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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Art Fortifies Me!

This is midway through Sheri Gaynor's Class on her book Creative Awakenings
Here's the link to buy it at Amazon.
I highly recommend this great art book. It is deliciously full of inspiration and recipes to motivate you. I have been working on many levels of my art drive.
Passion, dedication, intention, vision and soul
searching. It really is "Tilling the Soil (Soul!)" to quote Sheri from her book.
I worked on my journal art using my affirmation: ART FORTIFIES ME AND ALLOWS ME TO GROW. Above is my collage that I just finished this morning. I love the strength of the elephant
and it's intentional gait.. purpose-full! I have always firmly believed in persaverance. My spirit the blackbird soaring overhead carrying the gift of promise and hope. And here I am - Queen on top blooming with a burst of color and passion.
When I am in my art zone, I feel on top of the world. Art really is a foundation for me in my life.
It is the closet to God I feel when my hands and heart are creating, my color therapy for life.
I am always amazed how I can take my frustrations, worries, joys, celebrations, gratitude and
much, much more and allow art to clarify and/or glorify things for me. It is the journey not the destination.
So onward and upward..

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Till We Meet Again

My finished painting for my Dad, for Opa. I painted his castle, very similar to the one he built in his backyard. I titled this painting Till We Meet Again, because here is where I envision seeing him again one day. The bird is a bluebird.. the bird of happiness as I see him just that way. Cosmos blooming, a tree budding out and a pink sky reflecting the sunrise. I loved doing this piece and it might just have to remain in my collection because it is so very personal.

He spent many months building his castle. He made each brick by hand and was patient and diligent with the process. He was always a very resourceful person when he built things. Each project had some ingenius twist to it. We have many stories of his inventions. Like when he created a copper pipe with a taped handle that he connected to an extention cord with 110 volts running through it. This he would jam into the lawn and like magic the worms would wiggle to the surface. Then my brother and I would gather the worms and we would have a nice container of dirt to carry them in for our fishing trip. Once, our cat Tom tried to walk across the lawn and felt the electricity coming through his feet.. a tingle that would make him pick up his feet and shake them.. like when a cat walks through water. It made us roar with laughter.
Here's a picture of him working on his castle front. You can see the individual bricks that he made.

ta dad.. miss you something fierce.

Friday, February 20, 2009

for my dad

Here he is.... my dad. He had a toad that lived by the pond in his back yard. The last summer of dad's life, he often told me about this toad that would appear now and then. At 81, it seemed to be one of his joys in life. He grew more and more home bound which I think was more about just the happiest place for him to be. He was always puttering around the yard or in his garage. He built a wonderful small castle years ago but it had started to fall apart being exposed to the elements in the back yard. So he tore it all apart and was starting to re-build it. He didn't get it finished before he passed away. But somehow I like to think he is in heaven building a new castle.

So here's my dad. I am doing a large collage/painting and this is just once small section of the piece. Will post the finished art when I am done. I made the toad out of a digital image I found. The fun part was scanning the toad into photoshop then magic-erasing the white places. Then I gently taped a dictionary page to a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and printed it through my printer. I purposely used the page that has the definition of father so if you click on the toad's image, look closely and you will see the words. Dad would of loved this I think.


Monday, February 16, 2009

self portrait

This is me. My self portrait:
I really love this piece; a mixed media that I had such a great time doing. I started by using some cardboard coasters that I had saved from our restaurant outings. These are squares
that measure 4x4 and I glued them with gel medium onto a 16 x 20 canvas. They fit perfect-
surprise!!!! that was not even planned.. just happened beautifully! Then I painted over the coasters with white acrylic and then other faint colors. This is a close up showing the coasters. I love background texture and am always thinking of new ways of create this. I left the canvas blank
white behind the coasters which leaves the exposed intersections showing through.. and I was happy with it. I know I will do this kind of background again!
This mixed media piece is about how sometimes we feel
so not understood. How people perceive who you are without even really knowing you. And I am talking about people, even family, who think they know you, and don't.
It's not so much that they are wrong, but that they assume they KNOW and are telling you blatantly that they know you. No, I think, you don't even begin to really know who I am.
When I started this piece, out of frustration of this feeling, I thought about the weight of these people's "assumed knowing" and how it obscures the real you to them. You are present but they don't see the real you.
I used the roots growing across the face to symbolize
how encroaching this feels to me. But the comfort of
my own being, my nest of reality with my blackbird always present to remind me of my true spirit, keeps
the roots from overwhelming me, which is why they are not clinging to my head. There are days when the weight slows me down, but thankfully, I can
grab this weight and fling it away. And be me. Fully. Truly.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Bluejay popped up

I added the little bluejay to the righthand corner of Sadie's painting. Just to give it a bit of added life. This also shows the fabric grass sprigs that I collaged. I really love using fabric in my mixed media. I have decided to enter this painting and the Hollyhock painting in the Valley Visual Art Show in March. It's a great show with an amazing array of art. I try to enter art every year.
I am starting a new painting this morning. Have several ideas in mind, and will let my muse take me in the direction it wants to go. It is wonderful to trust your own creative muse to lead you into the work. Learning to detach from expectations, both yours and more importantly others,
has been a huge challenge. Most of the time, I am able to defeat those gremlins, but there are times when they creep into my art time. When it happens, I normally put the work aside, and
allow myself time to divert my attention, which makes the gremlins go away.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Sadie was my best dog, an animal soul mate. We breathed the same air and she was my near constant companion. I took her everywhere I could with me. She went to my studio everyday and patiently hung out with me while I worked. We would go for walks often. Her patience was unbelievable. She loved walks and her happy face would be full on during these outings. Her tongue hanging and a grin with her eye sparkling.

