Monday, December 28, 2009


This lovely lady with her very own bird's nest and crown was so pleased with her Christmas gift. It found a place of honor on her mantelpiece during her holiday festivities. I had so much fun doing her portrait. She is a birdie kind of person and I just knew she would love a pair of tiny blue wings of her very own. This all came together very quickly with layers of gold gesso that gave it a pretty glow, then some paint and collage. I did not paint her face, but left it as a photo. Her smile is so contagious, I thought it was just perfect the way it was. I think I am going to do more of these and offer them as portraits in my up and coming Etsy shop !
Oh and this one was a challenge simply because this lady sparkles so much in real life it was hard to capture her in paint at all. Like trying to catch a sunbeam!!! She also has a smile that can stop traffic at twenty paces and I dearly wanted to learn how to paint that smile. I have come to realise after creating photo albums for my dear brother and sister, that we area tight lipped bunch and I am painting my women as if they are holding back the saddest of secrets. I don't want that. I want them to smile and sing and maybe even waggle their tongues at the world to show they are just fine with life. I gave my friend a golden head piece with ribbons of gold and white and a shower of golden coins. Her wings are the vey brightest colors I could put next to each other dashed with gold and white.Those little angels are helping her plot her next adventure and an adventure she shall have, but please note the big bright heart she has. The face on this one is painted and all is layered over gold gesso to give that ethereal glow.This gift was meant to provide a happy dance and it seemed to do just that.

I hope these portraits are a beginning. I so want to do more. I have been sending out requests for photos from friends and family so I can try my hand at a few more. It is almost too much fun to play this way.

This may be my last photo blog entry for a week or so as I am moving my office, but hope to have everything up and running soon after the New year's celebration. 2010. Can you believe it. I have so many plans and dreams for this year I could just burst. Some are scary, but I think I can do it. I really do ! Life has been rearranging itself into an entirely new set of priorities. Family, home, friends and love have come to the forefront and "things", money, status and appearances just seem to be slipping further and further onto a back burner. Time with my husband is most important. Time to be quiet and happy is most important. Time to create and do my art is very important. Time to love family and friends. Time for the spirit, for talking to God and listening to the messages of the spirit...oh I cannot say how important that is. The rest is all stuff. The rest isn't the least bit important.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Iris

I always think it gets a little boring when folks post a lot of flower photos. Not that I don't like flowers...I LOVE flowers, but it can get a little old. This Iris , however, has a story. It bloomed two weeks ago. Yep, in December an iris bloomed in Mark Twain country. It popped up outside the offices of our church education coordinator, who tipped me off to this little miracle and I just happened to have my camera with me. I always liked the poem about a bird singing in December being a magical thing and sweet to remember. For the visually oriented, an Iris blooming in December has a similar quality. A symbol of hope in the face of cold winds. A flag of bright color to remind us that the world is not all grey and that these small wonders can be what life is all about. And look where it chose to spring up...amongst those red berries to set it off just so. I once spent time in a place where plants, well, flowers specifically, were considered to be creatures like animals and that the fact that their faces were ever turned towards the sun was just one way they had of celebrating God's holy light and the grateful joy of existence. This little flower makes me wonder on the truth of that. Is she celebrating the Advent season? Did she want in on the decorating and singing the Christ Child into our hearts ?

I have a commission to paint this little wonder...I suspect I will do several paintings of this Christmas Iris..perhaps even a card design for next year. Maybe no one will get it except for the few that stood with me as I photographed the flower, but I think this is one of those times I am supposed to do something. I can see a little Iris gesso, wonderful soft tones. Oh yeah.

Well, I decided I can't post my portrait paintings until I gift them because one of my darlings reads this blog so I have to be a little careful. I took this slow this week-end, but went to a lovely dinner party on Saturday, received a thoughtful gift..several, really..and had a lovely time. I've been renting videos from the cool is I can rest a bit and deal with not feeling well.

Planning holiday meals: smoked salmon pizza with brie for Christmas Eve dinner..a recipe borrowed from a multi-talented friend in Las Vegas. Christmas day..DH bought some frozen scallops so we'll do those in a butter lemon sauce on basmati rice and an apple upside down cake for dessert..not a traditional dessert, but one I've been looking for an excuse to try so this is it. I may also try a cannoli cake that has been tempting me, but we'll have to see how my energy holds up. I can't believe it is the 21st. I actually have business appointments tomorrow. The world keeps on. I need Christmas.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sorry, no photo today

No big deal on the photo, just can't access my regular computer as I am home with a nasty something or other, choking down antibiotics and running off to the doctor's office...not the kind of thing I had on my Christmas schedule, mind you !

