Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Lion Eyes

Lion Eyes / Watercolor Batik on Rice Paper / 8X10 (20.3cm X 25.4cm)

"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep;
I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion."

Alexander the Great

Monday, December 18, 2017

One for the Bucket List

"Born to Run" / Watercolor Batik on Rice Paper / 12 X 16in (30.5 X 40.6cm)

Animals, especially African animals, have always been favorites to paint for some reason.  
It is heartbreaking that many of the animals we typically associate with Africa have been placed on the endangered species list:  lions, elephants, cheetahs, rhinos, the mountain gorilla (don't get me started).

Anyway, a painter who shares my love of African animals is English artist Hazel Soan. This gifted woman has studios in London and in Cape Town.

Hazel even offers a Kenyan workshop:  Wildlife Painting Safari.
 At about $12,000.00 (euros 11,000.),
this holiday is definitely one for the bucket list.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Muir Woods

Watercolor Batik on Rice Paper / 16X12

"And into the forest I go,
to lose my mind and find my soul."
John Muir

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Brown-Eyed Girl

Brown-Eyed Girl / Watercolor Batik / 8X8

A fun video featuring a talented brown-eyed girl with a guy who knows how to dance:

 . . . . . . .

 I've signed up for an online class taught by Roxanne Evans Stout called Book of Trees.  Roxanne has a lovely soft, organic aesthetic.
Only half-way through watching the videos, I'm really looking forward to making this book ( & buying more art supplies for the class).

Saturday, October 28, 2017


We've been in our house for a few weeks now.  The donation pile keeps getting bigger.

 There is no big studio space here - no room for the flat files or canvas carts, but there is room for a drafting table & shelving in an extra bedroom.  As soon as the second shelving unit arrives, I can finish unpacking art supply boxes. 

This will become the new workroom.  I've always wanted a pink studio ☺.

Tim removed a big fireplace in the living room.  Now we have space for a couch.  We will lighten up the walls with fresh paint next week.

A contractor has been doing some minor projects to make us more comfortable, but he has a small crew and is not here every day.  It's a mess.

Hope to get back to some art by the end of next week. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Throwback Thursday

Cheetah - Watercolor Batik - 18X24

Here is a video of artist Ellen Brenneman doing a painting of a cheetah on Yupo paper.   Looks like fun!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Flashback Friday

"Out of the Blue"  -  watercolor batik on rice paper

A ten year old batik - long gone.  I still remember ironing off the wax and holding my breath. 

I look at this with different eyes now; not critical eyes, but smiling eyes as I remember hearing my friend and mentor's voice:

"Your art education never ends."

You were always right, Helen.

I did a blog post about Helen a few years back, if you're interested.
She has since passed away, but is not forgotten.

Friday, September 8, 2017


Prince Charming  / Oil w-palette knife  /  6X6    Sold

This painting is a few years old, and was done after I attended a palette knife workshop taught by California artist Leslie Saeta.

If you're interested, you can learn more about the workshop by clicking here.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .  

We're still packing.  The art supplies are in boxes, but I don't want to tape the boxes closed yet.

We are meeting with a contractor today to talk about making some minor upgrades in the new house.  We are downsizing by more than 1000 square feet.   Part of me is getting nervous because I think we are downsizing too much, but my husband disagrees.

For example, I doubt that our couch will fit in the tiny living room at the new place.   My husband says we'll just buy a new couch.  I like that solution!

There is no studio space.  Tim says we'll build something in the backyard.  Okay.

Our "stuff" has been in storage so long, I can't even remember what we have.  What does that tell us, Tim asks.  I can't argue with him.

It tells us that we have too much stuff.


We have decided to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle (except for art supplies, of course),  and to concentrate on appreciating more meaningful stuff instead of great quantities of stuff.

After we move, I'll post pics of our old house (I miss you) and our new house.

I think I'm looking forward to this adventure.

I'll let you know.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Road Trip

Artemis - Watercolor Batik on Rice Paper / 24X18 - Sold

About 10 years ago, Tim and I took a road trip from Michigan to North Carolina.  While visiting Asheville, we toured the Biltmore Estate.  The house was completed by the Vanderbilt family in the late 1800s.

We took lots of photos at the estate, and it was here that I got inspiration for the batik above.

Artemis statue on Biltmore Estate

This statue was my inspiration.

Artemis sits way on top of a hill looking down at the Biltmore house.

This is her view.

