Sunday, December 27, 2009

Face painting

Revisiting this face....I had glued an image of a face on a background.....decided it was time to go ahead a attack it. A good start I think. Here I am using burnt umber and white paint. It's interesting to see it up on a computer as opposed to lying on a table.
This poor girl has a bulky neck, doesn't she? I'll be able to slim it down a bit when I go back and put in the background. Attempting to mix skin tone shades here.

White paint and brown ink....a good start. I really like to work on a few things at once. It's good to put paintings aside and go back later. Things that I thought were working....aren't. I learning to hang in there with face painting.....keep going....keep blending....don't give up. They aren't where I think they should be, so I'll keep working on them......

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas to You!

It's a rainy Christmas morning here in Milwaukee. It started to rain yesterday afternoon. If this were snow.....we'd be buried! The temperatures are supposed to drop and then snow. I don't like ice, I'm afraid we're really in for it. We cancelled our Christmas plans. Paul and I both have the nasty, creeping crud that's going around. No need to spread it around. Rest, that's what we'll do. Watch sappy Christmas movies in our jammies.

My favorite Christmas Carol--it always brings me to tears....
the REAL reason for Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Purse covers

Have you seen those very cool purses...Miche Bags?
I love the concept, being able to leave all your stuff in one purse--and able to change the shell. How cool is that?
I got the idea to make my own shells.
Out came canvas...some raw, some primed and went at it.
These were a blast to paint.
Truth be told,
I was doing these instead of homework for Misty's class....
which I will get to....eventually;)

The shells are attached to the purse with magnets.
now if my Dick Blick order would just get here.......

I bought a very awesome wood block for fabric printing.
One thing I did learn is that a mouse under the canvas
would make a better image.
I do like the broken look of the stamp though.
I'll show you how they turn out....keep your fingers crossed;0

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

a matter of perspective

I started this painting (homework for Misty's class) in an easel, didn't finish it in one I pulled if off of the easel and worked flat on a table. I was a bit surprised at how different the perspective was between lying flat and upright in an easel. It's a good idea to step away from your work every now and then to check on the perspective, shapes, colors, etc., even turning your work upside down. The next painting I do (which may very well be right on top of this one), I will take my own advise......need more practice. ;p

Sunday, December 6, 2009


This one is pretty earthly looking...a bit ethereal....

I like adding a bit of metallic here and there under the layers.

These backgrounds are so much fun to do, I can't stop myself. At some point I will have to put something ON these backgrounds.........

Well, here goes.....
I glued a face onto the background...
....added a few flowers.....
we'll see where she goes from here......

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Backgrounds using primaries

Cobalt, Quin. Crimson and Hansa Yellow Light.
I love the hot/cold effect.
Couldn't bare to stencil or stamp on it....just yet anyway.

Pthalo Turq., Quin. Crimson and Hansa Yellow Light.

Nice color combo methinks.

Not sure what to think of this one....

It's got texture going for it.

There's always gesso;)

I carved a rubber stamp to get the crackle paste effect.

(can't get this silly thing to stop double spacing)

Hoping to get some homework for Misty's class done tonite,

going for a cut and color right after work-that takes a while....

ooops, did I say that out loud?!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Painting Layers.....Online class with Misty Mawn

I could NOT wait to get started, especially after taking a fabulous workshop from her at VRAS.
This workshop has already exceeded my expectations. Misty is a wonderful teacher. There were 4 instructional videos ready to view first thing Saturday morning. Cup of coffee (or 2) in hand, I watched....over and over. Went into the studio and started the homework. I had the best time. The above is the first background I painted. Little touches of metallic here and there........
This background is actually 10" x 30". I really like the long narrow format....and it's just the beginning......
Using gel medium to transfer images and as a resist. A swiping of ink over the top.

......another background first attempt at painting a landscape

.....and my 2nd attempt, I like this one much better. One thing I am learning is that when you feel like giving up, you feel like your piece is keep going, take it further, try something new and different than what you are used to, you learn along the way and sometimes you discover something new that works for you and had you given in to your "critic", you would have totally missed it.
I have lots and lots of art books, books on thing that I know about myself is that I am a visual learner. This class is so great in that I can watch the videos over and over. Watch the subtleties and develop my own way of working.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Swell Season-Strict Joy

Every once in while, an impulsive purchase pays off. Last night I was in Starbucks and saw this CD & took it home with me (yes, I paid for it). Have you seen the movie "Once"? Loved it--great story, awesome music. This is a terrific CD. Lovely harmonies, very nice music. My new favorite.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

October beauty

I was completely taken by surprise last Sunday. I started cutting back the garden, dried stalks and withered leaves--when I came across this......2 iris buds. We've already had a killing frost, I wondered how did these 2 make it this far.

