Thursday, December 23, 2010

winter alchemy

Well, here she is. I can still hardly believe Somerset Gallery has published three of my icons. If you are searching...they are in the Winter 2011 issue most often found at Barnes & Noble or Michael's. The ladies came home last night. I was amazed to see them again. I sent them off without frames or glass, the better to be photographed by Somerset's legendary photographers. The colors were richer than I remembered, the surface more layered. Not surprising, as I hadn't seen them for almost a year !

My dear family ran about the East coast searching out their very own copies. Readers, I am referring to men who are police officers, Marines and retired Air force officers...searching for the alchemy of Icons. I can't stop smiling when I think of it.

More sweetness: One of my students gifted me with a framed photo of me holding the copy of Somerset Gallery, grinning like a mad woman. I love it. We celebrated with cupcakes and coffee before getting back to our art journals. I did tell the tale, as I will tell you now: I have been an avid Somerset fan since 1994...owning issues back to that date ! I watched with excitement as the publication grew from a rubber stamp how-to into a magical family of magazines dedicated to wonder, creativity and artful living. Each month I stretch my beleaguered budget to buy the latest and the greatest. I loved their featured artists, followed their growth with inspiration and great admiration. On one desert day in the wilds of Las Vegas, I doodled my own name on a tiny post-it and placed over the name of the featured artist...and smiled. Could I really be a "Somerset Artist"? In my mind, those folks were wondrous artists, masters of their trade. I knew I was an artist, a watercolorist of some renown, but a "Somerset Artist". Hmmm.

But you know, I kept that doodled on issue. Hauled across the deserts and rivers right here to Middle Earth. It was carefully kept in a stack of very favorite issues that seemed to grow like Jack's Beanstalk over the years. That was until last Winter, on the cusp of Spring, when everything was still frozen and grey, I finished up a series of paintings , icons actually, that I knew were very special. They whispered urgently in my dreams that they needed to go off on a journey back across the deserts, the rivers, the mountains, back to the land of sand and surfers, to a place where wondrous issues of creativity and artful living came from. So I carefully packed them up, wrote a tale of their birthing and sent them of to California and the Land of Somerset.

And, oh they had a magical time. They posed prettily, glowed gorgeously and told their tale in pages of Somerset. I am so grateful to the folks at Somerset, to my ladies, to a darling mate who proof read many drafts, to the angel friends who celebrated with me.

I am grateful.

So, for those who may want some inspiration to do a bit of icon making of your very own, I will be teaching a workshop in the Spring here at the St. Louis Artists' entire day of medieval golds and rich reds.. Do join us...there will be cupcakes!
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Lost angel

Please meet Fleur. Obviously she is a flower angel. You know, the one who stands over the plants and whispers "Grow". She is also a lost angel because today the temperature here in sunny St. Louis is -10 degrees with the wind chill factor...not exactly flower weather. She came to visit my studio to remind me that there would be flowers again, but not for a little while. she brought a few with her to cheer me up , which she was quite good at. I loved her colors and bits of glitter and shine.

The inspiration for this piece came from a demo class by Pam Carriker through the Crescendoh site. It was a real change for me in that it was very sculptural and encouraged me to dig through all the goodies I had stashed about to create something lovely. I have been busy with a few other angels I will save for another post.They came about as donations to the St. Louis Artists Guild's invitation to their artists to create Christmas ornaments to be auctioned off this Wednesday evening. All of these lovelies have faces based on my studies of sketches by Leonardo Da Vinci. What could be more inspirational than Renaissance Angels ? I have been sketching away on thin, thin paper that lets me slip and slide my pencil around and create very painterly drawings. It's a lot more fun to paint with graphite and charcoal than to try and actually draw with them. I am not linear in my thinking or my art and get much more enjoyment from softening edges and brightening shadows. That would be my philosophy of life and art. What are we here for except to soften the hard edges of of life and maybe bring a little brightness to the dark places. That may be a bit simplistic to some, but it seems to serve me pretty well most of the time.

