Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

Not sure where the past month has gone, I've been neglecting the blog.
I think what happened was I'm still healing after the knee replacement.
Just getting through the work day was a challenge
day by day my knee is gaining strength 
and stamina is returning.
The ornaments above are what I gave to all my co-workers.
I used 300 lb watercolor paper 
drew the zentangles with a pigma micron pen
shaded with graphite
and the most fun part was
encasing them in encaustic medium.
Too fun!
Then I fashioned a wire hanger
and added a red bead....they needed a little color.
I'm always a little hesitant to give art as gifts.
Everyone liked them--that made me happy.
This is the finished journal page.  
 I continued the checkerboard across the page,
and tried my make my self portrait appear
as if it's emerging from the checkerboard.
Everyday was one step,
my mantra was "just do the next thing".
Everything took so much longer than I was used to.
Showers, getting dressing, going up and down stairs.
S l o w  m o t i o n
But everyday brought more strength
little by little, increment by increment.
That's a great metaphor for life isn't it?
I'm not sure about you,
but I like to look back at the year that's past.
There's a lot of life in those days-weeks-months.
Bittersweet. Joy. Pain. Happy. Grief.
Now we look onto a clean slate,
a brand new year stretched out before us.
I don't want to make any more failed resolutions.
I want to go into this next year
f e a r l e s s.
That calls for a new mantra
What if?
What next?
What happens if?
We tend to look at things/circumstances/art projects,
afraid to take that next step,
the one that could very well make all the difference.
I'm tired of waiting for something to happen.
I want to take risks and make them happen.

Thanks for visiting!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Journal page

Since I haven't been able to spend time in my studio
I thought I'd share a journal page that I've been working on
for a couple of weeks.
This is for an online class with Juliana Coles--Field Notes, a book of reminders.
Juliana had asked me a couple of times to continue to work on the page, 
and take it further.
Going outside (for the assignment) was out of the question.
There is enough right in front of you, to teach you something.
My days are/were filled with medication, exercises, Dr. appts., PT appts.,
For the first 2 weeks, I needed to use a walker. 
One day my eyes welled with tears, my thoughts were
swirling with the idea that with the walker I can walk, I am liberated,
without the walker, I can't walk, I am humbled.
The checkerboard represents taking things one day at a time.
We can't rush healing.  It happens when it's ready on its own schedule.
It was good to journal my feelings of this experience.
I drew my self portrait on the prescription info sheet,
the med bottle on an an exercise sheet from PT.
I see the Dr. on Tues, hoping he will let me drive and go back to work on Wed.
The walker is in the basement (!), using a crutch now.
Off all meds!
Things are moving along nicely.
Thank you for your prayers and thoughts,
and thank you so much for visiting!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Knee Update....

Post surgery is going very, very well.  Everyday I am getting stronger.
Grateful for that.

This is a CPM machine (continuous passive motion).
I have to spend several hours a day with my leg on here.
It slowly bends and straightens my knee.
The degree of bend can be adjusted, so everyday I bump it up a little.
I also spend much of the day wrapped in a Polar Cooler.
The cooler is filled with ice and water, there is a pump that circulates the cold water through the knee cuff and keeps the swelling down.

Here are my marching orders from Claudia, my physical therapist.
She's wonderful and great to work with.

We often see smiling faces, pregnant bellies & etc. on blogs.
We don't often see peoples scars, but this is where many of us are at.
This is life for me right now, it really doesn't look that bad, does it?
Not even 2 weeks from surgery.  
If it weren't for joint replacement, I would be in bad shape at age 51.
This really is not short of miraculous.
(I really didn't mean to gross you out ;)

Most of all, I miss my girls.  They are being boarded at the shelter for a while longer.  Paul is doing a great job taking care of me, but the girls on top of that is a little to much right now.  Perhaps I can persuade him by telling him how much they will help me heal just by being here.  What do you think?
Thanks for visiting!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Today's the day!

I've been neglecting the blog,
getting ready for today.
Today I get a new knee.
Am I excited.....yes I am!

It will be wonderful to be on the other side of surgery,
and on the mend.
Please keep me in your prayers!!


Haven't spend much time painting,
though those paintings have again changed
I look forward to getting back at them.
I have enjoyed trying the "what ifs"
++what about adding this color
using that brush
and covering it all up again++
having some successes
mostly not so much.
I'll keep going back
and at some point
they will be done!

Thanks for visiting!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Squeak Carnwath

Squeak's work is so interesting to me, layer upon layer.  I get very inspired watching artists work and hearing their thought process.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

4 paintings update

I decided to paint the 4 paintings at once
then take them apart so they'd look like 1 large painting.
I like it so far, blending paint right on the painting 
gives nice variance of color....
but there's something missing.

