Friday, March 24, 2017

Surprise for Handsome Hubby!

a couple of years ago we downsized our home and tightened the belt so that we could travel more...well...i planned a surprise getaway this weekend for Rob and I.  I arranged doggie care, made the train and bus reservations, found a 'B and B' in South Lake Tahoe...told Rob what to pack but not why...
this morning we took Uber to the train station and I presented him with the itinerary for our weekend. we rode the train....rode the bus through some incredible snow storms, walked to this quaint Bed and Breakfast and now we are snuggled down in the amazing 7 Seas Inn with a cup of hot cider, enjoying the huge snowflakes that are drifting down outside.
I got word today, that a loved one is nearing the closing of his life chapter here on this earth...a man that has had a huge impact on my life....this piece was waiting to 'become'....it is titled "One Single Poppy"...
Have a peaceful weekend....and hug those you love....

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ahhhhh....the underpants!

i start most of my mixed media artwork with a layer of old book pages, text....i call it the 'underpants'.  it is an important part of the art piece but the viewer of the piece might just get a glimpse of the 'underpants'
those students that have been with me for years, very frequently moan and groan when it is time to build the underpants....."aw....more underpants?!", they sigh....and then yes, the put their underpants on.
i have been working on this 1950's, gorgeous, rebuilt portable stereo for a couple of days....talk about some 'underpants'!  how about an entire book of 'underpants'!
i will be building a bit of a collage next....it is a commission job and the owner has chosen an image for the back and i was able to preserve the 'Philco' label.  i took a picture of it, printed it on a sheet of transparency and had a printer fuse them together...i will show you the progress as i go...
my point this morning (as i lay in bed with a mighty case of 'shingles')...i don't ever want to hear my students complain about putting on their 'underpants'....they are so worth the time!!!


Sunday, March 19, 2017

'Solarity Collage' Class April 8th....come play!!!!

I was going to teach a 'Couples Book Making Workshop'...but...due to some requests, I am teaching my 'Solarity Collage' Class, Saturday, April 8th in Benicia, Ca.  the workshop is 10-4...you have to bring absolutely nothing except a lunch, a playful attitude and a sewing machine!  everything else is provided in a neat little kit!
cost is $90 plus a $15 kit fee.
I have taught this workshop and the results are stunning!
we play with fabric, gesso, watercolors, watercolor paper, foil, ink, washi tape, ephemera and more!
I love to play with seasoned as well as fledgling artists....come and join me!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

what can we do to make the world a better place? you got it...create the calm and peace with art and happiness!

What a way to spend a Saturday!  I spent the day with some amazing women...creating some amazing paper clay figures!  yes...we proclaim to be able to change the world....one calm and peaceful moment at a time....
we started with a meditation at 10, took a  forced lunch for 30 minutes, then the next minute it was 4 o'clock....what?  how time flies.....
fingers busy adding, subtracting and smoothing the clay....adding water and then baking our new found loves....giggling to  ourselves...absolutely silly with the characters that were being formed by our loving hands.  adding paint, legs and arms.....oooooh....what a delight!
i took a video, but of course....it did not turn out....here are the photos of me and my lady friends tickling our own fancies with our new paper clay friends!!!!



Monday, March 13, 2017

Okay....a little paper clay Fox for today!

i went and spent a couple hours with my dear friend...she worked on her journal and i  played with paper clay...i could not wait to make a little fox....i have some small squeezed paint tubes....the perfect size!  i have found out that i really love finishing these dolls with water color paints...it seems to give me the look i am attracted to....oh and then scuff them up with some sandpaper...ta da!
i will get a video up on you tube showing off these adorable little dolls!
i hope you are creating some fun times....be true to yourself and make lots of art!!!!!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

An Adorable Dancer! Whimsical with a Twist!

oh my goodness....i am having a blast with paper clay dolls!
i am giving a class  this coming saturday in Benicia and i cannot wait to share what i have learned!  we start out with the paint tube, a hunk of paper clay, some watercolor paints, sandpaper and a few jump rings....a bit of water and some light smoothing touches...and voila....an adorable doll....
this little dancer has already been adopted....she has a forever home with 'Grace'....is that perfect or what....Grace is a dancer....and this little 'Dancer' is holding a dead flower....ahhhh...the whimsical with a twist...gotta love that!