Playing with these little angels along with some very non-traditional materials is leading me down a new road. In proofing a freshly carved stamp a few days ago, I realized to line of stampings just needed a little more attention and they could be the body of yet another celestial being and so another lovely appeared a top a stack of stampings. The greatest part of being an artist is that you never cease to be amused. There is always another rabbit hole to tumble down and meet new creatures. A wild tea party can happen any minute. In a chilly December, you tend to get a lot of angelic beings at your tea parties. That may mean you have to be on your best behaviour, which isn't a bad thing either.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Garden Magic

When the weather turns chilly and grey, bright magical things can still be wandering about. You just need to know where to look. A certain owlie bird still visits and I give him a greeting of appreciation each time I see him tucked up into the corner of our roof. My wise owlie has given me eyes to see things in the garden that other might miss in their daily dailies, such as the mystical creature peeking out of a mass of frosty fronds above. She was most happy to have a friend to chat with one dreary afternoon, though, like a certain Cheshire cat, she tended to fade in and out of view. She told me the most wonderful tales regarding other fine sights that may be about and I thanked her for her time. I do believe she was the one who told me about a Secret Garden..a real one..or at least it is a place where I can sit in the sun and contemplate the wonders around me. I must have passed the place a hundred times last winter and never saw a sign of it, though as I walked its paths, it appeared to have been there for a very long time, as is true of most secret gardens. They seem to be forever, but like my plant girl, they wink in and out of being like mini Brigadoons!
Tucked into an autumn nest, this perky girl has made her home. Doesn't she just look as happy as a clam. come to think of it...clams are one of her favorite foods. She must have hung out with the Seagulls too long. Anyway, she has created her tidy little nest out of favorite quotes and incantations to keep her safe and warm. Obviously she loves all winged things as the butterflies and birds visit her regularly. She loves company and good jokes. She had me giggling for an entire morning.
Ah, this watery dream scene may be one that can only be viewed while you are napping. An sunset in Autumn shades and fading light is enough for me to hold in my heart of hearts. A water girl am I and I do love it so. With just the right eyes, I can be there this minute!

All these wonders are pages from my journaling class..either demonstrations or creations that needed to be created. There is a tale regarding angels that whisper great concepts into the ears of artists and draw great paintings in their dreams. If the artists creates the thing, the angel's work is done. If they ignore it or never quite finish, the angel takes it back and delivers it to the next person on her list. I try to keep that angel close and listen well.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Booo-tiques and such

Our Halloween came early and eerily with scratchings and groanings in the darkest hours of the night. DH and I both heard all manner of strange sounds coming from a high corner of the bedroom and immediately guessed we had squirelly co-inhabitants in our attic. so the local pest control was duly contacted and a handsome young prince was sent out to do battle with whatever furry monsters were lurking above our heads. he climbed into our attic and found.......NADA......NOthing....NoONE and no signs of any mortal creature. Hmmm.

So DH led the befuddled prince outdoors to show him some other beasties that were nesting under the eves of the winged kind. All of sudden they both charged into the house begging me to join them to view a wonder of sorts..they had found our noisy beastie. I wish I could have gotten a photo of him, but he was pretty much tucked under the edge of the roof peering out at us weird Halloweenies with his great big owlie eyes. Yep, we have the most gorgeous gold and cream colored Owl living up under our roof edge, right over the bedroom window. I was so excited that I immediately gave him permission to stay with us and eat any verminous characters that might threaten our castle. so between some late season spider webs draped delicately around the roof edge and our new guardian, we are all ready for any tricks that might appear on Sunday evening!
So what do these images have to do with do, however have a great deal to do with the Unique Boutique I am participating in just three weeks away. ARGH !!!!! I decided after being accepted to sell almost exclusively prints and reproductions of my favorite works..keeping the originals for a future and as yet unscheduled exhibition. I used the folks at for postcards, greeting cards and mini business cards. They do a great job and are really fast and affordable. They use recycled paper and the results are just wonderful. The art prints I had done are all on the highest quality paper and high quality inks. I love the way they came out and have mated some of them and then mounted a few on art boards so they are ready to hang.
All of this ordering, mounting, packaging and planning has kept me insanely busy. I feel like I am whizzing through the days with scarcely a bit of time to visit with our new feathered boarder. That said, there have been some lovely Autumn-y moments of deep appreciation for the softer fall colors on the trees this year and a few moonlight wanderings with my faithful studio dog, Demi. I get the sense of year running down... a year that has been a bit if a roller coaster ride emotionally. Losses and gains seem to balance in the long run. the pleasure of playing with glitter charmed little girls is a definite salve to the grief of losing a parent. Not a replacement by far, but a smile to the promise of future wonders. One business is slowly replacing another, this place becomes more of a home. Change is constant , balance is there if you look for it. In yoga, one can only hold the delicate balance of tree pose if one concentrates completely on focusing attention on a single point. The trick is choosing a focal point with benevolence and wisdom
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Friday, October 8, 2010

The Butterfly Project

I have a special favor to ask. I know many of my artist friends read this blog and even those who are not artists can help on this one. The Holocaust Museum of Houston is sponsoring a very special project. One I intend to join in and I am asking you to join me, too.