My mica charms were a big hit at the Sacred Space party, though I was a bit bedraggled. It was a lovely party and essentially my main Christmas dinner/celebration. Everyone brings their best offerings as far as food is concerned. I can't eat much, but sure enjoyed what was there. this is a very special spiritual group of women that are just amazing. I can't imagine what I would do without them. Each and everyone of them brings something rich and wonderful. Sometimes I think that because I lost my own mother so young that I desperately need the company of older women to keep me in line...and they do that. I was reading a self help book that suggested you ask your friends to tell you where you could make improvements in your life. with this don't have to ask !!! But it is done with such humor and love, I treasure it all.

I don't have much energy, but I did some painting today just to distract myself from the physical stuff. I have two projects going as gifts that are collage paintings of two of my favorite friends here. they are such is a glitter girl grown up barbie doll, the other is an escapee from a fairy tale cottage in the forest. The one is designer shoes and bags, the other Birkenstocks and bird feeders...and I adore the both of them. Now you know all about MY split personality. I am a Gemini according to my sun sign and boy oh boyo do I live up to that one.

So I am having fun with these paintings and can't wait to see their little faces when they unwrap them after Christmas services. I think this may be a very fun thing to offer professionally...portraits of sorts with little symbols and signs of the person is all about. I may even do one self portrait.....but I'll probably wind up doing two....

We are on the home stretch for all this celebrating. One more night after this for Hanukkah, a dinner party and a luncheon , then Christmas Eve services. I do a midnight run after services where we pick up plates of cookies and treats and drop them off at police stations and fire stations and anywhere folks are working to protect and serve on Christmas Eve. Last year I did the police dept. This year I may do the fire dept. Eh, maybe I'll do both. I go to services by myself and take a very scenic route home anyway so I can see all the lights.

There will be computer transitions sometime over the next couple weeks. I hope to post photos of the things I've been working on before then, if not......Merry Christmas and Peace to all good hearts.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

She's got sunshine !

I'm glad she's got some sunshine. We've got COLD ! This is a collage I did for the online class. Kind of fun to play with though I think I may do some more painting work on her. this week-end my dear husband was out hunting our new pup almost all week-end so I had plenty of quiet time to work on my own projects. the class has moved into faces, which is pretty facile for me at this point so I did an entire figure and set myself some additional challenges like not using any real flesh tones, just hot colors like clear yellows, reds and oranges with some dark blues and browns..very large brush stoke kind of work. I got into it..just a bit. I sat down in front of my easel..yes, I actually set up the easel instead of working flat about 1:00 pm and just rocked out..and out ..and rocked... and well at some point I was kind of thirsty and kind of stiff from holding the half sitting, half standing position I was in. So I decided to give it a rest and step back a bit. I was pretty pleased with the piece. Then I looked out the window...and it was dark ! a glance at the clock behind me told me it was 5:00 pm. four hours disappeared into that painting and i didn't even see them go by. I love it !

I ran around the house like a maniac catching up with the laundry and kitchen duties, which I had ignored. Luckily when my DH came in, he was very tired himself and decided to take a three hour nap. YES!!!!! so I ducked back into the studio and spent the next three hours making inchie mica charms charms for my Sacred Space group Christmas party and still had time to make a boboli barbeque chicken pizza before Prince Charming woke up. I love it when I get like that !

So the rest of the week is Christmassy stuff: cookie sales at the church, a wine and cheese party girls night, a Christian music concert.
Oh yeah. This is a MERRY CHRISTMAS site. No happy holiday stuff. My husband is Jewish and we say Happy Hannukah (starts on Saturday) and Merry Christmas. No confusion. We know what holiday is what and use the correct words. Thank you. He came with me to a Bell concert at my church on Sunday night and enjoyed Christmas music with me. I will stand with him for seven nights as he lights the candles on our menorah and chants in Hebrew the appropriate prayers. I wear a diamond crucifix 24/7 and there is a mezuzah on our front door. If we can handle this the rest of the world should be able to handle folks saying Merry Christmas. ARGH. OK. am off the soapbox....I think... for now.

So I am hoping to finish the figure painting this week..just needs some details and I will post. I need to do more christmas gifts...some hand carved rubber stamps for crafty friends, some cashew fudge for munchie friends, lots of shortbread cookies and tasty casseroles and hopefully a few quiet nights in front of our fireplace sipping some wine, relaxing with our new dog, Demi and just being.....
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Monday, November 30, 2009

It's all in the eyes of the Beholder

Happy Thanksgiving. Whoops, I missed it ! I had the flu or a whopper of a cold and wound up tucked in bed for four days. Was there a holiday that speed by me ?????? Well before all that hit i was happily covered in paint and working on this and three other pieces. there are several techniques in this one all of which I will keep under wraps for right now, but I enjoyed doing this and love the way it turned out. I wish I had a better photo. I really need to figure out how to scan these images and get more color accuracy and detail. After losing four days, time seems to be compressing dangerously! Hanukkah is slamming on my heels, Christmas is coming and many major life changes are in the offing, which I cannot discuss at this point, but promise to return to later. I had an anxiety attack of the sixth order last night which shook me awake at 1:00 AM and kept me up all night, but things looked better in the morning light. The sky isn't