Oh, the iris. The beautiful, full-figured beauty.

She is struggling to open. Anais Nin said, "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in abud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom". That quote always reminds me of the iris. The buds get so big they look like they are about to burst just before they open. This strong willed beauty is reaching toward the October sun and sky, she knows her time here is short. That's not stopping her from trying her hardest and making the most of the time she has.....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Last weekend

Last weekend, my friend Marci and I took a workshop at VRAS with Misty Mawn. Firstly, VRAS is a truly magical place. Out in the middle of nowhere, miles and miles of rolling hills, cows, gorgeous trees, peace, and Kathy & Bill. Unbelievable hosts. So welcoming, so caring, very delightful people. I've been an admirer of Misty's work for a long time. Her painted faces are quite fantastic. That's what she was teaching. She started the class by giving us exercises in drawing a face. I could not believe how quickly we were all drawing faces....and they actually DID look like faces. I love blind contour drawing. The above drawing is exactly that. You draw while not looking at your paper---no peeking.Next, we traced a face and painted her using just white and the black of the pencil (Stabilo Marks All). When I showed my paintings to Paul, he said this one looks afraid and very sad. Art is great therapy, isn't it?
Misty gave us packets of collage materials. In this exercise we were to put together a composition using collage. This is not quite finished......the head is too prominant. Maybe because my Dad recently passed away and that was (and still is) heavy on my heart.

This painting isn't finished either......Misty showed us two ways of working. One was to create the background first and then add the figure, the other was to paint the figure first and paint the background later. Misty works very fast. One thing that you get from a workshop that you don't get from a book....watching the artist work. Misty will dip her brushes right into the tub of paint--from one color to another. Not concerned with red getting into the yellow. I realized I'm far too anal. Dipping my palette knife into the tub so I don't contaminate it with another color....crazy. Misty uses her hands...bare hands for spreading mediums and paints on paper.

Here's a background that I was able to finish. Metallic gold shining through the layers of paint and collage. I think I'm going to paint a still life on this one. Possibly one of my beloved pears.

At work on Friday, I found a piece of square bubble wrap. I've never seen it before. What a great find.....there are art supplies everywhere!
Thank you so much for your encouraging words and prayers regarding my Dad's passing. I appreciate you all so very much. xo

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Absent from the body.....

....present with the Lord. My Dad passed away this afternoon. He had a long battle with cancer.
Recently I was able to spend 8 days with him, I wanted to be with him when he died but it wasn't to be. I was able to tell him that I was glad he was my Dad and that I loved him very much. It was so incredibly difficult to watch him wither away, day by day. The emotional tidal wave I feel is so overwhelming. I would appreciate your prayers. xo

Friday, August 14, 2009

Reason to Celebrate

Last week Saturday, my Aunt and Uncle had a birthday party for my Dad. His birthday isn't until the 22nd, but my Aunt wanted to have it as soon as possible. 82! It's hard to believe.
Family and friends filled my Aunt and Uncle's house. I have never heard so many "I love yous". It was wonderful! When it was over, my Dad was worn out. He slept well.
Over the course of the week, walking has become more difficult. He fell while my Aunt and the hospice nurse were there. Yesterday he went into the nursing home. I am grateful for that, knowing that he will have 24 hour care. Watching the cancer taking over his body has been so difficult. This once hard working, strong and independent man can't shave his own face. The changes that have taken place since he was diagnosed in late January, have been monumental.
I have learned to take nothing for granted. Each day is truly a gift. Saying "I love you", means so much. This experience has been difficult, yet so rich. I am learning to spend time with my feelings, letting my emotions run their course.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Pop and I had a very sweet visit. He is more frail than the last visit I had. He is losing weight, losing control of some bodily functions, but he is of great humor. My prayer has been that he not be in pain....and he isn't. I love looking into those blue eyes. I love you Pop!! When I first got there he was looking a bit like a vagrant. He is a very independent and proud man who doesn't like to ask for help. He doesn't have the dexterity and is no longer able to shave his head or face. So, together we went outside and I shaved his head and then his face. The eyebrows were another story. Those wiry little devils were pointing every which direction reaching toward the sun.....I got the hang of trimming them by the second eyebrow ;) I asked him if I could take pictures of his tattoos. He has been embarrassed by these, so he always wore long sleeves to cover them up. He was in the Korean war, he got these tattoos back in 1949. They are faded, but oh so beautiful.
I can't tell what this is anymore......
A snake head with a dagger through it......
A eagle maybe, with a snake wrapped around it.......