The museum is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust and remembering the six million Jews murdered as well as honoring the survivors. Using the lessons of the Holocaust, they teach the dangers of hatred, Prejudice and apathy. Their banner line reads "STOP HATE. START NOW"
The Butterfly Project is dedicated specifically to the 1,500,000 innocent children who perished as a result of the Holocaust by collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies. In Spring of 2013, these butterflies will become part of a breathtaking exhibition to serve as a memorial for these children. The project is based on a poem:
I Never Saw Another Butterfly

The last, the very last

So rich,brightly, dazzlingly yellow
Perhaps if the sun's tears would sing
Against a white stone.

Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly 'way up high.
It went away I'm sure
because it wished to kiss the world good-bye

For seven weeks I've lives here
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelion call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.

Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live here in the ghetto.

Written by Pavel Friedman on June 4, 1942
Born in Prague January 7, 1921
Deported to Terezin Concentration Camp April 26, 1942
Died in Auschwitz September 29, 1944

Join me in creating a can go to the website for the Houston Holocaust Museum and get more details but all you need to do is create a butterfly about 8 X 10 inches and send it off to the museum. They have a submission form you can print out.

It won't take much time or effort, but the gift would be great. I am told it is a great mitzvah.......
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Thoughtful Cup of Tea

I was in a very thoughtful frame of mind this past week. A dear friend lost two of her furry friends in three days. My father's headstone was set and photos sent to me as family is so very far and away. Labor Day week-end became a few days of remembrances. Though this piece was actually begun well before. The cup is collaged with an image from one of my art journals, the handle formed from a small portion of some chip board shapes I have had forever. The opened envelope just appeared as I was finishing. funny how the painting can tell you what it wants. I didn't even think of a sealed envelope. This one has had its secrets revealed, as all secrets come to be revealed. The heart seal is broken..and perhaps another heart , also ? The painting is on heavy watercolor paper and mounted on half inch deep art board. I scanned this piece instead of photographing it and the color and detail is wonderful. It should be available in my Etsy in the next day or so. Or I might decide to ship it of to the wilds of California and see if they would like another article !!!!!Recycle your art images !!!! Yee=Haaaaa.

Other projects are swimming along. My Art Journaling class starts again next Monday and I have enough students to make it a go, so I am very excited about that. If you are reading this in St. Louis, you can jump in over at the St. Louis Artists Guild on Clayton. Final drafts on my Somerset Gallery article are off and getting their professional treatment. I am so excited about being in a Somerset publication. Of course, now I will have to try for a few more !!!! I have just invested in some special art quality printing paper to begin experimenting with making prints from my artwork, which will provide my Etsy shop with some more affordable images. Keep your fingers crossed on that one !

Fall is barely here and it seems I am scheduled to the minute. What a whirlwind life can become if you don't take some time out to breathe. I will attend a yoga retreat in October and I am already wanting to fast forward to days full of downward facing Dog and Warrior II. I see candy corn and marshmallow witches have already shouldered aside the summertime treats. Now don't get me wrong...I am a huge fan of candy corn and chocolate witches, but I am still mourning the weariness of my tiny garden patch which is almost empty. Guess I'll have to put up a scarecrow and a few pumpkins and get with the program.

Gratitude is a major focus in my life these days. Perhaps I am warming up for Thanksgiving. I am grateful my work is finding an appreciative audience. I am grateful to be teaching art again. I am very grateful for this corner of Middle Earth I abide in with its changing seasons and mercurial weather. I am grateful beyond words for the friends and family that inhabit my little world. They are truly the best of the best. There are days when I am grateful for every cell in my body...even the funny looking ones. There is an art to extending your telling folks how important they are to you, by giving lots of hugs and by baking up some coconut zucchini bread or shortbread cookies and delivering them in your brightest basket.

What are you grateful for? Let me know. I would love to hear !
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Tricks

I learned a new trick this afternoon. How to scan an image !!!!! I'll get this techie stuff yet ! This cute little guy is a pencil sketch I made while wandering the wilds of the St. Louis zoo. An intrepid fellow artist and I braved unbearable heat and humidity to get to the zoo's climate controlled bird house and do some sketching. I was quite proud of this one simply because the birdies do tend to move about and are not cooperative models. That said, this guy and a feathery friend were snoozing so I could actually complete a decent image.