I looked at it from from each angle
and found two figures.
I blocked those in and started working on the background.
I like what is taking shape.
The figure on the left seems sad with her head down.
Is she unhappy with her relationship?
Did he give her the wrong answer when she asked if 
her jeans made her but look big?
Doesn't he want to go to the opera?
....just received bad news?
I'll keep going and see what happens.

Here is a closeup of the figure.
On top of the paint I smeared (or is it schmeared?),
a tar like patch---it has threads of fiberglass in it.
The texture is very cool.
Who knows what's next?!

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

4 paintings (in process) and a knee

These have changed quite a bit since last time, haven't they?
I felt uneasy about where I was going with the compositions
so I went at with paint and gloved hand.
(not sure of the toxicity of the paints)
I really like mixing the paints right on the paper,
there are really nice color variations
and texture is starting to build.
Still not sure where these are going to go,
but the important thing is to keep working at it.
And respond to what is happening with the paint.


Other news, I had an MRI on my knee (the "good" one),
it turns out that I need a total knee replacement.
 Geez, I just had a partial knee replacement last year-on the left.
The doc said the right is worse than the left was!
I suppose from all the compensating over the years......
It's always something!
Surgery is set for Oct 26th.
Please keep me in your prayers.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Missing you Pop

Already it's been a year.
So many times I reach for the phone,
then realize you're gone.
I love you Pop.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Continuing on.....

The paintings in the previous post photos
were making me quite nuts.
Every time I looked at them
I felt so uneasy,
not sure where to go from there.
Decided it was time to write down
what it was that was causing the angst.
They were chaotic,
they needed some direction.
 They needed serious blocking out of areas.
Mixed up some gray from black & white gesso.
Gesso makes nice matte grays.
Went in with a brush
and tried to negative paint
the design compositions the painting seemed to call for.
Bottom right: cruciform
Bottom left: cantilever
Top left: golden rectangle
Top right: man in trench coat wearing fedora ;p
I feel better about these now.
There are areas of rest where the paint isn't demanding attention.
I have to tell you that this not knowing
where the painting wants to go
is very unsettling.
I have many-many paintings that I have abandoned
because they got to a point
where I didn't know what to do
and I was afraid of taking risks.
So in a stack they sit
patiently waiting for me to grow a backbone
and throw caution to the wind.
So my friend, 
this is todays offering-
tomorrow is another day, and I have lots of paint.
Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, September 17, 2010


It's been a bit of a busy week,
wasn't able to work on these 
as much as I would have liked.
....anyway, I added a different red, magenta, blue and yellow.
Where will these go from here?
Their journey continues....


On Monday I am going in for an MRI on my "good" knee.
It has been swollen for a couple of months.
The doc drained fluid from it 3 weeks ago
and it's swollen again.
It's always something.....

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Journey of 4 paintings


Come along with me,
to watch the unfolding
of 4 paintings.
Their journey begins.....

Every time I look at a blank canvas, board or paper,
there is a bit of angst.

This quote has me thinking differently.

"I begin a painting with a series of mistakes."
Robert Motherwell

Easy peasy. problem.

4- 11x10 300# cold press watercolor papers.
So that I wouldn't have to look at that white paper
I started making marks with a charcoal stick.

Next I took red-orange acrylic paint 
and spread it on with a plastic card
no thinking allowed...quickly get it on there.
That's it for today.
You might be wondering why I'm working on 4 paintings.
Because working one painting can get precious,
fear to move beyond your comfort zone.
If there are several going at once 
you are more apt to take risks, 
push it, try the absurd, the impossible.
When their journey is done,
there will either be 1 decent painting
or a series.

Look what I found at Michaels!
How cool is this?!
"Freaky Halloween Fabric" 
It comes in natural, black and green.
Isn't that big open weave fabulous?
Great texture don't you think?
Methinks this will be incorporated
into these paintings.

Stay tuned, there's much more to come.
or better yet,
 consider joining me.
 Post your blog here 
and we can watch each others progress.
Whadaya say?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2010


God Bless America

Friday, September 3, 2010

A new painting and.........

acrylic, gouache, encaustic medium on cardboard  5x7

It's been quiet here recently.

For a few weeks in July and August,
I was able to take time off of work,
my purpose was to concentrate on art.
An art sabbatical.
Felt the need to set some rules for myself. quiet tv
...limit internet (I failed at this one)

I got up early.....very early....crazy early
while it was dark
and quiet.
And began to listen.
and journaled.
It took time to get past the day to day
goings on,
petty irritations and,
to do lists.
There would be one sentence
that stood out from the others.
I took that sentence and followed that thread.
And kept on writing.
There were days that I sobbed.
I felt paralyzed by the angst,
legs as lead,
the sting of raw emotion.
It was then that I would go into the studio.
and worked on getting those emotions out
onto canvas, paper and board,
with paint, paper, ink, and wax.