It has come to the point where I will have to do some rearranging in my studio space as I have created so many new pieces of work that they are taking over all available surfaces. I really don't want to tuck them out of sight as one seems to inspire the next so what is called for is a rehanging of the wall spaces...a good holiday project that I am looking forward to. I almost feel guilty for spending so much time on the studio. I feel like it is tipping into compulsion or even addiction...but I have certainly lived like this before, though not as a happily married person so this is a new adventure. so far there has been patience increasing with need..surprisingly. Usually the rule is an inverse proportion, but maybe that is why we are together. I certainly never complain about his indulgences.

So while strapped to the bed getting over this cold/flu thing I read a really nice book. I am a Dean Koontz fan for many reasons. Yes, I unabashedly love scary stories and have a proud family heritage of doing so. the females in my mother's family scared the living daylights out of themselves on a regular basis with movies and books that are now classics and as an adoring daughter I sat there and screamed with the best of them. Dean Koontz writes scary books...with dogs..great dogs.....supernatural heroes. the newest one is "Breathless" with an Irish wolfhound. Dean also always has his own dog pose with him in his author shots on his books and finally, Dean has received commendations from the Catholic Church for his books (specifically "The Last Door Before Heaven")..I don't think Stephen King ever received that honor...or if he did, he hid it....and his dogs tend to eat people. Anyway,"Breathless" is soothing scary story for scary times..a good read. I blew through it in a day, but enjoyed every minute. It also includes lovable physicists..which I have actually known a few and had deep conversations about the nature of the Universe with that fit Dean's character's views and temperaments. One thing though...Dean makes really bad bad guys...I mean really BAD. they are usually way badder than any monster or alien he can come up with..which may be a statement in and of itself.

So today is still lots of liquids and soup, luckily its homemade turkey barley soup. Probably an early day home from the office and maybe an hour or two playing in the studio. My next book is about cooking in Paris so no more scaries this week.
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Far and Away

This is the landscape I have painted for the online workshop hosted by Misty Mawn. After posting on Flickr, it drew the most attention and I am going to have a tough time doing anything further to it. It does manage to look like I have been feeling recently. More peaceful and at peace with the things that are swirling about my world. I can't really decide if it is the yoga and meditation I have been focusing on or simply finally being at the place in my life where it all looks like small stuff and it takes more than usual to get me off center.

I believe painting more, as I have been doing has a bit to do with it also. when you are doing what you truly love, I think people become more tolerant and more accepting of the road bumps in life. I know that after a day of the usual work stuff and coming home, doing the cooking and cleaning and all that, I finally go up the stairs to my studio, put on my apron and begin, an hour or two flies by and suddenly I am tired, but very happy. cleaning things up, preparing for the next step, whatever that may be and finally turning out the lights, I get a glass of wine and sit down to contemplate the day and I feel good.

In the story of Genesis, after God has created the world, night, day, all of the animals and plants and finally humans, God looks at the work and sees that it is good. Then there is rest. I believe there is a message see that one's work is good and call it so, then enjoy it is a state of rest, preferably with a good Shiraz.
Oh, and maybe a friend to share the rest with. This is Demi, our new fuzzy friend. She came to us from New Hope, PA and seems to be enjoying life here in the Midwest, though she is still being very careful about figuring out the rules. I guess I did the same thing when I moved here. Maybe I still am. She is five years old and a national field her favorite thing is her new bed, which she does not have to share with any other pups. Previously she lived with a male wirehair and two border terriers. That was a bit too much competition for Demi so she would take the border terriers out...way out into the fields and leave them there...sometimes five miles away. Then she would trot on home, rid of the pesky pups and enjoy some peace and quiet. Now she just has two humans who lavish her with attention, treats and fluffy beds. She has decided to be a studio regular and curls up on a corner of the carpet and guards the door for me....or from me.....I'm not quite sure which !
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I feel very RED today

Actually it's pretty gray today and very rainy, but Autumn finally bit me on the muse while I was wandering around Dick Blicks and I found these cute little art panels on sale. After kicking through the leaves to get there and seeing humongous piles of leaves on the streets waiting for the leaf eaters to feed, the colors just overwhelmed me completely. I ran home and primed these babies with the last scrapings of my precious Santa Fe jar of gold gesso...sigh.....better to use than let it dry up, I say.