hmmmm, me thinks there's a pattern forming.....snakes and women....hmmmm.....
Pop and his sister, Karen. She is my favorite aunt. She and I are very close, like sisters. Everyday Auntie Karen goes over to his house to make sure he eats dinner, cleans, does his laundry. She is an incredible caregiver, an angel, really.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I've been spending mornings out in the flower beds, weeding....a bit behind in all that after knee surgery. Angry looking thistles up to my waist! Yikes, they are hard to get rid of aren't they?
Little by little, day by day, it's starting to look civilized again.
This scary patch of weeds took me 3 days to pull. Whatever those bottlebrush weeds are....they are the grass too. Thankfully they have shallow roots and pull out easily. There was a lovely ornamental crab apple tree here--I planted hostas under the tree and set up a birdbath made of flowerpots. It was so pretty. Then the poor tree developed a disease and had to be cut down. The hostas don't seem to like the sun. I gave them to my neighbor across the street. He has a mostly shady yard and will do much better there. His son-in-law brought over his stump grinder and removed the stump. There are two hostas left and patch of pampas grass. Paul and I are talking about putting a patio here. A nice little spot to relax in after work.
This area is along the side of garage. This area causes me the most frustration. What in the world to do with it?! It's a gravel patch covered by weeds. Just not sure what to do here. All I can say is I have very patient neighbors!!
Tomorrow I'm going up to visit my Dad for a few days. I'm so looking forward to spending some time with him again. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

hello again my friend

It's been too, too long since I much has been going on. Since I last wrote, I had my 50th birthday. How about that. To tell you the truth, I don't feel any different. I promised myself I was going to go boldly into 50. Live fuller-larger, notice more, be grateful more.
My Aunt Karen had the family over to celebrate Father's Day. Here is my handsome Dad. I love you Pop, you mean the world to me. The cancer is spreading, he is losing weight, he just doesn't have an appetite anymore. I arranged for a meeting with a social worker and a hospice nurse. I (the big coward), told my dad that we were going to meet regarding his future health care. I was happy he was agreeable to that. I had a grim view of hospice. The nurse was amazing. He explained everything about hospice. It's so much more than I thought. She arranged for a nurse to come by his house once weekly. What a Godsend. When the nurse feels he needs more care, she'll come by more often. He can stay home as long as he is able to care for himself. When his is no longer able to do that, she arranged for a swing bed at the hospital nearby-when he needs full-time care. I am grateful, oh so very grateful.
My favorite Aunt, Dad's little sister. She is a blast. Every Thanksgiving, she puts out a BIG feast. The next day, she and I go shopping. We usually go to Tomah-to Burnstad's European Village. It's a fun "mall" with lots of little shops. We go out for coffee, and breakfast, and lunch and.....wear ourselves out. It's the only day of the year that we get to spend alone together.
Jack happened to be visiting on Father's Day.....I love his happy face.
The other thing that was keeping me busy, was getting ready for my solo show (my first!) at Charlene's Gallery Ten in Gill's Rock--Door County. My show was in the tower gallery. A very cool little space at the top of a spiral staircase. I had about 11 pieces hung. I am at this very moment, kicking myself in the pants because I took individual pictures of all the pieces, but not as a group. (kick-kick-kick)

There was a 2 hour artist's reception in the afternoon. During the time I was there I sold 4 exciting is that?! I love meeting and talking to the people that have decided to take my art home. It's such an honor that someone would want to hang my art in there home.

........and then there's the coming home......eek! Time to clear a walkway-don't you think? Oy, what a mess. Well, it doesn't look like that anymore. I spend 2 days picking up and putting away. Charlene invited me back up to Gallery Ten on Labor Day weekend. She's having an outdoor event, artist demonstrations, canopies filled with art...the gallery filled with art. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? So that brings me to the next thing.....I need to get busy making more copper pieces. Yikes! I have a booth to fill..........