The journal had become my most powerful tool.
Weeks later, I still rise crazy early.
 The early morning solitude
has now become a routine
as journaling has.
I'm feeling much more connected with myself.

Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Today, Pop would've been 83
I'm miss you Pop.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Marcus McAllister-Being an artist is Paris

....the common thread is the journal
I'm so inspired

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Marcus McAllister-The Dreamed Journal

In just 10 minutes you 
will be inspired to keep a journal.  
Marcus' art is wonderful, 
wait till you see his journals.
Oh my.....

I have no idea why the videos are being cut off at the right edge...any thoughts?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pieces of Harry

This is an extraordinary video.....
His comments seem to describe
my struggles
when making art 
to a T or is it tee?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pear #23

Acrylic, sumi on 5x7 canvas board

 been doing lots of thinkin',
 wrestling with emotions,
shoulda, coulda, wouldas,
slugging through panic attacks,
learning how to breathe,
trying to get unstuck,
listing pros and cons,
fighting negatives with positives,
seeing small victories,
bandaging skinned knees,
picking myself up,
twirling through the storms,
finding rainbows,
taking naps,
reading poetry,
writing a little,
drinking iced tea,
listening to cicadas
watching pampas grass in breeze,
expressing in art,
conquering defeat with gesso,
trying again......

How about you?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Grief and art

I've had an emotional week
there were several times 
that I felt overwhelming sadness
missing my Dad.
I was out of sorts all week.
 Grief, I know, is a process
there will be days of sadness
and days of a full heart,
grateful that he was my Dad.
I have to feel the feelings
let the tears fall.....

This isn't yet finished
thought I would share it in progress.
This several layers of cardboard.
The surface treatment is an experiment.
I painted the entire surface black
after it had dried thoroughly
I painted the entire surface again
with Elmer's School Glue
then immediately painted over the glue
with acrylic craft paint.
(don't over work it, 
brush on the glue
  going over the surface just once)
Let it dry,
and it cracks.
How cool is that?
It needs a bit more work,
that's for another day.
Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pear #22

Mixed media on 5x7 canvas board
Super easy background.  
Have you ever tried
those patina kits?
This is the iron kit.
You paint the surface you want to patina
in this case with the iron paint.
After it has dried
apply step two
the rusting solution
That's it.
Next I drew in a horizon line
and added asphaltum glaze (Golden)
The paper for the pear was made
by gluing all sorts of odds n ends
onto paper using gel medium
......a seal, alphabet pasta, metal bits
window screen
Then apply gold leaf sizing--I used Wondasize.
Let dry till it's tacky.
Lay a aluminum leaf over the sizing.
Glaze with asphaltum.
Every day I stare off into this pond.
Some days deer are at waters edge.
Most days I see this fellow...
A Great Blue Heron
He wades along the shore
catching fish
Or stand stoicly
for hours.
The pond has gotten deeper
as we have gotten a lot of rain lately
and a beaver has moved in upstream
When the workday is hectic
I take a little break
and get lost in the pond.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers Day

This is the first Fathers Day without you.
I would give anything
to hug you
and tell you
how much I love you.
Oh Pop
how I miss you.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Where "art" thou?

Clearly my priorities are not straight.  I spent all last weekend cleaning.  My messy house had been neglected.  It really does feel good to have done that.  Now I can get on with art making......

Working on a few commission pieces.
These two are about 3 1/2" square.

These are for 2 of Kathy's close friends--birthdays
This one is 10 1/2" square.
Kathy's mother passed away recently,
she asked me to do this poem
 along with sweetpeas
for her.

A cardboard piece I started in Katie's class at Valley Ridge.
It's got a ways to go.
I like it so far......

an update on the stains I'm making....
Periodically I need to take the copper bits out of the jar
let them dry and oxidize 
and put them back in the jar.
The turquoise color is quite beautiful.
The other jar with the steel wool pad-
it's completely dissolved
murky, crusty, rusty vinegar.
It's turning out great.
They both will be fun to experiment with.

Last but not least....
Today is my 51st birthday.

Paul and I went out to dinner last night.
Tonite were going over to Marci's for dinner
(she is a fabulous cook!)
a coupla cocktails.

Tomorrow is going to be a tough day
as it will be the first Father's Day
with my Dad.

Thanks for stopping by!
Have a great weekend.