Tuesday, November 30, 2010


sari silk, stitching & rhinestones on walnut ink stained muslin

i've been out and about - stayed out longer than i'd planned because of snow... yesterday it was -2 degrees when i got up, today it was 28; it felt so warm!

i finished this piece this morning, which i did work on while i was gone. it's about 2' long. the rhinestones are from a necklace roxanne gave me... love the idea of rhinestones, silk, and muslin together.

this is most of what i bought while i was out. i'm trying out the gouache and casein paints, and i am already deeply in love with the rembrandt soft pastels! i bought a set of cheap soft pastels a couple of weeks ago and i love those too. katherine dunn's book really made me want to try them...

casein paint, soft pastels, watercolors, oil pastels & graphite on canson watercolor paper

this is part of the piece i'm working on now. i can't seem to leave faces out... i don't want to leave faces out!

thank you everyone for your thanksgiving wishes in the last post. you are beautiful...


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


watercolors, soft pastel, oil pastel, ink & colored pencil on canson watercolor paper ~ 8" x 10"

i'm sticking everything that i do now inside

one of these old music books. i got seven of them a couple of weeks ago for $3 at a library sale. i'm mostly working on watercolor paper and sticking that to the pages in the book, which are in good shape considering the book was published in 1924. i've always made my own journals with watercolor paper, but now i want the flexibility to work on lots of different surfaces. this way pieces done on muslin, plaster cloth or watercolor paper can have a home...

gesso, watercolors, acrylic paint, oil pastel & colored pencil on grocery bag

on the bottom of a brown paper bag - there was more of it, but i either cut or tore if off. lol, when all else fails, get rid of it... i glued it to the page with tacky glue, which cathy dorris turned me on to, and i now love. it's tacky in the beginning, and then it really holds.

i'm still editing photos that i took on my way to roxanne's home two weekends ago. to get to her place from here, i drive north through the klamath basin. i've driven that road so many times, but i never tire of it. the pic above was taken on the way up - there are a lot of old agricultural storage buildings along the road...

there was some sun the next day coming home. this is 'the mound' - when it comes into view i always get a big smile on my face!

this is on tumblr, but i love it.... taken near the spot where i snapped the one above. the light in that valley can just be extraordinary...

if the clear weather holds, i'm going out of town tomorrow for thanksgiving. i wish you all a happy day! thank you for your love and support here... i'm very grateful for it...


Monday, November 22, 2010


sari silk on muslin ~ waiting to be stitched...

i'm feeling my way 'round the notion of having two blogs; finding what feels right as i seek a new point of blogging/internet equilibrium. tumblr is insanely (yes, that's the word that comes to mind) inspiring, but it's not a good place for leaving comments or asking questions... i'm going to try posting shorter, more frequent posts here. if i can do it there, why not here?

colored pencil in pocket moleskine

i've been working a lot in my little moleskine lately, mostly adding pogo prints, but also some drawings. seeing our old cat, jerry, gaze longingly at the counter top (too high for him to jump up to anymore), i thought how much he’d love some flying shoes…

tiny bones found at the petroglyph cliff near tulelake, CA, in a rusty aspirin tin i found at glass mountain. tied up and ready to go live with someone else...

* * *
"To paint is to pass through the doorway from the known to the unknown. Let yourself be lost, wander in new lands, dare to be your unusual self. Painting is a killer of concepts, projections, and prejudices. It will break the masks of learned behavior and reveal the inexplicable.

Michele Cassou and Stewart Cubley ~ Life, Paint and Passion


Tuesday, November 16, 2010


watercolor, oil pastel, soft pastel, acrylic paint, and inktense pencils; 9" x 12" on canson watercolor paper

on my flying shoes...

i'm laying this blog down for a little (long?) while... i've started a tumblr blog here; i'm crazy about tumblr -- the sharing and creativity at every turn, its ease of use. i'm putting my art and photos there, as well as reblogging wonders that come my way.

come visit me if you'd like...

i'll be around : )

* * *

Wait until it is absolutely still within you
When you have attained this
Begin to play
As soon as you start to think
And try to retain
The state of NON-THINKING
Then continue playing.”

~Karlheinz Stockhausen, via tumblr


Monday, November 8, 2010

like a poem

oil pastel and watercolors on book page

i've been doing a little of this and a little of that. "life, paint and passion' gave me lots to, ponder...

i painted this face in the book of matisse line drawings that i bought last summer. all of the color is from watercolors, like the 'creek people'. i love this book...

watercolors, white charcoal, and soft pastels on st. armand watercolor paper

i painted this not long after last week's post. there's a cat's head under there somewhere! i used a lot of dense white watercolor to create opacity...

watercolors, charcoal, and collage in zecchi journal

i've only worked a little in the zecchi journal.

derwent venetian red drawing pencil and acrylic paint in zecchi journal

i've been painting these map-y thing on the backs of the pages, though... something about the lines and numbers that appeals to me.

watercolors, oil pastels, charcoal, and acrylic paint on canson watercolor paper

the kitchen sink and then some on st. armand watercolor paper

i've spent the most time messing around in my new pocket moleskine sketchbook. once i opened it, it took me a couple of days to recover from the shock that they'd changed the paper! seriously, i guess i thought moleskine sketchbooks would never change!! the paper's whiter and not as smooth now. here i am making a list of creatures i could add to my drawings...