It goes to show that you can find inspiration anywhere.

. . . . . . . .

We will close on our house in about three weeks, so we have began purging and packing.  
One of the nice things about packing is that I've found a few things I thought I had lost.

All of our furniture is in a PODS container somewhere.  Although we've lived in this rental about a year, we moved in with practically nothing. 

So where did we get all this stuff?

Friday, September 1, 2017

Bad Hair Day

Pastel on toned paper

This young woman is having a bad hair day.

 I think she is sad because I don't feel like doing her portrait over again:)𝩀

.  .  .  .  .  .  .

In the Collage Lab book, I jumped ahead to 
Lab 15 - The Personal Palette.  The author suggested tearing out magazine photos with appealing color palettes, cutting them to a uniform size, and then fastening them together for future inspiration (for those of us with nothing to do today).

At any rate, it was more fun than I thought it would be.  I will be adding to the collection as I go, and think it will be nice reference material in the art studio.

Hope everyone has a safe weekend!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Terrific Tuesday

This piece was done using a technique learned from my former watercolor teacher, Shirley Hathaway.   Shirley also taught me how to batik.

I pulled out the crayons (regular children's crayons), scribbled some color onto a piece of mixed media paper and then covered the scribbles with black gesso.   (If I remember correctly, I was supposed to have used black acrylic paint, but I couldn't find any, so I painted with the gesso.)

Once everything was dry,  the gesso was gently scraped away with an X-ACTO knife in short strokes, and this lion appeared.

. . . . . . .

I picked up a couple of library books that look pretty interesting.    Both books are full of exercises designed to encourage experimentation.  

It will be fun to pull out a few lessons per week from the books,

and the books will help me make time for art while getting ready for the move.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Sweet Dreams

Permanent Ink w- Gouache

For those of us who occasionally feel like this in the middle of the day...

. . . . . . .

Hope everyone has a safe weekend, especially those in Hurricane Harvey's path (get out of the way!).

Monday, August 21, 2017

First Contact - Eclipse Mania

Photo:  Pixabay 

This morning, the new moon will pass between the sun and the earth over the continental U.S. and certain states will experience a total solar eclipse.  Our state of Oregon is one of the lucky ones.

The eclipse first hits the Pacific coast this morning & travels through Salem, Oregon which is about 60 miles north of where I live.

Photo:  NOAA

From our home in Eugene, we will see 99 percent totality at about 10:15AM.

Photo:  Getty Images

Although over a million tourists have gathered in state parks to view the eclipse, we will stay home and enjoy the festivities with neighbors.

. . . . . . .

On another happy note, we placed an offer on a small house and the offer was accepted. 

Our deadline for packing and moving to Washington state was August 31, but it looks like we're staying here a little longer.

We have a home inspection coming up this week, so we'll see how that goes.  Unfortunately, there is no studio space in this small house other than an extra bedroom, but that will do until we can build a simple workshop structure in the backyard in the Spring.  Or maybe that will just do.

Fingers crossed...

Friday, August 18, 2017


"Peace" - journal postcard

 Here is a page from one of my journals using a glue gun stamp made earlier this week.  

This particular journal is an "ideas"  journal.  It is used for inspiration and is filled with favorite color palettes, different types of composition, and project ideas.

I usually work in it on days like today, where it's hard to concentrate on a single piece of artwork.

.  .  .  .  .

Unfortunately, the offer we placed on a house earlier this week wasn't accepted.
Hope to find something this weekend.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday Already?

Cheetah - Watercolor

We have been really focused on finding a house soon.

Tim and I just made an offer on a place that is little more than a shell of a house (no flooring, no cabinets, sinks, bathrooms gutted). 

It's a mess right now, but it would be fun installing things we like and are able to afford.  We will know if our offer has been accepted tomorrow night.

Hot glue stencils / stamps

In the meantime, I painted the cheetah, and then
experimented with making stencils with a hot glue gun.

The hot glue was swirled on top of kitchen parchment paper.  While the glue was still hot, I placed another piece of parchment paper on top of it and flattened it with my hand.  When thoroughly cooled, the flattened stencils / stamps were easily peeled away from the paper. 

The idea behind flattening the stencils is that they can later be attached to a piece of cardboard and used as stamps.
So that is something to look forward to.

Another positive thing is that I stumbled on the awesome site of artist Seth Apter called The Altered Page on the 10 year anniversary of his blog.  Seth was hosting a giveaway on that day, and I won a gift certificate to his online shop.  Happy days!  Thank you, Seth! 