I really wanted to keep things simple and just folded a few sheets of colored drawing paper in half, stacked them and clipped them together with a bull dog clip. The resulting package was firm enough to draw on so all I needed was that and a pencil and I was off and sketching. Drawing animals takes some patience..more with yourself than with the critter. They are doing what is natural and that is precisely what gives life to the drawing. You can actually see how the stand or perch and move about. It may take several warm-up sketches for you to develop a sort of visual short hand that will give you nice results. Details definitely come last or from you memory. It is really a great exercise for sharpening your drawing skills.

Next time I plan on making some sort of envelope or sandwich board to protect the drawings a bit better. Keeping things simple is still a major goal. I am waiting for the weather to improve just a bit more so I can move onto the elephants and tigers. Oh My !
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A lot on her Mind !

Have you ever had a night where your thoughts just took on a life of their own, completely ignoring the fact that it is 2:00 AM and you have to get up in a few hours ???? Sometimes it feels like a weight on one's head...a lot on my mind. Daytime is for work and chores and extra large doses of denial, but it all comes up when things get dark and quiet, doesn't it ? These ladies are obviously my companions in this process. Having a lot on one's mind doesn't mean its all bad...there is just a LOT of it.

I've been working over three or four different pieces recently, after finishing these lovelies. Some new things, some familiar subjects. Grace's teacups seem to be a legacy of inspiration. I had an interesting spin in the studio yesterday. After a night of rampant insomnia that left me with a mere two hours of very active dream filled sleep, I decided I was sentient enough to go in and spend an hour or so just drawing. I had frustrated myself a bit the day before and I thought a further frustration wouldn't matter because I was so darned TIRED.

So I took a nice friendly piece of good watercolor paper and tore it into three pieces: two small and one big. I took one of my favorite cups and placed it before me, grabbed a permanent black fine tipped pen and scribbled the cup onto my paper. Pretty cool...different, but cool. I liked it so well I collaged it immediately into my sketchbook. Then I grabbed the second piece and my black stabilo pencil..which is water soluble..and sketched away. I used a small brush to blend the pencil with some water and wound up with a not bad sketch.

Now the real fun started on the third sheet. My creativity decided it was awake even if I wasn't ! I smooshed some paint..right out of the jar onto the paper, working in blue and gold with lots of white and creating some nice grays. I stamped and smooshed and had fun with it, using a scrap of paper to blot the paint. I stopped and looked at the blotter and it looked great, so I glued that onto the bottom part of the paper. While that was drying I noticed some color copies of my art journal work poking up from my file. Hmmm. I decided to cut out a cup shape from the copy and glue that down. After that I was off and running. Something new had happened ! Every time I stopped to let something dry a bit, I noticed new ways of using many other things in my studio. I had somehow opened up a very rich vein of creativity despite being exhausted. I designed a lovely garland of butterflies, created several mini collages and sketches and had a wonderful time. I wasn't even that tired after I was finished, so I sat down and made a list of all the things I wanted to do over the next few days to complete the works I had started.

So, the lesson learned is a bit of discipline...forcing myself into the studio even though I was tired and sitting down with my materials was very worthwhile. I promise to photo all of this magic for you and post it in the near future.

I also have some wonderful news for those who don't do Facebook. Somerset Gallery is publishing some of my art work in their Winter 2010 issue which will come onto news stands December 1. I wrote the article as well so I am very excited about this. I LOVE all the Somerset publications including Somerset Life and Where Women Create. At one point I took an issue of Somerset Studio and altered the cover to include my own name as a featured I am one !!!!! Talk about visioning !!!!! I was so excited when I received the notification I laughed and cried at the same time ! I am much calmer now and looking forward to more wonderments !

Stay with me !!!