I found her at the local shelter..she had been there 6 months! No one wanted a one eye 7 year old dog. But I adopted her and I know she was waiting for me. No one knew what had happened to her eye. It was sewn shut and reminded me of a teddy bear with the button gone. I often would kiss her on that x spot. I painted her with two eyes because in heaven she will have both eyes. Her traditional border collie stripe that went up between her eyes was off center, which always gave her a silly look that I loved. And she had happy ears.. She loved me unconditionally and I tell you, that is such a true honor and very humbling. I miss her everyday.. Marley is a joy, and I love him dearly, but Sadie will always have a special place in my heart. Someday when I get to heaven, she will be there anxiously awaiting me to take her on a walk.. I imagine when I see her again, she will look just this way.. "Come on Mom, let's go for a great walk!!!!"

I still have a tad bit more detail maybe to add. Will sit with it for a few days and see. Maybe add a bluejay.


Monday, February 9, 2009

valentine day design

I have been working on my valentine boxes to send out to the grandkids this morning. I baked a double batch of chocolate chips cookies.. and did a fun little kissy design for valentine cards.

Fun Fun..

I did this design with watercolors on Yupo paper. It's glossy and allows the watercolors to

look much more fluid and loose which adds a lot of interest to the art. I would like to do more experiments on the Yupo when I get more time.
Here's the design I did. A love bird.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hollyhocks with Marley

This may be done, or not. I am going to live with it for a few days. I love it mostly, though still working on the green shadow sections on the lower right. I am pleased with the birds, bird house and really happy with the way I captured Marley. He is always so curious about everything

and birds always stop him in his track. This is a fantasy garden, as I imagine my own hollyhock garden that I am planning to plant this spring in rememberance of Dad. He loved Hollyhocks among other flowers in his garden.

I did the post out of sheet music and the birds out of dictionary pages. The hollyhocks are cut from fabrics. I found a great source for scraps at our local quilt shop. They sell $5 bags of scraps that you can pick through and stuff in bags.. sandwich bags mind you, so I crammed as much as I possibly could. The orange fabric was from a pair of capris I found at the thrift shop and even used the fabric covered buttons from the capris to add into the painting. I liked the way the

patterns of the fabric created more interest and texture to the piece.

Here's a closer look:

I took a bunch of photos of Marley to get the perspective right for this painting. Trying to get him from the back looking up was a trick, but I finally managed it. I like the angle of him.. gives the painting a sense of curious and I like that energy in this piece.
hmmm.. will see if I go any further or not.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

remembering Sadie

I finally started my painting I have wanted to do about Sadie. She was my sweet girl, a border collie. I adopted her over 7 years ago from the local shelter. She was the last dog I looked at that fateful day. When I took her to my studio for an afternoon visit, she plopped down on the floor and looked at me with such gratitude and love, I knew then she was mine.

For 7 years, Sadie was my pal. As she grew older, I knew her days were numbered. It broke my heart to think of losing her. I tried to cherish every moment with her. We had to put her down last August, one of my saddest days. There will always be a very tender spot in my heart for Sadie. And I am so happy that I can finally do a painting of her.

The canvas is large for me.. 2' x 3'. I did the tree using dictionary pages.. I love collaging with this kind of paper. I painted the tree but allowed the words to show through.. the aspen trees have such great texture. And since I love fall, I decided to make the leaves multi fall colors. I found some wonderful paisley fabric to mix in with the painted dictionary leaves.. and am really happy with the results. I even did the black branches with painted pages.. Next I will add Sadie. She will be happy on her walk with her tongue hanging out.. just as I imagine her in doggie heaven.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

So today is the 1st of Feb. and I am bursting with energy. I would love to have a full on art day, but have other pressing commitments. But I did manage to squeeze a little art in.I signed up for Sheri Gaynor's telecast class at htttp:// Sheri and I have been pals for years, and it has been a wonderful to see her grow. Her first book is coming out:
CREATIVE AWAKENINGS: ENVISIONING THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS.. soon to be available on Amazon! I took one of her workshops years ago, and it was marvelous. Knowing Sheri,
this should be a really powerful book/workshop.
When I took that first workshop back then, she really surprised me.. Here was my friend who I loved, and suddenly she was in a whole new light for me.. a NEW PERSPECTIVE of her. Very professional, loving and truly gifted! So this morning, I prepared my new journal. I did cover art on the journal.. symbolic to me and inspirational. My OM horoscope today was titled Try Another Perspective. Another nudge from the universe!

Here's my journal cover..
I am set to peel away the layers of my creative onion and dive into the juicy center.
Because life is too short to only nibble at the edges.
ta daaaaaaa