  I will pick up one of his DVDs very soon & let you know how it goes.

Monday, August 7, 2017

First Kiss

Gouache / 7X5

"All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl."
Author Unknown

Friday, August 4, 2017

About Face

"Drawing is not what one sees, but what one can make others see."
Edgar Degas

Monday, July 31, 2017

Think Pink

This is an older batik that I don't think I've posted before. 

It's still a little too hot to paint. 
Even though the outside temperature cools dramatically by sunrise, the inside of the house is still a little warm.   

Today 34.4 celsius; Tues 37.7c; Wed 46.6 c; Thu 40c; Fri 37.2c

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cobie and Color

We have been worried about our 13-year-old labrador retreiver.  Cobie was so sick he scared me, but he has bounced back and is becoming his old self.  We know this because his voracious appetite has returned and he has resumed stalking me while I'm in the kitchen (kind of like my husband).

Now that Cobie feels better, I feel better.

Little art projects in the early daytime hours are what's best during our current heat wave.  Over the last few days, I've been making mono print backgrounds with a gelli plate.
They will be altered even more, but I understand the value of having lots of these.

Here's a small sample.  These are cropped details.  The gelli plate is 7X5.

Here's a 7X5 inch version.

Having a small work space has forced me to experiment with different types of art / crafts.   It's really fun learning something new.

 To paraphrase a wise man, "There are many possibilities in the beginner's mind."

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


For some reason, I haven't felt like painting anything representational.

The gelli plate has been calling, though.  It's time for some healthy doses of color.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Nouveau Ladies

On Wednesday, Tim and I had the pleasure of having lunch here in Eugene with one of my favorite blogging buddies
 Kali Parsons, a talented artist from Texas, and her husband David, a gifted photographer.

Though we have never met in person, it was as if we had known Kali and David forever.  

After our lovely lingering lunch, Tim and I made an offer on a house we had seen earlier in the morning, a fixer upper in a great neighborhood.
We waited all day yesterday (hence, no painting) to hear the buyer's decision, but we weren't notified, so we did not get the house.

 It's been discouraging, but we'll keep our chins up and keep looking.

Above are a couple of drawings of "nouveau" ladies based on vintage photographs.
Hope to get back to painting next week.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Art Nouveau

This is a combination of an image transfer and a sketch that is loosely based on a photo of Evelyn Nesbit, an actress from the early 20th century.    I've started a few Art Nouveau journal pages, but they're not finished.

 . . . . . . .

Over the weekend, I took a half-day introductory bookbinding class at our local art studio.

We were taught Japanese Seven-Hole stab binding using heavy cardstock and a Japanese screw punch.

The book consists of 20 pages with 95 spacers (in groups of five) in between the pages to make room for mixed media artwork.   With only 20 pages, it would be a great theme book (like Art Nouveau).

. . . . . . .

We also went to the Oregon Country Fair - an event for the young at heart who like to sprinkle themselves with fairy dust and take their clothes off.  Being there was fun, but once was enough for me.  I'll be on the lookout for a renaissance festival.

This is one of the "safer" photos.

Hope you had an interesting weekend.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Divine Deco

"GG" Micron .01 & Gouache

This drawing of an iconic Swedish film actress of the 1920s-1930s makes her look a little younger than the reference photo, but I'm sure she wouldn't mind.

 My profile pic is a photo of my younger self, and I don't mind, not at all.

At any rate, like the rest of the world, the temperatures here in Eugene have been kind of oppressive.   Without air conditioning in our rental, "GG" was about it for artwork today.

New York, Chrysler Bldg. elevator door

New York, Empire State Bldg. mural

Looking forward to a new theme next week.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Deco Doll

Mixed Media - Collage & Gouache

Mixed media is fun because it's like piecing a puzzle together.

Now I understand why mixed media artists hoard magazine pages & paper (to avoid wasting time looking all over the house for something that fits), and I understand why most mixed media pieces are large rather than small (fingers seem to be so much bigger when the artwork is smaller). 

 For this portrait, I sketched out the face & later cut and pieced the collage.  The background was then painted with gouache (I ran out of puzzle pieces, i.e., dark paper).

I like the result, but am excited about experimenting with a different process soon.
Deco envelope

Deco box

Still loving deco, although Art Nouveau is starting to look pretty interesting.