Then I pulled my old faithful palette of Quin crimson, titanium buff and a bit of paynes gray and off we went......and I was not really happy. You can't see it in the photos because the red really overran everything else, but I added some wonderful Manganese blue to those Autumn colors and WOWIE, did they ever POP. I love it.
Now with this leaf portrait, I did a little algebraic thinking in that I created a wonderful background in all those rich Autumn colors, then painted the leaf negatively with white. I added the veining details last. It was fun thinking backwards. Painting like that is such a lovely distraction from the rest of the world. It's like curing hiccups. If you do strange distracting things that are not hiccups, the hiccups disappear. well, maybe your issues don't disappear if you spend a few hours painting things backwards, but they do sort of slip back into a more accommodating that may be a bit easier to live with. Silly little things begin to look more like silly little things and larger things begin to look more surmountable. There are times, when I listen to Beloveds describing the trials and tribulations of their lives, which are very real and very challenging, when I want to just hand them a paintbrush and some paper and leave them to paint for awhile, then come back with a hot cup of tea and some really good pink cookies with cream cheese frosting. What misery could stand up to that form of therapy?
There is that story about the tree that bends in the wind and does not break, because it flexes. The winds just blow through it, around it, but it never gets knocked over. We all get the wind knocked out of us from time to time, but if we remember how to flex and that flexing can be as simple as focusing on something outside some Autumn leaves and trees and some paint and how that all goes together to become something way bigger than just a hour of painting.
I seem to be working in triptychs recently. I like working over a few small pieces and making them fit together, but still be independent like little families of art.

I am also taking an online class with the fabulously inspiring Misty Mawn and painting madly every night. There is a point for every artist where you must find your art family and be inspired and fed by that family. Misty has managed to create that kind of an online ambiance through the website dedicated to the class plus a facebook page and a flickr site. I am amazed that I can be exchanging information and inspiration with a friend in Dubai, along with artists in Australia, North Carolina and just about every other area of the Blessed United States of America. It is magical. I thought blogging was a kind of mystical cyberspace community, but this is another step beyond that. What fascinating times we live in.
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Danger, Danger

Does she look dangerous ?

OK, maybe just scary. she is in a sketchbook that is part of a project designed to create a national sketchbook resource that would tour the country. Every participant receives a moleskine journal and a theme. Mine was "Danger, Danger". So I just jumped on the concept of dangerous women...but not like gun molls and motorcycle mamas, though they may be included. I think women are considered dangerous when they are willing to step outside the cultural norms, whatever they may be. Women in my culture are supposed to be "beautiful", "thin", "young" and probably fair skinned and fair haired. ARGH!!!! so these ladies that are stepping into the moleskine are none of the above. Well, actually the first one was fair haired and I am not really sure I like her. I was getting used to the paper and struggling just a bit on how to handle it. She got appreciably sloppy, which I considered to be an asset. The paper began to wear thin so I glued two pages together and that seemed to help. I think she will get more help before I send this off to its next life.

But I liked this one. I recently discovered I have some close Maori blood flowing within my little heart. It had been kept somewhat of a family secret as the Maori people weren't considered the very best kind of folk in England, from whence this part of the family originated and it certainly wasn't deeply appreciated by certain Scottish-American parts of the family so it was agreed that we were of Philippine origin to account for some rampant dark skin, bulky builds and strange dietary preferences ( I eat lots of very spicy foods along with anything that comes out of the sea..preferably raw) . So I have been researching the Maori people and one of the things they are somewhat known for is some wild tattoo art. so this dangerous lady has some definite ink. I am feeling even more to come as my pen doodles are getting pretty wild even by modern ink lovers standards.

I worked on my golden canvases this week-end, but I am saving those for a before and after kind of blog. I had decided late summer that I needed to expand my range of experience a bit on a weekly basis and signed up for some yoga classes..which I adore....and a series of talks and meditations on "The Sacred Universe". Both of these are sponsored by a place called the Mercy Center. Mercy a spiritual adventure supported by Catholic nuns and has wonderful grounds that include a large labyrinth with a magic tree at its center, chocolates flowing forth at the front desk and some of those most wonderful people you could imagine. One special woman in the community is an artist with a sense of wonder she can transfer to just about anyone through her art and presentations and I love just being around her. She, of "The Sacred Universe" program has created a wonderful series of paintings designed to be laid out in "walk" through the story of the universe. The presentations have included film documentaries of amazing people and concepts that just turn a walk out to get the mail into an adventure involving stars and seas and looking down at the sun! Did you know there are stars in apples. Remind me to show you sometime. anyway, all of this is feeding the canvases. The imagery sneaks in on kitten feet, as the poet said, and jumps onto the canvas. I find myself stepping back to look at what I have done and laughing at what I thought was looking glass turn into the Great Blue marble we live on.


Then seeds and plants creep in and creation is honored and remembered. I stop and think of how the caves at Lascaux took my breath away the first time I saw photos of the walls covered in paintings. Creation honored and remembered. Our stories told.