Friday, March 10, 2017

water color pens and paper clay!

i have been struggling with the finishing of my new addiction...paper clay dolls...
today i tried watercolor pens...i do like the effect....i think i am going to try plain old watercolor paints next time....for a denser color...
she is not done yet but she is darned cute...i am thinking probably some shiny finishing coat when i get her done...
paper clay is so fun!!!!  i am going to be teaching a class march 18th in Benicia....come play?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

me and paper clay....a dangerous combo!

if i had a job outside the home....the job would come first.  dishes, laundry, shopping, errands, housecleaning chores and meal preparation would come second.  being a full time-work at home artist?  yeah...good luck with that....everything else seems to scream for attention before i can steal away into my magical haven of creation!
yesterday was one of those days...so many errands...costco, post office, dog to vet for shots, dust, sweep, banking....oh...the list just goes on and on!
i have committed to my 'artist' to spend atleast 2 hours a day in my creative, juicy studio...it usually evolves and i get to stay there longer...thank goodness!
so yesterday i did the 'domestic' chores and then quietly escaped into my 'private space'
hours later a fun 'Painter' paper clay doll was born!  he has an old dried up paint tube for a body, he is holding a paint brush and he is wearing scuffed up Birkenstocks....perfect!
he is my 3rd paper clay doll and i am loving that medium!  i will find a good way to display him....
have a fun and creative day!!!!!!!

i am having trouble with the painting part...next one i am going to try colored pencils...

Monday, March 6, 2017

from 'Mess' to Magic'...''Piece on Earth"

i cannot even begin to tell you how much fun i am having in my studio right now....dragging out fabric, gesso, watercolor paints, ephemera, stamps, foil, stabillo, ...kitchen sink...you get the idea!
i am creating fun papers and backgrounds...then cutting, gluing and sewing everything back  together again...
this is my tweaked version of a class i took a few years back from Jane Defazio...
i start off with quite an assortment of paper choices....i created these by lots (and lots) of layering...so fun!

then i cut them up and sewed them onto the background that i created first....this is the finished piece....'Piece on Earth'?  i think that is a perfect name!

i am so grateful for the playtime i have had in my studio today!!!

Friday, March 3, 2017

'it just takes one sentence'

artists are amazing, aren't they?
i stepped on some toes and i was embraced with nothing but compassion and understanding! (well almost...) i learned some lessons (never fun or pretty) but i have come out the other side with a light heart and admiration for other courageous artists that, too, speak their truth. 
i am (for the fourth time) working 'the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron'...an amazing journey.
i am reminded that, as artists, we are tender hearted, we secretly tell ourselves 'i am a fraud'...'i have no new, good ideas'...'my art is not as good as ...' and yet we continue to 'make'...we can't help ourselves....we HAVE to 'make'.
and don't we love a 'tribe'...to be surrounded by like minded, goofy people...that don't feel like they 'fit in' either...my island of 'misfit toys'....ahhhhhhh...a safe place to share myself.
the lesson i learned?  if an artist has shared an idea with me....i will make sure and mention their name with gratitude....as another artist told me so eloquently, 'it just takes one sentence'.
so....thank you Manon and Jane and all those that have inspired this watercolor and fabric collage....
with peace in my heart and gratitude in my spirit....i will continue to share my 'everythings' and to know that there is enough out there to 'make' for all of us!

keep creating!!!


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Inspiration or Thievery?? Can a Gift be Stolen?

I have recently gotten myself into trouble....again....being called a thief and a fraud....ouch! these are feelings that i...as an artist...i battle daily!
is being inspired by another artist and then trying their techniques really stealing?  is it inspiration or is it thievery?  (there is a great best selling book titled 'Steal Like an Artist)
if i take a class and then tweak it in my own way and then teach it to others....am i a fraud?  will the 'fraud police' show up at my door and take my 'art' away?
how long do i give credit to the artist i learned from?  do i sign their name to the pieces i make? even if the technique is done by many artists, do i still give credit to the one that passed it on to me??
i teach classes too....and i would only hope that my students pass on what they learn from me.  i feel a responsibility, as a working artist to pass these creative ideas, gifts, along.  i am not so great that i can keep these ideas to myself.  'ART' is a way of expressing, processing, problem solving...we need others inspiration to grow...emotionally and spiritually...
yes, these amazing artists are in my class to learn from me...but really...they could learn these techniques on youtube....there are videos on everything nowadays!  we gather together in classes for inspiration, techniques, new ideas, support and community....to laugh, dance, cry, and yes...create!
i am so grateful to the artists that have come before me and have been willing to share with me, their techniques and their ideas (which i think they have 'stolen' from other artists).
it takes courage to put yourself out there for the 'judgement' of others, so thank you with all my heart for having the courage to step on some toes along the way.
we are each given so many gifts....thank you for sharing your gifts with me!