I am happily painting away and plan on being back soon with lots of great news and paintings. See you soon !
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Blue Suede Shoes

Some days being Queen of the Paintbrush just ain't enough. You have to just put on your best blue suede shoes, tilt your cap and jump into the fray. Oh, where oh where have I been ? Well, I lost a few posts and decided it was Divine intervention and I needed to be focusing on my art journal class and paint projects. So I did. The fairy queen guarding her eggs was the final project demo. I completed her in class to show how fast one could put together an image with a little help from a magazine page..or two. It was a fun class and I already have folks signed up for round two, so I am happy dancing about that. It will be nice to have a bit of a break before the next season..after Labor Day..but I will miss my Monday morning run to Clayton and my picnic lunches in the park. Sigh. I love this gal's glowering stare. You just TRY to touch those eggs. HeeHeee!!!
Another journal page here. I used some buttons from a Gypsy treasure procured earlier this year. I love Gypsy markets. I dream of my very own Gypsy wagon to wander about in. I would paint and make Gypsy treasures and sleep under the stars again. Too much domestication melts brain cells. We all need to call upon our Wild Child and let her loose now and again. The fun part of art journaling is that you can just play with the unexpected: a few scraps of paper, a bit of paint and a large dose of bravery and Voila ! There you have a wonderful creation and it's all about YOU ! And, if for some reason you are NOT tickled pink by what you do that day, you can just collage right over it and start a whole new vision.
Life is not all black and White. We need a flash of color, a splash of wonder and a bit of painted magic to brighten up our days. A few new additions will be making there way to my Etsy in the next week or so. It's a bit thin over there and time for some new sparkle. Check back soon.
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Friday, July 9, 2010

The case for Beauty

I have been on a short summertime hiatus, busy painting, planning and plotting all manner of creativity. My most important goal has been to get myself out the door and into my garden a whole lot more this Middle Earth Summer. Early mornings are my favorite time to grab my over sized coffee mug and wander out into the yard in my pajamas and flip flops. I find a cozy corner with a pillowed chair and a small soft blanket to ward off any small chill. I leave my books and paints behind me . I want to hear Dawn coming once again. The sun seems to come up slowly in Middle Earth. My memory of the Southwest is a very fast paced sunrise, perhaps because the sun was often popping up over a mountain rather than the edge of the earth. I like the slow Dawn.

I set my chair facing this corner. As the sun comes up a faint steam rises from the fence as a kind of dramatic precursor to the sun itself. Then I get this scene, slightly out of focus in reality because of the mist rising from the grass. The birdsong adds a touch of opera . It is all very theatrical and it happens almost every morning. A private performance, just for me. Sometimes I think God visits this little corner like I peek at my own paintings and say they are good.
I am reading a book called "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge that presents the case for Beauty being a spiritual blessing, a gift of comfort, inspiration and nourishment. They support their case by citing the beauty of nature, creation itself. I have to agree with my whole heart for many, many times when life has thrown me a curve ball, getting out into nature has saved my soul and sanity whether it was hiking Zion National Park or wandering Yosemite, two of my favorite wells of natural beauty, I have always felt a very deep sense of invitation and comfort from the beauty of nature.
So this year I planted a tiny garden. I was quite carried away when I went out to buy the seedlings and bought too many, so some live in their own pots besides the plant bed. I made some very eclectic choices. Lemon Verbena and Rosemary for scent...I pop off a leaf or two and rub them between my fingers and sigh with the pleasure of it all. I planted peppers,half of which perished, cucumbers, all prickly to ward of the local furries, three kinds of tomatoes and zucchini to make enough bread to take us through Autumn with breakfast smiles. To compliment the kitchen, I planted basil, parsley and oregano which loved their new home and are rewarding me with scent and flavor. This tiny garden, besides providing physical nourishment, blesses me with Beauty and a joy I cannot describe, but fills my heart up so full it bursts me into a smile of pure peace and contentment. My gratitude for this gift of God is literally boundless.
I will go back to the studio and make some eye candy for you very soon, but I have to grate some zucchini and slice a few cucumbers right now. Then in the cool of the evening perhaps I will take out my drawing board and pencils and capture some of this lush Middle Earth beauty to see me through the winter.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010


It has been a busy week so far: classes, painting, garden and..oh yes ! a birthday !!!! I started it with pink cupcake goodness and a rasta birthday song from my brother and sister in law. So I have been happy dancing all morning. 50+ birthdays can be as magical as any other kind. It's all on how you look at things. Am I getting older, or am I just trying to live the very best life I possibly can and been magically granted another year to do it in? Gotta say, I'll take the second any day. Actually I will take it this very day. I have promises of sushi and some lovely serenades on my voice mail and more happiness planned for the next few days including an Etsy meet-up where I will meet St. Louis Etsy creators and share adventures and ideas. whew...lots of stuff and its all good.