With all the politically correct rhetoric that seems to be running about , we need to remember our story and how we fit into all of this.

I paint.
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Monday, November 2, 2009

She walked her butterfly every morning

Wouldn't you just love a pet butterfly you could take for a walk everyday. Can you imagine the scene. Better than anything in "Enchanted" OK, maybe not. I started out wanting a red queen from "Alice" and wandered off down my rabbit hole. I seem to have a habit of doing things like that. rather like the way she turned out after all. Very Queenly, don't you think? How do you like her giant music box with the bird ? It reminds me of one I had when I was a child. It had a yellow bird in it and I played it and played it until...well you know what happened. sigh.
Just a shot to give you an idea of scale. This is very small for me. I am more accustomed to working huge, but Midwest Land doesn't seem to accept that. Even a full sheet of watercolor paper sends them into a tizzy of where and how to deal, so small it for now, though I am not selling anything for the time being..not the new works anyway. I have other plans for these fine ladies and they seem to agree so we will see what we will see !

The week-end was eventuful and I'll be posting pics of a new family member of the fuzzy sort. I actually met her a few months ago in New Hope, PA and we agreed to be friends. She had a career to finish and now she has come to live with us. It's nice to have a fourlegged in the house again.

Three primed canvases got some direction....a face was drawn, a collage created and a background painted. new beginnings. Potentiality. It's like having a new lover without all the fuss. Someone waiting and you don't quite know what will happen, though you have an idea or two. Some heavy body gel medium, some more collage, more paint. It seems as soon as the scent of oilstick has evaporated from the studio , I itch to get it back again.

Sketchbook challenges are ready to be worked on, outlines laid in, ideas mapped. Some paper prepared for my online challenge, so much fun planned there. Christmas is coming, but I usually miss all that anyway. This way there will be a pleasant distraction and a focus on what I do have instead of what may be far and away.

So many changes on the horizon. This will not be the usual year end. Life will be cycling off on one of my infamous roads less traveled. My art will be lifeline, my prayer and my celebration. When everything else gets too sludgie, too muddy, there is always gold gesso and quinacridone magenta. I don't mind change. It usually brings fresh air, new lessons, unexpected gifts. The trick is to not have many expectations and let each moment be itself. It's the expectations that always get you into trouble.

so I will try to remember to photo some of these canvases as they develop so you can see the dance. Also I would so like you to meet our new friend and family member. Her name is Demi.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Traveler

I thought she was a traveler. She appeared to be ready to go somewhere or to have just returned. She certainly wasn't one who had been in the same place forever. A little romantic, a little dreamy. I like her a great deal. I think she has an open heart and lives well with her vulnerabilities.

This is something I have been doing a great deal of thinking about recently. I haven't had an open heart. I've kept in a box in a secret place and then tried to forget where it was. Brick walls were a comforting thing. Then I could just pretend I was there. The other extreme seemed to be connected to pain and I was tired of that. Opening your heart usually meant someone was going to come in and stomp on it and I believed that so strongly it became true no matter what else happened.

But being so tightly wrapped away leads to migraines and ulcers and bad moods. One has to be brave to do a lot of traveling, especially beyond your own brick walls. The trick is to be brave enough and strong enough to open your heart all the way..all the way, so that even when you are rejected, denied or mocked for being who you are, you can continue being who you are, truly believing that is enough and opening enough to flow past the rejection, denial and mockery to a place where you can see the hurt and fear in the Other One. If you can do that sort of travel, then vulnerabilities melt and understanding and even compassion can replace the pain.

Sometimes there is even a sort of joy to be found in that sort of journey.
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Monday, October 26, 2009


This all started with becoming enchanted with the profile of a wonderful woman friend. That day she had worn these huge disc earrings with wonderful concentric designs of bling set off against her dark hair. Everytime I caught her profile I thought she looked like a goddess. Well, really, she may well be the Goddess of Bling and Glitz. So i took a few photos with my cell phone as I had left my trusty digital camera home. Then I started to draw. Things always change once the drawing starts. She became more primal, more essential. Hmm, a lot younger, boy she would like that one. Then she was no longer she. There was a deeper essence emerging that was linked to nature and my friend was just not a nature girl. the shapes at the left became seashells, an egg, a sky symbol. This was a Muse, an inspiration in and of herself. Haughty little thing, but full of power...her own power. The words along the top are verses from various sources scratched in to be half visible. Clarity is not immediately evident with a Muse. Her flesh is very cool colors with a cool underpainting. A wild thing, to be pursued, this Muse, but she visited me that day and joined the studio retinue. The gold gesso reflects the light wonderfully and lets her feel timeless.
A wistful angel. Her wings are embellished with the words of love, but she glances downward as the Dove flies upward to her heart. She is very much a Santa Fe Santos style angel. I meant for her to be less wistful, but my own heart was sad as painted her and I couldn't stop the sadness from getting into the paint. This happens. If you have ever read "Water for Chocolate" you know that it was a good thing I wasn't cooking anything at the time.Her heart is up in the upper left corner and there are other winged things in the area trying to remind her how to fly. That is what friends are for. As I painted, the bird came last. It was the hope at the end of the day. She stands in a rustic doorway. Things will be better once she steps through and spreads her wings.
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Sacred Women

