Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I love painting these guys. They make me laugh. They look like people you know (or know yourself to be.) I'm the grumpy looking one on the far left way too often!

My son named this one. He's sixteen, and what he saw when he looked at it was a clique. He told me the other day that he just realized high school is never over. I should have explored that a little more with him. Does his comment mean that we adults aren't behaving ourselves as we should? Or maybe we are nurturing yucky hurts from those days. Hmm--perhaps it's time to throw away old baggage....

There I go--from a funny little painting to serious thoughts in one huge leap. That's so high school! Enjoy your creative pursuits today, everyone.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tail Feathers

Tail Feathers, acrylic/collage, 12 x 12

I'll be on vacation for a week beginning this Friday, so I am frantically trying to get details nailed down for the show. My wonderful sister is working on my postcard. (Lucky me-- there's a painting she wants.) I've ordered frames and begun to work on the publicity. Finishing and framing are on the schedule for August, and I hope to get in some painting during the month on two or three final pieces for the exhibit. As of today, I've stock-piled over thirty works of varying sizes.

Reflections and musings...
I am content. I cannot say that has been the primary state of being in my ever-lengthening existence! But sometimes, when I am still and pay attention, calm and satisfaction can catch up with me. Enough...this is enough -- just right. Life is good.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rocks and more

Rocky Stream, 11 x 15, watercolor on 300 lb paper

Jerry Brommer is known for his paintings of rocks in his European hill town scenes and views of the California coast. He taught us his method in an assignment to paint a fantasy scene with rocks and water. Starting at the bottom of the page, you make the rock shape and then blot the top of it with a tissue. Continue making the shapes with variety in outline and size, all the way up the page until you have made all the rocks you want. Paint the rest of the landscape with trees, mountains, etc., leaving the water white. Collage over the whole thing and begin to paint back over the scene with dry brush. Continue blotting the top of the rocks to keep the light-washed look. I did not collage over the water and the sky when I did my painting.

When we could choose the subject we wanted, guess what I picked! Here is a painting inspired by Brommer techniques which will be in my show.

Pre-flight Check, 15 x 22, watercolor/collage on 300 lb. paper

Monday, July 13, 2009


At my recent workshop at Cheap Joe's, watercolorist and collagist Jerry Brommer started us out on a mini design course--really helpful! We discussed three types of composition, then he described the process he wanted us to follow to create two paintings in each style. We painted bridge, T, and cruciform compositions by first painting the basic shape and colors, then collaging over it with a variety of washi papers glued down with matte medium. When that dried, we were to go back over the papers with watercolor paints, applied with a dry brush. We layered paint until we felt done, making sure that our strokes of paint and additional collaging led the viewer's eye to the focal point. The papers caused the paint to adhere and run in ways the artist could never plan which, of course, I liked a lot!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Back from Boone

Here's a little piece I created when left to my own devices in the later days of the workshop with Jerry Brommer.

If you've never been to Boone, NC, you've missed one lovely spot. And if you've never taken a workshop at
Cheap Joe's, you've missed the most fun, and what must be the best week-long workshop deal in the country.

My friend Lynette and I left town last Sunday excited about working in watercolor and collage with Gerald Brommer. We'd seen his gorgeous paintings of the California coast and picturesque hill towns, many featuring rocky cliffs and and a vital compositional element. I had first heard of Jerry's work with paper making and had bought his book on collage. Since I have been using collage in my work for my new show, this seemed like a good fit.

From the first contact back in February with Edwina, who is in charge of registration and the smooth running of the workshops at Cheap Joe's, we knew we were in good hands. When we arrived for work on Monday morning, we were greeted at our cars by two friendly fellows who were instructed to help us unload our supplies and get us settled at our work stations. "Now, you have to let us help you," one of them said when we protested that we could get it ourselves, "You'll make us look bad!"

Before we got started, we were given a bucket of Cheap Joe's goodies, including a water bucket with two chambers and a handle that could hold our brushes, a water bottle, notepad and pencil, name tag, and a complimentary copy of Pastel Magazine. (Each day we got a gift on our tables: sponge, a tube of paint, a brush pouch, sample of papers and a photo of the workshop participants and $25 gift certificate for another workshop at Cheap Joe's.) Four staff members greeted us, including Joseph Miller, Joe Miller's son, to welcome and explain the week's activities. Joe himself, was on the golf course that morning, but when he got back he came in and greeted each of us with a hug or handshake. He knows how to run a business!

I'll talk more about what we learned in upcoming posts.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


mixed media with paper, thread and acrylic, 22x28

This is the final version of Surprise! I had the idea to add stitching when someone said to me that the creature looked like a patchwork quilt. I thought it enhanced the humor of the painting. I may have made it just that much more bizarre! I also brightened up the nest area of the painting, hoping that it would become a little more evident.

I will be away for a week at a workshop taught by Gerald Brommer on watercolor and collage. I am really looking forward to it. I will not be taking my computer, so that I might narrow my focus for the time I'm away. I'll see you in a while with photos and news from Boone, NC. Be well everyone!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fowl Weather

Surprise!, 22 x 28, mixed media with acrylic, WIP

This is the latest painting for my show which I have had to work on a little at a time as we've been installing our new show at LibertyTown this week. I will post some images from that show later today or tomorrow. The opening is tomorrow night. Stop in if you are in the area.

My September show now has a name--Fowl Weather (watch the spelling, please!) My family, friends and I have had loads of fun brainstorming names having to do with birds, their behaviors and anatomy (Bills, Bills, Bills! and My Apologies to Mr. Audubon among the rejects.) It makes a great party game if you're bored on a Friday night--it can go on for hours, believe me!