Ok, the Hope cup jumped into my head as soon as I saw it. It really exists as a creation by my beloved Pastor who is a ceramic artist of great talent and wisdom. The arrangement begged to be painted and I snapped a photo quickly, but the painting was already done in my mind. I have been admiring the Still Life paintings of the Impressionists for the past few weeks. Most folks are familiar with their landscapes..but they all did quite a few Still Lifes, too. Manet did many floral Still Lifes towards the end of his life and they are soft and amazing.Berthe Morisot and Toulouse Lautrec favored dark backgrounds and colorful foregrounds so I decided to prime this small artboard with black gesso and work the colors over that. WOW, was that fun. It came together really quickly and I loved the effect. Colored gessoes are my new true love. This will go into my Etsy in the very near future.
My classes at the St. Louis Artists Guild are going great. I had two more students jump in this week and they are exciting, talented folk. This is my demonstration piece from Monday. Our goal was to collage as much as possible of our image. We covered altering magazine pages with Nevrdull and citrasolve. This piece started with a page of carpet advertisements and a few calendar pages from a butterfly calendar., then I layered on paint, stencils and stamps to complete the image. The journal I am working on is an old date book with long narrow pages...a bit of a challenge as far as composition. The journaling (writing) part is about my feelings regarding art as a spiritual path.
Next week we are going to focus on creating faces on the journal pages and losing fear of drawing ! That should be a lot of fun. After next week's class, my birthday celebration will continue with a visit to the St. Louis History museum to see an exhibit of treasures from the Vatican. I have constant fantasies about visiting Italy, and visiting the Vatican as well as other wonders. So this is a teenie tiny step in that direction. I'll have to find a sidewalk cafe serving cappuccinos afterwards !!! OK maybe I'll just have a glass of Chianti and some pasta and call it even.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

June Dance

I am happy dancing this Friday morning. Last night I read a lovely blog on the St. Louis Artists guild's website about my Art Journaling classes. I forwarded the article to several family members who forwarded it to OTHER friends and family and my email box was full of warm goodness that just about beamed out of my computer. Being described as a modern day Georgia O'Keeffe just about knocked me over. I refer to that wonderful personage as SAINT Georgia of New former haunt and constant passion.

My classes seem to be going well. I have such wonderful students. They are wondrous personages themselves. The Artists Guild is in a lovely little park with a turtle filled pond and wandering pathways through old trees. the houses in this part of Clayton look like gingerbread houses and make me think of Hansel & Gretel. What a great atmosphere for freeing up the imagination and playing with color and paper and all our favorite art toys.

More happy dancing: my precious little garden is blooming its little head off with tiny to huge orange yellow sunshine flowers. the cucumbers are getting fat, but look like gherkins right now, the zucchini is shooting out fireworks of abundance. I am dreaming of loads of zucchini bread lined up in my oven. I used to have a diet bomb recipe for zucchini bread that called for a cup of vegetable oil and more than that of sugar....sounds gross but the bread was heaven. If anyone bumps into a recipe like that, please send it my way. In the mean time I have a few new ones to try that are a bit more timid in the cholesterol department.

My studio is a shambles and I am finishing up some lovelies I hope to share with you all next week. If you want to check out the blog entry at SLAG go , click on blogs at the top of the page and it is under "Kathleen Barnes and the Art of Journaling.

Have a great week-end !
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Friday, June 4, 2010

We are Ready !!!!!

I've cleared the deck at Studio PaintDiva...ready for some wonderful new projects.
My muses have been consulting and sharing their wisdom.
WE are well rested and ready for some sushi......

And tea has been served and friends have been are you...You are invited, too ! My Art Journaling class at the St. Louis Artists' Guild is a GO. I am so excited that I will be actually meeting some Facebook friends, some new friends and some well known darlings. Monday morning we will be gathering in Clayton to create, share and learn. Could the week have any better a beginning ?

" Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the Artist: Give me leave to do my utmost"

Isaak Dinesen from "Babette's Feast"

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010


A pink china cup full of tenderness...who could ask for anything more ? This romantic little mini series is inspiring all manner of fun things in my studio: Butterflies with wings of dreamy paintings, tea with all manner of creatures. Somehow my little garden will sneak in there with the scent of lemon verbena trailing from my paintbrush. Now painting with wonderful scents would be an over the moon event ! A little vanilla here, a little lavender there and some freshly picked peony on top. A treat for the the eyes and the nose.