The entire icon concept captured my heart and imagination. Originally, icons were literally considered doors to another world, a sacred world. There were specific rules for their creation, formats, colors, etc. Artists weren't considered artists so much as crafts people...which maybe we really are. I'm willing to go there. Being an artist isn't my crown, it's my my breath and everybody breathes. It's not as special as some would make it out to be except perhaps to me. So this first Woman of the Sacred is especially dear to me. Can you guess who she is? The long hair, the beautiful gown, the precious urn are all her attributes. I've placed her on that gold gesso so she glows with the preciousness that could only belong to Mary Magdalene. Long before there was any Da Vinci code, Mary Magdalene was precious to me. You see, it was my mother's name. Mary Magdalene De La Cruz. Her mother told me she named her that because the original Mary had been the most beloved of Jesus Christ. What a beautiful thought. So I made her beautiful, slightly Jewish looking. Those are apples in the background to link her to Mother Eve and two keys tell us she is the key to understanding Christ's humanity as well as the importance of women in Christ's plans for spirituality. Oh yes, there is that masked critter looking over her shoulder, but he is just the past, which she has turned away from. Can you tell how much I loved creating this piece ? So, if my dearest Mary Magdalene came to visit my studio, you know I also had a visit from the Great Mother, Eve. She reigns in a triptych. When I started working on this, I really thought I was going to do three distinct images, but that's not what Eve had in mind. She wanted her children there with her. Again, like the ancient icons, she floats in the eternity of gold with the fruit of wisdom, which was passed on to her children. Her heart burns with the passion of learning and her torso is a mirror as she reflects each and everyone of us equally. The silhouettes of her children peer out from the gardens. Gardens they have created in honor and memory of Eden. One has numbers and equations, the other words, representing logic and spirit respectively.

On the technical side both pieces are on heavy watercolor paper mounted on mat board. the images are acrylic, collage and oil stick. Oh yes, and love...with a bit of passion thrown in for highlighting.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Amazing View women

I love the lighting on this fair lady's a candle beneath her chin. This is on a heart shaped paper mache shape I bought this summer with no idea whatsoever in mind as to what I was going to do with it other than I loved the shape. It is very dimensional, about an inch and half thick. I hit it with my beloved gold gesso, then thin layers of paint and collage. Old dictionary pages. metal stampings and some old lace are in there, too.. I love her butterfly eyes. she has a very different point of view, eh ? Maybe one that has morphed a bit over time. I think they are helping her find a new vision. she'll get there.
Remeber this fine friend? I left a sketch on canvas a few days back. Well, here she is in her all her finery. Gold leaf around the edges, and her heart, not on her sleeve but a bit closer to her head so she can figure life out a with a little less illusions. Look at those eyes. She's looking for truth even if it bites. It's already turned her lovely hair a bit gray, but if you could see her up close there are some lovely tones of gold and lavender there warming her, softening her. She does look like she might be tearing up a bit in those eyes, but truth will do that to you. she's confident in her red blouse. No jewels for this one. She is enough.
This would be a question for anyone who may stop by and visit my little blog. someone left a comment asking if I read the comments. Oh my yes !!! I would like to encourage some comments, so I will pose a question. there are many publications currrently available showing where women artists create. For the most part these are beautiful spaces to drool over like one does when looking Architectural Digest or House Beautiful. One does get a few neat ideas on setting up space to work in. Mine is a spare bedroom commandeered as an art studio. What you are looking at is just one corner. I have a huge drafting table that is my work space and a small desk tucked into the other corner. You can see what is one end of a wall of book cases that hold supplies as well as books. Now I know this is but one corner, but I have been accused...and I think quite wrongly...but you dear reader can tell me true...of having a STERILE work space. Sterile....sounds like the emergency room at Barnes-Jewish around the corner. Sigh. I dearly love my accuser and respect her taste deeply, but, well...Is it ? I haven;t moved a thing...I just snapped an extra shot after shooting the two previous paintings.