i had a dream where i was in a courthouse that had a GIGANTIC restaurant inside it. before i knew it i was sitting down eating a piece of yellow cake. when i got to the part near the plate, a blueberry cheesecake layer magically appeared! wow! when i'd finished eating i went to the courthouse area and ran into my dentist. he said, "oh yeah, that's the kind of cake they serve here."

the next night i kept seeing a mermaid with a deep red body...

the image on the right was part of an ad in 'art forum'; it's a piece by charles koegel. i saved every bit of that ad...

as you can see, i've been printing out a lot of pogo prints.

i decorated the cover...

one day i rode my bike to photograph the small horses that live down the road. i don't know what it is about these small horses, but i'm crazy about them. whenever i see them i want to pull the car over and talk to them!!

now i'm on the other side of the road feeding a regular size horse, and they're keeping their eye on me.

they're irresistible!!!

a couple of days i went out wandering.. . i found another lightning struck cedar tree that's been hollowed out inside, so i started another green shrine tree. i found the heart and bear rocks nearby,

and took some of my stash of rusty cans from green shrine tree #1 to it. this is only the beginning of its shrine-ness. : )

all summer i watched these moth wings accumulate in green shrine tree #1. they're like a poem to me... i left this huge so you can see it more clearly if you click.

i washed all of the glass in the creek; for a moment i thought i was the glass...

this leaf was stuck there, just like this.

i'll leave you with a short video i made at green shrine tree #1. you'll have to forgive a little blurriness and a little jerkiness...

* * *

"To keep your process flowing, to feel the enjoyment of creation, you first need to go where it is easy. Easy means ripe. Go where you are attracted, whether it be toward a detail or a large shape. While you work on the part that is easy, other parts will mature in you, and they will be ready and waiting. You move step by step, from the easiest to the easiest. It is never tedious or tiring because there is no need to force anything. Depth resides more in surrendering to spontaneity than in hardworking struggle."

~Michele Cassou and Sewart Cubley, Life, Paint and Passion


Monday, November 1, 2010

honest gesture

watercolor, charcoal, and wallpaper in zecchi watercolor journal

last week was one of exploration and change... way before my new books ('life, paint and passion' and 'creative illustration workshop') arrived on friday, i'd swerved in a different direction. it might have been that venetian horse a couple of posts back - standing there so all alone! i wanted to paint pieces that contained multiple images, that were more complex...

i had no idea if it would work with watercolors - would the first images that i laid down be washed away when i painted something on top of them? i found that i could add several washes and still see the first image. you can see this in the horse's head and body here... and i found out that i could lay down opaque color by not using much water and cover up stuff if i wanted to.

this is what my art table looked like yesterday - i've got just about every watercolor i own out! the set on the right is a yarka set - it has a gorgeous quinacridone violet!

so these are my experiments...

i let each layer dry and painted some more...

watercolor and collage on canson watercolor paper, 5" x 9"

when i first looked through 'life, paint and passion' i thought, "oh, i already do all of this stuff." but upon closer inspection (of both myself and the book) i realized that i don't. for one thing, how many times has it come to me to paint something, but i don't because i feel like i don't know how to paint it? pretty often. and how many times do images come to me but i leave them out because they look too scary/weird/childish? sometimes... yes, i already paint what comes to me, in the colors that pop into my head as i go, but it's what i'm leaving out that has the potential to change everything.

the piece above is the first piece i painted on saturday after a big dose of both books.

watercolor and chalk on st. armand watercolor paper, 3" x 5"

and this is the piece i finished last night. you can see it in the pic above of my art table. there's an owl sitting on a limb, which, believe me, i would not paint if i were painting from some preconceived image that i had in my head. my sense at that point was that the only thing that mattered was the magenta leaf at the end of the branch the owl was sitting on. so i painted a big magenta leaf (that quinacridone violet), and then i felt that a white charcoal bird (or part of one) needed to be on there somewhere. so i drew it...

one thing that you quickly realize when you look at katherine dunn's work ('creative illustration workshop'), is that she creates a lot of the dreaminess in her pieces with soft pastels. you start to think about using charcoal, graphite, and pastels a lot more...

i wholeheartedly recommend both books, even though i still haven't finished reading 'life, paint and passion'. there are no techniques in 'life, paint passion' because there are no techniques when it comes to painting what's inside of you. for me it's been helpful because it's shown me my blind spots. katherine's book is *chock full* of her gorgeous art, and she does a good job of explaining (and showing) her process.

'look both ways' ~ donna zagotta

all of this has got me thinking about gouache more than ever. after i read that maira kalman uses it in her work a couple of weeks ago, a light bulb went off. i've been reading and thinking about it ever since. the piece above is done by donna zagotta with gouache - click on her name to read about her process.

and yeah, i know i could use acrylics to get opaque color, but that doesn't fit with my quest to paint 'greener'.

onward... : )

* * *

"To create is to recognize that real beauty is found only in the honest gesture, wherever it leads, and that no harmony can be found outside it."

~Michele Cassou, 'Life, Paint and Passion'