Don't ask what has me on this magical mystery tour. I was listening to another artist speak about how women today have a real need for the softness and romanticism we seemed to have lost. The truth for me is that creative women that live in my world haven't lost a thing. We are happily painting winged things and sipping tea while the rest of the world frets and frazzles. That's not saying I don't get frazzled. I do. Oh I do ! But when life gets as frazzling as ever, I know there is a path out. Life was pretty darn frazzled as my father was leaving this dream for another dream far and away, leaving his mortality as he went to spread his wings in another place I can't get to in this form. I painted even more, I sketched and created and sipped as much tea...ok, maybe a little wine, but I kept that precious door to wonder as open as I could. Sometimes I was just glancing through it. Sometimes I walked right in and stayed for dinner...and I finally came home to Grace's teacups full of enchantment. We all need enchantment and we all have it if we just rub our eyes a bit and look around us. A prayer can open that door of gratitude for anyone. Who can be frazzled while they count their blessings. It would be quite a trick.
So a snow queen took up residency on the cover of my newest studio journal. I use it to keep track of my art work, make notes on new techniques and materials so I can go back and remember how the heck I did something. The snow queen was supposed to get closed up in a little mini journal, but queens are infamous for NOT staying where they are supposed to be. I always knew she would have just a few touches of red to light her up and she does shine. I liked her so much I am calling on her sister queens to visit so I can share some of their wonder on my Etsy. Hopefully those fine ladies and the mystical butterflies will debut by the end of the week.

In between all these visits and tender touches, I have been working small wonders in the kitchen, making deviled eggs and roasted tomatoes and a casserole full of eggplant parmesan. All this gardening is making me impatient for summertime veggie treats. I brown the crumb coated eggplant in the oven instead of frying to keep it light and extra yummy. We have some salmon ready for those who need some kind of meat at every meal. The warm evenings have been calling me outdoors in the evenings after dinner. I check my tiny garden, visit the trees and see if they need more pruning ( an recent addiction that scares others who live in the house !!!), then I just sit down with a glass of iced tea and watch the sky turn pink and purple. The air starts to cool and birds stop by for a visit. Last night I watched the moon come up, almost full and blew it a kiss when I finally went in feeling like a kid who had stayed out past her curfew.
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Monday, May 17, 2010


This is actually an art journal page I did not so very long ago. I am teaching an art journaling class at the St. Louis Art Guild in June and realized I have been doing more painting than journaling so I spent some time just playing this week-end. The trick I am using is to just use up whatever paint I have left on my palette in my journal. That way I can get some textures and backgrounds done. another thing I did was to take all those bits and pieces of scrappies left after a project and paste them into the blank pages. Everytime I did this, it seemed to fall together into a nice page, ready for writing. A bit if magic without a great deal of work. Drawing has been my other passion this past week. I do love settling down into just the tones of black and gray and getting those shadows just right. blending charcoal, highlighting a cheekbone..oh's got to be better than prozac. The world just drops away until someone comes tapping on my studio door wondering if dinner will ever appear. Thank goodness for Boboli pizzas !

Giving yourself permission to just play is so important to being creative. Even Leonardo had his journals where he played with fantastic ideas. Some of his ideas were so fantastic, he had to write in code on the pages to stay out of trouble ! The gift of play is one we should all give ourselves and the ones around us. It can be quite contagious..the dog will start dancing, your mate will tell funny stories and then you can have fun watching milk turn pink when you throw in white protein powder (It was strawberry..but really white in the can)

The weather here has been gray and rainy. I miss the sun and have begun to have beach fantasies. The upside is that all the plants seem ecstatic with all the rain. My little salad garden is growing madly and I can almost start to do some tiny harvesting on my parsley plants. The cucumbers look a bit down trodden, but I am hoping they will perk up along with me when the sun comes out.

Today we are planning a birthday celebration ! Our Demi dog will be 6 today so we are planning on cupcakes, presents and cards for the birthday girl. Mr. Steve gave her a bit of a haircut this morning so we can see her eyes a bit better. Tonight will also be our grand finale at the Agility classes she and I have been working on. She's just not a night girl and kind of walks through the course without too much excitement except for the "A" frame scramble and the high walk. Those she enjoys so she runs to them. the nice part of the class is that she has gotten much better about taking commands from me..even hand signals. though last week they had placed some doggies beds on the side lines to get them out of the way and my sleepy girl ran off the course and plunked herself down on one of those comfy was rest time for her !
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