Let me know what you think. Inquiring minds need to know....and dear heart who made that comment....shhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eye Candy

I have to admit that I get a little bored when I flick through other folks blogs and see nothing but florals photos or autumn leaves photos or whatever. So here is just one. Yep, just a single Monet-esque shot from the Missouri Botanical Garden. This is totally un-photoshopped and the lighting is just what was there that day. Perfect. Good composition doesn't hurt. I didn't crop it either and I don't think I would. Out of a dozen or so shots I hit on three like this that I just loved. I printed them out and now I have to figure out what to do with them. I will definitely frame them all in the same kind of frame and probably hand them in my bedroom which has shades of blue and way too much dark heavy furniture. Not that I don't like dark heavy furniture. It looks nice and sturdy to me and I don't mind it. The suite was from my husband's Uncle's furniture factory, so it has some provenance. The room has several large mirrors so it is in balance, but it needs pretty. It needs wonder. It needs these water lilies.

I did a series of watercolor paintings of waterlilies a while back. They came out very well and flew off to various parts of the world including France. Can you imagine a French person, home of Monet, buying an American Artist's rendering of waterlilies ????? Yeee-haa. So these photos inspire me, but I don't think I will paint from them. They are pretty much complete as they are.

So if you came looking for pumpkins and autumn leaves, you'll have to hunt them down elsewhere. I am too busy enjoying them to throw them into blogland right now.

Oh, I meant to tell you about my newest little project/brainstorm. I signed up for a sketchbook project where the book will become part of a library of artist's sketchbooks that will tour the country. The deadline is in January and I've been so busy doing other projects I kind of let that one slide a bit. In the meantime I started sketching while sitting in front of the TV. Just doodling out faces to begin with, but they developed into fully modeled portraits of all kinds of characters. the surprise was that they tended to become very masculine when I was drawing under those circumstances ! Very strange. Anyway, I decided to bring the two concepts together and collage some of the portraits into the sketchbook and then do some directly onto the pages, also. Who knows what will happen with that. since all the TV movies airing right now tend to be slightly scary ones, maybe I'll get some scary critters on the pages. It will be fun to see what happens !!!! Yes, I'll post some of the more interesting ones !
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Start Here

So I decided to work on a stretched canvas. In another life, in the wilds of the land of Vegas, my bestus buddy was the manager for a major Art Supply store. I was the beneficiary of many art supplies that were either discontinued, damaged or just written off as samples. Lucky, spoiled little me. So six deep wrapped canvas panels moved all the way to the land of "M" and have lived in exile at the top of my studio closet. SIGH.

So I dug one out and decided in the spirit of being "Green" I would use all six, especially since they were essentially free, didn't require framing and would work well with my new acrylic techniques. YIPPEEEE !!!!!! So I started with a free hand sketch. Yep, absolutely freehand. If I think about it too much the whole thing gets too stiff. I wanted her to have that wild hair.....if you could see me now you would understand. Her face looks very sincere right now. she is going to undergo a few changes once the paint hits. I more or less randomly divided the background into a kind of quilted affair. Satisfied..kind of...I hauled a jar of thick gel medium. this is very gooey stuff you can model. I have used it in the past to create a raised background for gold leaf, which is very careful, detailed work. Here I used a painting knife and just scraped the stuff on, creating a textured background that was very loose, then a very specific texture for her hair and shirt. I then let all that dry.

What you don't see: The next layer was gold gesso over everything except the face, arm and sides of the canvas. the sides received a coat of dull red paint as an undercoat to real gold leaf. Once all that dried I did some collaging with old dictionary pages. Then the real fun began. I'll save that for later.

Also in the spirit of using the copious collection of supplies already in my studio, I primed a paper mache heart with that luscious gold gesso at the same time I worked on this canvas. I try to have several things going at the same time. I just watched a video of a very famous collage artist who works on at least four or five pieces at a time....great idea ! The heart piece, I decided would go much faster and be a bit less experimental. I did a very loose coat of textured paint as a background, then a some collaging just to create a composition.After living with that for awhile, I was inspired to create an image and went from there to finish the piece.

I completed both works within a few days of each other so now its time to start something new. I really like the idea of working one many pieces at the same time so I am considering two canvases and two icon type pieces. I love the gold gesso, but this time I think the canvases may be primed black.........
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Oh the JOY

I am back !!!! It was a big bad virus that was keeping me from posting a thing on my poor bloggie, but thanks to the folks at Symantec, it's all gone. Yippee. So I am back to floating along.....I'll be doing plenty of posts to catch you up on what I've been up to. I have a local sale going on Halloween morning along with a ceramic artist who is also my pastor !!!! She does beautiful work so I am thrilled. I'll be selling off some older works since I am now on a completely different path with these mystical ladies who have come to join me.

This one is the mermaid I have always dreamed flowing hair to get tangled in..a much more organic, coral-like do. Of course she is still dressed in a swirl of pearls and has time on her side and her heart in her hand. Her lower torso is more shell like and I love the jellyfish keeping her company.

she is a combination of collage and acrylics with the face in shiva oil sticks. I am sooooo in love with the oil sticks. I really don't have many colors, but seem to be able to do quite a bit with a tiny palette. One of my current or rather concurrent passions is Russian Icons, which also use very limited palettes. Same thing for Renaissance painters. We get a bit carried away these days with all those wild colors though I must admit a love for those quinacridone tones.

