examples of blue ... it's a go to color for me, one I never get tired of mixing. Mostly use Phthalo and Ultramarine blue. All of these images are found in my catalog M.Lehrer-Plansky 2008-2012. For more examples of "Blue" go to Jennifer Coyne Qudeen and Julie Booth and enjoy the search for Roy G Biv Day!!