Yep...definitely having tooooooo much fun!

I am preparing for my next mixed media classes, 'Letting Go'...and i have the first 5 weeks planned out....if you know me...then you can realize what a miracle that is!  but....i have had so much fun with this series!
I took a class a few years back from Jane LaFazio at Art is You in Petaluma...i didn't quite capture what she was teaching at the time.  Then i ran across an article in a Somerset Magazine from a few years ago,  complete with instructions....she does what she calls 'Recycled Circles'...they are gorgeous...visit her blog to see the fun she creates!  (her work is a bit more refined than mine...)
so....i decided to try and it again, and tweak it 'LM' style....and voila!  I have used her technique for the fabric and paper background...it is delicious....and then took off with watercolor collage papers.....
once i try something....i cannot wait to pass it along to other artists....this has gotten me into trouble more than once.....but it is so much fun to create...and i want to share it with others so badly!  being part of others creative process is beyond amazing!
so a big shout out to ALL the artists in the world that have inspired me and the God given gift of sharing with others!  thank you ALL!
watercolors, fabric, paper, stamps, foil, and  even some sewing thrown in the mix!
then i rip up the watercolor collage pieces and put them back together in a different order and frame them....the one that is not posted has been dipped in beeswax and is waiting to be framed!
here are some images of what is going into this limitless series!






Sunday, February 26, 2017

2:30 a.m. can't sleep.....might as well play!

i am getting ready for my upcoming mixed media class 'Letting Go'...we are going to be working on a series and these amazing artists will have several pieces completed by the end of the six week class....wowza, right?
this is the background, paper, fabric, paint, and...of course...stabillo.  this is just the beginning!  we are going to alter it in many, many ways.
i will keep you posted.
oh....there are 2 openings in the classes, so if you are interested...let me know!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Up Coming Mixed Media Classes

I am so excited to have some mixed media classes to offer!
Upcoming Classes in Benicia, California ;




'Letting Go'-A six week class, playing with different mixed media, techniques. I never know exactly what i am going to teach....but we play with paper, collage, watercolors, glue, paints, wax and color!  No experience needed...just a desire to be creative with a playful heart. All expectations are left at the door and we discover new ways to feed our spirits....together!

Wednesdays-March 8th thru April 12th
                      11:00-1:30 p.m.
Thursdays- March 9th thru April 13th
                       6:30-9:00 p.m.
Cost: $110 with a non refundable $20 deposit is required to save your space.




Book Making for Couples-April 8th & 9th
                       10:00-4:00 p.m.


This is a new class and I am very excited to offer this to couples that are looking for a fun playdate!  We will be creating a 20 page book, using different background techniques.  Please visit my You Tube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6q92wFe8KU&t=217s to get a better idea of what we are doing.
                       
Cost: $120 per person plus a $10 Kit Fee,  a non refundable $20 deposit is required to save your space.
We will break for lunch so bring a brown bag lunch and beverage.



Paper Clay and Paint Tube Doll-March 18th
                          10:00-4:00 p.m.
We be transforming an old squeezed paint tube into a whimsical doll.  No experience making faces?  perfect!  we will create a fun face together then!
Cost: $90 per person plus a $10 Kit Fee,  a non refundable $20 deposit is required to save your space.
We will break for lunch so bring a brown bag lunch and beverage.




Wednesday, February 22, 2017

His Name is Filbert!

I have been playing with paper clay and an old paint tube....ta da!  Filbert has been born!  AND Filbert has been adopted to a forever home here in Vallejo.
He is approximately 12" tall and his paper clay parts have been covered with old book pages, gesso and some acrylic paint that i sanded heavily...
he is adorable and i will miss him!