As I bring you up to date, you will see the passion for the icon style and limited palette...and some real canvas work...don't know if I love that or not. I love that I can make it look so finished if I use wrap around canvas.....but the texture is taking some getting used to.

Well, a joy to be back, but life calls.......I'll be back soon !!!
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

So sorry

Well, I have put a great deal of energy the past few days into trying to figure out how to post my photos again, but to no avail. Google is not recognizing my signal from Picassa so nothing is happening. I have attempted to contact heir help section and cannot make the connection there either. Picassa updated itself and from what i can see there are others with the same problem. I am sure there are folks out there with more computer savvy who can fix the problem, but I just don't have that savvy.

I am looking into some other blog alternatives as I have so enjoyed this process and the ability to share my artwork and bits and pieces of life with friends and family.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Have a cupcake !!

So there were these horrid little tiles with duck heads on them hanging up along the kitchen ceiling, right over the stove. REEEEEAAAAALLLYYY ugly duck tiles. they had to go. I figured it would be easy. Paint something cute and kitcheny like cupcakes. I really make cupcakes a lot. They are my darling husband's favorite breakfast food. So I got some of those deep canvases and painted and played for days. I think they came out darling. Darling husband cringed a bit. OK, so they are abit sugary, but better than those &%@# duck heads, which he did not seem particularly attached to.
Turns out they came with the house when he bought it over 30 years ago. They had actually been painted around when he had the kitchen painted. It also turned out they had been GLUED to the wall. so when I tried to take them down, they too k off huge chunks of dry wall with them. HARUMPH. So I had to get spackle and paint and repair the wall before I could hang my cupcakes.
But hang them I did and they look oh so much better than the duck heads. By the way, I used an old cookbook as the base for the painting. You can actually read the recipes throuogh some of the paint. they were all candy recipes. The icing is all done with dimensional paste and lots of sparklies. the colors are pulled with some decorative plates I have hung from the wall at a right angle to this one. I have to live with some Pepto Bismol Pink vertical blinds so I am trying to throw more color into the room. Next project is to replace some very limp lace curtains with a nice shade..I am thinking of using some stenciling and then getting rid of a truly ugly light fixture. Darling husband is extremely change resistant so this is a painstakingly slow process. Luckily I am very good at perserverence....and paint.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring Show offs

He had planted only trees on the property. He really didn't know much about flowering plants or shrubs, so just trees...but what trees !!!! All spring there is a show of colors that are just lovely. It moves around the yard ending with this huge spun sugar drift of wonder that creates a pagoda of flowers I live under as much as I possibly can. Jusy look at these beauties against our silvery old fence.
Yep, that is a little nest home tucked up in the branches. How would you like to wake up in that nursery every morning ? It's a robin, by the way. There is a cardinal that lives next door who would be a bit more colorful, but I think he prefers to be in contrast to the softer greens rather than battle the pinks for visual supremacy.
In another week or so I'll move my lawn chairs and tables out under this pink lady. It's the best place in the yard. I've hung wind chimes in the tree as a memorial to my dear little Shadow. I think I'll invest in a hammock this year and invite some friends over for lemonade (spiked viciously with Jack Daniels) and cookies....try to be a nice little Midwest gal...Ok, I won't last long at that with the JD running free, I can always put some good music on the CD player, kick off my shoes and dance in the blossoms under the moonlight. Me and JD.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Can you find KB ????

So is this Paree ????
The streets of London ??????
A bistro in europe somewhere ?????

Oops. this is in English and the price is not in euros so we must be in the good old U. S of A. Well, NYC ???? Chicago ??? LA ????

NAAAAAAAAAA.......I spent the week-end in the wilds of Kansas City with some very Wild women celebrating the birthday of a very Wildest of the Wild Woman. We shopped, we drank, we ate, we shopped some more. No dessert was safe. No liquoer unsipped. The cosmopolitan was out, the "Girls Best Friend" was in. this is a delightful blend of Chocolate liquoer, Chambord and Champagne. Oh yes, this was a week-end of discoveries for this fly over gal.the rest of the world can keep on flying over. leave this place the heck alone. "E" artisan chocolates were as amazing as anything I have ever munched anywhere else.

After all that it was good to come home. I was missed. That is a good thing. I took off Monday and stayed at home watching spring snow swirl around our flowering trees while I caught up with laundry and unpacked my treasures. I sat making up lists for Passover and Easter. A short patchwork week this week with lots of time to enjoy the memories and the homecoming....and a securely hidden 21 piece box of wonders.
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